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Old 27th July 2012, 12:51   #1
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Default Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

Hi all,

have been noticing a strange trend among commercial vehicle owners here in Rajasthan since a while. not sure if it is followed elsewhere or not.

If you look closely, you'll notice many commercial vehicles have disconnected the dampers of the rear axles. the damper's lower eye is removed from the axle and is left hanging by the upper mount on the chassis only.Its been more than a year since i started noticing this, and thought its just a one off case where maybe the nuts fell off due to lack of maintenance.

but as time passed, i saw more and more : tata 207s, 407s, mahindra pickups, even the 3 wheeled load carriers. and this morning, saw an ashok leyland dost carrying medical oxygen cylinders with the dampers disconnected.

never got a chance to ask the logic behind this from the owners of such vehicles. although i suspect this has got something to do with overloading.

any explanations?
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Old 27th July 2012, 12:58   #2
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

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Originally Posted by dhawcash View Post

never got a chance to ask the logic behind this from the owners of such vehicles. although i suspect this has got something to do with overloading.
You are right. Most CV owners will increase the number of leaves on the rear leaf spring to over load their vehicles. However the max length of a damper is only so much. With the increased height between the axle and the chassis frame, the dampers cannot be used. However they leave it hanging as they would need to put them back for the annual clearance at RTO that is necessitated by law.

Cheers
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Old 27th July 2012, 13:15   #3
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

It could also be a cost saving measure where it helps them avoid spending on these. These are CV's and mostly do not need a smoother ride as much as maximize the load carried.

Nothing strange, but pretty much a regular practice amongst most CV owners /operators around teh country ?

Last edited by condor : 27th July 2012 at 13:16.
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Old 27th July 2012, 13:17   #4
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

It is a cost cutting measure. Most buses keep them on as long as they are functional (which is not more than 3 months due to overloading and heavy bodies) and then disconnect them and leave them hanging. Trucks do it to accommodate the extra leaves that they add to the stack.
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Old 27th July 2012, 13:30   #5
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

Even BMTC used to do this on its legacy busses. Those busses which had One door at front and back at the ends , usually TATA make! BMTC's are more overloaded than any other commercial vehicles during peak hours and would have tilted towards the left side. I wonder how those poor tyres take so much load without bursting.
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Old 27th July 2012, 15:49   #6
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

I also find the majority of HCVs in UP with the dampers removed or dangling. So the disease is more widespread that Rajasthan.
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Old 27th July 2012, 17:35   #7
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

I have seen this kind of removal of the dampers on smaller buses and minivans. Always used to this that how cheap and ignorant an operator would become to ignore that hanging dampers. After all it was a just a screw to be fit in. Used to make me think "How hard can it be?!"

After reading this thread I came to know the reason behind firing those dampers.
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Old 27th July 2012, 18:05   #8
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Default re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

Another case of illegal modifications to vehicles which render them dangerous, but the RTO seems ignorant, as usual.
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Old 27th July 2012, 18:51   #9
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

This is India pal, OVERLOADING is the keyword for most of these LCV's .How often would the owners of these vehicles go about replacing the dampeners ? Simple and easy way out is as mentioned by milecruncher.Add a few extra leaves to the leaf spring and drive on with as much as load you want.
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Old 27th July 2012, 20:20   #10
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

India is a country of 'Jugaad'. No one values safety here, but convenience and cheap means to carry on daily routine.

Yes, I have seen it left hanging on many trucks and tempos in Mumbai too. but what amazes me is how the buses can afford to do so ? I mean does anyone even think of the term 'ride quality' ?
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Old 27th July 2012, 20:25   #11
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

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This is India pal, OVERLOADING is the keyword for most of these LCV's .
Once I was at granite shop where they were offloading stones from the truck. The guy over there said the capacity of the truck is 8 Tons and he was carrying 18 Tons of load. Unless they overload they can not make any profit going by the current rate of transport. He said overloading is the reason why most of the trucks travel at night otherwise they will overheat very soon.
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Old 27th July 2012, 22:31   #12
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

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He said overloading is the reason why most of the trucks travel at night otherwise they will overheat very soon.
That is an interesting insight. Never knew this factor could be one of the reasons.

The other reason of course is the overloading is less visible in the night.
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Old 28th July 2012, 12:13   #13
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

According to NHAI officials one of the most important reasons for Indian Roads geting potholes very soon, is overloading by commercial vehicles, which result in undue stress of the road surface.
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Old 28th July 2012, 12:21   #14
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

I too had been noticing this on the goods and people carrying commercial vehicles plying on our Kerala roads. Never thought much about it but now i know why. Thanks for this thread!
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Old 28th July 2012, 17:11   #15
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Default Re: Why do so many Commercial Vehicles disconnect their rear dampers?

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According to NHAI officials one of the most important reasons for Indian Roads geting potholes very soon, is overloading by commercial vehicles, which result in undue stress of the road surface.
makes one think about the indirect dangers of overloading. if it can put pimples on national highways, what about the safety of structures like bridges and flyovers which are designed for the designated loads only? no wonder such antics would reduce such structure's service life and increase maintenance costs.
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