A truck wheel alignment is a critical component of your vehicle's suspension system. When properly aligned, your truck's wheels are straight with respect to each other and the vehicle is able to travel smoothly across any road surface.
A truck's wheel alignment can be impacted by many factors including road conditions, heavy loads, tire wear and even weather. Here are four things that can impact your truck wheel alignment;
1. Heavy Loads
If you haul heavy loads, such as construction materials or construction equipment, you need to be aware that this can impact your truck wheel alignment. The heavy load will cause the vehicle's frame to bend slightly, which means that the wheels are no longer perfectly straight with respect to each other. This causes a shift in the alignment of your tires relative to each other and can lead to a loss of control while driving. Heavy loads put more stress on the suspension system of the vehicle, so it's important to adjust it regularly to compensate for this added stress.
2. Driving Through Deep Puddles Or Mud Puddles
Even if your truck has a solid suspension system, driving through deep puddles or mud puddles can create enough shock for your wheels' camber (the angle at which they sit in relation to the ground) to change slightly — especially if there are large stones or rocks beneath them when they hit bottom. This will cause them to lean inward or outward slightly when they rotate around their axis, which can throw you off-balance and cause the truck to veer or sway.
3. Parking On Sloped Surfaces
Many truck drivers are unaware of the impact that parking on sloped surfaces can have on their wheel alignment. All trucks are equipped with a front-wheel drive system, which means that when you park on a sloped surface, your front wheels will be forced to tilt downward. If you park in this position for an extended period of time, the weight of your truck will cause the wheels to shift out of alignment.
When you're braking hard, it forces your wheels to turn inward on each side of the vehicle due to centrifugal force. This means that if one side turns more than another side, it will pull against the other side of the vehicle and cause an alignment problem. To prevent this from happening, make sure you brake evenly when coming to a stop so that both sides have equal amounts of pressure applied on them when stopping at an intersection or driveway entrance/exit.
To find out more about how your wheel alignment can be affected and the benefits of a regular truck wheel alignment, visit a mechanic today.