A proper wheel alignment ensures the truck drives in a straight way. It is usually done during a truck repair so that wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other so that even if the steering is held idle, the truck will move straight and not align towards left or right. The alignment needs to be checked regularly to ensure a proper driving.
Balancing is a totally different procedure from that of alignment though often confused with it. Wheel Balancing allows the tires and wheels to spin without causing any vibrations. This is accomplished by checking for any heavy spots on the wheel-tire combination and compensating for it by placing a measured lead weight on the opposite side of the wheel from where the heavy spot is.
In this article the importance of wheel alignment is discussed-
- Faulty alignment can actually lead to higher fuel consumption. It can result in uneven pressure n the tires and increase in frictional resistance from the road surface.
- Tires require frequent re-treading or replacement as improper alignment affects their durability. It causes uneven wear and tear on the tires.
- Did you ever think improper alignment can lead to more environmental pollution? Well, higher fuel consumption will increase your carbon emissions, something one should be careful about with the paradigmatic shift in climatic pattern.
- The vehicle tends to pull to one side if the alignment is towards the left or right thereby also putting a lot of strain on the driver.
- When roads are covered with thin ice or are wet, it can be risky to drive with faulty alignment. In a full traffic road, it can also lead to accidents if the driver is not careful.
- Faulty alignment also puts strain on the other systems in the vehicle like steering, suspension, brakes etc. Therefore affecting the performance and longevity of the vehicle.
When to get a wheel alignment?
One should be alert as to when the vehicle’s requires a wheel alignment. Following are the conditions when you should certainly consider a wheel alignment-
- When the truck starts pulling towards one side and steering becomes difficult even when it is pointing straight.
- When one tire looks fine but the other starts wearing out quickly.
- When the truck gets a new set of tires fitted.
- When the vehicle has suffered an accident or even hit something on the road like a bump.
- When there is a suspension or strut replacement on the truck.
Whether to get a 2-wheel or a 4-wheel alignment?
Till about 10 years ago, it was difficult to come by trained people and proper equipment to carry out a 4-wheel alignment and hence a 2-wheel (only the front wheels) was the norm. Nowadays, with the availability of computerised equipment, the situation has changed and 4-wheel alignments are now quite common. With a state-of-the-art laser alignment system installed in many truck repair shops these days, a 4-wheel alignment has become simpler, accurate, portable as well as easy to operate. Though the cost may be a little higher, it is advisable to go for a 4-wheel alignment as all the wheels will get the benefits and your truck will drive like new.
One should always get the alignment done by trained professionals and with the precise equipment. Very often, even after alignment, some fine-tuning by a skilled technician is required.
Lotus Inc. is one of the leading truck repair and maintenance companies in Ontario. They use a state-of-the-art computer diagnostic technology to perform computer diagnostics on your fleet of vehicles. Utilising this technology allows their experts to fully understand any areas of your vehicle that may need repair that would otherwise go unnoticed by conventional methods. This is a very efficient use of time and money and helps in a targeted truck repairment and reliable maintenance.