A helper spring is a suspension enhancement product engineered to enhance, support, and help various types of original equipment suspension. There are two basic types of helper springs: steel springs and pneumatic springs, more commonly known as air springs. Both variations are designed and manufactured in many different styles. SuperSprings, SumoSprings, and Coil SumoSprings can all be considered helper springs. However, there is an astronomical difference between SuperSprings products (when referred to as helper springs) and some of their competing alternatives. Scroll down to learn what makes SuperSprings and our products different – they are more than helper springs, they’re super!
Why would I want helper springs?
Vehicles are used for hauling loads. Loads can be tools and equipment for the work and industrial industry, or people and their toys in the recreational industry. Whatever your weight, if your vehicle is sagging in the rear, helper springs are the solution to level things out.
An overloaded vehicle puts people in danger. Too much weight and uneven loads can drastically and negatively impact your vehicle’s handling and braking. If your vehicle’s handling, braking, suspension, or other important components are over or improperly worked, those problems turn into a driver safety concern.
When a vehicle drives with an uneven or over capacity load, various components of your vehicle are taking the hit. Suspension gets over worked, tires get unneeded wear, brake pads wear down or unevenly, and more. This unnecessary and dangerous wear and tear results in increased maintenance costs.
Steel Helper Springs
By simple definition, these are steel products that “help” suspension components. Here are some common types of steel helper springs:
Why are SuperSprings different?
Not an add-a-leaf
An add-a-leaf is an addition to the existing leaf spring assembly/pack. The addition of more steel leafs adds level load support, but changes the ride quality of the vehicle. By adding more steal leaf springs, you are adding stiffness. SuperSprings add additional level load support without compromising ride quality. How? With an add-a-leaf, the added leaf spring is added/engaged all of the time. The SuperSprings are there all of the time, but thanks to the unique and patented dual roller system, the SuperSprings provide their support only when loads are applied. With properly sized SuperSprings, on an appropriate application, unloaded ride quality is minimally changed. True, if you were to use extremely heavy duty SuperSprings on a light duty pickup truck, the ride quality would drastically change. This is why it is important to select and install SuperSprings that match your application (vehicle and intended use). If you’re uncertain or have a unique application, we are here to talk with you; please call us at +1 (800) 898-0705.
Not an auxiliary spring
An auxiliary spring, also known as an overload spring, is mounted and attached to the main spring assembly and secured with long U-bolts. As a load is applied, the auxiliary spring (or spring assembly) will take on some of the load once the ends of the auxiliary spring make contact with the contact points attached to the frame/chassis. The later part is the important part: auxiliary springs do not assist until they make contact with the contact points. Up until that point, the auxiliary spring is unused and extra weight. SuperSprings, to the contrary, do not require a large amount of weight and do not need contact points on the frame. SuperSprings are always engaged and begin working immediately.
Not just another helper spring system
There are other companies who manufacture steel helper spring systems that most people will (and should) compare against SuperSprings. The intent of this page is not to speak poorly of these other products. To the contrary, these are great companies, with great reputations, and solid products. Our intent here is to showcase the uniqueness of SuperSprings. So what makes SuperSprings different? The answer is simplicity. Too simple? As weight is applied to a vehicle, the leaf spring pack goes from elliptical towards flat (and if you’re considering a helper spring, probably more than flat). The patented roller is what makes SuperSprings unique. Without the roller, any helper spring would be attached/fixed to the main spring pack. The rollers allow SuperSprings to accommodate the main spring packs transition from elliptical towards straight. As the rollers roll, SuperSprings is taking on the weight before the main spring pack needs to. A roller. That’s it. Simple, right?
Pneumatic (Air) Helper Springs
Pneumatic or air springs are air-controlled products that “help” suspension components. Here are some common types of air helper springs:
Why are SumoSprings different?
Not an air bag
There are several options when it comes to air bag systems. Why are there so many options? The reason there are so many variations of air bag systems is because there are endless ways to get air into the bag/bladder. Some can be manually inflated, some have remote air compressors, and some are so sophisticated you can adjust the air pressure in the bag, from within the cabin of your vehicle. That may sound great, but lets look at the obvious down sides. You need to supply air. You need to maintain the bag so it does not leak or crack. You need to control the amount of air so the bag does not rupture or “pop.” Unlike traditional air bag systems, SumoSprings do not have a bag. The air is not captured in a single balloon, if you will. The air is captured in millions and millions of tiny micro-cellular bubbles inside of the proprietary urethane material. There is no need for a compressor, no need for maintenance, and they will not leak or rupture. Some will argue that an airbag is superior because you can control how “hard” or “soft” the suspension is. This is why SumoSprings come in different densities, but what really settles this argument is the progressive characteristics of SumoSprings. All SumoSprings have a progressive spring rate, not a linear or constant rate. What does that mean? To use an analogy, think of bed time. It’s been a long day and you want to lay your head down. In place of your pillow is a cinder block – no spring rate! Now, in place of your pillow is an inflated air bag – linear or constant spring rate. At last, there it is, your dream memory foam or feather down (whatever your preference) pillow. You lay your head down and the pillow lets the weight sink in a little. You continue to put your head down into the pillow and the materials inside begin to cradle your head and provide resistance. You push your head down further and come to a comfortable resting place with your head relaxed and supported – a progressive spring rate! SumoSprings start off softly, absorbing harsh bumps and movements, then as the spring compresses they fight back with more and more resistance.
Not a hollow rubber spring
As mentioned above, SumoSprings have a progressive spring rate, starting off soft and resisting more and more with compression. This makes for smooth engagement (the pillow analogy we used above). Rubber is harder than SumoSprings urethane material. Therefore, the first contact made with the rubber will be hard. Think about that feeling of bottoming out. Did you realize most vehicles are equipped with a rubber bump stop? Did bottoming out feel smooth or hard? SumoSprings prevent this hard contact and instead make the transition progressively smooth.