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6 Signs That You’re Not Hauling Safely

1. You’re over your GVWR.

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Everything can affect the weight of your vehicle…from the load you’re carrying to the number of passengers…from the mass of the car itself to how much fuel is in the tank.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight or mass of a vehicle. This value is specified by the manufacturer, and you should definitely avoid loading your vehicle beyond that weight.

2. Your suspension is sagging in front or back.

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: squat is not normal.

Not sure if your suspension is sagging? You can generally tell just by stepping out of the car and taking a look. Compare the look of the unloaded vehicle to the look of the same vehicle when it’s fully loaded.

If the front or rear of the car seems to be lower than the other, you have some suspension sag, and it needs to be addressed!

3. Your vehicle is lopsided or leaning.

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This is similar to the suspension sag, but it means a difference in ride height from left to right. While sag means that your vehicle is loaded too heavily, however, a lopsided vehicle is more indicative that too much of the load is on one side of the car than the other.

If you’re driving with an uneven load, and your car is riding unevenly on the pavement…well, it’s dangerous. You’re not doing yourself or your vehicle any favors. You run all kinds of risks, from wearing your tires down unevenly to actually rolling your car.

4. Lots of bounce or sway when you hit bumps in the road.

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Cars are engineered to clear bumps and potholes (within reason)…but any vehicle is going to struggle to work normally when it’s loaded up with cargo and passengers. If you find that your vehicle is jolting around like crazy every time you drive over a dip or bump in the road, you might need a little air suspension help from us here at Air Lift.

F.Y.I.: We talk about “bottoming out” pretty frequently. If you’re unfamiliar with what that means, let’s talk about it; if you basically wrote the book on this stuff, feel free to skip ahead.

“Bottoming out” is what it’s called when the frame of the car hits the axle. It means your suspension is compressed all the way down, so that shock isn’t really being absorbed when you hit bumps in the road. This is pretty common in stock cars, which are designed to sit low and hug pavement, and might get a little banged up on a bumpy strip. For your towing and hauling vehicle, however, this should definitely not be happening.

5. Your shocks wear out way too quickly.

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Carrying heavy loads will wear your shocks down faster than you might realize. If your shocks are worn down, you shouldn’t drive on them anyway…let alone continue hauling heavy cargo.

How do I know? To see if your shocks are worn down, there’s a couple of tests you can do.

  • The driveway shock test: Push down hard on each corner of the vehicle. If the vehicle continues to bounce (more than once) after you release a corner, it means your shocks may be shot.
  • The (recommended) expert test: A qualified mechanic can get your car up on a lift and look for all kinds of worn-shock symptoms. They can look for leaks, find signs of wear and tear, and check for basic physical damage like dents and scrapes.

Shocks last different amounts of time, depending on the vehicle, so you might have to do some research on the vehicle in question. The general recommendation is that you replace your shocks every 50,000 miles, but that’s not law. However, if you find that you’re running your shocks down way sooner than that…you might not be towing or hauling correctly. Time to reevaluate.

6. You aren’t using Air Lift air suspension.

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What it comes down to is this: if you’re not on Air Lift air spring suspension, you are not towing and hauling as safely as you could be. Our air springs are carefully engineered, brutally tested, and proudly sold to customers all over the world.

We can’t tell you what to do, but we will say this: some things are best left to the professionals…and we are the professionals when it comes to air spring suspension. If you want to tow and haul safely, we want to be a part of it.

Our first and foremost goal is to keep you, your family, and your cargo safe. If you’ve learned that you could use a lift…choose Air Lift!

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