I will never forget hopping into a Land Rover 110 and travelling on some of the most corrugated and rough roads that exist on the planet (in rural Tanzania, to be specific) and being amazed at how level and comfortable the ride was. East African roads in some places can be incredibly undulated and violent. What surprised me was how well the all-round independent suspension in the Land Rover coped with the task at hand, particularly when I compared it to the Toyota Hilux (with leaf springs at the back and coil springs in the front) which I spent most of my time driving or sitting in over my East African tour. The independent suspension in the Land Rover was far superior to the Hilux. What was the difference? An independent suspension has the ability of having all the four wheels rising and falling over road undulations independently of each other thanks to the system set-up, usually operating through coil springs or torsion bars, upper and lower control arms, and direct, double acting shock absorbers. This ensures that the ride remains level, and less jostled than in other more rigid and fixed suspension alternatives.
All-round independent suspension is usually reserved for heavy duty four wheel drive machines where ultimate levels of traction off-road are highly prized and sought after. However, independent suspension can be found in cars to provide anti-dive characteristics during braking.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Independent Suspension?’!
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