Spring Suspension Tandem Dump Truck Ride

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by OldRed98, Nov 30, 2023.

  1. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    I have a tandem axle Kenworth W900 dump truck with a Hendricks springs suspension. The ride of this truck is so bad that I don't want to drive it anymore. I've done it for 3 years and it so bouncy that I have neck issues. It has a Hendricks spring on beam and its a long truck.

    I have new shocks and a decent air ride seat. I've eliminated the possibility of adding air ride to the cab. The cab mounts won't allow for it.

    I've looked at new trucks but I'll be spending big $$ for anything. And besides the bad ride I have a good truck with a B model cat. It has a double frame too.

    Looking for alternate ideas before I give up on this truck.

    1) Considering adding an air ride drop axle. I haul a lot of weighed loads so this could help if I could carry more. But would a drop axle help bounce? I have room for it on my truck. I guess I would run with it down a lot because it rides worse when its empty. Everyone says they hate their drop axle.

    2) Donvel sells a kit to add air ride to the steer axle thats supossed to help ride. But would this be okay on a dump truck?

    Any other ideas to help my ride? Maybe a neck brace and pain killers? LOL
     
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  3. W923

    W923 Heavy Load Member

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    Hendrickson makes a kit called ar2 that will put an air ride settup in place of the spring pack
    Raydan also does, it’s called air link
    I have been seriously considering it for my 2 fords with rubber block over walking beam but just can’t swallow the price. At least you have a truck that the rest of the world appreciates and therefore makes it worth something and more logical to do a 8-12k suspension job. I don’t have any personal experience with the setup but the relatively little I can find on it is positive.
     
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  4. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    Cabmate(if there still in business) had an air suspension for the Cab. I put one on my 1979 KW COE back in the day. The ride was like night and day. I had KW glide ride suspension on it. I also put “Koni” shocks of the front suspension, another big plus for the ride.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2023
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  5. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    Welcome to our world. Everything was spring( or no springs) ride. The Hendrickson rubber pad was the worst. I'd scrap the whole works, and get an 8 bag for it.
     
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  6. W923

    W923 Heavy Load Member

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    If he’s got the same setup as my 85 w9 the front and rear cab mounts are pretty close together and several people have told me it doesn’t help much. The rear cab mount/crossmember is also not designed with that in mind although it can be fairly easily replaced.
    Do you have the standard spring or the extended leaf which rides considerably better empty? Also is the spring pack packed with rust to the point of pretty much being solid?
     
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  7. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    I have an 86 W900. My front cab mounts are set to not allow the cab to pivot and add air ride.

    I believe I have the standard spring. I had it rebushed about a year ago. Its all in good shape. I do need new steer axle springs and king pins. But kind of debating if I should put more money in this truck. Its okay on smooth roads but most of our roads here in Colorado are terrible. Not to mention washboard dirt roads.

    You know the pain of a new unknown truck. But I don't think I can do another year in this truck. I should have put on air ride instead of rebushing the rear end.
     
  8. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    That kit looks pretty cool. I wish I had done this instead of rebush my spring rear. But it maybe still an option. Price is the issue. These trucks can be so expensive as it is (tires, brakes, Insurance). Much less paying for upgrades.
     
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  9. W923

    W923 Heavy Load Member

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    Freightliner air ride is cheap. And the good news is there’s not holes all over the place after removing a Hendrickson. Get a cheap cutoff and move the stuff to your truck instead of cutting your double frame which would be way more work. do you have 46k rears? Lockers?
     
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  10. OldRed98

    OldRed98 Light Load Member

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    Good tip on freightliner. I have lockers and almost positive I have 46K rears. My tandem is super heavy.
     
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  11. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    ANY air ride is good. When I bought my '82 WS conv. it had the White "Reyco" spring setup, and rode terrible. I found a Pete AirLeaf and had the frame cut behind the sleeper, and the Pete rear frame installed. It made a world of difference and recommend it highly. Don't despair on the rebush, many outfits, like garbage trucks, still use that suspension.
     
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