Lift kits can make your truck look great while providing practical advantages such as improved ground clearance, but choosing the right one for your vehicle isn't always easy. This decision can become even more complex if you occasionally use your personal vehicle for work. In particular, it's important to understand how these modifications can impact your truck's towing and hauling capabilities.
Do these impacts mean you shouldn't install a lift kit on a truck you use for work? Absolutely not! However, knowing how your suspension changes will affect these aspects of your vehicle is crucial to making the correct choice for your particular use case. Before selecting a lift kit, check out these three ways that a lift might impact your overall towing and hauling capabilities.
The primary factor that will impact your truck's stability while towing is its center of gravity. The higher you lift your truck, the less stable it will be while towing heavy loads. A body lift or leveling kit may be the way to go if your primary goal is to improve your truck's aesthetics. These kits can provide a modest lift without substantially altering your truck's suspension, keeping your center of gravity intact.
On the other hand, suspension kits can more drastically affect your truck's stability while towing, especially when adding a substantial lift. In these cases, adding a drop hitch or making other modifications may be necessary to keep your truck stable. Consult with an experienced lift kit supplier first if you plan to tow with a significant suspension lift.
2. Payload Capacity
If you typically haul heavy loads in your truck's bed, payload capacity may be a concern. The good news is that lifting your truck is unlikely to have much, if any, negative impact on payload capacity. A leveling kit may allow the rear of your truck to sag more under heavy loads, but body lifts and suspension kits will not have this effect.
In fact, a suspension lift can reduce sag in your truck's rear. If you notice that heavy loads often cause your truck's body to sag close to the wheels, a greater suspension lift will likely solve this problem. The stiffer the suspension, the less sag you'll experience. Overloading your truck may still stress other components, such as your transmission, even if your suspension does not sag.
3. Fuel Economy
Lift kits can impact fuel economy, but the difference is rarely severe unless you install a substantial suspension lift. Of course, your truck's wheels and tires will often have a far more substantial impact on overall fuel economy. Larger, heavier wheels and tires will usually reduce your truck's miles per gallon more than simply raising the suspension.
As a result, if fuel economy is a concern, it may be worth pairing your suspension lift with smaller wheels and tires. By purchasing only the tires you need for your vehicle's use case, you can help keep the fuel economy loss from your suspension lift to a minimum.
To learn more about suspension lift kits, reach out to a local service provider.