Do helper springs increase towing capacity?
Looking for a rear helper spring to install on your pickup, van, or SUV? Find out whether or not your tow vehicle will need suspension upgrades, and if so, which ones are the smartest choice.
What are helper springs?
An upgrade for a truck suspension could mean a number of things such as:
- A complete modification (mod) of the shocks, struts, sleeves, springs, mounts, and the truck’s ability to raise or lower the body of the truck.
- The addition of off-road bump stops to help soften and stabilize the ride.
- The addition of helper springs to increase spring capacity.
Whether you have a truck that goes off-road and needs off-road bump stops or your truck requires helper springs to assist with towing and hauling, Timbren Industries has a quality product to meet your individual needs.
Today, we’re going to focus on helper springs that assist with towing and hauling by *increasing spring capacity. One of the products that we recommend are Timbren SES suspension upgrades.
What is your truck's towing capacity?
Think payload and towing capacity mean the same thing? Not true! One is all about carry while the other all about pull.
The main difference between payload and towing capacity is fairly simple: Payload refers to the number of pounds of cargo a pickup truck can carry. Towing refers to the number of pounds a pickup truck can pull.
How to calculate payload capacity:
Start with the maximum total weight your truck can handle, known as its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Subtract your truck's curb weight from its GVWR—that's your payload capacity!
In other words, Payload Capacity = Gross Vehicle Weight - Curb Weight
How to calculate towing capacity:
To find your truck’s towing capacity, subtract your truck’s curb weight from its Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR).
In other words, Towing Capacity = Gross Combined Vehicle Weight - Curb Weight
How do helper springs increase your truck's towing capacity?
Here’s the thing: neither the payload capacity nor the towing capacity can be increased by adding helper springs. The GVWR and the GCVWR are set by the manufacturer. No one should ever exceed these two capacities. To do so would compromise the integrity of the vehicle’s frame and the suspension, not to mention the safety of the driver and every passenger.
Helper springs are able to increase the spring capacity of the suspension but no more.
Note: Increasing your truck’s spring capacity does not increase the GVWR set by the manufacturer. In other words, you must stay within the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – the maximum weight a vehicle is designed to carry – which includes the net weight of the vehicle with accessories, plus the weight of passengers, fuel, and cargo.
Are Timbren SES kits the best helper spring upgrades?
Here are three of the most popular suspension helper springs on the market today:
- Air bags
- Timbren SES
Let’s compare and see which one is best:
Add-a-leaf products (like SuperSprings) help to level the load. Unfortunately, they cost about $600.00 US for the pair. And they’re capacity is limited to approximately 4,000 lbs additional.
Air bag products (like Air-Lift) help to level the load but they’re expensive, costing anywhere from $1,000 - $1,500. And their capacity is limited to approximately 4,000 lbs additional.
Now let’s compare Timbren SES suspension upgrades with SuperSprings and Air-Lift…
Timbren SES kits that fit a half-ton pickup retail for approximately $300.00 and provide up to 8600 lbs of additional capacity. Without question, we recommend Timbren SES suspension upgrades for your pickup.
If you want the best helper spring upgrades, stick with the ones that are the most reliable. Timbren’s Aeon® rubber springs are “stronger than steel and more reliable than air.” In other words, Timbren SES helper springs are bullet proof. They won’t break like add-a-leaf, or leak like an air ride.
“Whether we’re towing with our Nissan Titan or our Toyota Tundra, our Timbren SES kit has been a game changer. Reduced all sag in the rear plus helps the tow rigs gain maximum control. Over a year with SES and we would never go back.” @ClicOutdoor
When do I need a Timbren SES severe service kit?
Most rubber springs used on pick-up trucks are double-convoluted, providing a perfect blend of capacity and ride quality. But the rubber springs used for “severe service” are single-convoluted, designed to resist weight more aggressively. The result is reduced ride quality in exchange for more muscle and stability. Also, severe service springs are typically made from harder durometer rubber. The harder rubber resists weight more efficiently compared to softer rubber.
Unless you’re carrying a slide-in camper or using a salt spreader, you do not need a severe service kit.
Generally speaking, severe service helper springs are required when the load is extreme: Top-heavy, side-heavy, front-heavy or back-heavy.
A few examples of a top-heavy load is a slide-in truck camper, a crane carrier (aerial device with a bucket), or a car carrier.
A few examples of a side-heavy, front-heavy, or back-heavy load include:
- Tow truck
- 5th wheel
- Truck camper
- Dump body
In fact, any load that causes dangerous instability or threatens to damage the truck’s suspension needs a severe-service kit.
For more information on Timbren SES helper springs, visit www.timbren.com.