When you drive a truck, you need to have one of the best shocks for trucks so that you can have a smooth ride without all the shaking and bouncing. While most trucks will have a built-in shock absorber, these would eventually wear out. When they do, it’s best if you replace it with a better one so that the shock absorber can last longer, allowing you to have a hassle-free ride.
So, which shock absorbers are considered the best shocks for trucks? If you’re not familiar with choosing shock absorbers, then this guide will be a big help for you. We’ve compiled 10 of the best shocks for trucks that you can choose from plus a buying guide and a few FAQs. This complete guide will help you determine the most suitable shocks for your own truck.
Top 10 Best Shocks For Trucks Reviews
01. Bilstein 5100 Shock Absorber- Best replacement shock absorber
The Bilstein 5100 is one of the best replacement shock absorbers that you can find in the market. It is a great product for smooth roads and some rough terrain. It is known for giving you a really smooth ride all the way. Aside from quality, it is also very simple to install.
It doesn’t need much modification to it, so handling it is pretty simple. If there is one word that we can use in order to describe this product, it would definitely be “reliable.” If ever your existing shock absorber is worn out, then consider replacing it with this product.
02. Bilstein 24-185776 BE56681H8- Best lightweight Bilstein supplement
This is a great supplement to the Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers or pretty much any other Bilstein shock absorbers. This is a monotube gas shock absorber that is good for long trips and smooth to slightly rough roads, so you’re sure that you can take your truck on any long trips.
It’s also pretty ideal for dirt highway roads that you would usually pass by when you go on road trips, allowing you to have a hassle-free time as you drive on the bumpy terrain. A lot of customers love this shock absorber because they claim that it prevents the tires from jumping whenever they hit a bump.
So you’re sure that your driving moments on the road is smooth-sailing as this shock absorber is one of the most reliable Bilstein supplement in the market at the moment. They’re also pretty lightweight and easy to handle.
03. Monroe 911533 Reflex Shock Absorber- Best vehicle control provider
If you experience frequent swaying and romping when driving your truck, especially when you’re driving fast, then this is one of the best choices for you. This nitrogen gas charged shock absorber has a plethora of cool features that allow you to get extreme cruise control.
So that you’ll have a very smooth ride no matter what terrain you are in. First of all, it has a patented feature known as the hydraulic lockout feature, which takes impacts really well, allowing you to hit bumps without feeling anything. Other than that, it also has an all-weather fluid feature that decreases the amount of friction at the rod reaction level, further contributing to a smooth ride.
04. Bilstein Front Shock Absorber- Best shock absorber for coilover suspensions
This shock absorber is great for SUVs that have coilover suspensions. Now, these shocks are made out of zinc plates, and they are designed to elevate the height of your truck so that it can be perfectly leveled at the right height.
So, when you apply this shock absorber, you can expect that the height at the front and rear rides become more balanced. To be specific, it would provide a 2.75-inch elevation at the front end lift. Aside from just SUVs, this one is also good for those lightweight trucks that are not as sturdy as the more robust ones.
05. Gabriel Hijackers Air Shocks- Best adjustable air shock absorbers
The Gabriel Hijackers Air Shocks are some of the best shock absorbers for towing pretty heavy loads. So, if your truck is carrying something like a boat or even pulling trailers, then you’ll need this shock absorber to make sure that you have a rather smooth ride.
Aside from just its ability to pull heavy loads, this product is also one of the more durable ones on this list. In fact, it has a leak-proof piston seal, allowing it to last long without the oil coming out.
Another testament to its durability would be its finish. This shock absorber actually has a chromed finish piston rod. Due to this, the shock absorber is resistant to corrosion and rust.
06. Bilstein Silverado Shock Absorber- Most stable shock absorber
When you install this on to your truck, the first thing that you’ll notice would be how stable your truck movement will be. This is especially great for trucks that often shake at the back whenever they would hit a hole. With this shock absorber, you can get the stability that you’ve always wanted for a smooth ride.
Aside from stability, this one is also not very stiff – even when you first install it. While it is pretty normal for the shock absorber to feel stiff during the first few weeks of use, this one doesn’t give the stiff feeling. You’ll feel extremely comfortable with this shock absorber the moment you install it.
07. Monroe Magnum Gas Shock Absorber- Best soft ride provider
If you are looking for a softer and more relaxing ride, then this one is the recommended shock absorber for you. This gas shock absorber is great for bumpy roads and for elevated roads that require you to rev up a bit. With this product, you won’t really feel the bumps or the holes on rough terrain.
That’s mainly because of its 2-inch reserve tube that contains reserve fluid for better performance. It is a great replacement shock absorber to the standard factory shock absorbers as it is a slight upgrade. It also lasts much longer than the average standard shock absorber.
Just to give you an idea, it is made out of heavy duty nitro carburized material, making it pretty durable in the long run. It is also corrosion resistant, so it’s much more long-lasting.
08. AC Delco Specialty Assisted Shock Absorber- Best coil spring shock absorber
The dual function of this spring shock absorber makes it one of the more popular ones among truck owners. It can actually make your overall ride more stable and can keep your ride height in place at the same time. This is because of the front coil springs that can be found on them.
Aside from just the front coils, the rear coils also have a great function of their own. The rear coils enable the shock absorber to take weight without making the truck bounce too much.
In fact, it can enable the truck to take 500 pounds of load per pair, which is pretty good if you’re towing a small boat or other things needed for a camping trip. It also doesn’t wear out pretty easily because of its super chromed finish applied on the body, making it last longer than the average shock absorber.
09. KYB Monomax Gas Shock Absorber- Most durable monotube shock absorber
This is a great shock absorber for rough conditions and for off-road trips because of its durable built, rubber shaft protection, and overall great performance. Starting with the performance, this product allows your truck 40% higher efficiency than most of the factory shocks, making it very valuable to the average truck owner.
However, what’s very impressive about it would be its design. It was made to be durable because of its zinc coating and stainless steel built. The material used allows it to prevent corrosion and rust while withstanding rough road types. It also comes with a rubber shaft protection so that the dirt will not go into the seal.
10. Monroe Max-Air Shock Absorber- Best friction reducer
If you take a look at this shock absorber, the first thing that you’d probably notice would be the design. It has a white color scheme with a rather futuristic look, making it one of the best-looking shock absorbers in the list. However, this product isn’t just about the looks.
It is known to be one of the best in reducing ground friction, enabling you a very smooth ride. The all-weather fluid modifier allows it to be able to decrease the friction. Aside from just that, it is also known for its long-lasting piston rod that offers optimal performance. Finally, it is one of the easiest shock absorbers to install on this list, making it a popular choice among first-time buyers.
Buying Guide Shocks For Trucks
Even if we’ve listed the 10 best shocks for trucks, you only will need one of these products for your truck. So, how will you choose out of the 10 picks that we’ve listed above? Well, you need to find out which one has the features that suit your own individual needs.
The best way to do that would be to have some criteria that you can follow. For this reason, we’ve included a list that you use as your guide, so you can zero in on the shock absorber that you yourself need. You can follow this buying guide to help you out:
The first thing that you have to take into consideration would be the type of shock absorber that you will choose. There are 5 very common types that you can choose from with each having their own respective advantages and disadvantages.
The first type is the standard shock, which is the one that most vehicles have built in. They have all the basic features that are necessary for keeping you afloat for about 100,000 miles or maybe even less depending on the quality. If this one wears out, we recommend that you replace it with other types that have more unique functions.
Another type would be the gas shock, which is the type that has oil and nitrogen inside of it, allowing you to have an extra soft cushion for your ride. This one can last longer than the standard type and is great for the trucks that bounce a lot.
A similar type of shock is the air shock that would have air inside of it instead of nitrogen and gas. This one is also longer-lasting than the standard shock but would really have not that many unique features compared to the gas type. It does serve its purpose if you have a pickup truck though.
Another type would be the overload shock, which uses spring coils to control. This is the ideal type of shock to use if you are riding your truck off the roads like in forests or marshes where you’ll be bouncing and shaking a lot.
The last type is the heavy duty shock, which is the one that’s most recommended for truck drivers that have big trucks or SUVs. These are sturdier and can take heavy loads while still giving you a smooth ride. We advise that you use this if you often carry heavy loads on your truck.
The next thing to take into consideration would be the material. The material would determine the overall durability of the shock. Now, there are several types that you can choose from with regard to the material.
One of the most common types are the steel types as they are also the cheapest to buy. The only disadvantage that you will experience would be is that they’re difficult to install. Since they’re pretty heavy and stiff, it might take a while to install.
A good alternative would be aluminum. As compared to steel, aluminum shocks are actually lighter and more flexible. The only disadvantage would be that they are rather pricey, but they do last longer than the steel types.
Conditions That You Drive-In
This criterion is probably the most subjective one that you need to consider. Now, if you always drive on really smooth roads and don’t bounce around so much, then a standard shock absorber will do. However, you will need a gas or air type if you’re experiencing fierce bouncing while driving on rocky highways.
If you often drive on muddy roads or rough terrain in general, then the gas, air, and standard types won’t cut it. You will need either the overload shock absorber or the heavy-duty one. You will especially need the heavy-duty shock if you’re driving a bigger truck.
So, when you consider this factor, first ask yourself what conditions you usually drive in and make your pick from there.
As much as possible, you’ll want the one that’s easiest to install. If you can install it yourself, then it’s even better because you won’t need to shell out money. This would usually be determined by the number of customizations or modifications that your shock needs.
If your shock doesn’t need too many modifications, then you can do it on your own. If it does, then you will take a longer time to do the installation unless you avail the services of a professional. If you have the extra money and if your shock requires some customizations, get a professional to do the job. If not, then try to get the shock that doesn’t need too many alterations.
Different types of trucks will require different kinds of shocks. Just to give you an idea, off-road trucks, pickup trucks, and SUVs all need to have different kinds of shock absorbers. If you ask a professional, he or she will most likely be able to advise you which shock absorber is best for your truck, but it’s also good if you have an idea of your own.
For off-road trucks, a monotube gas shock or an external reservoir shock absorber is compatible. For pickup trucks, regular replacement shocks are compatible. For SUVs, you can have a twin tube shock, air spring shock, or monotube gas shock.
Price and Brand
The last thing that you need to take into consideration would be the price and the brand. As a general rule, we always advise people never to scrimp on quality just to save a few bucks.
If you buy a low-quality shock absorber, you won’t get the results that you’re most likely looking for, prompting you to buy another one and spend more. That’s why we recommend you buy from well-known brands.
The ones that we’ve listed above all come from well-known brands such as Monroe, Bilstein, AC Delco and many more. They’re also pretty reasonably priced, so you don’t have to worry about spending so much.
If you follow this buying guide and apply it to your own situation and truck type, then you’ll have no problem picking out the best shock for your truck.
FAQs About the Topic
We do understand that the topic of shock absorbers can get a little bit technical at times. That’s why a lot of people who do not have that much experience with truck parts and accessories may have a few more questions with regard to their shocks.
To make sure that you have a more complete understanding of shock absorbers for your truck, we’ve listed some of the most common questions that people have asked us about this product along with their respective answers. This will help you further increase your knowledge about shock absorbers.
Q: How exactly does a shock absorber work?
A: In a general sense, they weaken the bouncing when the vehicle hits a bump. When a truck hits a bump, the tires would usually float just a little bit, creating a bouncing motion. The shock absorber ensures that the tire stays grounded in order to make sure the ride is smooth.
Q: When do I need to change my shock absorber?
A: This is rather hard to determine because the shelf life of a shock absorber will really be based on how rough you use it. For instance, if you drive in rough terrain pretty often (if you’re using an off-road truck for adventures), then your shock absorber will wear out faster.
All you have to do is try to feel if the shock absorber is no longer controlling your truck’s smoothness. Another sign to look out for would be an oil leak. If you have an oil leak, you may need to change your shock absorber.
Now, if you were to ask us for a general guideline of when to change the shock absorber, we’d probably tell you to change it every five years, but this figure is still subject to the conditions we’ve mentioned above.
Q: What are the other signs that can tell me my shock absorber needs replacing?
A: Aside from an obvious bouncy ride and an oil leak, you may also look out for swaying movements when you drive or your truck slightly diving downward when you brake. You may also check if your tires are shaking. All of these signs point out to a worn out shock absorber.
Q: What’s the difference between a shock and a strut?
A: They’re actually pretty similar with regard to function. The only difference would be in their design. Struts are actually already a part of the suspension system. However, the shocks are pretty separate from the entire system and are just focused more on preventing bouncing that comes from bumps.
Q: Will my shock absorber work if I mount it upside down?
A: As a general rule, we do not recommend that you mount it upside down because it will most likely not work properly. There are some exceptions to this rule, but regular shock absorbers can’t be mounted upside down.
Q: Is it normal for new shock absorbers to feel stiff?
A: Yes, it is actually quite normal for your truck to feel a bit stiff when you just installed new shock absorbers. Just give it some time, and you’ll break into the new feel.
With this short buying guide, you now have an idea of what you should look for in a truck shock absorber and also know which products you should consider buying. This list was made through a comparison of the features of some of the most highly rated products in the market.
By pitting the features of various products, we were able to narrow down our choices to 10 of the best ones with the best functions available. We also took into consideration our own personal experiences with these shock absorbers and the reviews that other people have given these products.
With all the research that we’ve done, we strongly believe that these 10 are the best ones that you’ll be able to get. Choosing the best one out of the 10 will be solely up to you and how your own personal preferences affect your choice.
So, take our reviews into consideration, use our buying guide, understand the product more, and enjoy shopping for the best one!