Low trucks, also known as low riders or lowered trucks, are gradually trickling into the mainstream. They may be hard to recognize in the top driver movies of all time, however, these trucks are especially popular in the southern portion of the United States. The most common types of lowered trucks are the Dodge Ram, Ford F150, Chevy Silverado and Chevy S10. Though lowered trucks are often driven by young men who are looking for attention, there is no doubt these unique vehicles have true mass appeal. Take one a look at a lowered truck and you will likely be smitten by its unique aesthetic. Let’s delve deeper into lowered trucks to help readers gain a better understanding of this automotive phenomenon.
What Constitutes a Lowered Truck?
A lowered truck has a pickup bed that hangs low to the ground. In some cases, the truck body is so close to the ground that it is nearly scraping against the road. This is accomplished by lowering the truck’s suspension. Just about every light-duty pickup truck arrives from the factory with its rear suspension raised a couple inches above the level of the front suspension. This is done to permit suspension compression when items are loaded onto the cargo bed. Yet some truck owners do not expect to use the majority of the vehicle’s payload capacity. Therefore, there is no need to coast on down the road with the truck’s nose slightly pointing downward. Lowering the rear of a stock pickup truck a couple inches to create a leveling of the vehicle is easier than most assume.
Why Bother Lowering a Truck?
Aside from reducing ground clearance, lowering a truck also decrease cargo capacity and ride comfort. So, why would someone decide to lower their suspension to the point that the truck bottom scrapes the road when traveling across speed bumps? The lowering of a truck also minimizes space and reduces comfort to boot. Most people lower trucks for one simple reason: lowered trucks look cool! Also, if lowering is done properly, it can improve the vehicle’s handling to boot.
The Beauty of Lowered Trucks
Lowered trucks are quite visually stunning. Some can argue that they are just as gorgeous as what New York Yankees drive. The tops of the truck tires are concealed within the fenders, creating quite the distinct look. The most visually striking lowered trucks feature massive wheels along with low profile tires. You won’t find a chicer, cooler-looking truck than a lowered pickup with a fresh paint job, gigantic wheels and tinted windows.
The Cost of Beauty
If a truck’s lowering is quite considerable, it significantly reduces suspension travel. Suspension is necessary to absorb the impact of road bumps and provide vehicle occupants with a comfortable riding space. When a lowered truck moves across a bump in the road that would normally compress a vehicle’s suspension, its wheels are lifted right off the surface. This phenomenon mitigates braking, steering and acceleration. Traction is completely lost for a moment.
A Necessary Adjustment for Lowered Trucks
The added un-sprung weight placed on each corner of a lowered truck expands the distance required to reach a full stop. This is quite detrimental to rider and passenger safety. Yet there is a solution to this problem. Lowered truck drivers often replace the factory brakes with high-performance units to allow for timely stops.
Do Lowered Trucks Really Improve Handling?
The answer to this question is unclear. Some lowered truck owners are adamant their truck handles better than the typical pickup. Though it is true that lowered pickup trucks do not have problems with light-duty chores and hauls like bringing debris to a landfill or transporting mulch, many argue these trucks do not provide superior handling. You’ll have to give a lowered truck a spin to form an opinion of your own!