Are you thinking of lifting your truck a few inches? Maybe a little more? Many SUV and truck owners enjoy the aesthetics and customization of using lift kits on their vehicles and often times for off-roading purposes. Lifting the body or suspension of your truck can allow for more larger tires and also extra utility when off-roading. Although lift kits provide additional style, function and utility for truck owners, some safety issues need to be addressed. Before getting ahead of ourselves and rushing to purchase lift kits, it’s good to be well-informed on a few things such as safety implications first before you make the leap. Many lift kit sellers fail to educate their customers on the impact of safety with the additional hardware. Not to worry, that’s why we’re here today to discuss different types of lift kits, advantages, and considerations before making your decision.
Types of Lift Kits
Lift kits are usually classified into body and suspension lifts. A suspension lift gives you better ground clearance and generally costs more than body lifts. Suspension lifts will increase the height of the wheel well because it replaces the leaf springs and shocks for all the wheels. You can raise the suspension anywhere from 4 to a maximum of 18 inches. People typically only use the maximum lift for monster truck competitions since the truck handling will be significantly reduced.
A body lift kit utilizes spacers or blocks using its frame to raise the body up to 3 inches. Body lift kits are usually cheaper than suspension lift kits because they require less parts. If you are looking to have slightly bigger tires with higher wheel wells, this is the right option for you.
Appearance Many drivers enjoy the raised body and suspensions for cosmetic purposes. The modifications will alter the appearance of your vehicle, allowing different customizations to personalize to your liking. A lifted truck with bigger tires support a solid, aggressive, & tough display that is certain to stand out and that any car enthusiast can appreciate. Your modifications don’t have to stop at the lifted suspension or body kit. Some enjoy adding led lighting under the fenders to highlight the wheels. You can complete the transformation further with nice truck LED light bars, flashy body paint, interior/exterior lights and other truck accessories available, like the ones available at Illuminate nation.
Better Towing Capability Towing vehicles and vessels while traveling can be a complete nightmare. Depending on size and weight of what you want to tow, stock or lowered vehicles may face major complications. Lifted vehicles will allow a better safety margin and capability to haul and unload larger, heavier loads due to their weight advantage. Raised cars also have an advantage to load and unload vessels in water using their strong, bigger tires to transport boats and jet skis.
Clearing Obstacles A pickup with a good suspension lift can easily clear rocks and other objects on rough terrain or smooth paved roads. Potholes, debris and other unforeseen objects on street roads and highways may easily damage an unmodified vehicle but a lifted truck will allow you to simply glide over a lot of it. Getting stuck in a ditch is also less likely for taller cars with large tires, often just a small hiccup or slight inconvenience.
Better View You will get a better view of the road and certain surroundings naturally sitting a little higher on a lifted truck. A better view of the road can help drivers have quicker response times to avoid objects on the road, slowing traffic, and accidents. Quick response times can be life-saving, permit just enough time to brace yourself or steer your vehicle away from danger. That can mean a world of a difference when it comes to driving on the road.
It is a priority to be informed and aware of the drastic changes in safety and performance after making these big changes to your truck.
Higher Center of Gravity All objects have a center of gravity located in -you guessed it, their center. However, higher doesn’t always mean better. Gravity acts on different objects in a variety of ways depending on its weight, shape, and size. A truck with an installed lift kit will have a higher center of gravity because of its added height than an unmodified stock truck with a lower center of gravity and will handle tight turns and quick maneuvering differently. The added height on the truck may increase chances of it to topple over or flip if you are in a situation on the road that requires avoiding a stopped vehicle or dodging an object while driving at high speeds. The safety risks are higher because you will have less stability. The higher your center of gravity, the harder it is to keep your balance. It is imperative drivers take extra precaution, especially when driving with a lift of six inches or greater.
Reduced Visibility on the Road Although you may get a better view of the road, you will definitely have larger blind spots and harder to see short objects, smaller cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians. As a truck driver with a raised vehicle, you must be hyper-aware of your surroundings due to the vision impairment.
Legal Restrictions If you are planning to drive your truck on street roads as well as off-roads, you will want to consult with local suspension regulations to make sure you are not violating any laws. If you are planning to use your lifted truck as a daily driver, you will definitely want to comply with the rules and regulations in your area to avoid getting tickets and fines. You will stick out like a sore thumb on the road with giant tires towering over everybody.
Additional Modifications required Before you make the jump, it’s important to note certain lift kits will require you to replace some stock parts with 4 wheel parts to optimize performance. It is always a good idea to research or consult with a mechanic, lift kit companies, or fellow off-roaders to understand exactly what additional modifications are required to make this work.
Lift kits are amazing when it comes to enhancing your off-roading experience. You will be able to enjoy this activity more comfortably and allows more ground clearance. The raised suspension and larger tires helps provide a smoother ride on the bumps and rocks on the rugged terrain. You are able to drive over larger rocks and other common off-road obstacles with greater ground clearance, and ability to climb steep hills while avoiding getting stuck in certain ditches where a stock vehicle would have difficulty.
Whether you decide to raise your truck with body or suspension lifts, it depends on personal preference. After considering all of the available options, what’s required, safety precautions, your budget, overall look, and local regulations, you can make a better informed decision on what’s best for your car and lifestyle. Whatever you decide, Illuminate Nation will be there to add the finishing touches and provide the best automotive lighting & led accessories for your trucks to complement your newly raised vehicle and complete the look and function for your off-roading enjoyment. As always, be safe and enjoy taking your ride to new heights!