Leaf springs provide a suspension system for vehicles. Originating in medieval times, they were first called carriage or laminated springs. The leaf spring system is tried and true, used on almost all vehicles up until the 1970s. Today, leaf springs are most useful for trucks and vans hauling heavy loads.
The spring leaf is an arc-shaped, slender piece of steel, stacked with the same material in smaller sizes and bolted together. Its construction creates a reinforced bow-like item. It is then attached to the rear axle and the chassis. It provides support to any weight added to a vehicle, preventing the axle from buckling in and snapping from the pressure of an extreme amount of weight it was not designed to carry.
The overall purpose of a leaf spring is to provide support for a vehicle. It also creates a smoother ride, absorbing any bumps or potholes in the road. Additionally, leaf springs are used to locate the axle, control the height at which the vehicle rides and keep the tires aligned on the road.
Because of their benefits, leaf springs are in high demand. Casual transportation is just one way leaf springs have contributed to our transportation industry. These days, leaf springs are more popular with heavy commercial vehicles like trucks, SUVs and vans