Best Shocks For Trucks – Reviews and Buying Guide From Longtime Trucker!

Shock absorbers are just pumps. They have a piston attached to the piston rod. This works against the hydraulic fluid and the pressure tube.

The suspension will travel up and down while the hydraulic fluid will be forced out through the tiny holes known as orifices. These holes are inside the piston. The amount of fluid let through us small, and it sips through slowly.

Today, shock absorbers have high sensitivity. It means that the faster the suspensions, the more the resistance. Without shock absorbers, even driving on a highway will feel like you are driving on the rockiest roads.

They generally help to smoothen natural motions and make your rides feel great. This article tells you the types of shock absorbers and reviews some of the best shock absorbers in 2018.

Best Truck Shocks Reviews For a Smooth Ride

1. Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber

Once you get a fitting unit, this might be the only thing you need to improve the standards of your vehicle. It levels the height of your car and ensures you enjoy a smooth ride under various road conditions.

With these shock absorbers in place, nothing will set you back from experiencing quality service from the vehicle. It automatically adjusts to the situation to ensure you experience the same quality ride on the road or in the woods.

The shock absorbers are designed to last longer. The material construction is heavy duty to guarantee high-end performance without wearing out. For that reason, you will enjoy years of improved performance and relaxation while cruising through various settings.

The best thing about these shock absorbers is that they do not feel the difference in terrains. It also improves your seats to ensure your comfort is not compromised especially when going for long distance drives.

If you have passengers onboard, the absorbers will allow them to relax and take a nap if possible.

This might be the only thing you need before you take your vehicle on stringent road tests. Therefore for the love of excellence, order the right size and experience the difference.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable, vulcanized rubber brushings
  • Made in the USA
  • Zinc plated for long time durability.
  • Monotube design for a long-lasting performance
  • Tuned for each specific application to assure optimal performance
  • OEM certified mounting hardware makes it easier to install
  • Lifetime Warranty

2. Bilstein 24-187367 5100 Series Front Shock

Feel the confidence and comfort of your truck again by installing these Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers. It allows you to adjust the height of your ride in various terrains for smooth and precise adventures.

Depending on your application, these absorbers guarantee to provide up to 2.75” of front lift to your truck. Therefore, ensuring you can cruise over any challenge with power. The extra lift also ensures to keep your vehicle in a sturdy condition for a more extended period.

Additionally, these shock absorbers also enhance your seating position to ensure you have the confidence of long hours drive. They also improve handling and increase wheel travel to ensure you enjoy smooth rides even under harsh terrains.

With these absorbers in place, you are sure of taking charge of every situation while on the road. If you have passengers onboard, the absorbers will allow them to confidently choose a nap before you get to your respective destination.

Once you get the right size for your vehicle, installing these shock absorbers will only take a few hours. Therefore, you can get your truck ready as you prepare to take that long driveway. It allows you to cruise in the woods as if you are on a flat surface.

Highlighted Features:

  • Excellent performance
  • Monotube for long lasting performance.
  • Zinc plated for long time durability.
  • Lifetime Warranty

3. Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber

It’s the dream of every vehicle owner to have smooth, quality rides all the time. However, this dream is always challenged by the condition of the vehicle, weather conditions, and road conditions.

Although there is little you can do about the weather conditions, there is still a possibility to achieve your dreams in such moments. Once you take advantage of your vehicle condition and ensure you install appropriate mechanical systems, weather and road conditions will fall under your control.

You must be wondering what exactly you should do. Install the Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber and note the difference.

 The absorbers will ensure to maintain the same level for your vehicle's height. Therefore, allowing you to take advantage of the changing conditions for a smooth ride. With these absorbers, you have the ultimate control over how you want your ride. You can also inflate or deflate the absorbers from 20 psi-150 psi to meet your specifications.

This max-air shock absorber is also ideal for vehicles that tow trailers and haul heavy loads the inflating and deflating can also be done when the vehicle is loaded.

Highlighted Features:

  • Heavy-duty nitro carburized rod for long service life
  • 2 inch Reserve Tub fluid for extra consistent performance
  • Easy and quick to install

4.Gabriel 49235 Hijackers Air Shocks Review

Gabriel is one of the leading producers of shock absorbers which was started in 1907. Gabriel invented the original shock absorber, followed by the first hydraulic shock absorber, the first adjustable shock absorber and the first air adjustable shock absorber. Still now they ensure to fill the market with quality products for the sake of the brand’s customers.

Gabriel shocks absorber is ideal for temporary  towing boats and trailers or for heavy loads . Gabriel Hijackers can help improve handling and can reduce the risk of bottoming-out, and provide extra lifting capacity of up to 1,100 pounds per pair.

The absorber is featured with super-finished chromed piston rod to inhibit corrosion, ensure proper seal lubrication, provide a more consistent wear surface. There is a leak-proof piston seal which extends product life. Additionally, this unit is maintenance free, therefore, assuring you years of quality performance at minimum cost.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable and built tough
  • Chromed finished piston rod to inhibit corrosion
  • Leak-proof piston seal which extends product life
  • D.O.M. (Drawn-Over-Mandrel) Tubing ensure longer product life

5. Bilstein BE5B514H0 6" Rear Lifted Truck Shock Absorber

Need enhancing your vehicles performances while facing tough terrains, why not consider these Bilstein BE5B514H0 6” rear lifted shock absorber. The unit comes as a direct fit to your truck; therefore, it will automatically save you installation time significantly.

Unlike other absorbers, this has a unique feature of the digressive piston, which is velocity sensitive. It allows the vehicle to detect and react to any road changing condition for a comfortable, smooth ride all the way.

With these shock absorbers in your vehicle, the little things that matters will be history for you. You will forget how it felt to sit in an uncomfortable car. This is because the absorbers not only enhance the height balance but rather the general vehicle and most importantly, its performance.

Additionally, the unit is designed to last longer, which makes it a suitable investment for your truck. Due to its exceptional performance, your confidence will upgrade even through harsh conditions. However, you must ensure to provide relevant information to the sellers before purchasing. This will help you get the right fit for your truck and in return saves you time.

Highlighted Features:

  • Monotube design for a long-lasting performance
  • Unique, velocity sensitive, digressive piston
  • Lifetime Warranty

6. Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber

An excellent additional spare in your vehicle is one that will ensure quality performance and requires low maintenance. It gives you the freedom of taking your machine through numerous tests at random times.

This is what you get from this Monroe 58640 load adjusting shock absorber. It rapidly adapts to changing weight and road conditions to ensure your ride comfort is uncompromised and you have the ultimate control.

While riding on a typical situation, the shock absorber keeps you super comfortable and allows you to feel the beauty of driving. However, when the conditions change and get more demanding, the absorbers provides you with extra operating controls for easy maneuverability.

The unit requires minimal maintenance as it features all weather fluid, which has modifies to reduce friction. This guarantees the rod reaction is smooth for a comfortable ride.

Additionally, the valving of these absorbers adjusts independently to ensure you maintain an equal height even under extreme road conditions. For durability, these shock absorbers have fluon banded piston, which provides there is consistent sealing between the pressure tube and piston.

Highlighted Features:

  • All Weather Fluid featured for less friction and ensure smooth rod reaction
  • Full Displaced Valving
  • Fluon Banded Piston
  • Heavy gauge calibrated spring for extra control and comfort
  •  chrome plating for longer service life

7. KYB 565102 MonoMax Gas Shock

KYB 565102 MonoMax gas shock is all you need to give your vehicle a complete turning point. It provides you with exceptional stability while riding through harsh terrains.

With this shock absorbers, you are sure that your machine will have a reliable center of gravity, especially when heavily loaded. The monotube gives you the chance to control the vehicle while it handles the technicalities for you.

It has a convenient design that guarantees you automatic adjustments to meet with the vehicle's requirements. As the conditions change, so does these shock absorbers.

Additionally, apart from giving you high-end performance, the absorbers also enhance the comfort of your seats. It ensures you can concentrate on other things apart from the excessive potholes that are found on different roots.

It has an off-road dust boot, which ensures you will get the same uninterrupted experience for long. The system is designed using zinc coated steel, which is always ready for work. Although it is essential to provide accurate specifications of your truck before buying this unit, it fits many SUVs and lightweight vehicles.

Highlighted Features:

  •  40% more damping performance than standard shock absorbers
  • Monotube design for exceptional dampening performance
  • Zinc-coated, stainless steel piston ring provides a positive seal even in most extreme conditions.
  • Rubber boot protects the shaft and keep dirt and debris.

8. Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber

Bilstein is among the leading producers of shock absorbers. They ensure to fill the market with quality products for the sake of the brand’s customers. Therefore, when you invest in Bilstein shock absorbers, you are sure of getting a direct ticket to improved performance, and reliable controls.

The shock absorbers are designed using quality material to guarantee durability and efficiency in performance. Additionally, this unit is maintenance free, therefore, assuring you years of quality performance at minimum cost.

Its pistons use a velocity sensitive technique to quickly adjust to the changes in road condition, hence giving you an equal height through various terrains. The unit is also compatible with most lightweight trucks, SUVs, and tow trailers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Superior gas over hydraulic design for most extreme driving conditions
  • Zinc finish coating for extreme protection
  • Mono tube design for durability and product life span
  • Lifetime Warranty

9. KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock

The secret to better and reliable performance in your lifted truck lies with this KYB monomax gas shock. Its designed to introduce more power, additional stability, and adequate controls with every ride.

If your main hustle happens through that truck, then you don’t want to pack it on your backyard during tough times, instead, install these shock absorbers and experience real-time returns.

It has heavy-duty construction to ensure it lasts longer than all the other shock absorbers on the market. The piston is made of steel with a zinc coating to give you confidence while passing through harsh terrains.

Highlighted Features:

  • 40% more damping performance than standard shock absorbers
  • Monotube design provides a more stable ride with reduced roll and pitch
  • Multi-stage valve compression for automatically adjusts driving conditions.
  • Zinc-coated, stainless steel piston ring provides a positive seal in the most extreme conditions.
  • Rubber boot protects the shaft and keep dirt and debris.

What to Look for When Buying Shock Absorbers

As you going to replace or change your vehicle shocks, you MUST know some of the factors which you need to look to ensures correct device. Otherwise you’ll waste your money in a non-functional shock.

Types of shock absorbers

The first thing you need to do to ensure that you get the best is to choose the right type of shock absorbers. The vehicle type will determine the kind of absorber you need. These types include gas, heavy duty, standard, automatic, air, and overload shocks.

The type of shock you choose will depend on what type of car you drive. Remember that if you do not fit the right absorber, you will have a problem and may have to keep changing it and other parts of your car. End of the buyer guide section you will get a complete guide on different types of shocks that you need to know. 

Price

You also need to consider the costs if the absorbers. The brands you buy from will determine how much you have to pay. However, before you embark on making a purchase, make sure that you make a budget and stick to it.

Also, the size of your car will also predict the price of the shocks. For instance, smaller cars have cheaper shocks compared to trucks and SUVs. This is because most of these trucks haul large loads and often maneuver through tough terrains. If you need a heavy duty gadget, you have to be willing to pay more- a lot more.

Which conditions do you drive through?

The roads you will be driving at will determine how long your shocks will last and which will be best for you. If you love those off-road adventures, standard shocks will not work.

Light duty devices will affect the overall performance of your vehicle. Heavy duty shocks are perfect for muddy roads and roads full of gravel. In such cases, get monotube shock absorbers. Twin tubes will be great for smooth driving.

Ease of installation

You need to consider whether you have to pay for installation. Some models require that you make some customizations. If yours requires customizations, you will need a professional to install the absorbers in your car. However, if yours requires no modifications, you can easily do the fitting yourself.

Material and durability

There are a variety of materials used to make shocks. The material used to make them will often dictate how long they will last. Therefore make sure the construction is sturdy and the material used has the capacity to withstand a lot of pressure.

The most common material used are aluminum and steel. Steel ones are cheaper but they are unadjustable and cumbersome to install. Aluminum on the other hand is adjustable and lighter. Most drivers prefer aluminum ones for those reasons.


Different Types of Shock Absorbers: In Details

Monotube shock absorbers

This one is divided into two chambers: gas and oil. When the rod and the piston move up and down, they balance the force. The balancing of power is determined by the size, shape, and number of washers on the piston.

Benefits:

  • Can be mounted upside down thus reducing the unsprung weight
  • They run more relaxed because the tube is always exposed to air

Twin-tube shock absorber

There are three types of twin tube designs:

  • Gas Charged
  • Acceleration sensitive damping
  • Position sensitive damping

Gas charged twin tube shock absorbers

The primary function of this absorber is to minimize the amount of air that gets to the hydraulic fluid. The nitrogen gas compresses the bubbles in the liquid. This keeps the wind from mixing with the oil and creating foam.

Benefits:

  •  Reduces fade because the shocks can lose damping capability during the heat up
  • Prevents aerations by giving you a greater range of control over the wide variety of conditions
  • Improves handling by avoiding dive, sway, and roll

Position Sensitive Damping (PSD)

There must be a compromise between firm valving and soft valving. With soft valving, the fluid flows, therefore, you experience smoother rides. However, at the same time, you also have a lot of sways and poor handling. With firm valving, the flow is less, but you get better handling. On the downside, the ride can get a bit harsh.

PSD involves riders being able to open up the orifice controls of these valves. It, therefore, improves the balance between control capabilities and comfort levels.

The key to this is the precision tapered grooves in the pressure tubes. Normal driving takes place in a comfort zone while the control zone is excellent for demanding situations.

Benefits

  • You get two in one shocks
  • Riders have the freedom to move beyond pure velocity
  • Adjusts rapidly regardless of weight conditions and changing roads.

Acceleration Sensitive Damping (ASD)

This innovative technology provides you with greater control for handling while improvising ride comfort. It moves beyond just the traditional velocity sensitive damping to address impact.

Benefits:

  • Reduces the harshness of the ride
  • Controls are enhanced without sacrificing driver comfort
  • Adjustment of the valves is automating depending on the condition of the road

What Type of Shock Absorber Do Your Vehicle Need?

As there are different types of shock absorbers, so it is touch to get the right one for your vehicle. The following comparison will help  you to choose the right type of shock absorber for your vehicle.

Vehicle Type: off-road truck

Shock absorber type: external reservoir shock absorber

Vehicle Type: off-road truck (raised)

Shock absorber type: Monotube gas shock.

Vehicle Type: Van (full-size)

Shock absorber type: Monotube shock

Vehicle Type: pick up (standard)

Shock absorber type: Original equipment replacement shock

Vehicle Type: SUV (heavy-duty)

Shock absorber type: Air springs and monotube gas shock.

Vehicle Type: SUV (standard)

Shock absorber type: Twin tube shock.


What do shocks do on a truck?

The best shocks for 4X4 trucks are primarily for damping the bouncing motion of the car once it encounters a bump. By ensuring that the body’s movements are under control, the vehicle’s tires remain in contact with the ground and give you more power and handling.

Most people have both rear and front suspension systems. If you own a four-wheel drive or an SUV, the shock absorber functions to reduce the heat generated by damping the axle and the body’s motion.  If your truck is light, therefore, the shock absorbers need to be larger than those used on passenger cars.

The gas pressure monotube shock absorbers do not foam and are therefore perfect for pickups and other cars that need to travel on rough roads at high speeds.

There are external oil reservoirs for shock absorbers on trucks and SUVs that provide more space for the expansion of the hot oil. It also allows the oil to cool adequately and ensure consistent damping while you are competing off-road.

Compared to automobiles, trucks have more ground clearance which often translates to a longer suspension. This suspension needs extra long absorbers, so the shocks are not limited to specific axles. If this happens, they are likely to be damaged and will not function optimally.

The lowering of trucks can also cause the bottoming of the shock on compression when it hits a bump thus damaging the shock mounts and the absorber. It is therefore critical to make sure that these two are always matching in length.

A larger vehicle will have no problem carrying one passenger and no cargo. However, an SUV will have a lot of trouble with this arrangement especially if it is carrying a full load of passengers.

Cars that are meant to do the light work should never be modified to more massive jobs or allows in extreme terrains.


When to replace shocks on the truck

It is impossible to determine how long your shock absorbers should be in your car. However, generally, you may have to replace them every five years unless the vehicle has been subjected to extreme use. In rare cases, the best shocks for ford f150 4x4 will last for ten years.

Off-road adventures lead the shocks to wear out faster because of the bounce of the car. The winter and road salt are also other reasons why they wear out more quickly. One sign that your shocks need to be replaced is the leak of oil.

Conclusion

The shock absorber in your car does not just cushion the ride. It also performs specific safety functions for both trucks and vehicles. It also keeps the wheels and tires intact and makes it easier for you to control and maneuver with the car.  Therefore, always make sure that you buy the right shocks for your vehicle and replace them as soon as you notice any issue.

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