The trucks are mounted on the deck of the skateboard and act as the point of contact between the board and the ground. The trucks are what allow the skater to turn and steer the board. The trucks are made up of two parts, the hanger, and the baseplate. The hanger is the U-shaped part that the skateboard wheel bolts to. The baseplate is the flat part that mounts to the bottom of the deck.
Skateboard trucks are an essential component of any skateboard, playing a vital role in both turning and grinding. In this article, we will explore “How Do Skateboard Trucks Work?” and their mechanics.
How Do Skateboard Trucks Work?
Skateboard trucks connect the wheels to the deck and are crucial for handling and performance. The board’s connection to the trucks is facilitated by two screws on either side. The trucks, in turn, are joined to the wheels through the use of bearings.
The best truck, known as the kingpin, is located at the front of the deck, while the rear truck is situated at the back. The kingpin is responsible for allowing the trucks to turn. Some factories produce skateboard trucks using titanium, which results in a lighter and more expensive truck compared to an aluminum one. Truck widths range from 50 millimeters (2 inches) to 125 millimeters (5 inches).
The baseplate is the part of the skateboard truck that attaches to the deck. It is the foundation of a skateboard truck. It is attached to the skateboard using four bolts and contains the kingpin and pivot cup. It also provides the pivot point for the hanger. The baseplates on most trucks are made from aluminum, although some brands use steel or even composites.
The Axle and Hanger:
The truck consists of two main components: the axle and the hanger. The axle is a metal rod that runs through the wheels, while the hanger is a triangular-shaped part that attaches to the deck. The hanger is one of the essential parts of your skateboard trucks, right after the base plate. The pivot, located at the bottom of the hanger, fits perfectly into the pivot cup of the base plate, while the kingpin and bushings connect the hanger to the base plate. The hanger is the part of the trucks that you grind on.
Axle nuts are the nuts on the axle with which the wheels are mounted.
The kingpin is the bolt that links the hanger to the base plate in a skateboard truck. It is common for the kingpin nut to be placed onto the top part of the kingpin and be replaceable. If a hollow kingpin is used, it means that the bolt has been hollowed out to make the truck lighter in weight. Standard kingpins are used on most trucks, but some brands offer reverse kingpins for those who prefer them.
The skateboard trucks have bushings made of polyurethane above and below the hanger. These bushings play a crucial role in providing flexibility and cushioning to the trucks, which in turn allows turning skateboard.
The responsiveness of the trucks to turning is affected by the durometer, which is the hardness of the bushings. Skateboard trucks are comprised of two bushings – the top bushing facing the street and the bottom bushing facing the board. Bushing guides are a crucial component of skateboard trucks, similar to the importance of skateboard wheels.
Washers are thin metal discs that are placed above and below the bushings to reset the board to its initial position after a turn. They also help to distribute the forces acting on the board evenly. Some bushings come with a hard plastic layer that is reinforced and in such cases, washers are not necessary.
Skateboard wheels made from polyurethane, although some brands offer wheels made from other materials like urethane or plastic. The durometer rating measures the hardness of the wheels, with higher ratings being better for speed and lower ratings being better for grip.
The risers serve as a gap between your board and the ground. They are available in varying heights, but the usual boards come with moderate-sized risers. The height of the riser influences the height at which your board is positioned above the ground and the overall stability of the board.
Skaters sometimes use riser pads between their decks and trucks. These pads can have a significant impact on the ride height of the board, and they can also help reduce wheel bite, which occurs when the wheels come into contact with the deck. By using riser pads, executing tricks and turns becomes easier, making for a more enjoyable skating experience.
Speed rings are tiny washers that are the same size as the core of your bearings. They are positioned between the bearings and hangers, as well as between the bearings and axle nuts. The purpose of these washers is to prevent the bearings from rubbing against other parts and causing damage.
The Pivot Cup:
The pivot cup is a small but essential component of a skateboard truck. When it wears down, the truck can become highly dangerous. Therefore, it’s important to regularly inspect this part. You can locate the pivot cup at the base of the truck – it’s the rounded piece that fits into the baseplate. The pivot cup consists of a small plastic piece that keeps the truck stable.
The shape of the hanger and the angle of the kingpin are important factors that affect the performance of skateboard trucks. Trucks with lower profiles are more stable and suitable for high-speed riding and downhill skateboarding, whereas trucks with higher profiles are ideal for street and technical skateboarding, enabling quick turns and flips.
Putting It All Together:
The trucks of a skateboard are composed of multiple parts that work together to enable the skateboard to turn and absorb shocks when landing tricks. The baseplate is the component that attaches to the deck and provides the pivot point for the hanger.
The hanger is the T-shaped part of the truck which the axle passes through. The kingpin is the bolt that fastens the hanger to the baseplate. The bushings are the rubber cushions that sit between the hanger and the baseplate. The wheels are typically made from polyurethane, although some brands offer wheels made from other materials such as urethane or even plastic. The bearings are small metal discs that fit inside the wheels.
Materials used for Skateboard trucks:
The way a truck is constructed and the material it’s made of can impact its performance when riding, flipping, and grinding. Most standard trucks consist of an aluminum hangar and baseplate with steel axles, but some brands offer composites and other materials. You may also come across solid and hollow versions of certain materials, with the latter being much lighter. Here is a list of some common materials you’ll find in skateboard trucks:
To conclude, skateboard trucks play a crucial role in a skateboard’s setup, affecting its handling, turning abilities, and trick performance. Skateboarders need to have a good understanding of the mechanics of skateboard trucks and adjust their components according to their riding style to ensure a smooth and responsive experience. Proper maintenance of the trucks also helps to extend their lifespan and maintain optimal performance.