Industry Articles

How To Make Your Pickup Truck More Capable; 5 Must-Have Performance Upgrades

Written by the Brant Jones Team

Modern-day pickup trucks are incredibly useful, but manufacturers have a tendency to make them jack-of-all-trades oriented rather than ultra-capable in specific areas. Pickups nowadays are designed to be tough and resilient, all whilst being fuel efficient and comfortable. Although this is often a great mix, it’s simply not what a lot of people need to perform tougher jobs that don’t require the creature comforts the average driver prefers. 

So, how do we go about making these trucks more capable, you may ask? Great question! Today we’ll be discussing the top 5 ways to make your pickup truck more capable! 

1. Locking Differentials for Pickup Trucks

Open Differentials Don’t Get The Job Done

The vast majority of pickup trucks are sold with either a fully open rear differential or a limited-slip differential. Both are great for on-road driving but aren’t so great in tough terrain like construction sites, logging roads, and inclement weather. Why is this? Well, open differentials follow the path of least resistance, meaning if one wheel lifts off the ground, it will receive all of the available power, simply because it has no resistance! This also means you’ll be stuck! 

Limited-Slip Diffs Are Better, But Not Great 

A limited-slip differential, on the other hand, typically uses slip sensors to activate the brake on the free-spinning wheel, therefore increasing the resistance to that side of the differential. Although this is great for mild conditions, it’s still not a perfect solution and can often leave you just as stuck. 

The Solution You’re Looking For; Locking Differentials 

Introducing locking differentials! Locking differentials are designed to lock 50% of the available power to each wheel, therefore enhancing your overall traction and offroad capabilities. Locking differentials can be powered by compressed air, via an electric switch, or in some cases, activate automatically! Whether you’re driving through a rough construction site, down a logging road, or through the woods, a locking differential will get you where you need to go. Want to get a differential installed in your truck? Call Brant Jones Auto & Diesel Repair at (615) 205 - 7160 to receive a free quote today! 

2. All-Terrain Tires for Pickup Trucks

The tires that come with your pickup truck from the manufacturer are often designed to be as fuel efficient as possible. Typically they’re designed for roads, and as such, they won’t provide you with much offroad capability & traction. Regardless of how great your 4x4 system is or how your differentials are set up, if you can’t get traction, you’re going to get stuck. 

How can all-terrain tires help, you may ask? All-terrain tires come with a more aggressive tread pattern, are designed to remain on your wheel’s bead even at the worst of angles, and are designed to be used at lower air pressure for less-than-ideal terrain. They’re often identified by the A/T label and have a wide array of different ratings depending on what you’re looking for. Some are snow rated, whereas others are designed for mud, sand, or rocks. Looking to get new tires for your pickup truck? Give Brant Jones a call today at (615) 205 - 7160 to see our inventory and request a quote. 

3. Stronger Leaf Springs for Pickup Trucks

Most pickup trucks use leaf springs over their rear axle to provide a significant amount of support for cargo in the truck bed. If you’re finding that your leaf springs are squatting under the weight of your cargo or aren’t providing you with enough stability, you have the option of installing stronger leaf springs. This usually entails adding more blades to the leaf-spring setup in an effort to make them more stiff. 

Leaf Spring Air Enhancements

Did you know you can add airbags above your leaf springs to strengthen your vehicle’s suspension? This is generally a more expensive route to take, but that’s typically because it provides more benefits than a pure leaf-spring setup. Rather than having strength at all times, airbags can be aired down to provide a more comfortable ride when not hauling heavy cargo. 

Getting Brant Jones to Upgrade Your Leaf Springs

If you’d like to upgrade your leaf spring setup, I highly recommend giving Brant Jones a call at (615) 205 - 7160. 

4. Pickup Truck Fifth Wheel Setup

Did you know towing with a regular hitch isn’t the only option you have? You can actually get a 5th wheel setup in the bed of your pickup truck! Not only does this increase the amount of trailer types you can tow, but this form of towing allows for heightened towing stability and handling. One important thing to note is that pickup trucks with dual rear wheel setups are better for fifth wheel setups as the dual setup’s stability pairs well with heavier trailers. 

5. Pickup Truck Skid Plates

There’s nothing worse than driving offroad or through a job site and damaging your vehicle’s most important components. Namely, your engine’s oil pan, your transmission pan, and some of your other drivetrain components, must be protected. That’s where skid plates come in! Skid plates are essentially armour for the underside of your vehicle. They cover your critical powertrain and drivetrain components, and are what get hit first if you come in contact with road debris, rocks, or other dangerous obstacles. To get skid plates installed on your pickup truck, give Brant Jones a call today at (615) 205 - 7160. 

Contact Us Today

There are a wide variety of ways to enhance your pickup truck’s offroad and performance capabilities. These 5 methods have passed the test of time, and have worked for countless drivers over decades. To hear more about how you can upgrade your pickup truck to suit your needs best, give Brant Jones a call at (615) 205 - 7160 today. 

Contact Brant Jones Auto & Diesel Today!

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