Are your shock absorbers and struts in good shape, or do they need a replacement? For, if you are struggling with excessive vibrations on your wheels, it's time for new shocks. These right shocks help you to maximize your comfort as you drive on tough terrain. In contrast, worn-out shocks can extend your stopping distance. So what are the best shocks for your semi-truck?
The Best Shocks for Semi Trucks
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ACDelco 580-435 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber
The ACDelco 580-435 GM OE Front Shock Absorber is a front mono tube shock for GM vehicles. It aids a smooth and comfy ride at an affordable price. For sure, one can expect top performance, control, and reliability for a long time.
As per the name, these shocks have a similar design, fitting, and function to the original GM factory ones. In turn, GM recommends these shocks to owners of GM trucks. With this assurance from a reputable car maker, you are sure; they will fit with your beast.
- These are front mono-tube shocks recommended for GM vehicles part replacement.
- They serve as a direct replacement of factory shocks for a 4WD.
- The shocks are of reliable quality and perfect fit.
- They use pressurized gas for dampening.
- Retail as GM-recommended replacement shocks
- Proven performance, control, and reliance fit for a GM ride
- Have a lifetime warranty on the parts
- Includes convenient mounting parts and hardware
- Retails at a premium price
Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber
Monroe Max-Air MA822 Air Adjustable Air Shock Absorber Pack of 2
- MAINTAIN RIDE HEIGHT UNDER LOAD -- Air chamber can be inflated or deflated up to 150 PSI to maintain level height with additional weight up to 1,200 lbs. (capacity is limited by suspension, tires and transmission; see owner's manual)
- EASY TO ADJUST -- Special air fitting resists air
Do you tow heavy vehicles on your 4WD? Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorbers' air-adjustable design can withstand such pressure. Indeed, the shocks help you maintain a proper height for your ride as you lift or carry the heavy load of up to 1100 lbs.
Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shocks has hardened pistons that last for long. Yet, they are flexible, rising to 150 psi under the heavyweight. They also deflate to their original size when driving on smooth roads.
Are you driving a high-end big rig that uses automated leveling systems? Note, these shocks are fit for such big rigs. Plus, the shocks use all-weather oil that reduces friction in the tubes.
- The shocks use hardened pistons that last long.
- They are adjustable to match the current load on the semis.
- It’s a fade and corrosion-resistant design.
- The shocks can put up with an extra weight of up to 1100 lbs.
- Has a futuristic air-adjustable design
- Adapts well to automating leveling systems in high-end vans
- Retails with a lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Has an efficient valving system
- Is a bit noisy
KYB 349105 Excel-G Gas Shock
KYB 349105 Excel-G Gas Shock, Black, Silver
- #1 recommended Original Equipment replacement choice for Asian Mini-Vans
- Specifically calibrated to help restore the original handling and control characteristics of your Honda Odyssey
- Uses a seamless working cylinder matched with a Teflon coated piston band for a positive seal and longer life
- Triple chrome plated piston rod
KYB shocks are renowned for quality and price. And, the KYB 349105 Excel-G Gas Shock is no exception. The shocks are rear twin-tube types with valves sensitive to the car’s movement.
These valve’s rods and pistons are in seamless containers and rings. They allow for free airflow and cut foaming. Hence ensure you maintain control as you drive through rough roads.
The KYB 349105 Excel-G Gas Shock is fit for anyone looking to upgrade his 4WD’s suspensions. It aims to restore any original shocks that use an electronic safety system. Plus, to be compatible, these shocks get rid of any flaw that is usual with other brands. In turn, it gains the right wheel alignment for your vehicle.
- These are rear twin tube shocks with velocity-sensitive valving.
- The shocks use a seamless container and rings that last long.
- These shocks work to correct the wheel alignment after a significant lift.
- It’s a durable upgrade for the 4WD vehicles.
- It uses robust triple chrome-plated piston rods
- Aids with accurate wheel alignment
- Well priced
- Has a limited lifetime warranty
- Bigger size than most OEM shocks
KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock
KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock, Silver
- The correct, monotube-designed OEM replacement shock
- Specifically calibrated to help restore the original handling and control characteristics of your Hyundai
- High gas pressure design provides instant, extra control
- monotube design outperforms all other standard shock absorbers
- Unique, air-free, hydraulic unit eliminates performance fade
- Fit type: Vehicle Specific
Does your lorry weigh a half-ton or less? Then, check out the premium KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock. It’s a 3.55 pounds gas-filled mono tube shock that serves as a perfect replacement for your wagon’s original shocks. Still, it’s not your go-to shocks for towing or hauling.
The KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Gas Shock uses a large cylinder with hydraulic fluid. And, its floating piston design remains fade-free in all driving conditions. In turn, the blend aids the valve’s prompt response to shakes. This way, the shocks perform best in delivering a smooth ride. They use the eye rings and bushings to minimize rattling, hence remain noiseless all the way.
- It is a factory-calibrated design that strengthens frail suspensions.
- The calibration helps to get your beast back to its factory feel.
- The shock’s use robust chrome-plated pistons, oil seals, and a seamless cylinder.
- It minimizes rattling noises using its mounted eye-rings.
- An excellent upgrade of the OE twin tube shocks
- Consistent, wear-resistant pistons
- Has a lifetime warranty
- Great value for money
- Easy to install with no leakage
- Uses narrow bolts
Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorbers
Bilstein shocks have been a pick with wagon drivers for a sleek ride. With the 5100 series out, there is so much to look forward to in its high-performance traits. Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber uses a rear monotube gas technology. It’s the latest in making robust shocks.
Picture this. The shock's 95-inch body is of steel with zinc coating. Its 14mm rods are of chrome-plated steel. These two work together with 46 mm long pistons. In turn, you have a fade-free, consistent ride no matter the current driving state. Even so, its latest work, a digressive valve mechanism, is very responsive to the bumps.
These shocks retail with an OEM certified hardware for mounting. Hence, they are easy to install. Even so, you won’t need to hire an expert to install the shocks for you.
- It’s a 46 mm rear mono-tube shock that weighs 6 pounds and has a zinc exterior.
- The various parts are corrosion and fade resistant.
- The shocks are easy to install in 4WD vehicles.
- It has a spontaneous response to any bumps and vibrations.
- Is fast and consistent in all driving conditions
- Retails with OEM certified hardware for mounting
- Has a lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Performance reduces when installing in massive lifted vans
Rough Country 52230 Leveling Kit
Rough Country 2" Leveling Lift Kit w/N3 Shocks for 2009-2020 Ford F-150-52230
- Give your F-150 the Perfect Blend of Performance, Protection, and Style from Rough Country.
- Unmatched Ground Clearance | Premium N3 Shock Absorbers the Best in Performance for On and Off-Road Use.
- Levels the front with the rear of the vehicle.
- Easy at Home Installation and Support Provided by
Are you looking for replacement shocks for your Ford F150? Are there signs of wear and tear on your Ford truck? Then, it’s time to hit the market for some premium compatible shocks. For this, check out the Rough Country 52230 Leveling Kit.
This kit includes strut extensions, rear hardware, 2” lifts, and bolts that fit a 2009-2019 Ford F150. This variety of convenient tools makes it easy to install the shocks in your semi-truck. Yet, it is one of the most affordable shocks in the market.
The 26.7 pounds rust-resistant shocks aim at leveling the front with the rear of the vehicle. In turn, the beast has ample ground clearance as it drives both on and off the road. With this achievement, you can fit tires as high as 33 inches.
- It’s a leveling kit that balances the rear and front of the wagon with at 2” lift.
- It features convenient N3 shocks, brackets, and coil springs.
- The leveling kit fits any 2009-2019 Ford F150 with 35 inches tires.
- Installation takes about 2 hours.
- Limited warranty on parts
- Great value for money
- Robust, rust-resistant components
- Ideal for home installation
- Does not work on raptor models
Rancho RS999910 Quick Lift Loaded Strut
Rancho QuickLIFT RS999910 Suspension Strut and Coil Spring Assembly
- COMPLETE SOLUTION -- Levels and lifts late model trucks and SUVs without the cost of complete suspension system
- EASY BOLT-ON INSTALLATION -- Complete assembly includes application-specific coil spring and upper mounting plate to simplify installation
- LEVELS FRONT SUSPENSION -- Reduces factory rake for an aggressive stance
- INCREASED GROUND
The Rancho RS999910 Quick Lift Loaded Strut is a massive shock with coil spring and an upper mounting plate. This shock can lift your van for 1-2.5 inches in an instant. It does this by using a 9 points tuning mechanism to adjust your ride. Hence, the shocks can clear the ground for up to 35-inch tires.
Second, these shocks have a 2.75-inch body that provides ample cooling space for the fluid. Its graphite-filled pistons, coupled with the iron ones, last for miles without degrading. All in all, the shocks work to level the front suspension, in turn, getting rid of the factory rake.
- The struts feature double welded loops, reinforced pistons, and a metallic finish that is fade and corrosion resistant.
- It has an exceptional OEM quality design.
- Clears ground for up to 2.5 inches.
- Ideal for a van with 35 inch tires.
- Sturdy design with a liquid metallic finish
- Ideal for F-150 and Mark LT models
- Retails with a limited lifetime warranty
- Pre-assembled coils that are easy to install
- A bit pricey
Monroe 31000 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
Are you looking for bargain shocks that are high performing on most roads? Then, sample the Monroe 31000 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber. These are rear twin-tube shocks that retail at an affordable price.
Monroe 31000 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber use velocity-sensitive valves. This valving works to fix the wagon in an instant. Also, its 0.5-inch piston has nitro-carburization for strength. The bore is rather far-flung. In turn, the shocks remain efficient and consistent for miles on end. While its all-weather hydraulic fluid that never foams. In turn, these shocks reduce friction, giving a smooth ride for you.
- The shocks use Velocity Proportional Valving for damping.
- It has self-lubricating oil that minimizes friction and corrosion.
- The nitrogen gas chamber improves the road and tire contact in a bumpy ride.
- These shocks are ideal for restoring the factory feel of a van after 50,000 miles.
- Efficient and consistent performance on rough terrain
- Responds to bumps and vibrations in an instant
- Retails at an affordable price
- Uses durable components
- Not ideal for heavy rides
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Shocks for Semi Trucks
Current Driving Conditions
Driving conditions determine how long your beast’s suspension system will last. By all means, when going off-road, you ought to go for heavy-duty shocks to handle the rough ride. Such shock absorbers are ideal for the gravel and muddy terrain. On the contrary, standard shocks are adequate for the highway patrol. They work best on level ground.
Types of Shock Absorbers Per Vehicle
Shock absorbers vary according to the types of vehicles and suspensions as follows: –
Standard shocks come with the vehicle when you buy it. They have basic features that may not last you beyond 100,000 miles. Hence, you ought to replace these with ideal shocks for a wagon as soon as possible.
Like the standard shocks, gas shocks come pre-installed in a new car. They use nitrogen gas to cushion one’s ride. Yet, they handle bouncing better than the standard ones. To that effect, they are more durable on smaller cars.
Heavy duty Shocks
Semi-trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps use heavy-duty shocks. They protect the car when traveling off-road or when carrying heavy loads. Plus, they have bigger shafts for stability and comfort during the ride.
Automatic shocks use air pumps to redistribute the weight around the vehicle. Such shock absorbers are popular with luxury cars.
Air shocks rely on pressurized air to perform. This air inflates, lowers, and raises the shafts in response to the car's vibrations. They are noiseless and retail at a premium. Air shocks work well for motorcycles and lightweight trucks.
As the name suggests, overload shocks are for heavy-load big rigs. They have more cushion and spring. In turn, their reinforced struts bare the heavy load.
Types of Shock Absorbers per Functionality
The shock absorber you pick ought to work well for your ride. Or else, you'll run into problems with maintenance and getting the needed parts for your truck. Given this, shocks are further classified per function as follows: –
Twin-tube Shock Absorbers
Twin-tube shock absorbers have pistons that move from the outer tube to an inner one. These dual tubes have tiny valves and holes that put a check on how air mixes with the hydraulic fluid. They are what you would get in a typical passenger car or van. Plus, they retail at a bargain price. Due to this, twin-tube shock absorbers are a favorite with auto shops and car dealers.
Yet, twin-tube shocks are not ideal for rough terrain. As the piston starts to move faster, heat generated remains trapped within the tubes. In turn, the fluid and shocks begin to foam and overheat. Now compromised, the shocks can no longer control the wheels, ending up in a sloppy ride.
In the same way, washboard surfaces need stronger shocks. Here, opt for heavy-duty twin-tube shocks with sturdy shafts and mounts. Plus, it’s best to complement the shocks with reliable oil that will not foam with ease. Twin-tube shock absorbers evolved as follows: –
- Basic Twin Tube shocks
These are the original twin-tube shocks
- Gas-charged Twin Tube shocks
Gas-charged twin-tube shocks are popular with modern cars.
- Position-Sensitive Damping shocks
PSD are custom shocks for specific car models.
- Acceleration Sensitive Damping Shocks
ASD shocks are sensitive to individual bumps. They retail at select manufacturers as aftermarket custom shocks.
Coilover shocks are twin tube shocks inside a spring. They are popular with scooters and motorcycles. Also, they feature in the rear and front suspension on regular cars.
Oil-Filled Monotube Shock Absorbers
Monotube shock absorbers use a single tube that creates balance. They do this by shifting rods and pistons up and down the tubing. Furthermore, they vary in shape, number of washers, and size, depending on the brand. Why should you opt for monotube shocks?
Unlike twin-tube shocks, we fix monotube shock absorbers out in the open air. Hence, they rarely overheat. This advantage keeps the shocks running well with optimal efficiency. Plus, you can use them to reduce the unsprung load by mounting them upside down. But, they need a higher tolerance to seal the oil in the tubes. Hence, they retail at a higher price than other types of shocks.
Gas-filled Monotube Shock Absorbers
There are some rare cases when even oil-filled monotube shocks foam and overheat. For such, gas-filled monotube shocks are a better choice. These shocks use a gas chamber with pressurized nitrogen right above the oil chamber. The high pressure has an anti-foaming effect on the oil when driving on corrugated roads.
As expected, gas-filled shocks retail at a premium price. They must adhere to strict rules for tolerance and resistance to fading. So, these shocks are a favorite with off-road and rally trucks.
External Reservoir Shock Absorbers
External reservoirs are light, high-performing tubes connecting to oil reservoirs via a hose. These shocks are in strategic points around the van to: –
- Redistribute the load around the wheels.
- It cools the oil faster.
- It creates air space for the hot oil, which is expanding. Hence, it keeps the seals intact.
External reservoir shocks work best for racing trucks for high-performance. But, they are quite expensive.
Below is a summary of the recommended shock absorbers for various types of cars: –
|Type of Vehicle||Recommended Shock Absorber|
|Standard Off-Road Van||External Reservoir Shocks|
|Raised Off-Road Truck||Mono tube Gas Shocks|
|Full Size Van||Mono tube Shocks|
|Standard Pick-Up||Original Replacement Shocks|
|Standard SUV||Twin Tube Shocks|
|Heavy Duty SUV||Mono tube Gas Shocks and Air Springs|
First, on average, 4WD shocks stroke 1,750 times on every mile you drive. That’s more than a million times for a 600 miles drive. Manufacturers recommend replacing your shock absorbers at say, 100,000 miles intervals. Hence, it’s not every day that you walk into a repair shop to buy new shocks.
Second, there is no way to change the oil on the shocks. What does this translate for your shocks? Well, over time, the fluid becomes less viscous and elastic. This change compromises the shocks. You’ll need to do more maintenance rounds to cut shock failure.
So, you ought to get the right shocks that remain in perfect condition for the long miles intervals. Indeed, they should be of sturdy construction and material.
Opt for shocks that are of aluminum make. Aluminum is light and adjustable. It increases your shocks’ ability to resist the excessive shakes. Yet, steel shocks are cheaper. But, they don’t adjust with ease. You may find it cumbersome to fix them on your semi-truck.
Price and Brand
The price range of shocks goes hand in hand with the size of the car. Indeed, it’s the weight of the vehicle that shows how sophisticated the shocks will be to manage the drive. Also, different brands maintain varying pricing strategies for their products. Some brands are targeting the low-end market with cheap shocks. Other brands prefer to charge a premium for the high-end niche. Below are the leading brands that make the best shocks for big rigs: –
- Monroe Shocks and Struts
Ease of Installation
Will you need to hire an expert to install your shocks? If so, consider the extra cost. For, your ideal shocks should come with an easy to follow manual to help its installation. Always think of how long it will take you to fix the shocks on the truck.
Second, do you need to change your new shocks before installing them on your ride? Yes, some specific models demand customization as part of the fitting process. You may have to hire an expert for the job.
How do shocks for a semi-truck work?
Shocks for 4WDs work by damping the heat and vibrations from the truck as it moves on uneven roads. By doing so, the van’s body remains stable while its wheels stay in contact with the ground. This way, the driver has better control of the vehicle over the rough terrain. Generally, wagons have broader suspensions. Hence, they have longer shocks.
Are gas-filled mono-tube shocks the same as ‘air shocks’?
No. Gas-filled shocks have an air chamber connecting to the hydraulic fluid. In contrast, air shocks are air springs adjusting up and down as the car moves through the rough terrain.
When should I replace my shocks?
A.Most shock absorbers have a lifetime warranty for thousands of miles. Yet, some accidents or incidents can discredit their doing. Hence, be on the lookout for the next wear and tear signs that need your immediate action.
- Your springs appear broken, torn or sagging
- When you start experiencing too many vibrations
- Your tires appear uneven or cupped
- The shocks casing has visible dents and cracks
- There are signs of leaks or misting from the seals
In the absence of these signs, it’s advisable to replace your shocks every five to ten years.
Finding the best shocks that suit your beast on and off the road is a must. We hope this guide simplifies your search to getting one soonest. For, the shocks you pick should be durable, functional, high-performing, and affordable. Start by sampling one of the eight best shocks for semi-trucks as detailed in our review. Stay safe.