Video: History Of Hellwig Products With Melanie White

Hellwig Products is a domestic manufacturer of high quality suspension products. They make some killer sway bars to help keep our trucks firmly planted on the road, as well as some really cool load control products. They make helper springs as well as air bags.

hellwig_4In the video above, they actually talk about how their air systems work. They are designed to be only as much of a help as the truck needs. The air bags are bellowed bags that feature high quality rubber. These bags are capable to helping the vehicle safely tow up to its GVW.

Trucks come with a rake from the factory. The rear of the truck is usually 1 to 3 inches higher than the front. This is because the factory doesn’t want the nose of the truck high in the air if there is a heavy load in the back. So, as the rear is loaded, the rear springs start to compress, lowering the rear down and leveling the truck. There is a fine balance here for the OEM’s. They can go super soft for a great ride, but give up payload, or go with a heavier spring to increase payload and sacrifice the ride quality.

Today, most OEM’s have found an in between ground that offers good payload and decent ride quality. The down side is the stink bug look. Even so, when our trucks are loaded down to max payload, many times the rear is sitting lower than the front.

Hellwig_2This just isn’t as safe as it could be. The more weight in the rear, the rear brakes will need to do more of the breaking and it will take longer to stop the truck. If you are driving at night, the vehicle headlights are no longer pointed down at the road but out or up off the road. This can cause the driver to miss objects in the road, but is, also, effects the drivers going in the opposite direction.

So, to counter this, Hellwig has a really cool feature on their air system. The video show a quick clip of it close to the end as Melanie White, Vice President of Hellwig, is discussing the benefits of their air systems. The feature is a leveling sensor. This isn’t new technology, but it is relatively unique to the aftermarket. Most air assist kits out today simply regulate the load assistance by pressure in the bags. On an OEM type system, the bags are regulated by vehicle height. This is a much better way to control the bags but there is additional cost, research, and time involved with designing a system like this. It is little stuff like this that show the differences between a premium product and not.

hellwig_1It is hard for the average person to inspect the quality of rubber in a bag, but looking at the extras that are offered, there is the difference.

For more info on Hellwig’s Products, visit their website at www.hellwigproducts.com/.

About the author

Chad Westfall

With diesel running through his veins from childhood, Chad has more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry. From editorial work to wrenching, there isn’t much he hasn't conquered head-on. When he’s not writing and shooting trucks and tech, you’ll find him in the shop working on turning the ideas floating around in his head into reality.
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