Firestone’s Newest Air Suspension for Serious Towing

May 20th, 2011

By Travis Noack

Photography Courtesy of Status and Firestone Industrial Products

There is no arguing that heavy-duty towing puts a tremendous amount of stress on a truck, especially when both the trailer and truck are not set up properly. Because a lot of towing capability depends on what you are using to tow with (i.e., a 3/4- or 1-ton or heavier truck), these rigs can benefit from some suspension tweaking, not to mention cooling and brakes upgrades.

A lot of light-duty pickups use an air-assist system to keep the rear of the truck level with lots of tongue weight. Even diesel enthusiasts who tow use some sort of add-on air-bag setup. While the bag system works great with the stock leaf-spring setups found on most trucks, there are a few other options that actually help the air-bag setup work better than simply as a helper system to a leaf-sprung truck.

Firestone Industrial Products recently teamed up with SANLUIS Rassini Suspension Technologies, one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of leaf springs for light vehicles, to bring the Firestone R4Tech suspension to the market. The R4 Tech system replaces the factory leaf-spring rear suspension with a high-quality Firestone air spring teamed with the SANLUIS Rassini leaf spring suspension. The system is set up to adjust for varying load capacities. It uses the variable spring rate of the air spring to stiffen the ride when loaded and to soften it when the trailer is unhooked.

The complete R4 Tech kit features Rassini foundation suspension made up of leaf plates, lower trailing link, J-spring, spring perches and mounting brackets, while the Firestone air-spring and air-compressor control system maintains proper air level inside the air spring for the load you are pulling.

To see the system up close, as well as to capture on film how easy the system can be added to a late model truck, we headed over to Status in Rockwall, Texas, where a Firestone R4 system was being installed an F-350 Duper Duty. The dually regularly tows the shop’s various enclosed and gooseneck trailers. Todd Green of Firestone Industrial Products was kind enough to fly down and assist the guys at Status with the install. Follow along as we equip this F-350 dually with the Firestone R4 Tech Suspension.

For diesel enthusiasts looking for a state-of-the-art suspension designed specifically for towing—as well as great ride quality when the truck is empty—check into Firestone’s R4 Tech Suspension.

Sources

Firestone Industrial Products

www.firestoneindustrialproducts.com

www.ride-rite.com

SANLUIS Rassini Suspension Technologies

www.sanluisrassini.com

STATUS

www.creatingrollingart.com

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