Air Suspension vs. Traditional Suspension in Trucks: Performance, Payload, and More - RK Truck Sales
Air Suspension vs. Traditional Suspension in Trucks: Performance, Payload, and More

Air Suspension vs. Traditional Suspension in Trucks: Performance, Payload, and More

April 26, 2023


When it comes to choosing the right suspension system for your box truck, understanding the differences between air suspension and traditional suspension is essential for optimizing ride comfort, handling, and overall performance. Both suspension systems offer unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between air suspension and traditional suspension, their pros and cons, and how to determine which system is best suited for your specific needs, particularly in terms of payload capacity and weight handling.

Air Suspension:


Improved Ride Comfort: Air suspension systems use airbags to provide a smoother, more comfortable ride, which can be particularly beneficial for long-haul journeys or when transporting delicate cargo.

Adjustable Height: Air suspension allows drivers to adjust the height of the vehicle, which can be useful for navigating uneven terrain or loading docks.

Reduced Vibration: The airbags in air suspension systems absorb vibrations, resulting in less wear and tear on the truck and its components, as well as a more comfortable ride for the driver.

Enhanced Weight Handling: Air suspension systems can better handle heavy payloads, as they automatically adjust to accommodate the weight, providing a more stable and comfortable ride.


Higher Initial Cost: Air suspension systems typically have a higher initial cost than traditional suspension systems, making them more expensive to install or replace.

Increased Maintenance: Air suspension systems require more maintenance due to their complexity and the need to monitor and maintain the air supply system.

Potential for Air Leaks: Air suspension systems are susceptible to air leaks, which can cause a loss of ride height and reduced performance.

Traditional Suspension:


Lower Initial Cost: Traditional suspension systems are generally less expensive to install or replace than air suspension systems, making them more budget-friendly for fleet operators.

Simplicity: Traditional suspension systems have fewer components, which makes them easier to maintain and repair.

Durability: Traditional suspension systems, such as leaf springs or coil springs, are known for their durability and long service life, making them a reliable choice for many fleet operators.


Less Comfortable Ride: Traditional suspension systems generally provide a less comfortable ride compared to air suspension, as they do not absorb vibrations and bumps as effectively.

Limited Adjustability: Traditional suspension systems do not offer the same level of height adjustability as air suspension systems, which can be a disadvantage when navigating uneven terrain or loading docks.

Reduced Weight Handling: Traditional suspension systems may not handle heavy payloads as effectively as air suspension systems, potentially resulting in a less stable ride and increased wear on the truck.


The choice between air suspension and traditional suspension for your box truck depends on your specific needs and preferences. Air suspension systems offer improved ride comfort, adjustability, reduced vibration, and enhanced weight handling but come with a higher initial cost and increased maintenance requirements. On the other hand, traditional suspension systems provide a more budget-friendly and simple option, with greater durability but a less comfortable ride and limited weight handling capabilities.

At RK Truck Sales, our expert team can help you select the best suspension system for your fleet, taking into account factors such as ride comfort, budget, maintenance requirements, and payload capacity. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory of 26ft non-CDL box trucks from International, Freightliner, Hino, and Kenworth, featuring both air suspension and traditional suspension systems to suit your needs.

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