Sparesbox Blog

How to Choose Your Perfect 4×4 Lift Kit: Commercial Use

By Brad Nash

Tue Jul 14 2015

Many modern 4×4’s are made to be just as much for family use as they are for towing or carrying heavy loads. This means that a sacrifice has been made on towing capacity and load-carrying in the name of ride comfort, leaving your 4×4 without the means to effectively haul like it should. Thankfully, many lift kit manufacturers have seen this, and made just the product to give you back some power over the loads you want to haul.

 

The Tougher Choice

Commercial 4×4 lift kits are made tough. This means everything is beefed up, stiffened up, and can cope with the most extreme pressures that come with either carrying huge amounts of weight or towing objects far beyond the family caravan. When a significant amount of weight is placed on the rear of a vehicle, the nature of the suspension means it dips to cope with the load and stop the entire car from collapsing in on itself. If you’re running a conventional suspension system, it’s often too soft and unable to cope with the massive pressure, meaning you lose a huge amount of performance and responsiveness from your handling, and your suspension geometry suffers when going around corners.

Commercial
Image: Formula 4×4
 

A commercial 4wd lift kit is designed specifically to counter this. The springs have less travel on them, meaning they compress less under heavy load. The shock absorbers have a much higher resistance to the increased weight, meaning you keep the level ride height and your handling isn’t affected. Suspension geometry is crucial, and the stronger bushes from SuperPro help to maintain the integrity of your suspension system under a heavy load. Less pressure is also placed on the wheels, meaning the power reaches the wheels far more smoothly, and the life of your tyres increases.

 

The Trade-Off

It should probably be pointed out that heavy-duty 4wd lift kits should only be really recommended for that very purpose. Firmer springs mean a firmer ride, every time. There’s no way around it, and that means that unless you really need it, a heavy load lift kit might not be the best choice for you. Many manufacturers offer a comfort-oriented range which offer a bridging gap between the harsh ride of a heavy duty kit, and the softer ride of an every day lift kit that serves a mainly cosmetic purpose. If you’re only towing every now and then, in time your back will thank you for choosing a compromise. Either a performance or enhancement-oriented 4×4 lift kit will do the job for this purpose, and for smaller loads an airbag suspension system is probably a more viable alternative. If you’re towing lots, try a combination of a performance lift kit and airbags added on.

 

If it sounds like you need a better balance between ride comfort and lift, check out our piece on performance-oriented kits. If you’re not sure about quite how lift kits work, click here to take a look at everything that forms them.