Trucks are by far the most complex component of the skateboard.
Even though there hasn't been much change in steering technology itself, a wide variety of materials have established themselves due to the many manufacturers. In the following, we explain the various components inside a skateboard truck in order to make you understand why shifting your body weight causes the board to change the direction.
Components of a truck
The baseplate (> Fig. 01 A) is the base of the truck. It is attached to the deck using four bolts. Anchored in the baseplate are the kingpin (> Fig. 01 C) and the pivot cup (> Fig. 01 H).
The four holes are for the bolts, which connect the truck to the deck. They are standardized and all the trucks by wellknown manufacturers fit under current decks.
The kingpin bolt (> Fig. 01 C) is firmly positioned inside the baseplate and serves as the connecting piece between the baseplate and the hanger. The kingpin nut (> Fig. 01 I) holds everything together.
Nowadays, kingpins are available in hollow versions, which reduce the weight of the truck.
The hanger (> Fig. 01 B) is the other main component of the truck. One part of it (the pivot) is positioned inside the pivot cup and the other side is sandwiched by the bushings. This construction enables you to turn on your board.
The bushings (> Fig. 01 D) are placed around the hanger and the kingpin. They carry the weight of the rider, which is why it is very important to have a proper setup of hardness and tightening of the kingpin nut (> Fig. 01 I). Usually, heavier riders choose hard bushings while lightweight riders choose soft bushings. Bushings are available with hardness between 80A (extremely soft) and 100A (extremely hard).
The axle (> Fig. 01 E) is cast into the hanger horizontally. The wheels, bearings, and bearing spacers (if you choose to use them) are placed on the two visible ends of the axle. The outer ends feature threads, which hold the axle nuts. If one of the threads is reaching its wear limit, there are skate tools with a built-in thread-cutter which renew the thread.
Currently, axles are now available in a hollow version as well as titanium versions.
The speed rings (> Fig. 01 F) are small washers (> Fig. 01 J) that have the exact size as the core of a bearing. They are placed between the bearing and hanger as well as between the bearings and axle nut. This reduces friction on the axle nut and hanger.
Axle nuts (> Fig. 01 G) are placed on both ends of the axle. They keep the wheels in position.
Almost all truck manufacturers have their own sizing table. Practically speaking, this means that an 8" deck can be equipped with an Independent 139", a Thunder 147", or a Titus 5.3". The table on the right shows you exactly which trucks fit your deck perfectly.
Low or High
Most trucks are available in two versions: low and high. In some cases, there is also a medium version available. High trucks increase the distance between wheels and deck as well as the distance to the ground, which means that you can ride with larger wheels and sharper turns. Furthermore, you can setup your trucks softer without risking wheel bites.