Lifting a Truck: To Lift or Not to Lift

As truck owners, many of us inevitably come to the same crossroads, and find ourselves making a crucial decision. This decision is one that leads down the path of a number of other important choices – which makes it important to get right! We’re going to talk about one of the biggest questions a truck owner has to to ponder: lifting a truck.

Getting To Know Your Truck

Defconbrix lifting a truck Toyota offroad driving

If you are about to buy or recently bought a truck, the thought process that goes into lifting a truck might seem daunting. Breaking your considerations down into specific categories will make your decision a bit more manageable. That starts with knowing your truck, and what you want your truck to do.

A truck is an extension of who we are. It can represent our personality, show what type of work we do, or even show the world what we like doing with our time. Knowing what you want from your truck is crucial to the decision, so it is important to give consideration to those variables.

Decide Where You Like To Drive

Defconbrix in Moab after lifting a truck Toyota Tacoma

When it comes to lifting a truck, one of the first things you need to consider is where you realistically will do most of your driving. If you bought a pickup and plan to do a ton of highway towing or just general driving, lifting may not be your best option. A lift would negatively impact your fuel economy and wouldn’t necessarily support any of your planned driving.

If you’re headed to a lot of unpaved desert or forest roads, you need to consider things like ground clearance. Lifting your rig will definitely help you get a better departure angle and better ride quality on rougher roads. For off road travel, fuel economy is often outweighed by these other factors. That’s why knowing your road is a great starting point in decision making.

How Big of A Lift for Your pickup

Ram 3500 getting in after lifting a truck

Before running off and getting a new suspension, you’ll want to calculate how much you need to elevate things. If you already have a set of larger tires in mind, you’ll need to consider which lift will help them fit in your wheel wells. Aside from ground clearance, think through how you plan on getting into the rig once it is higher from the ground – especially if you’re a short person!

Rolled over offroad Toyota after lifting a truck Defconbrix

Other essential things to consider include your center of gravity. This is definitely a safety consideration when making turns at higher speeds. Aside from that, if you go really high, you’ll also have to consider things like transmission linkage issues and adjusted brake lines due to the greater distances things have to span.

Planning Your Budget

A decision to lift your rig is not a cheap one, and we’re not just talking about bigger / taller tires. You get what you pay for in this world, and knowing what you can afford is another part of your decision-making. We strongly recommend staying away from cheap body lift kits, regardless of your budget.

Things you will want to consider are the quality of shock absorbers used in some available suspension lift kits. Depending on the year of your vehicle, you should compare the difference in optional coil springs or leaf springs, as well as the quality of the coil spring bushings and leaf spring shackles. There’s a lot more that goes into a quality lift than just longer shocks!

Fox Shocks and BFGoodrich KM3s for lifting a truck powerstroke Ford F350

One really great company you may want to consider when looking into a full suspension system is BDS Suspensions out of Michigan. They have a “no fine print” warranty and use some of the finest components – like FOX shocks – in building their kits. This should come as no surprise, since BDS Suspensions is part of the world famous FOX family of brands.

Be Ready for a Heavy Load

Dodge Ram 3500 lifting a truck and hauling a trailer

Whether you lift or not, you want to be ready to haul the full capacity of your rig. When lifting a truck, remember that new suspension components might not be made with hauling in mind.

2023 F 150 Ford Tremor lifting a truck and hauling boat trailer

Lift or no lift, there is something that can help your towing capabilities in any pickup. Once you load your truck down with a heavy load in the bed or trailer, an airbag system can help get your truck bed back to the right height.

Hauling a heavy trailer after lifting a truck copy

One of the more prominent and reputable air bag companies on the market is Air Lift Company. They have a massive line of complete airbag systems for pretty much any type of truck, lifted or not.

Quality is King

Defconbrix Toyota suspension flex after lifting a truck

As they say, “buy once, cry once.” This is definitely true when it comes to lifting your rig. Lifting a truck is an investment, and we’ve seen our fair share of cheap lifts go out or fail. That leaves the pickup owner on the side of the road or trail, having to buy new parts or even worse, needing to purchase a whole new suspension. Don’t make the mistake of just following the lowest dollar sign. Take the time and look into quality and reputation of your prospective kit companies.

Lifting a truck with a quality BDS Suspension and FOX shocks on Ford F350 powerstroke diesel jumping offroad

What is the perfect lift height for YOUR rig?

2 thoughts on “Lifting a Truck: To Lift or Not to Lift”

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