What is independent torsion bar suspension?

Torsion bar suspension, sometimes known as torsion spring suspension, is any vehicle suspension that uses a torsion bar as its main weight-bearing spring. Independent torsion bar suspension uses the same technology, but applies it to each wheel rather than the entire axle.

It works by attaching the torsion bar firmly to our exclusive ProMAX chassis. The other end is attached to the respective wheel axle. The ends attached to the wheel axles can freely move as required. The bar is tensioned to a certain level of resistance so that it maintains the van’s original ride height when installed.

As the van rides over a bump or pothole, the force applied to the wheels causes the torsion bar to twist. This absorbs energy from the bump into the torsion bar, which moves the entire chassis to the best height to ride smoothly over the bump. Independent suspension allows each wheel’s suspension to work alone e.g. if you drive over a pothole on the driver-side rear wheel, only that wheel’s torsion bar will twist to keep the entire vehicle level.

Maxi Mover’s independent torsion bar suspension is the exact same as you would find on a high-end motorhome. Motorhomes are almost always running at maximum payload which highlights the long-term effectiveness of this suspension.

This option is only available on the exclusive Maxi Mover ProMAX chassis. Standard manufacturer platform chassis’ generally use leaf spring suspension as standard. Find out the differences by reading below.

Why is the right suspension important for your van?

Getting the best suspension for your commercial van is extremely important. The safety of the payload your business transports every day and the comfort of the driver rely on the suspension heavily.

If your company works with removals, then you’ll understand the importance of keeping customer’s items safe and secure. The hassle involved with a customer claim on damaged goods, as well as the damage to your company’s reputation, can be a real headache – especially once you realise how easily avoidable the damage could have been. This philosophy is true for any business that moves large volumes of goods daily.

The second is simply driver comfort. Although not every commercial vehicle owner drives their vehicles day-in-day-out, the drivers that do experience a massive benefit from torsion bar suspension. Drivers in 3.5t vans can sometimes be driving for up to 10 hours a day. The improved comfort can make for a happier, safer driver.

By fitting our independent heavy-duty uprated torsion bar suspension, you can avoid these problems and ensure smooth daily operation of the Luton van.

Independent Torsion Bar Suspension Maxi Mover Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Low maintenance – unlike many other suspension options, torsion bar suspension has low maintenance requirements. When the torsion bar is fitted, it should be given ample lubrication on the ends attached to the wheel axles. If there’s plenty of grease in the joint, your suspension will last a long time. Simple maintenance is required – compared to spring suspension, torsion bar suspension does need some looking after to keep it performing as intended.
Stability – the individual suspension on each wheel makes for an extremely stable and responsive platform for the van to ride on.
Wide-trak chassis – Maxi Mover offer a wide-trak chassis which spreads the weight over a wider area, allowing for better weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity.
Adjustable ride height – the ride height is adjustable by turning the anchor piece on the suspension itself.
Space efficiency – torsion bar suspension don’t take up much room so they allow for other components to take place where traditional suspension parts would be.


Torsion bar vs leaf spring suspension

Leaf spring suspension technology is older than the automobile or van. It was initially used for horse-drawn carriages. This suspension is made up of layers of steel stacked on top of each other. These act as a spring when combined.

The simple concept still works today but is vastly trumped by torsion bar suspension. Leaf spring is by far the simplest suspension technology, and thus, has the fewest parts that can wear out. They spread out load weights evenly making them superior to spring suspension in some respects.

The main disadvantage to leaf spring suspension is reduced stability compared to torsion bar because both wheels must be connected to it together. This means both wheels will move even if only one wheel drives over a bump or pothole. They can also lose stability under hard acceleration and, more importantly, hard braking.

Torsion bar vs air suspension

Air suspension consists of an air spring, essentially a rubber airbag, which is pumped up via an air compressor. This modulates the ride height and intelligently adjusts to the surface the wheels are riding on. If you are interested in air suspension, we do offer it as an option.

The main benefit of air suspension is ride quality. Vans with air suspension fitted to deal with uneven road surfaces incredibly accurately. Drivers are also able to adjust the ride height of the van from the chassis cab.

Although air suspension has many advantages, the main drawback is cost and maintenance. This type of suspension is far more expensive to fit than torsion bar suspension. It will also require far more maintenance than torsion bar suspension.

The Summary Of Suspension


Torsion Bar Suspension Air Ride / Spring Suspension Leaf Spring Suspension
Superior comfort and driving dynamics Best-in-class comfort and driving dynamics Rudimentary suspension with high vibration and reduced ride comfort
Great road handling and traction Great road handling and traction Wheel hop causes lack of traction
Compact and smaller working envelope Larger working envolope than torsion bar An assembled leaf spring reduces working space
Work independently and move with the road Work independently with the road surface Solid beam axles give no flexibility
More durable design with less moving parts resulting in a long service life Can require some maintenance for a long service life More individual parts in each leaf spring assembly resulting in higher potential failure
Easy to maintain and service. Generally easy to maintain Easy to maintain
Updated technology designed for modern day vehicles. Modern technology Very old technology


If you are torn between suspension options, we hope this guide will help you make the best decision for your business. If you have any queries on which suspension best suits your requirements, get in touch with one of our team on 01673 863 300.

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