Being a truck driver isn’t an easy job. It requires being on the road for extended periods, carrying heavy loads, and navigating different terrains. One of the critical elements of safe and successful driving is the steering system, which allows the driver to turn the truck in the desired direction. Understanding the different types of steering gears used in trucks can help you make an informed decision about your vehicle. Continue reading to explore the most common ones.
Recirculating Ball Steering Gears
The trucking industry has used recirculating ball steering gears for decades. These gears work by converting the rotation of the steering wheel into linear motion, which turns the truck's wheels. The gears have ball bearings that recirculate through the steering gear housing to lower friction and improve the steering response. Recirculating ball steering suits larger trucks and heavy loads but can be challenging to maintain and repair.
Rack and Pinion Steering Gears
Rack and pinion steering gears have grown increasingly popular over the years. They use a pinion gear on the end of the steering column that meshes with a long rack gear, which turns the wheels. This type of steering provides more precise feedback, making it ideal for smaller trucks and urban driving. Rack and pinion steering gears are also easy to maintain and replace, making them popular for truck owners.
Integral Steering Gears
Integral steering gears are rack and pinion gears with power steering built into the steering gear housing. Unlike the traditional rack and pinion steering, this type of gear helps reduce the number of parts that make up the steering system. Also, integral steering gears allow the steering system to connect directly to the vehicle's transmission, reducing the need for additional hardware.
Worm and Sector Steering Gears
Worm and sector steering gears are the oldest forms of steering gears in trucks. Still, they remain in use due to their simplicity and sturdy design. This type of gear has a worm taken from the steering column that meshes with a sector gear on the worm shaft. Worm and sector steering gears provide more power and smoother steering compared to other gears. However, they’re heavier and can be more challenging to maintain.
Choosing the right steering gear for your truck is critical to the safety and success of your driving experience. Understanding the different types of steering gears used in trucks can help you make an informed decision about your vehicle.
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