Shocks are designed to stop a vehicle from bouncing or having undo vibrations when you are traveling. They make your ride smoother and more enjoyable, especially when you are driving down a road that is not perfectly smooth.
To find the best truck shocks we asked tire specialists and mechanics to tell us what their favorite shocks were. To complete our list of shocks we asked truck owners who are not mechanics to install some of the suggested shocks to determine how difficult they were to install, and whether the shocks made a difference in how smooth their rides were.
Our list of the best truck shocks for a smooth ride – In Depth Reviews
1. ACDelco 580-435 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber
When your truck starts to bounce you around inside the cab then it is time to start thinking about replacing your shock absorbers. If you drive a General Motors manufactured vehicle then you should know that the ACDelco 580-435 GM original equipment front shock absorber came standard on General Motors vehicles and the manufacturer of these vehicles suggest that when you replace your shocks you do so using these.
These shock absorbers are specifically designed to be a perfect fit on your General Motors vehicle so they are able to provide the ultimate amount of performance. ACDelco has a reputation for providing automobile parts and accessories that are reliable and durable. That means you will get a smoother ride and the rough surface of the road will not transfer into the cab of your truck causing you to be jarred, and jostled as you ride.
By purchasing these ACDelco front shock absorbers you can be certain that you are getting a product that will fit perfectly, function supremely and not cause any damages to your vehicle or your suspension system. The manufacturer of the vehicle trusts these shocks to be the best choice for anyone who drives a General Motors car, light duty truck, or sport utility vehicle.
2. Monroe 58620 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber
When you drive a truck then your shock absorbers often have to keep your ride smooth while they are under the stress of heavier than normal weight amounts. When we drive trucks we usually haul things in the back of the truck, or we pull trailers that are filled with heavy items, and these actions put stress and strain on our shock absorbers. These Monroe 58620 Monroe Load adjust shock absorbers are specifically designed to adjust to the increased weight that the load you are hauling places on your vehicle.
These shock absorbers automatically adjust to the added weight so when you are hauling a load your ride is as smooth as it was when you were driving just the truck without a load. Monroe shock absorbers allow this to happen because of the special modifiers they contain that reduce friction and create smooth rod action as you drive.
These shock absorbers allow your truck to maintain the proper distance from the surface of the road. They can easily help your truck to remain the proper height when as much as 1,100 pounds is loaded onto the truck or trailer.
They also allow you to drive down dirt and gravel roads with the same comfort that you have when riding on the interstate.
3. Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber
Not all shock absorbers are going to fit and perform properly on all types of vehicles. If you drive a lifted truck or SUV then you need to be certain that the shock absorbers you purchase are designed for lifted vehicles. This will assure that you maintain the proper height from the road surface when when you are pulling a load or have a heavy load in the bed of the vehicle.
You know that shock absorbers create a smoother ride, but you should be aware that these absorbers will also improve the way your vehicle handles making it safer to drive. They are able to keep you more comfortable and provide you with better handling because of the digressive piston they have. This digressive piston reacts to the changes in the road and automatically adjusts so that you do not feel the imperfections in the road and your vehicle is easy to steer, turn, and maneuver.
These shock absorbers are perfect fits on the 2013 Ram 2500. Their mono-tube design will provide you with consistent performance that does not fade over time. They are durable and dependable and you will get a lot of smooth miles out of them.
4. Gabriel 49235 Hijackers Air Shocks
If you ever tow heavy loads using your truck then you want to get the best air adjustable shocks installed on your vehicle. Air adjustable shocks can help you maintain precise steering control of your vehicle when you are towing or hauling heavy loads. They are excellent for people who tow caper trailers and boats using their trucks.
When you have the Gabriel 49235 Hijackers on your vehicle you will almost completely eliminate the risk of bottoming out when you are towing a heavy load. They also provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride because they keep the imperfections of the road from being transported into the seating system.
They will give you as much as 1,100 pounds of extra lifting capacity on your vehicle. (You should never exceed the gross vehicle weight rating of your truck) They help level your vehicle when you are hauling a heavy load. The Hijackers are easily inflatable. You add air to them just like you would add air to a tire. You add air when you are heavily loaded, and then let air out when you are not heavily loaded.
These shock absorbers allow you to determine when you need a little extra lift, and when you need less lift. You customize the comfort and stability of your ride depending on the load you are hauling.
5.Bilstein (24-186742) 5100 Series Rear Shock Absorber
The Bilstein rear shock absorbers are perfect additions to your ride. They take the bumps and vibrations from the road and they absorb those shocks so that you only feel smooth comfort as you travel. Most people know how important front shock absorbers are, but they often forget that you have four wheels, and the rear wheels receive as much vibration as the front wheels.
These shock absorbers are 16.14 inches when collapsed and they extend to a length of 26.15 inches. They have a Zinc plated finish and a 46mm smooth body, with no foil covers. You will find them to be a perfect fit on the GMC Sierra 1500 series of trucks made in 2002.
The internal mono-tube design allows theses shock absorbers to provide you with a consistently smooth ride for a longer period of time. You also get the benefit of having more control over your vehicle so you are safer when you are traveling with the Bilstein 5100 series rear shock absorbers on your vehicle.
To check the need for new shock absorbers you should go to each wheel of the vehicle and bounce the vehicle. If you do not need new shocks the vehicle will bounce very little, if you need new chocks the vehicle will easily bounce.
6. Bilstein BE5B514H0 6″ Rear Lifted Truck Shock Absorber (24-186636)
The Bilstein BE5B514H0 rear lifted shock absorbers are the perfect solution for creating and maintain a smooth ride when you are hauling a heavy load. Their unique velocity sensitive digressive piston design cause them to react whenever the road conditions change so you get a smooth ride when driving over asphalt, concrete, pavement, dirt, and gravel.
The improved ride quality that these shock absorbers provide can only be beaten by the improved control and handling you will have when you are driving. When you are handling a load your vehicle is heavier and harder to stop, steer, and turn, so you want to have the utmost control and handling to keep you, and the things you are hauling safe during the trip.
These shocks are perfect for lifted trucks and SUVs and they help to level the vehicle and load, as well as prevent and reduce the amount of bottoming out that occurs when you are driving, turning, or backing up.
These shock absorbers come with the boot included and they are a perfect fit for the 2013 Dodge Ram Series 2500 trucks. Their collapsed length is 18.17 inches and they extend to 29.92 inches in length.
7. Monroe MA822 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber
These Monroe air adjust shock absorbers come with a half inch piston rod that is hardened to provide you with a durable and consistent performance for a long time. They contain all weather fluid that provides reduced friction and smooth reaction because of the special modifiers the fluid contains.
You can inflate or deflate these shock absorbers depending on the lad you are hauling or towing. They are designed to provide you with level vehicle suspension when you are hauling heavy loads or towing heavy loads.
They are perfect for vehicles towing temporary loads like boat trailers or camper trailers. You adjust the amount of air in the shocks and that allows the load to be level so you have more control of the vehicle and trailer you are towing and you do not have to worry about bottoming out, especially when you are backing the trailer up.
They are perfect fits on the rear of the: 2000 – 2005 Buick Lesabre, the 2006 – 2011 Lucerne, the 1997 – 2005 Park Avenue, 1995 – 1999 Riviera, 2006 – 2011 Cadillac DTS, 200 – 2005 Cadillac Deville, 1998 – 2004 Cadillac Seville, 1995 – 1999 and the 2001 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora, 2000 – 2005 Pontiac Bonneville.
8.Bilstein 24-187367 5100 Series Front Shock for Dodge Ram 1500 09
The Bilstein 24-187367 are ride height adjustable shock absorbers designed for trucks and SUVs that have a front OE coilover suspension system. These shock absorbers have multiple snap ring grooves in their body design so they can be installed with various spring seat positions for optimum performance.
They work perfectly with the 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 series of trucks. They are 15.12 inches when collapsed and when suspended they reach 21.4 inches. They are Zinc plated and have an internal Mono-tube design with a 46mm digressive piston and a deflective disc valve that is self-adjusting to insure you the smoothest ride and the most control possible.
If you are towing a heavy load like a boat, camper or trailer and you want to make sure that your vehicle is as level as possible so you reduce the possibility of bottoming out when you cross railroad tracks, bumps in the road, go down boat ramps, and are backing the trailer up then you want height adjustable shock absorbers.
You will have increased control of the vehicle when you have these adjustable height shock absorbers in place so you can feel safer and you will know that the load you are towing is safer. These absorbers reduce road vibrations and minor damages that can be a result of hauling a load with an un-level vehicle.
9.Monroe 58640 Load Adjusting Shock Absorber (Pack of 2)
The smoothness of your ride when you are hauling a heavy load in your truck bed, or when you are towing a trailer is important. That smoothness is not as important as the amount of steering control and smooth responses that you get from your vehicle when you are hauling these loads. These Monroe shock absorbers will give light duty truck owners that often carry loads in their beds or tow trailers behind them the most control and handling ability that is possible.
These shocks give a truck the ability to haul an additional 1,100 pounds of weight without compromising the control or the smoothness of the ride. As your truck travels over the road the shocks deflect and absorb the vibrations caused by bumps and road variations so that you are comfortable and your steering wheel is not bumped in either direction.
They are able to do this because they have full displaced valving installed that automatically adjusts to any variations in the road surface. They also have special modifiers in the all-weather fluid inside them that creates a reduced amount of friction so that the rod reaction is smoother.
Choosing the Best Shocks for Truck: Things to be Considered
Whenever you are choosing the shock absorbers for your vehicle there are a few things you must consider to insure that you buy absorbers that will fit properly and perform accurately on your vehicle.
You must consider the size of the shock absorbers when they are compressed and when they are extended to determine if they will properly fit your vehicle. If they do not fit perfectly then they will not be able to do the job they are designed to do and they can even cause you to have a reduction in handling capabilities.
Twin Tube Absorbers
- Cost less than most shock absorbers
- They are a good option if you mostly drive on smooth highways and the occasional dirt road
- The fluid in these shock absorbers has a bad habit of getting mixed with air and this causes the fluid to foam and their performance abilities to be reduces
- They heat up easily especially when you drive at high speeds
- They have a smaller bore and less fluid
Mono-Tube Shock Absorbers
- They can be mounted upside down
- They run cooler than twin tubes because they have better heat dissipation
- They are stronger than twin tubes because they have a larger in diameter piston
- They have greater dampening precision
- They are better suited to people who frequently drive off-road surfaces
- They cost more than twin tubes
- Their system stacking creates reduced travel
Reservoir Shock Absorbers
- They dampen vibrations more consistently because during compression extra fluid is forced into the external reservoir
- They pose no risk of aeration
- They provide increased travel
- You can re-build them
- They provide more valving options
- They are more likely to leak because they have more fittings
- They often require special mounts to accommodate the reservoir
- They cost more than Mono-tube shocks do
Coilover shock absorbers
- They are often adjustable so you can adjust the ride height and increase their dampening abilities
- They are excellent when you are towing heavy loads because they give you more support
- They are generally re-buildable so even though they are more expensive you will likely be able to repair them when they begin to perform poorly
- They are more expensive than any other type of shock absorber
- They require custom mounting and substantial modifications to be done on the vehicle. These factors increase the cost of these shock absorbers.
If you are uncertain which shock absorbers to buy it is suggested that you speak to a mechanic that you trust and get their expert opinion.
The best truck shocks will help you to drive safely while you are hauling loads because they reduce the vibrations you receive from the variations in the road, and they also help to level your vehicle so it retains the precise distance it needs to be from the surface of the road. If your vehicle is weighed down by a load and it is closer to the road then you are likely to bottom out when you make turns or when you are backing up.
Check your shock absorbers for reaction and resistance at least once a year, or every time you have your tires changed.