Surviving the Elements: Auto Body Paint and Other Blogs

5 Ways To Tell Your Truck Chassis Is Damaged

by Mae Fisher

The chassis is one of the most important parts in a truck. They provide the needed support to hold the tray and carry heavy loads while maintaining vehicle stability. However, impact collisions can damage chassis frames and create a high risk hazard for your vehicle.

In some cases, the damage may not be that easy to spot. If you detect any of the following anomalies with your truck or trailer, you may have a damaged chassis that needs alignment:

Truck seems bent to one side

One of the common signs of a damaged chassis is where the deck seems to be pulling to one side of the truck. In this condition, the truck will prove difficult to keep on one lane or park correctly. It always seems as though the truck is steering to one side. This can be an indication that the chassis is bent such that it is not parallel to the cab and is instead poking out to one side.

Truck doesn't turn well when cornering  

If your truck has chassis damage, it will not handle well on the road when it comes to navigation. Most commonly, it will pull to one side when cornering, indicating vertical damage on the chassis where one side of the truck is raised more than the other. The raised side will therefore be turning much slower than the other causing a slight drag.

Creaking on the chassis frame

Apart from being bent, impact from crash can break the chassis or crack it. If this happens, you will hear a slight creaking when the truck is loaded with heavy cargo. The sound is as a result of the broken metal edges grating one another. You are bound to hear the same as the truck goes over potholes or when hard breaking.

Load leans to one side or moves in transit

Another way to diagnose a damaged chassis is where the load on the deck seems to slide to one side. This is easily noticeable for compact loads like containers. This is a dangerous sign that shows the truck could tip over due to weight imbalances. If the chassis is skewed, the load resting on the chassis frame will appear skewed as well. The same can happen to the tray of a lorry.

Cargo containers/trays/locks won't attach to the deck

Another quick way to tell you might have problems with your chassis is when the load or attachments that are supposed to be fixed to the frame do not attach properly. This can happen when trying to attach a tray or container to the deck. This is often an indication that one of the two items is out of alignment.  If the truck has been in an accident, the problem most likely lies with the chassis.

To be sure your truck chassis is the problem, take it in to a panel beating shop and have it measured. If damaged, it may need welding or alignment repairs. Contcat a company like Northside Smash Repairs to learn more.