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Firestone Ride-Rite Air bags

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by nosparkplugs, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    I see lots of folks rear end sagging, this is dangerous since the nose of the truck tends to be pointed skyward, less control in emergency situations.

    Simple Fix is the Firestone Ride-Rite airbags, the air bags level your truck/ trailer load on the rear end of your trucks. This is my second 3/4 ton truck with air-bags. I sold my 02 Ford F-350 crewcab dually 7.3 diesel; because the Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbo diesel outperformed the f-350 with the air-bags. Also the bags enable me to safely tow the Dodge 2500 CTD 13,500GTWR I have towed up to 16,000GTWR although not recommended. The Air-Bags can support 5,000lbs each or 10,000lbs combined @65psi.

  2. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 988

    yeah i have the airlift on my ford and love them. i got the auto ride height sensors also so i dont have any switches or guages in the cab. its all automatic. i had 5K in the bed last summer and it was riding ass high the whole time. Definately worth the cost.
  3. ConstSvcs

    ConstSvcs LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    It's my understanding that this system isn't designed to increase the GVW of your vehicle but simply to equalize the trailer weight at the hitch. Similar to a weight distributing hitch.

    Overloading an axle has it's own safety issues.

    Seems like a great easy to install load leveling system.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I wondered about airbags for my Dodge, but I had some doubts about how long they would hold up with high loads on them most of the time. Mine is a 1998 3/4 ton and I have a heavy dump bed on it. It was sitting leveled out with the bed empty! I tried (read as wasted my money on) a set of "super-springs", they hardly did anything for it.

    Last week I talked to a spring shop and decided to add 2 leafs to each side and have the stock springs re-arched by about an inch. I didn't want to be riding high in the rear by more than an inch or so when empty. I'm hoping that the new springs will help! I haven't had it loaded yet, but the ride is a lot rougher now, also dosn't have the body roll it did in the turns.

    They told me that *if* it still sags too much, which it shouldn't unless I'm way overloading it, I could add some frame mounted progressive overload springs.
  5. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    IMO the Airbags work better than weight distrubution hitchs, because the airbags are on the towing vehicle, so if you have several different trailers you only have to purchase one set of bags. Also the WDH can snap the trailer hitch, I watched a Class IV hitch bolts snap when the WDH was adjusted. Also the airbags improve the ride quality with a trailer, and extend the life of your leaf springs & shocks. the Airbags are dangerous in that they are so effiecent at carrying the load, you can easily overload, yes you need to be aware of your GVWR with or with the airbags. As far as durability the bags are like steel I have yet to blow one with 60PSI, have over 4 years of use one set of bags.
  6. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    My dodge 3/4 ton has almost 9 years on a pair of firestone air bags yet to have any problem.
  7. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 988


    no its not designed to increase the GVWR its designed to keep the truck level under load whether the load is in the bed or a trailer keeping the truck operating safer because the rear tires arent sticking up in the air.

    My truck still rides high in the back towing my trailer before the airbags were installed. I installed them for when i have a full load of mulch or dirt or salt im riding level which is much safer.
  8. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,206

    Yeah, those Super springs are a big waste of money. I wish they had a return policy. Adding two leaves to each side will help you out a lot. If you still have a sagging issue, the airbags will help it along the rest of the way.
  9. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    If someone snapped the bolts on the hitch, one of two things were wrong. 1.) They used the wrong grade of bolt. Or 2.) They overloaded the hitch due to stupidity. A trailer that is rated for 12000 lb should only have 1700 lbs on the tongue to start with in WT mode. That is the highest rating you get with a 2" reciever. At that point, my truck would still be slightly above level as it takes over 2000lbs at the back of the bed ( Tailgate just closed ) just to get the truck down to almost touching the helper springs.

    As for bags themselves, air shocks did the same thing back in the 70's. They were common on cars that left the factory with trailer towing packages. I.E. 73 Ambassador.
  10. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    My brother a Car hauler for 35years, went in to Hotshot driving after retirement for a while, the truck a 2002 Chevrolet dually 3500, with a two car enclosed car hauler at least 30ft 1 year of use on the WDH. The hitch was fairly new, and he was carefully to get the tension just right, the trailer hitch bolts Grade 4 also, just snapped while tightining down the WDH. He was like wow, and switch back to the Gooseneck hitch's & air bags. IMO the WDH is for someone who does not want to spend the money/or mess with installation on a gooseneck hitch & trailer or likes the ride of the hitch mount trailer. When hauling over 9,000GTWR I switch to my gooseneck dually. That is stored energy within the WDH, something will give at some point wear & tear over time, sorry there a dangerous & complicated system to hook & unhook daily.

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