TruckSpring Times

Truck & Trailer Parts - News & Information

What is Air Compressor Duty Cycle?

All air compressors are built with a duty cycle rating. This rating is typically given as a percentage of the amount of time that an air compressor can be run in a full cycle, typically one hour, that includes the compressor’s run time and rest time.

Some compressors, such as Viair air compressors are built with a thermal protection that will automatically shut them down when they reach a temperature that they can be damaged. Others may not and it is up to the operator to shut them down in the correct amount of time. The compressor must be off and cooling down for the rest of the time they were run to avoid damage.
Viair air compressor

Air Compressor Duty cycle refers to the amount of time a compressor can be operated in a given time period at 100 PSI, and a standard ambient temperature of 72° F. If you are running the air compressor in the dead of winter or on a hot summer day, the amount of cool down time will vary. With duty cycle, It's all about heat dissipation and the rates will vary depending on ambient temperatures and operating conditions.

Duty Cycle is almost always expressed in percentage format: Compressor on time ÷ (on time + off time) = Duty Cycle %. The times to duty cycle in an hour is broken down in a chart below.

9% Duty Cycle      5 Minutes On / 55 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
10% Duty Cycle     6 Minutes On / 54 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
15% Duty Cycle     9 Minutes On / 51 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
20% Duty Cycle     12 Minutes On / 48 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
25% Duty Cycle     15 Minutes On / 45 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
30% Duty Cycle     18 Minutes On / 42 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
50% Duty Cycle     30 Minutes On / 30 Minutes Off or Cool-Down time
100% Duty Cycle   1 Hour Run Time or Constant Duty

If you want to break it down into 10 minute intervals - if an air compressor has a duty cycle of 50%, the air compressor will be running for 10 minutes, then it should run for a combined maximum of 5 minutes ON and 5 minutes OFF.  If the compressor is 60% duty cycle this means the compressor must be off for approximately 4 minutes of every 10 minutes.

If your air compressor is maintained and the duty cycle followed they will provide many years of reliable service.

New Product Line - LED Lights from Grote Industries

grote led truck lights

We welcome a new line of quality LED lighting products from Grote Industries to Michigan Truck Spring / Family owned for over one hundred years, Grote Industries is an innovator in LED lighting technology. Beginning in 1989 with the first LED marker light to today’s Hi-Count LED lamps, Grote is a brand you can trust for all your truck, trailer or bus lighting needs.

Why Grote? Grote has a true passion for understanding their customers and the ways they can help them become even more successful. Their LED lighting products provide better visibility at lower power consumption which means you have more power available for other uses. Longer life LED’s also saves you money and time by not having to replace the lights or bulbs on your vehicle or trailer as often.  Keeping your fleet on the road and not in the shop is what LED lighting is all about.

Grote LED's offer the right lighting solution for any situation. From Hi-Count LED marker/clearance lamps, to Stop/Tail/Turn lamps and license plate lighting, they not only give you better visibility, but they look great too.

All Grote LED lighting products meet or exceed the quality and performance standards established by SAE and FMVSS and are legal in all 50 states.

So upgrade your truck or trailer with LED lighting products from Grote Industries at Order online or feel free to call us at 1-800-358-4751.

New Product - Air Lift Air Bag Kits for 2015 Ford Transit Vans

ford transit with suspension air bags


AirLift Company has two new air bag kits for the 2015 Ford Transit vans, Air Lift Kit 57213 and Air Lift Kit 88213. The Ford Transit air bag kits are designed to work with your existing suspension to give your Transit more leveling support when you need it, so your Transit Van is always level and stable. AirLift air bags help to improve braking and steering by keeping all four tires firmly on the ground, reduce sway and provide better vehicle stability.

Both Air Lift Air bag kits have the same mounting hardware and brackets, but the 88213 Ultimate kit has an upgraded air spring that includes an internal jounce bumper inside the air spring that will prevent the bag from getting damaged if run without air. The internal bumper inside the air spring in the 88213 Ultimate kit is a great add-on for commercial vehicles and especially if more than one person is driving your Transit van. You won’t have to replace an air spring if someone runs it without air as the internal bumper protects the air spring from bottoming out.

Each Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Bag kit includes:

  • 2 air springs
  • Up to 5000 lbs. of leveling capacity
  • All necessary mounting brackets
  • Air lines
  • Schrader valves
  • All of the hardware needed for installation
  • A fully illustrated instruction manual.

Air Lift kits 57213 and 88213 fit the following vehicles:

  • 2015 Ford Transit 150
  • 2015 Ford Transit 250
  • 2015 Ford Transit 350 (will not fit HD models)

If you load your Ford Transit van with tools, work supplies or cargo, the new Transit Van air bag kits from Air Lift will help level your van and keep it at factory ride height. So whether you choose the LoadLifter 5000 or the LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate, give your Ford Transit van the support it needs to get the job done.

Order online at or call one of our suspension experts at 1-800-358-4751.

Brake Controllers - Proportional or Timed Delayed?

When upgrading to a bigger trailer, a new tow vehicle, or just replacing an old trailer brake controller there are a few features to consider that may make your towing experience more enjoyable and safer. All brake controllers are wired into the vehicle with the same 4 wire setup but the technology inside the controller is what sets different models apart.

Why do I need a brake controller?

Brake controllers are the physical link between your brake pedal on your vehicle and the brakes on the axles of your trailer. Without them, uncontrolled weight can push forward, creating the potential for accidents and damage, not only to your truck or car but other vehicles if you can’t slow or stop in time. An electric trailer brake control provides power from a towing vehicle to the electric brakes on a trailer. If your trailer has electric brakes, a brake controller is needed. Always check your tow vehicle owner’s manual. What you can tow, including weight and number of axles, is important in helping you make the right decision about what brake control you will need.

While there are many styles, there are only two types of brake controls, time activated and proportional.


proportional trailer brake controls


Proportional Brake Controllers

Proportional controllers are the type most consumers purchase if they:

  • Tow frequently, especially trailers used to transport heavy loads.
  • Move precious cargo, like your friends and family, horses, livestock, racing vehicles, etc.
  • Have a fleet of trailers and need to quickly switch from one tow vehicle to another.

Most proportional brake controllers are designed with the industry standard ‘plug-n-play’ which allows for quick and easy interchange with compatible vehicles. With proportional controllers every action of your brake pedal in the tow vehicle is matched, precisely and smoothly. When you slow for a railroad grading or go down a steep hill, your trailer eases down and matches your speed mile by mile.

proportional brake cotnroller

(In the graph above, the red line shows what happens when you brake in your tow vehicle, and what happens to the brakes in your trailer (blue line) when a proportional controller’s installed. It’s an exact match. Smooth and even response, second by second. It’s why these systems have become the choice of most consumers.)

graph test results for proportional brake controls

Proportional brake controls determine the tow vehicle’s rate of deceleration and apply the trailer brakes to match. They provide smooth braking response in any stopping situation, with no need for adjustments.

Pros of Proportional Brake Controllers:

  • Safety: In an emergency stop the proportional controller will match the braking power instantly instead of ramping up.
  • Decreased Brake Wear: With tow vehicle and trailer braking the same brake wear is even.
  • Smooth Braking: With the trailer matching the tow vehicle there is no jerking when the trailer brakes apply.
  • No Adjustments: No need to adjust the brake control for different size trailers or road conditions.  

Cons of Proportional Brake Controllers:

  • Mounting: Most must be in line with vehicle direction, so, that limits space where they can be installed.
  • Cost: Advanced technology adds to the bottom line of your up front expense.


time delay trailer brake controllers

Time Delay Brake Controllers

Time delay trailer brake controllers apply the trailer brakes with a preset amount of braking power and there is a delay as the unit ramps up the power to full braking. On most models the time and the initial braking power is adjustable. Time delayed systems slow your trailer using preset brake settings and on how long your foot’s on the brake. The biggest difference is braking isn’t instantaneous.

time delay brake controller

The graph above shows what happens with a time-delayed brake controller. The controller is preset before hauling a load, based in part on the weight of your trailer. There is a delay from when you begin slowing (red line) to when the power levels build up in the trailer to compensate (blue line).

graph results timed brake controllers

Time activated brake controls apply braking power at a fixed rate of time that is NOT proportional to the pressure you apply to your brake pedal. They provide voltage output that increases the gain setting over a period of time (typically 3 seconds). This is known as the ramp cycle.

Pros of Time-Delay Brake Controllers:

  • Cost: If you don’t tow often your initial expense is much less. Great if you tow a small trailer for moving a few things, snowmobiles in the winter, lawn equipment, etc. 
  • Installation: Can be mounted in any location on the tow vehicle and in any position.

Cons of Time-Delay Brake Controllers:

  • Wear: Uneven pressure between tow and trailer means higher wear on brakes over time.
  • Feel: Improper settings for initial brake pressure could create ‘jerking’ between tow and trailer.
  • Brake Pulse: As soon as hazard lights are on, trailer brakes can ‘pulse’ on and off potentially damaging brake magnets over an extended period.


PROPORTIONAL:                vs                  TIME-DELAYED:
Smooth braking                                          Same braking power, no matter conditions
Designed for all load types                         For lighter, occasional towing
More expensive                                          Less expensive
Less wear on brakes over time                  More wear on brakes over time
Best on all road conditions                         Not recommended for steep hills or valleys
Even braking, between tow and trailer       Tow vehicle carries most of load in braking

All brakes controllers have their advantages and what type and features in a brake controller you'll need is typically determined by what you are towing and how often. Feel free to contact us at 1-800-358-4751 or 989-755-0561 if you have any questions about which trailer brake controller is the correct fit for your towing setup.

New ReadyLift Multi-Lift System for the 2009-2015 Ford F-150's

The ReadyLift 44-2157 Multi-Lift System for the Ford F-150 offers drivers the chance to customize the lift height and look to exactly what you want with 2 simple choices.  The MLS kit is engineered with a never before seen central bracket kit that uses 1 front and 1 rear option to complete the lift on your Ford F-150.

The 44-2157 lift kit is designed specifically for 2009-2015 4x4 Ford F-150's.

readylift lift kit for Ford F-150

The lift kit system allows for either 5, 6 or 7 inches of front lift with the options for 1 of 3 rear block heights to either level, rake or set a nose-high or pre-runner look to the truck.  Ultimately, choose your height and choose your look, and you’re done.


Ready Lift 44-2157 Features:


  • Ride Height Adjustable Strut Towers allows the choice of 5, 6, or 7 inch of front ride height
  • Heavy duty one piece cross members
  • Integrated Sway Bar Drop Brackets maintain proper front sway bar operation.
  • Rack and Pinion Steering Drop System lowers the factory rack and pinion steering system to improve tie rod mounting points on the steering knuckle.
  • Steering extension and support assembly provides secure and precise steering
  • Heavy Duty Extended Length Steering Knuckles maintain upper and lower control arm relationship
  • Heavy Duty Front Differential Skid Plate
  • Rear Suspension Features three optional rear height choices for desired front lift and provide a level stance
    • 3” Lift Block & U-Bolt Kit (for 5” Front Ride Height)
    • 4” Lift Block & U-Bolt Kit (for 6” Front Ride Height)
    • 5” Lift Block & U-Bolt Kit (for 7” Front Ride Height)
  • Lift Blocks feature a built-in bump stop contact pad to ensure proper bump engagement
  • Brake Line Drop Bracket maintains proper length and function
  • Capable of use with extended length performance rear shock absorber - ReadyLIFT SST9000 series billet aluminum shocks (not included)
  • Tough Silver Powder Coat Finish
ready lift lift kit
The ReadyLift 44-2157 Multi-Lift System for the Ford F-150 allows you to get the most out of your lift kit and decide the stance you want.  Get your ReadyLift suspension lift kit today at or call one of our ReadyLift specialists at 1-800-358-4751.

New Product Announcement - Firestone Compact Remote Air Command Kit 2555


Want to control your air helper springs remotely?  Now you can with the Firestone 2555 Compact Remote Air Command SystemThe kit features a key fob controller that allows you control the amount of air in your helper springs with the push of a button.
wireless air key fob
The Firestone 2555 air compressor kit consists of a light duty compressor, electronic control unit (ECU) wire harness, relay, exhaust valve, airline and key fob.

The key fob controller turns the light duty compressor on to inflate the helper springs and opens the exhaust valve to release air.

  • The kit is easy to install and convenient.
  • Provides an easy and convenient air source solution for air bags and air springs
  • No wires inside the vehicle which makes for an easy install.
  • Adjust the height of your vehicle up to 25 feet away

firestone ride rite kit

So put the power of air at your fingertips and get the Firestone 2555 Compact Remote Air Command System for your air helper springs today from or call 1-800-358-4751.


Firestone Ride-Rite Air Command Kit for Android

android app for firestone ride rite kit


The Firestone Ride-Rite Air Command Kit 2556 for Android allows you to remotely adjust the amount of air in your Firestone air helper springs at the push of a button by conveniently turning your smartphone into the controller.


The kit includes a Light Duty air compressor, Electronic Control Unit (ECU), wire harness, relay, exhaust valve, airline and instructions for downloading the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Command app for Android.


The Android app works as the controller to provide an instant air source while delivering convenient adjustability to the air helper springs.


The Firestone Android Air Command kit is easy to install, convenient and puts the power of air in the palm of your hand.


  • Quick and easy installation
  • No wires inside the vehicle
  • Provides an easy and convenient air source solution
  • Bluetooth technology for secure wireless interaction
  • Adjust the height of your vehicle up to 25 feet away
  • Compatible with Android smartphones and tablets


Put your Android smartphone to use to control the power of air with the Firestone 2556 Ride-Rite Air Command Kit from Call 1-800-358-4751 to order or order online at the link above.

Toyota Tacoma Leaf Spring Recall

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing has issued a recall on Toyota Tacoma pickups. The recall covers Tacoma 4x4 and Pre-Runner pickups from the 2005 through 2011 model years. The recall affects over 600,000 trucks manufactured from September 14, 2009, to October 11, 2010. On these trucks one of the leaf springs may break (either from stress or corrosion) and as a result the fuel tank may be punctured causing a fuel leak. Toyota has not yet released a remedy for this recall but it is expected to begin recalling vehicles at the end of November 2014.

Owners will be notified by mail and Toyota says dealers will fix the problem at no cost. If you have any questions about the Toyota leaf spring recall you can call Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

New Product Announcement – Hellwig Sway Bars for 2014 Ram 2500 Pickup

New from Hellwig are two new sway bars for the 2014 Ram 2500 pickup.  The Hellwig 7306 is designed for the rear and is 1-1/4 inch in diameter and fits 2 and 4 wheel drive models with rear coil springs.

hellwig sway bar


The Hellwig 7741 is designed for the front and is 1-3/8 inch in diameter and fits 4 wheel drive models with rear coil springs.  Both are made from high quality hot formed and heat treated 4140 chrome poly spring steel.

7741 hellig front sway bar

Hellwig sway bars reduce body roll so you benefit from better vehicle control and greatly improved cornering traction for safer driving and turning capabilities. They feature fast, easy, "Bolt-on" installation with simple hand tools and include polyurethane bushings. Hellwig sway bars have a greater surface area than the typical factory sway bar, which gives it better roll resistance.

Hellwig sway bars are heat formed and coined as one piece to insure they will be the most durable, strongest and that they will be the most resistant to form alteration, important factors to consider in an anti-sway bar.


So if you want better control of your 2014 Ram 2500, upgrade to a Hellwig sway bar from


New Product Announcement - Gator Jaw by BubbaRope

Steel shackles are heavy and attaching them to your vehicle can be difficult at best.  You may also have to carry different sizes to fit different vehicles or applications.  BubbaRope now offers a better solution, The Gator Jaw soft shackle.


Made from Plasma rope which is the highest strength synthetic rope available, Gator-Jaw shackles are stronger than comparable steel shackles.  Rated at up to 32,000 pounds break strength, they are perfect for off-road, marine, agricultural and many other uses.

Unlike steel shackles, the Gator-Jaw soft shackle won’t rust and are so light they float. No more losing your shackle in the water or muck.   Its flexible design a makes it easy to fit even the most difficult pulling point and the one piece design means no more pins to fasten.

Easy to use

Just open the Gator-Jaw shackle by loosening and slipping off the loop over knot and then thread the soft shackle through the eye of your Bubba Rope or strap and through the tow point.   Loop the Gator-Jaw eye back over knot and pull to tighten. What could be easier?

So ditch your old steel shackle and get a Gator-Jaw soft shackle from today.  Order online at or call one of our towing specialists at 1-800-358-4751.