Skateboarding has been around for several years, with some countries considering it a sport. It grew more recently in popularity, making it important to understand.
The truck is one of the vital parts of a skateboard. Manufacturers usually use metal when producing it. If you are new to the sport, we think understanding the basics will go a long way. Else, you may want to stick around in case you missed to know something.
This guide should take you to everything to know about trucks, which includes the differences in brands and measurements in particular. Why is this important? So the next time you come looking for replacement parts, you know what you are looking for.
What are trucks on a skateboard?
If you recently learned about the sport, you might ask, “what are trucks?” The first thing you should know is it should fit the deck. They are available in high, mid, and low. We will discuss it in detail below. We use the American unit of measurement inches when taking truck sizes. For conversion, 1 Zoll = 1 inch, which translates to 2.54 centimeters. However, some manufacturers use the metric system to measure, such as Thunder and Independent.
Most skateboard trucks have:
- a hanger
- base plate
- kingpin nut
- and bushings.
The part where the wheels are attached is the skateboard axles, while the washers you can find in it are named speed rings. Without the speed rings, your bearings will rub against the axle nut or hanger. The speed rings also help in cleaning.
The following are the parts of a truck.
We also refer to the baseplate as the foundation or base layer of the truck. We mount it to the skateboard and use four bolts to secure it. The pivot cup and the kingpin are other parts you can find in the baseplate.
The kingpin bolt connects the baseplate and hanger. You will find the interchangeable kingpin nut on top of the kingpin. Some manufacturers use a hollow kingpin, which has significantly less weight than a regular kingpin. Several replacement parts are available in-store and online.
The hanger is the next main component of your truck from the base plate. The pivot is the part you find at the hanger’s bottom that sits in the baseplate’s pivot cup. Moreover, the hanger connects the bushings and kingpin with the baseplate. This part gets most of the grind.
You will notice skateboards can turn to the left or right. The bushings part is responsible for controlling such behavior. It uses polyurethane as the material.
You can find the bushings between the hanger and the baseplate. They are available in a different firmness, which you can quickly swap using a skate tool. Why are they available in varying degrees of firmness? Some users prefer turning with more sensitivity, while others prefer less sensitivity.
The axle is a continuous bar that goes through the hanger. Manufacturers usually use steel or titanium because of their durability. The bearings and the wheels mount to the axle’s visible ends. A thread wraps around the axle, serving as a protection layer.
The wheels mount the axle secured by the axle nuts. Several replacement parts are available in the market should you need them.
The washers are metal discs you will find below and above the bushings. It brings the board back to its starting position after turning right or left. The washers also ensure the force has even distribution throughout the board. However, not all bushings need a washer because some have a plastic layer acting as the washer.
The speedrings are smaller washers. It has a similar size to the bearings’ core, which you can find between the hangers and bearings.
You can also find the same between axle nuts and bearings.
When Should You Replace Your Skateboard Trucks?
The most important part is the skateboard trucks. Many skateboarders claim different brands offer different quality levels. This section should help you decide if it is time to replace them or not.
The most important question is, “When should I replace them?” We recommend a replacement if any of the following happens:
- A warping happens
- Bent axles
- Small cracks
- Damage to the baseplate
Other parts are replaceable, such as:
- the washers
- and pivot cups.
Several professional skaters dislike having a new set, so they often ride it off until it becomes unusable. It is expensive to replace, but high-quality ones are durable and take a long time to break.
Make sure to check your skateboard regularly for any possible causes of injury. Missing work or being unable to skate for several months will cost you more in the long run than replacement parts.
Visible cracks or signs of breaking
If you think there are visible cracks or parts soon to break, we recommend replacing these as quickly as possible. It is due for replacement if you notice:
- cracks in the hanger or baseplate
- damaged bushings
- and warped kingpins and axles.
Broken or warped components will cause a wobble, which could become the cause of an accident. It will make your experience terrible and will not run as smoothly as it should.
Riding anything that is not 100% okay is a risk. Never use trucks if they are not okay. It goes the same for bearings, wheels, deck, and hardware.
When they no longer work the way they should
Are there issues when turning? Does your ride feel rougher than it used to feel? Does it wobble more than before? Are you having problems balancing? Suppose you did not make any adjustments before encountering these issues. In that case, these are signs your components are no longer working correctly. As a result, it is due for replacement.
Damage is not always physically present, but you will feel it. If you think there is an issue with your unit, you may need to contact the nearest shop. These shops have several experiences with these issues, so consulting them is beneficial.
Sometimes, the issue is within the components. It is not always visible at first glance. If you take it apart, you may notice cracks in the baseplate or worn-off bushings.
Replace non-branded trucks
Non-branded or generic is usually not good. These come from unreliable factories, which may not produce high-quality parts. To some extent, it is difficult to tell their reliability and durability. These parts may also break sooner.
Generic parts are cheaper but come with lower quality. It may last if you do not intend to skate transition, ollie, or hop curbs. Otherwise, we recommend purchasing a branded one. Beginners may also opt for generic or cheaper brands to start. Once you progress well in skateboarding and learn more complex tricks, it is time to get yourself quality parts.
Some reputable manufacturers in the market are the following:
These brands have a proven reputation for providing quality products.
Replace trucks if you want something different
The selection of trucks is overwhelming because of several makers and models in the market. These are available in different sizes, styles, colors, and shapes. It confuses most customers.
Pick trucks should fit your board. Transition skaters prefer high trucks, whereas technical street skaters opt for mid to low trucks. Comfortability plays a vital role in choosing. Aside from getting the correct fit, consider it too.
You may want to try out the skateboard before purchasing or deciding to change anything. Ask your friends if you could try out their board for a few minutes.
Types of skateboard trucks
These trucks are available in two types. These are kingpins and reverse kingpins.
The standard kingpin is the most flexible type available for skateboarding. You can adjust it by loosening or tightening it, which changes your board’s turning sensitivity according to your preferences.
The reverse kingpin’s best use cases are for cruising, carving, and skating downhill. This type is longer and taller than the standard type but is more customizable to suit different riding styles.
Skateboarding truck brands
Several manufacturers sell trucks to people who need them. No one style fits everyone because it depends on your skateboarding style. These can be all-around or specialize in skateparks, bowls, or streets.
Independent sells durable but heavy parts with the exception of the Titanium and Stage 11 Hollow series. Their parts are excellent for both transitions and street skateboarding. They also have a fantastic turn.
However, not everyone likes the bushings that come with it out of the box. Some do not have issues with it, while others think it takes time to break in.
The metal that Independent uses feel softer, making it easier to grind. They are also high, with the Hollows and standard series at 55mm and the Forged, Tensor, and Venture, at 53.5mm.
They sell it in varying sizes, which you can check on the manufacturer’s website. The width ranges from 6.2 inches to 10 inches.
Founded in 1986, Thunder is one of the most renowned brands in the market. The brand is one of the favorites of several skateboarders because of its durability, grinding ability, and responsiveness to turns. It will last many years, so paying a premium price should be worth it.
We recommend Thunder if you like grinding and doing flip tricks. It performs well on the street, and it skates parks. They are also versatile. Thunder also offers a quick break in bushings. Their deck widths start from 7.4 inches.
Venture manufacturers are the most stable trucks you will find in the market. It is most noticeable when transitioning. Their high models are best for:
- the mini ramp
- and pool.
It’s while the low models are excellent for the street.
They have less sensitivity to turns than Independent but help you achieve more balance. We recommend Venture to most beginners.
The bushings you will find in Venture will break in as fast as 30 minutes. They provide a great pop and have snappy trucks.
Rodney Mullen owns Tensor, a reputable company famous for its ultra-lightweight trucks. You will find the benefit around the shins not hitting often. It also allows you to ollie higher, which benefits some skaters.
The baseplate’s geometry makes slides and grinding more achievable. Tensor products have a low clearance, becoming a problem with bigger wheels. Tensor wears out fast, which you should avoid if you want to refrain from switching components often.
The following are the key points worth considering:
- Ultra-lightweight design
- They are not the most durable
- Low kingpin
- Excellent for tricks and grinding, but not so much with the transition
- Lifetime guarantee against defects
Looking at their design makes you want to skate them. You could consider it a small company offering only sizes 8, 8.25, and 8.5. The bushings with washers take time to break in because they are very hard.
Here is a detailed steps list of how to take your truck’s measurement. Ensuring the correct size goes a long way, so accurate measurements are important.
How to measure skateboard trucks?
- Get a measuring tape, a ruler, or any measuring device.
You need this device to take accurate measurements. Any tool that can accurately measure length will work fine.
- Measure the skateboard’s length.
Begin by measuring the truck’s length using your measuring device. A lightweight 5.0 truck would be around 7.5 inches.
- Flip the skateboard and deck the truck.
Lay them side by side to determine if the truck will fit the deck’s width. Center it to get an accurate measurement. It should not be too wide or narrow.
- Attach the wheels on the truck.
Check if the wheels are too narrow or wide. The best way to do it is viewing from above. The truck may be too wide if you see the wheels.
- Know the truck’s height.
The truck’s width determines its ideal height. It classifies into low, medium, and high. You can flip a low more easily than a high.
- Take the measurements of the other truck.
Both should have the same length and specifications. What happens if they are not? It will create an imbalance, which could lead to an accident.
Skateboard truck size charts
The tables below show different truck sizes for each deck size. There is no standard truck length because it varies per brand.
For example, a deck size ranging from 7.4 to 7.8 inches may have a 129 mm truck size from Independent but a 145 mm truck size from Thunder.
On the other hand, a deck ranging from 8.4 to 8.6 inches may have a 5.8 inches truck size from Venture but a 5.75 truck size from Krux.
When you’ve figured out the one you need, find it through the link below.
|Truck Size Guide|
|Smallest Deck Size:||Widest Deck Size:||Hanger Length||Axle Length||Independent||Thunder||Venture|
|Truck Size Guide|
|Smallest Deck Size:||Widest Deck Size:||Hanger Length||Axle Length||Tensor||ACE||Bullet|
|Truck Size Guide|
|Smallest Deck Size:||Widest Deck Size:||Hanger Length||Axle Length||Royal||Krux||Theeve|
The following are the frequently asked questions for skateboard trucks.
The bushings and kingpin should face each other inward. The screws should attach to the nuts to hold everything loosely in place.
The following are our suggestions.
– 7.75 – 7.6, 7.75, and 8.0 inches
– 8.0 – 7.75, 8.0, 8.125, and 8.25
The following are our truck suggestions for an 8.125 and 8.25 deck.
8.125 – 8.0, 8.125, and 8.25
8.25 – 8.0, 8.125, 8.25, and 8.5
8.38 and 8.5 decks should use the following truck sizes.
– 8.38 – 8.125, 8.25, and 8.5
– 8.5 – 8.25, 8.5, and 8.75