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The History of Truck Suspension
THE HISTORY OF SUSPENSION
Did you know that leaf springs have been around since the early egyptians? The war engineers would use them on catapults, unfortunately, to little success. It was refined later and worked for years. They weren't made only out of metal, a good tree branch would work and were also used for stagecoaches in early modern Britain. The physical laws of damping weren't discovered until the 19th century.
The first modified off-road vehicles was the Kegreese track. While working for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia between 1906 and 1916, the conversion was first designed by Adolphe Kegresse. The system could be put on any car or truck and you can still use your normal steering and front wheels. It can be used for soft or rough ground and it uses a flexible belt rather than interlocking metal segments.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917 Kegresse returned to his home, France. There the system was used between 1921 and 1937 for military and off-road vehicles on Critoen cars. The company sponsored several expeditions crossing through North Africa and Central Asia.
After World War II a huge surplus of light off-road vehicles like the Jeep and heavier lorries were available on the market. When the wartime Jeeps began to wear out, civilian derivations were produced, closely followed by the British Land Rover, Japanese Toyota and Mitsubishi. These were all small, compact four wheel drives most with a small hardtop to protect the occupants from the elements.
From the 1960s more comfortable vehicles, later called SUVs, were produced. First they were popular for many years with rural buyers due to their off-road and load-lugging capabilities. The U.S. Jeep Wagoneer and the Ford Bronco, the British Range Rover and the station wagon-bodied Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser were early SUV examples, essentially a station wagon body on a light truck frame with four wheel drive drive train.
Information Courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.