The Pros and Cons of Lifting a Truck
The Pros and Cons of Lifting a Truck
Are you thinking about whether or not you want to lift your pickup truck? Or maybe you are considering buying one as your next vehicle. At Ultimate Rides, we’re experts when it comes to lifted suspension. That’s why we feel qualified to tell you about the pros and cons of lifting a truck.
Before we started, we’d like to be upfront and tell you that we’re an auto dealer that lifts and sells trucks, SUVs and cars. While it may seem like we may have a bias towards lifted trucks, we’ll put that preference aside to give you the straight truth on what you can expect.
At Ultimate Rides, we’re big on straightforward customer service. We don’t want any of our customers to buy something they’re not sure about. With that in mind, go ahead and use this guide to inform yourself on lift kits. We’ll begin by going over all the pros and cons of lifting a truck. After that, we’ll start getting into some of the other details that we think are worth learning. If you have any questions by the time you get to the end, feel free to reach out to our office over the phone. We’ll be happy to help you out with all the information you need.
Pro: Better Off-Road Performance
One of the main advantages you’ll get from lifting your truck is enhanced performance off-road. It is actually one of the chief reasons folks decide to go with this upgrade. Anyone who spends a lot of time traversing rough terrain will find this useful. That’s because lifting up your truck will allow you to avoid obstacles on the ground, and miss any potential dings or scratches along the way. You’ll also be able to avoid getting stuck in snow, sand, mud and more. Go with a larger set of wheels if you want a real performance upgrade, but more on that later!
Con: Less Fuel Efficiency
One of the more common disadvantages you’ll hear about lifted trucks is that they offer worse gas mileage. This is true, though it’s often exaggerated how much this will actually affect your wallet. While we wouldn’t go as far as to say the difference you’ll be spending at the pump is negligible, we will say that most drivers find the extra fuel costs to be worth the advantages of driving with a lift kit. The reason you’ll end up using more fuel is because the vehicle weighs more, and more energy is spent to push your larger tires especially. The larger you go, the more you can expect your fuel costs to increase.
Pro: An Aggressive Style
A great deal of drivers decide to lift their truck simply for the look. While that’s just one of the reasons, it is a major one. Most people can agree that a lift kit provides a more aggressive look and feel to a vehicle. You will be able to choose how high you want to go, so the difference in look is up to you. You could decide to go with a massive six-inch suspension lift, or keep things simple with a two-inch body lift. We’ll get more into the differences between those styles near the end of our list.
Pro: Safer Towing
When towing a heavy load in a truck with stock suspension, there’s always a slight chance you could bottom out your vehicle. If you lift your truck, there will be more room for your body to sag from towing before you get into a danger zone. On top of this, larger tires are also a big help during towing, helping you maintain more control over everything. We recommend speaking to a professional to find out how your new suspension setup will influence your truck’s maximum towing capacity.
Con: Raises the Truck’s Center of Gravity
Another thing that’s important to be aware of with lifted trucks is the difference in the center of gravity. Stock trucks will have a lower center of gravity, meaning they’re more difficult to tip. By lifting your truck’s body up, you are in turn raising the center of gravity. This means you’ll have to be more careful with regards to your speed when taking turns, especially on sharp turns. As long as you do that, you should have no other safety concerns to be aware of.
Pro: Larger Wheels and Tires
With the installation of a lift kit comes the ability to add new wheels and tires to your truck. There are many different custom options out there, and they’ll offer a variety of performance benefits and sleek looks. We encourage you to shop around carefully to decide what tires you want to go with. If you can find a set that suits your performance needs, you will feel a big difference when driving the truck.
Pro: Higher Point of View
Something else that you’ll notice once you’re behind the wheel of a lifted truck is that your vantage point is quite different. You’ll be anywhere from a couple of inches to half-a-foot higher or more. This can take some getting used to, but it can be a huge benefit once you do. It can make things safer, as you’ll be able to see over more of the vehicles around you. At the same time, you’ll have to be more careful when driving around things that are close up, as they can be more difficult to see.
Con: Difficult At-Home Installation
If you decide you want to attempt to install your lift kit at home, you may find varying degrees of success. The difficulty of installation can differ from kit to kit, with body kits almost always being easier to install than suspension lifts. Those who try this at home are encouraged to do their research before beginning. There are plenty of tutorial videos online that will walk you through the process. They can give you a better idea of whether this is a job you can accomplish or not, as well as what equipment you might need. If it’s your first time trying something like this, we recommend setting aside a whole afternoon, because you’re likely to run into some frustrations.
Pro: Better for Rough Roads and Pot Holes
Are you tired of your entire body shaking around as you drive over pot holes and rocky roads? A suspension lift setup will take care of those woes. Your truck will easily be able to handle these uneven situations without shifting around like you’re experiencing an earthquake. If you really want the best experience, make sure you get a set of performance shocks to go with your suspension upgrade. That will ensure a smooth ride all the way through.
Con: Difficult to Climb In and Out
The next entry on our list of pros and cons of lifting a truck may be a little obvious. However, we believe that it’s still worth mentioning. If you lift up your truck, you’re likely going to have a more difficult time climbing in and out. For those who are young and only go with a lift of a few inches, it may not be a noticeable issue. However, if you go any higher than that, or if you have any mobility issues, it’s likely going to be a problem. The solution is to install a set of running boards or side steps on your vehicle. This will make getting in and out no problem, and it also happens to be one of the services we offer here at Ultimate Rides!
Pro: Higher Value
While you’ll definitely be spending some money to upgrade your truck, you can look at it as a sort of investment. While there’s no way we can guarantee that you’ll make all of your money back as a profit when you sell your truck, it will undoubtedly help keep the value higher. Depending on the type of lift kit you install, the height, and even how well it was installed, you could see a different price on your truck. When you’re ready to sell, get in touch with Ultimate Rides and depending on the shape we may be willing to buy it from you!
Con: May Void Warranty
Altering the suspension of your vehicle in any way could void your vehicle’s warranty. We strongly suggest reading through the text of the warranty, as boring as it may be. You’ll be able to find out what is still covered, if anything. Most drivers still decide to go through with lifting their vehicle. However, it still pays off to know what your situation is. If your vehicle doesn’t have a warranty, or it’s no longer active, you have nothing to worry about. That means you can proceed worry-free!
Lifting Your Truck: What You Should Know
So now you’ve heard our pros and cons of lifting a truck. If you decide to go on and lift your vehicle, or buy a lifted truck, there are some things you should be aware of. Below we’ll tell you about the differences between the two main types of kits, and then talk about the advantages of professional installation versus home installation. You will learn what it takes to maintain your lift kit moving forward (hint: it’s not much more than you’d normally have to do), and we’ll wrap up by telling you more about Ultimate Rides.
Body Lift vs. Suspension Lift
There are two primary kinds of lift options you’ll find. The cheaper and shorter variety is the body lift kit, while suspension lifts can get quite expensive but are always higher quality. Body kits can only lift your vehicle by up to about three inches. This is because they aren’t actually altering your suspension, but simply lifting the body up. Drivers of these lift kits may notice a difference in their truck’s handling, but it shouldn’t be too much of a difference. Suspension lifts, on the other hand, can be pricey but offer the best drive quality. They’ll also be able to go up to six inches or even more.
At-Home Installation vs. Professional Installation
This is a choice that perplexes many drivers. Once you’ve decided you want to lift your truck, should you attempt installation at home or go with the professionals? As a dealership that offers lift installation, we obviously have a bias. However, we know that some folks are bent on taking care of installation themselves. We can respect that, but we encourage you to be aware of what you’re getting into. Unless you are an experienced at-home mechanic, you’re going to want to do plenty of research on the kit you’re buying. Some kits are beginner-friendly, and should just take a few hours of your time. Other times, particularly with suspension lift kits, you’ll need serious equipment and multiple hands. Take your time and figure out a plan of action no matter what you decide.
Lift Kit Maintenance and Care
Taking care of your lifted truck shouldn’t be too different from a stock vehicle. The main thing to be aware of is that you will need a steering alignment after making any change to your body or suspension. If you have your installation done with professionals, there is a good chance they’ll take care of this at the same time, but it’s worth checking with them to make sure. Once you get the vehicle in your possession and start driving it, keep an eye out for any unusual signs. If anything feels off, bring it to the mechanics who installed it, tell them what you’ve noticed and let one of them drive it. If you did the job yourself, it sounds like it may be time to finally get some assistance. However, this should be a rare occurrence. Most drivers won’t have to worry about any other ongoing maintenance.
Ultimate Rides Can Help With All Your Vehicle Needs
If you have read through all of this and decide you’d like to drive a lifted truck, we’re here to help. Ultimate Rides is located about an hour south of Chicago, and anyone is able to bring their vehicle in to us for an upgrade. Along with that, we also sell custom trucks, SUVs and cars. We deliver those vehicles anywhere across the United States, and you’ll have a chance to fully customize the vehicle before we send it to you. For more information on how all of this works, you can give us a call at 815-634-3900. If you’re ever in the area, we encourage you to come and see us at 38 W. Division St., Coal City, IL 60416. Our friendly team is here to help you find exactly the vehicle you want.
Two Brothers With a Dream, Building The Best Ultimate Rides
Ultimate Rides consists of two brothers who have been buying and selling vehicles for over ten years. Selling lifted trucks by day and writing these awesome reviews by night! They started their Ultimate Rides journey with a third brother Jake, who was a big part of building the business they have today. In 2016 Jake passed away and losing their brother was the hardest thing they ever had to deal with. Even though they had a tragic loss they plan to continue to set a new trend for the auto industry, keeping customers number one. Pushing the envelope on the lifted truck market, these guys love researching and learning about everything in the auto industry!
— Nick and Alex Bulanda, Founders of Ultimate Rides