Camber and Caster Alignment – Tech Tip Tuesday

Helpful information on Camber and Caster Alignment Information for Technicians

Camber or Caster or a combination of the two seem to be one of the most popular settings for alignment technicians. To be clear, Camber is the inward or outward tilt of the tires relative to vertical and Caster is the forward or rear ward tilt of the king pin relative to the same. Camber is built into the axle and caster is accomplished by elevating the mounts for the front or rear of the leaf springs combined with tapered wedges between the springs and the axle. Since the axle is built with little or no difference in caster from one side to the other (no more than .5 degrees) and is intended to remain that way, use of wedges on one spring stack and not the other, or wedges place in opposition to one another is not a recommended practice. Many alignment techs use Caster and Camber to try and control the tendency of the vehicle to pull in one direction or the other. In fact all manufacturers of axles used in North America that I am aware of: “Expressly prohibits bending of axle beams (hot or cold) to change camber or for any other purpose.” This quote is from the Dana Service Manual and similar statements can be found in all other axle manufacturer’s manuals. This is one of the reasons that I do not spend time on these settings. The other reason is that the steer axle is not the dominate axle under the vehicle.

Consider this: In the US, a standard highway tractor will have one steer axle and two drive axles. The steer axle will carry a normal load of about 12,000 […]

By |November 8th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Camber and Caster Alignment – Tech Tip Tuesday

Save on Tires and Fuel with proper alignment – Tech Tip

Are you getting the most out of your tires

Tech Tip Tuesday article about Tire and Fuel Savings with improved alignment

We found this interesting article with some great info about tire savings

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s like herding cats”? It’s like that with tires when your alignment is out of whack. With all those wheels heading in different directions, it’s unlikely you’re getting the best fuel economy – or tire life.

The effects of misalignment are subtle, but the impact is rather startling. Bridgestone’s Guy Walenga tells when a wheel is misaligned it’s like dragging it sideways across the pavement.

“We have said in the past that if you have a 2-inch misalignment between steer and drive tires on tractor with a 181-inch wheelbase it would be like scrubbing the tires across the pavement for about 60 feet for every mile you drove,” he says. “Increasing the scale for dramatic effect, over a year, that would amount to dragging the tires sideways for about 1,100 miles. Not only is that going to produce tire wear, it saps fuel economy too. It takes a lot of energy to drag a tire sideways, and the energy comes right from your fuel tank.”

Alignment is a fuel savings opportunity many fleets overlook, but Bill Bliem, senior vice-president of Fleet Services at Vineland, N.J.-based NFI, takes full advantage of the savings it provides.

“When I joined the company, I did a lot of yard surveys with my maintenance directors and I noticed most of the drive tires had feather wear,” he says. “I discovered the company never did vehicle alignments except where there was an obvious need. Since we started doing regular alignments of the front axles as well as the drives and […]

By |May 27th, 2014|Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Save on Tires and Fuel with proper alignment – Tech Tip