October 15, 2015
What Is The Difference?
Being in the automotive suspension industry for many years, the most common question we get asked on a daily basis is:
What is the difference between an air suspension, helper spring and the Roadmaster Active Suspension?
First Things First
When explaining the difference, it is important first to look at the concept and design of each product. The concept and design of the Roadmaster Active Suspension system is completely different than any other suspension upgrade system on the market, by converting traditional passive leaf spring suspension to mechanical active suspension, it has so many features and advantages that no other rear leaf spring product can offer.
Air suspension has been around for many years and is traditionally used on a wide range of pickups, vans, conventional and cabover trucks and buses. Air suspension offers several features such as adjustability and ride comfort, when air pressure is adjusted to support the load and kept a vehicle level.
All light to medium duty truck suspension upgrades, whether an air, helper or overload spring suspension system, work the same way, by resisting the load. The air suspension systems, also referred to air bag suspension, are installed either between the leaf springs and frame or between the axle, next to the leaf springs and frame. Once installed, air pressure is then set to the desired PSI to support the additional load. Although air suspension is affective in load carrying, when supporting a very heavy load the PSI must be set to a much higher pressure, this unfortunately can cause undue strain to the frame of the vehicle and this can result in damage to the frame.
Basic air suspension kit are inflated by hand, while the more expensive kits can be inflated in the cab with a regulator panel and gauges. It’s important to note that the benefits of these more sophisticated kits are great, but can run upwards of $1000.
Helper springs work much the same way also by resisting the load. These products are really only designed to do one thing, that is to support the load and keep the vehicle level when under load.
Next time we will compare the Roadmaster Active Suspension’s concept to these products.