skip to main content

What Is Air Ride Equipment?

What Is Air Ride Equipment?

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Suspension is not typically the first thing on your mind when choosing a moving company, but it is just as important as the packing material that protects your belongings while going from one place to your new home or office. 

A vehicle's suspension allows for support while handling and ride quality. A well-tuned suspension can get rid of most of the road chatter, keeping you and your belongings from bouncing around. Air ride suspension takes things up a notch by utilizing air ride technology to better soften larger loads. 

So what is air ride suspension, and how does it work? We will go over this and more in this article. By the end of this short read, you will know everything you need to know about air ride equipment, and why it is the best option for transporting certain items.

 

Air Ride Basics and History

Air ride suspension is a type of vehicle suspension that uses state-of-the-art systems that support the tractor and trailer, offering a smoother ride over spring suspensions. Air ride suspension supports the load over your vehicle and cargo on air-filled rubber bags rather than steel springs. 

Compressed air is supplied by an air compressor. Air ride suspension is standard in almost all tractor and trailer combinations. 

This model of suspension has been used in vehicles since 1901, when a pair of inventors simultaneously came up with pneumatic suspension ideas. One such inventor, William W Humphreys, came up with a “Pneumatic Spring for Vehicles,” which was patented on January 22, 1901. This new invention consisted of air springs that channeled the length of the vehicle. 

Each channel held two long cushions, both of which had an air valve that provided compressed air into the channel. 

In 1920 further development of pneumatic suspension allowed for automobiles to feature a suspension “to hold the car aloft on four gas bubbles.” 

This aftermarket product was built by George Messier for his own French auto company, Messier Automobiles. Since the 1920’s many new achievements have been made in air ride suspension, namely in electronic control. Air ride suspension has been used extensively on commercial vehicles since 1980.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Air Ride Suspension

Air ride equipment on trucks has massive advantages over traditional spring suspension and few disadvantages. With most new trucks coming standard with air suspension, it is easy to forget how truly groundbreaking air ride is. A few advantages of air ride suspension include:

  • Reduced Noise, Vibration, and Harshness - Air ride provides a much more comfortable ride for a truck driver. Noise, vibration, and a harsh ride can cause fatigue. This fatigue can easily turn into trouble for a driver over time. In addition to driver safety, The reduction of vibration can lengthen the life of a truck and its components. 
  • Improve Gas Mileage - More technologically advanced air ride systems can optimize ride height based on speed and a load of a truck. By lowering the ride height, a truck can achieve better aerodynamics due to less wind resistance, decreasing fuel consumption.
  • Versatility - Because of the adjustability of air suspension, trailer height can be moved up and down. By having this adjustability, the trailer can be lowered to help with loading and unloading and raised to help clear bumps and rougher roads. In addition to height, the smoothness of air suspension can be felt. This allows for better driveability across different types of terrain. 
  • Safe for Fragile Loads -  Fragile loads benefit greatly from being carried using air-ride equipment. For one, air ride is simply smoother than traditional spring suspension. Also, many air ride models offer self-leveling, keeping the trailer flat so that loads do not shift and tip over. Because of this extra smooth ride, there is less risk of breakages.

While air ride is mostly beneficial, not everything is perfect, and that includes air ride. Air ride equipment is ultimately less durable than leaf springs simply because of the difference in maintenance. Air seals will eventually wear out, and sometimes air lines will leak. Some companies report maintenance on air ride to be 300% more costly than leaf suspension over 10 years.

The other major disadvantage of air ride is the level of training needed to operate air ride equipment safely. Air ride is complicated and heavier; therefore, components can be easily damaged due to user error. 

Air Ride Equipment Hendersonville, NC

Since 2004 the preferred residential and commercial moving company in the Carolinas has been Appalachian Movers Transport. Our full-service moving business is situated in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and we have licenses in 48 states. We use a range of services, including the use of air ride equipment, to ensure that moving big objects is a safe operation because we are committed to taking excellent care of your belongings.

Whether it is a delivery to a home or company, we will expertly move your large items. Our organization can send and deliver grand pianos, exam tables, hot tubs, copiers, and other equipment that are simply too heavy to move safely by hand. With the help of our air ride equipment, we can ensure that all of your things are safely transported.

To receive a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today!