Is a Lifted Truck Worth it? The Pros and Cons
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Lifted trucks have become a huge trend, both for their aesthetics and practicality. While they certainly come with a lot of benefits, you may wonder if lifted trucks are good in the snow.
Lifted trucks are better equipped to handle harsh weather including snow, ice, rain, and flooding. Due to their higher ground clearance, lifted trucks have better control, direction, and handling. In addition, the driver has an improved view of the road.
A lifted truck can tackle snow and other harsh road conditions, but they can also do so much more. Let’s explore the other benefits these trucks provide in addition to better handling on rough roads.
What Exactly is a “Lifted Truck”?
Before we get into anything else, let’s quickly clarify what we’re talking about when we say “lifted truck”. This description refers to trucks whose suspension has been modified to accommodate larger tires. Completing this upgrade on your truck will raise your vehicle, giving it height. Lifting the body is one of the most common upgrades to see on trucks.
Benefits of a Lifted Truck
Lifting your truck requires an investment of both time and money, so you may be rethinking your decision. However, there are a lot of benefits to consider, so don’t write this off just yet!
Fresh New Appearance
Lots of truck owners love their trucks! You want a big, powerful vehicle for all your driving and towing needs. What better way to achieve that is there than to lift your truck? For many, simply the benefit of a powerful appearance is enough for them to lift their truck. The aesthetics alone could be a persuasion point for you.
If you need more evidence, consider the tire size! This one could be sub-categorized under appearance, but having big tires on your truck has so many added benefits aside from looking good. Larger tires give you improved traction and ground contact. Larger tires also allow the driver to have a better level of control over their vehicle. This combination is great when you’re dealing with harsh weather.
A huge benefit of having a lifted truck is the ability to go off-roading. With a higher, stronger suspension on your truck, you will be able to handle trails better than you would with non-lifted vehicles. Having those massive tires also allows you to easily roll over rocks, shrubs, and uneven ground. This allows you to have a more adventurous experience in your giant truck!
Safer Driving in All Conditions
When you install a suspension lift kit, your truck will have a higher center of gravity, which makes it easier to maneuver. Elevated suspension and big tires create a higher ground clearance. This combination means that lifted trucks are better equipped to handle all kinds of road conditions. This includes harsh weather and off-roading. With the added height that the lift adds to the truck, the driver has a higher view of the road and surroundings, which aids in safe driving.
Improved Resale Value
Lifted trucks have become quite trendy, which means if you decide to sell your truck, it will have an improved resale value. There will never be a decline of truck lovers who crave a big, strong truck. You will be able to sell your vehicle much faster and for more money than one which was not previously lifted. Consider it an investment!
Towing and Hauling
Because of the added room for the suspension, your towing and hauling capacity can be improved with a lifted truck. The larger surface area of the big tires will also help your truck have more control while towing and hauling heavy loads. Having a lifted truck allows more room for the suspension to settle before bottoming out under the load.
Due to the larger tires and the lifting process, your vehicle is now significantly taller than it previously was. This creates a noticeable difference in visibility while driving. This is very beneficial of course when you’re off-roading driving through harsh weather conditions.
This can also have in a more practical use when you are stuck in traffic. Rather than attempting to find the culprit of the traffic jam or struggle to spot an opening, you can easily look right over the top of the road occupants.
Cons of a Lifted Truck
Although lifted trucks come with a lot of benefits and new features, they also have a few downsides. So before you spend money on this procedure, let’s address a few potential hazards or consequences that come from lifting your truck.
While the overall control of the vehicle has been enhanced with the raised suspension and larger tires, there is a greater risk for rolling over. Because your vehicle is now significantly taller, the center of gravity has also risen. This is very noticeable when you’re making tight corners.
You will have to drive at a slower speed in order to remain stable and well-grounded. This consequence is only really noticeable during turns, but it may be important to consider this consequence in potential emergency situations.
Once you lift it, the cost of fueling your truck may dramatically increase. This is due to the greater amount of energy needed to roll the larger tires, as well as the overall increased weight of the vehicle. Your truck is now a lot taller, which creates a larger aerodynamic drag.
When calculating the cost of the upgrade, you should factor in the additional fuel cost that’s needed to run your taller vehicle.
Most new trucks will come with a warranty. This covers the cost of repairs or damages that occur within a certain period of time, as long as the truck is kept in good condition. However, in many cases, lifting a truck can invalidate the warranty.
This is a consequence that many people overlook. Since you are significantly changing the structure of your truck, there is a high probability your warranty will be voided. This is less of an issue for older trucks, but the owners of new trucks may want to consider their warranty before they decide to lift their truck.
How Can You Lift Your Truck?
When you’re looking into lifting your truck, there are few different options that you can choose from. Depending on your truck and your own personal experience and comfort with working on cars, you can choose which option is best.
Lift kits can raise the whole body of the truck by 2-12 inches, depending on how high you need it for your tire size. Ordering and placing a lift kit on your truck is the cheapest option because it’s all on you.
When you order your lift kit, it is important to do research on your specific truck to find what parts you need and what parts you may not need. One of the biggest mistakes that happen when ordering lift kits is ordering the wrong parts. So do your research before you purchase anything!
While completing your research about the lift kit, consider asking yourself these questions to determine which kit is best for you:
- What is your truck currently being used for and what do you plan on using it for?
- What size and type of tires would you like to use?
- What is your budget for your new lift truck?
Cost of lift kits:
- Small lift kits which will raise the body of your truck 2 inches costs $400 to $1200
- Large lift kits which will raise the body of your truck 6 inches or higher costs $1100 to $1400
When installing lift kits on your own, it is important to know which tools you will need, aside from the lift kit itself. Before beginning any renovations, make sure you have these tools on hand:
- Vehicle jacks and jack stands
- Socket wrench
- Lug wrench
- Torque wrench
The last thing to know going into this renovation is the time commitment that you are getting yourself into. Trained and certified service technicians can take anywhere between 7 and 15 hours to install a new kit. Even for an experienced home mechanic, this will likely take you twice as long to complete at home. Those with much experience may be able to complete this in a weekend. Those who are not very familiar with suspension systems should not attempt this process at all.
Hiring a Professional to do the Job
If you do not feel comfortable completing this project on your own, it is best to go into an auto shop to have it professionally lifted. This option is more expensive than completing the upgrade on your own but is safer and faster. You should do your own research on the best places to have this done on your truck, as well as an option that fits within your price range.
The cost to install a lift kit all depends on which shop you choose and the make and model of your truck. The general installation fee is around the same price as the kit itself.
If you purchase a relatively inexpensive lifting kit for a couple of hundred dollars, installing the lift kit will cost around $400 as well. If you purchase a larger lifting kit for several thousand dollars, the installation of the kit could easily cost $1500 or more. This is not including any additional costs which may arise as the mechanic is working on the installation, such as realigning the wheels, adjusting the shocks, etc.
When deciding between installing the lift kit on your own or having a professional install it, it all comes down to your level of knowledge and comfort, as well as your price range. It will take a while to it on your own, but it will save you upwards of $1500. Make sure you weigh all the pros and cons before you spend any money.