Trucks are one of the major components of every skateboard. It is a metal axle holding two wheels each and there are two trucks on every skateboard. As this holds the largest weight portion of the rider, it should be very durable and from good manufacturers.
Skateboard trucks comprises of several components which have their own parts of the whole work. These parts altogether contributes to the truck of your skating board. So, a thought to educate you on each of them in this case seems much beneficial.
How Do Skateboard Trucks Work?
Here is a small guide on how the different parts of a skateboard truck works and how to tighten it as well as keep it in optimum condition.
The baseplate is the lowest part of a truck which sits on top of the deck of skateboard. It safely holds the board and helps the board to take the pressure evenly over it.
The baseplate has 4-6 drilled holes to mount it on the deck, so before you purchase one, check whether the number of truck drills to deck holes are the same or not.
The baseplate holds the rest of the truck through the bolt known as kingpin which holds the entire truck in one piece.
Bolts are a vital part in any automotive thing. This is no different. They hold the baseplate as well as the hanger together. To reduce vibration and metal damage, there’s a cushion around the baseplate as well called bushings.
Kingpins are replaceable, if it ever gets broken.
Around the kingpin, the 2 part cushioning is called bushings. It provides padding support to the board and dampens the vibration as you do skateboard tricks and movements. There are 4 bushings in a pair of trucks.
Bushings come in two levels of toughness. Harder ones are good for technical or expert riders as well as riders who are heavier. It provides less resistance. Whereas softer ones are much more responsive and good for people doing smooth tricks.
The hanger is that T-shaped aluminum part that has the wheels attached on both sides and kingpin inside. This part has the direct contact with the surface so it should be the most durable part, though this still is replaceable.
Some hangers come very light as the build is hollow inside. Depending on your riding style, you can choose which one fits you the most. With all these, also make sure your hanger length is not about the size of your decks width.
Risers allow to increase the deck height depending on people’s preference. Higher decks allow easier and higher jumps whereas with lower boards, it is easy to do any flips.
Some risers also have the option to dampen the vibrations of urban riding, but the less the vibrations, the lesser the feeling of riding a board. So get one as your preference.
Tightening The Truck
The kingpin is the structure that holds the board with the trucks. With more rides and lots of steering the bolt gets loose which increases the risk of any accident. By checking the kingpin hardness and screwing it properly, it can be tightened.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.My Trucks squeak, what do I have to do?
Ans - It is likely that the trucks squeak as there are many possible reasons. For example, new bushings will make a lots of sound because of the urethane. With some days of use, this will go away.
Another reason can be dirt buildup on the bushings and between the bushings and its holder. The main cause is; using lubricants attracts more dirt. It can be solved by cleaning them with dishwasher.
2.My trucks are too loose or got way much turn. How to tighten them?
Ans - By tightening the kingpin bolt with a wrench, you can adjust the tightness or level of turn of your board. This will fix this issue most of the time.
If this doesn’t work out then possibly the problem lies in the dampening rubber. There are both soft and hard bushings available on the market. If you want less turn, get a harder one. This will do the trick if the above one didn’t work out.
3.What are bearing spacers and should I use them?
Ans - Bearing spacers are small cylinders made of metal that sits in between the bearings to help them spin smoothly. It reduces the constraint of bearing rolling and increases the lifespan of them as well as the wheels.
Some bearings come with pre-built spacers, you don’t need to get anything in that case. However the way is, having spacers is a good idea to keep your gear in good shape for long.
4.What is Reverse-Kingpin skateboard trucks and how do they differ from traditional ones?
Ans - Reverse-kingpin trucks have their kingpin reversed or on the other side of the axle thus the name. Traditional kingpins are great for use but with reverse ones, turning and carving is more fun than ever. They feel so smooth.
Now that you know how a skateboard truck works and how to tighten it, you have learned about your skateboard more. Always keep an eye on checking the durability of the parts, and when they get old, replace with a new one.