Truck wheel alignment is an important part of truck maintenance. With the constant load that trucks carry on a daily basis, a lot of pressure is placed on the tires to remain straight and stable during truck operation. If the tires are not regularly aligned, they can experience uneven wear on the treading, or the truck can pull in one direction during operation.
During truck wheel alignment, the angles of the tires are adjusted such that they meet properly with the road. The goal is to have all the tires parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road surface. Therefore, contrary to what most people expect, wheel alignment doesn't actually involve physically adjusting the wheels and tires themselves. It actually involves adjusting the suspension of the vehicle in a manner that allows for the tires to be in proper alignment with the rest of the truck.
When you take your truck for servicing, the technician will look out for 3 main factors while performing the alignment.
The camber is the degree of inward and outward tilt to the wheels of the truck. When the wheels are tilting inwards (positive camber) or tilting outwards (negative camber), they tend to fall out of proper alignment with the rest of the vehicle, and they will need to be adjusted.
A truck's wheels may tilt inwards or outwards due to worn-out bearings or ball joints.
Wheel toe refers to how much the wheels turn inwards or outwards when you view the vehicle from above. The tires should be properly aligned such that they lay perfectly parallel with the rest of the vehicle.
During truck wheel alignment, the technician will check for the extent of wheel toe and carry out the necessary suspension adjustments. This prevents the truck from veering in one direction while on the road, especially when carrying heavy loads.
Wheel caster is directly related to the steering ability of the vehicle. Caster refers to the extent that the steering axis of the vehicle tilts away from the centerline (where it's supposed to be). The technician will check for positive caster (an inward tilt towards the driver) or negative caster (an outward tilt towards the front of the vehicle). The caster needs to be in proper parallel alignment with the center of the truck.
Talk to your local mechanic to get a quote for each of the services.