Lifting the truck is just a matter of giving a cool look to their vehicle for some owners. However, there are many facts regarding the practical usage of trucks for off-road applications.
Is It Worth Lifting Your Truck? Lifting the truck provides many benefits for off-road usage due to increased ground clearance. However, if you have a family truck for cities or highways, it is a waste of money and it can damage your vehicle.
Is It Worth Lifting Your Truck?
Lifting a truck has many benefits if you do it properly from an expert mechanic. However, it has disadvantages also in terms of maintenance and depending on its intended use.
There are two commonly used methods to elevate a truck. These are body lifts and suspension lifts for trucks.
First, body lift adds 3 to 5 inches in the truck height with the help of rubber spacers between frame and body.
However, it takes sufficient time to install and provides a fixed clearance of a few inches.
The suspension lift elevates the suspension system of trucks up to 1 ft providing desirable height for off-road applications. However, it is expensive and requires more expertise.
Lifting the truck up to 5 to 12 inches above the ground has some essential benefits from its application in rough terrain or snowy areas.
Increased ground clearance
Ground clearance of vehicles is a prominent aspect to consider for driving in rough or uneven terrains like hilly areas.
Lifting the truck with bigger tires provides sufficient height to differentials, transmission parts, and engines above ground.
Thus, it prevents them from being damaged due to stones, speed breakers, or any other obstacles.
Moreover, it increases the height to go through water puddles without damage to engine parts.
Truck looks cool
Enthusiastic youngsters use the truck lift to add a cool look to their vehicles.
Increased height will make it look prominent on the road. Larger tires will further enhance this effect to give a bold appearance to it.
Improved off-road performance of the truck
Essential off-road parameters, like a departure, break over, and an approach angle, will significantly enhance with an increase in ground clearance.
Furthermore, in a 2-wheel drive vehicle case, the suspension lift ensures maximum traction on all 4-wheels.
Better road visibility
It will improve the road visibility for the driver as he will have a broader field of view of all the traffic on the road.
Moreover, your pickup will be better visible to other drivers with large vehicles. It will ensure your safety, reducing chances of accidents due to blind spots.
Tall drivers will also find this situation comfortable due to elevated seats and increased space for their legs.
Easy driving in snowy areas
States with heavy snowstorms require trucks with high ground clearance to pass over snowy roads.
It will provide the desired height to travel in those areas.
Moreover, it will provide enough height to install snowplows to remove them from the road to make a clear path. Better traction and road grip will also come in handy to drive your pickup on snowy roads.
Suitable for towing/payload heavy loads
A body lift will not significantly change the towing/payload capacity of your pickup.
However, a suspension lift provides better towing performance preventing the load from touching the ground during any imbalance situation.
You can also raise the payload size by installing new springs or leaf coils with suspension lifts and using larger tires with a high weight-bearing capacity.
Why you should not lift your truck?
Lifting the truck has many advantages for operation on rough surfaces. However, it has few drawbacks from handling and operational due to the shifted center of gravity with increased height.
Greater risk of rollover
With increased height, the center of gravity of the pickup will shift higher make it less stable. Therefore, you need to drive carefully at corners and sharp turns as the chances of its rollover increase.
Drivers need the expertise to handle the pickup in emergency braking or maneuvering to prevent its roll over or fall on the ground.
In addition, you should make sure to drive at slower speeds around corners or turns on the road in loaded conditions.
Poor fuel economy
Lifted trucks have poor fuel economy due to increased frictional surface between road and larger tires.
In addition, the empty weight of the pickup increases, and it will face increased air resistance due to taller height.
Finally, if lifting is not proper, it will further reduce its performance due to operation at slower speeds and lack of integration between its body and its frame.
It’s illegal to lift a truck
Each state has its road laws regarding maximum allowable lift height. Therefore, body lifting your pickup beyond those limits is illegal.
Moreover, it is not permissible to do any unauthorized alteration of the suspension system.
Thus, while driving it on highways or in city streets, you can get fines or challans if you violate permissible limits.
Increased stress on suspension and transmission parts
Larger tires put more stress on parts of the suspension system and steering. Other parts affected by lifting are shocks, bearings, joints, and bushings.
Parts of the transmission system will also wear out quickly due to alignment issues and additional stresses.
Therefore, it can void your warranty due to these harmful structural modifications not approved by manufacturers.
Difficult to get in and out of the truck
Due to increased height, it becomes challenging to climb into and out of the truck.
It will worsen the situation if you travel with kids or older persons with any disabilities. In addition, you require to add more steps to get into the pickup resulting in the increased overall cost modification.
Difficult to handle
Increased height has a poor impact on steering alignment and its connected components.
Moreover, it undergoes strong forces due to the overall weight of the truck and larger tires.
The elevated center of gravity also demands significant control.
Increased maintenance costs
Due to increased stresses and premature wear and tear of truck parts, you will have to pay more in terms of maintenance costs.
In addition, it requires replacement or improvement of associated parts with suspension, steering, and tires.
Brakes also need upgrading to cater for large tires and increased weight. Other parts are shocks, speedometer, gears, and headlights resulting in increased maintenance costs.
Cost of lifting the truck
Body lift is most economical and costs between $200 to $700 for purchasing and installing the kit.
Suspension lift will cost from $2000 to $5000 depending on the kit and additional costs for replacement of suspension parts, alignment of steering, better shocks, and calibration of brakes, gears, and speedometer.
To get a 1-2 inches lift by installing spacers, you have to spend between $350 to $900.
If your vehicle has frequent use for off-road purposes, then lifting offers significant benefits.
However, while using it on highways or within the city areas, it is not worth the cost and risks involved. If you go for lifting your truck, follow the safety procedures and hire the services of an expert mechanic.