RoadKing Shocks Review 2014-2015

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Hanadarko, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    2,960
    914
    Oct 1, 2009
    Midwest
    0
    If anyone is thinking about ordering these or on the fence on them, here is what happened to me...

    I had been debating on purchasing these shocks for about a year. Oct 2014 I finally decided to purchase 10 of them for the tractor/trailer at a HUGE cost of a discounted $3200. The shocks promised the world and a HUGE amount of dampening and control.

    Took a few weeks to get to me (build/ship I suppose) and I had kept calling and emailing wanting to know where they were. I was given several "excuses" but eventually they were overnighted for free, which had to cost a ton. So at that point I was OK with everything.

    Note: The shocks do NOT ship compressed (like some gas shocks) and you CANNOT compress these by hand no matter how strong you are.
    The tractor steer/drive shocks came correctly built and while these do have to be compressed to install (I used a ratchet strap) they had all of the right parts and fittings/bushings and installation wasn't that big of a deal.

    The trailer was another story. I had a HELL of a time trying to compress these things and when I had them installed, I looked and realized they sent me the wrong "Bearing Bushings" and they were too large for the bolts. With install this way, they would allow slop, movement and potential issues.
    These bushings are not 100% secured into the shock assembly and fall out during install. They are a pain in the butt to get into place, especially when working with a ratchet strap for assembly. Great....

    I immediately contacted my salesperson at RK and advised them. At first I don't think they believed me, so I forwarded pictures showing the issue. I was told they should've been made/shipped with PROPER bearings, yet were not. I was promised an immediate shipment at no charge for the bushings.

    Thats when things went downhill. I waited. Nothing. I called/emailed - if I even got a response, it was more excuses. Always someone 'elses' fault at RK. It seems like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. IIRC, it was about 3-4 weeks before I got the proper bushings and even advised RK that this design was less than stellar and they needed to re-engineer the fitment of the bushings so they stay in place during/after manufacture.

    Fast forward to May 2015. Overall, I do like the control these shocks give, but the only "noticeable" difference was possibly on the steers. The drives and trailer - I couldn't really feel or tell any difference vs the Gabriel Gas SLX shocks that sell for around $40-55 each. Whether I was empty at 33240 or full at 79800 the ride didn't feel any different against the cheaper run-of-the-mill premium shocks.

    Late May, I was doing a pre-trip and noticed the drive shocks had an issue.
    They are stud threads on the top and bottom and as such use rubber bushings before and after the stud passes through the frame. (Standard shock install stuff here).

    In less than 6 months, the rubber bushings are all cracked and totally shot. 3 of them I noticed had parts of the rubber bushing simply gone. Chunks had fallen out. We installed these perfect and did not over squash the rubber like some installers do. They were tightened just until the rubber flattened out to meet the washer as normal install would be.

    I immediately contacted RK and they asked for pictures as they had not heard of this before.
    I sent them, waited and didn't hear back. 3-4 days later I contacted them and was told Engineering was looking into it.
    I had to initiate another call and more emails for status. If you don't reach out to RK, they don't follow up. I was told they would send me out a replacement set. I waited. Nothing. I called again, and was told they were sitting on a desk and hadn't gone out. I asked if they modified the material to prevent this from happening again and could not get a definitive answer. Whats the point of replacing them with the same material? - They will fail in a few more months. More emails...more calls. Each time told they were shipping or would ship that day.

    Well, here we are...Now Sept 12th. I still do not have any replacement bushings even after months of asking and contacting them. I finally gave up.

    I removed these shocks and put my Gas SLX ones back on (even on the trailer) and didn't look back.
    Even the old bushings were still in good shape. Seems to me if Gabriel can produce or source bushings that don't ROT - why can't RK?

    I think the company makes a decent product but its way overpriced for what it does and their customer service and follow up is horrible. I can't even imagine dealing with them if one leaks (which has happened to other guys) or when the time came to rebuild/overhaul these.

    Stick with good Magnums or SLX shocks or whatever and just replace them every so often. If you get them from AutoZone, they offer a lifetime warranty....And financially you will be way ahead even in the long run and never have to deal with service issues.

    So that's my $.02 for anyone that was interested...
     
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    3,455
    5,349
    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    0
    Over the years I've noticed that some people in business have the attitude:
    Hey, give me your money, here's your crap, now get the hell out.

    It's a management issue. If the boss doesn't care, nobody does.
     
    Hanadarko Thanks this.
  4. boneebone

    boneebone Road Train Member

    2,113
    2,037
    Mar 13, 2009
    0
    RK Shocks are Snake Oil, just like Lucas Oil Stabilizer.

    If those products were proven to be any good, the OEM's would be using them.
     
    Justrucking2, nofilter and Hanadarko Thank this.
  5. d281833

    d281833 Heavy Load Member

    874
    881
    May 15, 2012
    0
    Another product on Dr Rutherford's list.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
    jason6541, magoo68, mp4694330 and 2 others Thank this.
  6. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    2,960
    914
    Oct 1, 2009
    Midwest
    0
    Once bitten - twice shy...Kind of why I took the time to write up what I did.
    I don't know but one other trucker that wasted his money on these.

    I really think they are actually decent shocks, just WAY WAY overpriced (3x more than they should cost) and horrible customer service and follow through.

    PS. They are releasing Cab shocks. $250 each.

    :confused:
     
  7. allan5oh

    allan5oh Road Train Member

    1,557
    549
    Jan 6, 2010
    Winnipeg, mb
    0
    I bought those SLX shocks and they lasted maybe a few months. They seized up and leaked very quickly.
     
  8. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    2,960
    914
    Oct 1, 2009
    Midwest
    0
    I think I may recall that if you posted it - but we've never had any issues...so who knows?
    Maybe you got a bad set or something.

    If I encounter a problem with SLX - they are under lifetime warranty but I might just swap them for something else if the time comes.
     
    nofilter Thanks this.
  9. allan5oh

    allan5oh Road Train Member

    1,557
    549
    Jan 6, 2010
    Winnipeg, mb
    0
    Mine were a two year warranty and I replaced them a few times, finally got sick of it and went to regular shocks before the 2 year warranty was over.
     
    nofilter, mp4694330 and Hanadarko Thank this.
  10. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    9,566
    42,634
    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    0
    Thanks for the write-up, I'll scratch them off my list. I was considering them for steer axle only.

    I'd heard they were overpriced with awful customer service.

    Funny, In KR's pre truck show ramp up the other week, the guy was on there, promoting. Not a mention of the complaints of terrible customer service.
     
    nofilter, mp4694330 and d281833 Thank this.
  11. Hanadarko

    Hanadarko Independent Owner/Operator

    2,960
    914
    Oct 1, 2009
    Midwest
    0

    Overpriced is the #1 issue - but the lack of really keeping business post the sale leaves much to be desired....There is a thread on here from around 2012 and back then they had issues. Same stuff today. Seems even after 3yrs they didn't change much.

    For what these things cost, they should really 'care' about the customer.
    If you need warranty/rebuild work - you need to send them back and wait estimated 2 weeks (I'm sure its longer). They won't even advance replace so unless you kept the old shocks around, guess what... :eek:
     
    nofilter and blairandgretchen Thank this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted