LoadLifter 5000 Suspension System for Ford F350
By Jon Crowley
I remember long ago as a kid, our family had a 1975 Ford F350 long bed and it was setup to haul a big cabover camper and tow our ski boat. Back then the spring pack was stiff to handle the weight of the camper, but empty it would shake your fillings out. Thankfully times have changed and products have improved.
Our current truck is a 2011 Ford F350 Superduty. It has a short bed and a crew cab, and we ask a lot from it. It is used not only as a daily driver, but it also carries and tows in a wide variety of situations that require the suspension to be flexible. To make matters worse, we have installed an ICON Dynamics leveling kit which raises the front of the truck. Looks great when empty, but add anything to the bed and it rides nose high.
Towing an enclosed trailer
Our new truck rides great empty, but the overload springs that come with the F350 1-ton package don’t come in contact until you add quite a bit of weight. The leveling kit compounds this issue. Pickup trucks are not towing or hauling heavy loads every single day, so truck manufacturers design the suspension to ride most comfortably when driving without a load. This doesnt mean that the vehicle cant handle towing or hauling, it simply means the suspension isnt tuned to perform best under these conditions. When the rear of the vehicle squats down, the front of the vehicle angles up, resulting in improper headlight aim. That’s just a small notice that your truck is not balanced. If you tow a decent sized trailer like we do, a gust of wind or a passing big rig and make your trailer sway and can quickly get out of control with a truck that is squatting in the rear.
Hauling one UTV on the back and two on a trailer
There are several load-assisting products available on the market today. While most options effectively address squat for a loaded vehicle, they present the same core challenge as the factory suspension. They are static solutions that leave your vehicles suspension tuned for a single driving state: loaded. This results in a whole new set of complications, namely an uncomfortable ride whenever the vehicle is not carrying a heavy load.Air springs are the only load support products that offer adjustability. Adjustable air spring kits work with your existing suspension to level your vehicle to normal ride height, thus eliminating the hazards of squat and the inconvenience of a static suspension. Adjustable air suspension enables you to change the spring rate of your vehicle on-the-fly by simply inflating the air springs when towing or hauling and deflating when riding empty.
I have had some experience with air bags in the past and they seemed to do the trick, but I always hated the need to fill the individual bags with a compressor at home before loading potentially 100 miles away. This go around, I decided to add an on-board air compressor system so my air springs can be adjusted on-the-fly.
Ford F350 with our Lance Camper
The system I purchased was from Air Lift Company. They’ve been building air suspension products for over 60 years and also make on-board air compressor systems for on-the-go air spring control.
LoadLifter 5000 air suspension kits
Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 air spring kits feature 2-ply reinforced commercial-grade bellows, which mount between the spring and frame. They can be inflated from 5 to 100 psi to level loads up to 5,000 lbs. on large pickups and vans, wreckers, ambulances, motor homes, and commercial trucks. Load Lifter 5000 kits include bellows, air lines, fittings, brackets, mounting hardware, and instructions. They’re engineered for installation in about two hours.
WirelessONE is an affordable wireless on-board air compressor system that provides one-touch remote control of your air springs from inside or outside the vehicle. No wires or air lines need to be run into the cab. The system includes a standard duty compressor, manifold and wireless remote.
This system provides equal pressure to both bags
The installation on our truck took a bit longer than normal due to our gooseneck hitch and aftermarket shocks. But once installed we have been thrilled with the performance. The ability to adjust on-the-fly is priceless.
Stopping by to pick up a ton of wood pellets isn’t an issue anymore
As you can see, we use our truck in a wide variety of scenarios and the Air Lift suspension system and wireless compressor control works perfect for our truck.
About Air Lift
Over five decades of research and design has made Air Lift the industry leader in air suspension components. Cutting-edge Air Lift suspension products have been proven on streets and tracks worldwide and have earned more SEMA awards than any other suspension products on the market. Summit Racing carries a complete line of Air Lift air spring suspension kits, air bags and compressors, shocks and struts, gauges, and more. Whether you drive a street rod, hauler, truck, lowrider, or daily driver, Air Lift has the advanced suspension solutions you need. See www.airliftcompany.com for more information.