Skip to Content

What is a Drag Link on a Semi-Truck?

What is a Drag Link on a Semi-Truck?

The semi-truck steering wheel is equipped with several linkages and parts that allow it to rotate the wheels in several directions. The drag link is a part of the steering, made of durable steel material to increase its reliability.

What is a Drag Link on a Semi-Truck? The drag link on a semi-truck is the steel rod that connects the pitman arm of the steering gear to the steering arm located on the spindle. Its main function is to transfer the steering output to the wheels for their rotation in different directions. Drivers add this due to its durability, safety purpose, shock absorption, and maintain alignment and stability.

It makes the maneuverability of semi-trucks easy because of the durable steel material. It is a solid one-piece adjustable or non-adjustable structure that provides strength and rigidity. It helps to enhance the driving experience because it reduces the driver’s effort by providing the maximum optimization of the steering column.

What is the purpose of a drag link on a semi-truck?

The drag link is the main component of the semi-truck that acts as the bridge between the two parts. It can transfer the input from the steering gears to the wheels for their back, forth, and right and left rotations.

It connects the pitman arm of the gearbox to the steering arm, which turns the wheels when you move the steering wheel in different directions for maneuverability.

You have to frequently inspect this part to ensure smooth driving conditions.

Many drivers call it a tie rod because it connects the two components and ensures smooth functioning.

Why do semi-trucks have drag links?

They are made up of sturdy and durable material to absorb the impacts and forces of the steering component during maneuverability. It is a durable steel rod with threaded ends and adjustable sleeves for proper alignment and adjustability.


These are steel tie rods that can withstand the force and stress which are common in heavy hauls.

In addition, the durability also allows them to handle the heavy loads encountered by these commercial trucks. These are designed with high-quality material to ensure their durability and safety during driving.

You cannot smoothly drive your truck with a bend or broken drag link because it cannot transfer the rotation motion from the steering box to the wheel assembly.

Steel rod construction makes it strong so it can remain reliable despite its continuous motion and use. In addition, steel and alloy-coated tie rods are corrosion-resistant to improve their strength and durability.

Safety purpose

They are installed for safety purposes and to ensure the secure driving of commercial vehicles, which is a relatively difficult task.

Drivers can maintain control or stability over heavy hauls in a better manner because of the presence of the linkage system. You can quickly maintain control and stability while turning the steering wheel in different conditions and on uneven terrains.

It also ensures stability while moving at turning points and changing lanes.

Shock absorption

The drag link is also responsible for reducing the impact on the steering wheel. In addition, it also indirectly reduces the risk of wear and tear on the steering parts by absorbing the impacts transferred from the wheels.

Shock absorption ensures smooth driving conditions without encountering vibratory motion on the steering wheel, which is irritating and challenging for drivers.

You cannot feel vibrations on the steering wheel while moving over uneven, bumpy roads. I also faced the vibratory impact in my truck while moving over the off-roads.

My vehicle was not equipped with a linkage system, which caused the direct transfer of impacts from the tires to the these components. I could not properly maintain the grip because of the vibratory motion.

Responsive steering output

It allows the drivers of commercial vehicles to navigate in different directions with precision and accuracy. It is the linkage system that connects the steering components to the wheel assembly to achieve precision while turning and changing lanes.

It provides a direct response and quickly turns the front wheels toward the steering assembly. The adjustable sleeves and threaded ends allow free movement in different directions.

You can quickly rotate the semi-truck front wheels according to changing road conditions.

Uniform front wheel movement

It ensures the smooth and uniform movement of the front wheels according to the corresponding steering input. A failed linkage system increases the risk of tire wear and tear increases because of the lateral forces and uneven movement.

Uniform and simultaneous movement of both front tires is essential for smooth driving conditions and precise maneuverability.

It ensures the proper alignment of the front tires carrying heavy loads and reduces the impact of the lateral forces. The incorrectly aligned tires of commercial trucks drag badly on the road and can damage the tread surface, which can also cause sudden blowouts.

Maintain alignment and stability

Wheel alignment while turning in different directions is essential to maintain better control and ensure stable driving conditions.

It reduces the risk of tire wear and tear by decreasing unnecessary impacts and lateral forces. In addition, it also decreases the risk of pulling the wheels in one direction, which is common in commercial vehicles due to poor stability and alignment of wheels.

Failure of drag linkage causes instability because malfunctioned components cannot connect the two tie roads, leading to steering wheel instability.

In addition, it also increases the risk of wear and tear on tires, and you can feel the loss of control while turning in different directions.

Furthermore, bent steel rods also cause misalignment of the wheels, and you can see the pulling of the semi-truck at one side.

How does the drag link work on a semi-truck?

Drivers control the direction of their semi-trucks while rotating the steering wheel in different directions.

One end of this part is connected to the gearbox, while the other is attached to the knuckle that is part of the front wheel assembly.

It sends the power and allows the front wheel pivot to move left or right. The threaded end of the adjustable drag link provides the proper alignment according to the steering geometry.

It is an adjustable, durable, and sturdy steel rod that allows movement in different directions while maintaining the wheel alignment.

Related Articles:

Headache Rack on a Semi-Truck

How Hot Does a Semi-Truck Exhaust Get?