Load level riders VS Poly air bags

Load level riders VS Poly air bags

I have seen some debate about this topic on a few forums etc and think there needs to be some clarification. There is a major difference between Poly air bags and Hayman Reese style Load level riders. So lets start with what I believe to be the original intention of the product.

Poly air bags are designed to raise the rear of the vehicle if its to weighed down with gear to try to get the car level and also to give the overladen springs a helping hand to do there job, usually because of overloading… so that’s the same as level riders isn’t it? I hear you asking. Absolutely not and let me explain. Lets imagine first of all if you are not towing… well you cannot use Load level riders for a start. Poly air bags raise the rear of the vehicle, balance the look only between front and rear but what they don’t do is redistribute the weight from the rear axle back to the front axle. Load level riders redistribute the weight from rear axle to front axle of the vehicle. If you only have Poly air bags you cannot redistribute weight full stop… all you are doing is giving the suspension a helping hand essentially and making the vehicle look level and that’s the end of it.

Load level riders are far more complex and a far safer choice if you are towing than any air bag (depending on weight of your van of coarse) will ever be. That’s not to say they don’t help as well because they do its just the job they do is different. Load level riders use a lever action which lifts the back of the vehicle up by causing an upward force in the movable joint (the tow-ball or off-road hitch) which then in lifting the weight of the rear of the vehicle allows the front axle of the vehicle to come down firmer on the road. Effectively what you have is a large lever that had wheels on it (the caravan) helping you lift the back of your vehicle and give you a safer ride. Load level riders can even help compensate for to much load in your vehicle not only help lift the towball weight from the van. This has many benefits which ill get to later.

Let me explain better. Imagine a seesaw effect going on, the weight bearing down on the towbar being a downward force and the weight bearing down on the front of the vehicle being the other side of the seesaw also creating a downward force. The rear axle being the centre pivot point of the seesaw. So if you put a big person on the one end lets say in this example the towbar end, what happens to the other end with the light person on it? it goes up doesn’t it? Right. So if you don’t have load level riders on, then the front of your car becomes very light and the rear becomes very heavy. So if you add a Load level bar then this removes the downward load on the back allowing the front to come back down firmer on the ground. Think of the seesaw.

Lets look at the Poly air bags. If you add poly air bags to a sagging rear end that’s overloaded and then pump them up until the vehicle has become level have you redistributed any weight? No absolutely not, what you have done is simply lifted the rear of the vehicle. What you will notice is the front of the vehicle hasn’t come down at all, just the back has gone up to meet it. This means the front is in no better contact with the ground than before. Whereas if you measure from under the mudguard to the floor when the load level riders are off compared to when they are on you will notice a substantial difference in the front axle ride height.

So the benefits of the Load level riders

  1. Much better down force on the front tyres on the road giving much better braking ability due to near enough to 70% of you braking being on the front brakes.
  2. Much better steering because again the extra down force on the tyres also gives extra traction… same as the wing on a formula one car gives down force creating better traction etc on tyres for cornering and preventing wheel spin etc.
  3. Prevents excessive tyre wear on the rear tyres because Load level riders are capable of equalizing the download across both axles.
  4. Better life time on spring and axle components
  5. Better handling
  6. Prevents swaying from uneven load weights
  7. Far less puncture repairs due all wheels having the same load instead of 2 being overloaded and far more likely to puncture.
  8. Better load sharing means less tyre pressure problems and less tyre over heating
  9. Etc
  10. Etc

Also take a look at this article