Smartphones and electronic gadget applications always leave room for updates. Similarly, you always have the option of upgrading skateboard parts or modifying them for a longer lifespan.
As skateboarders, we know that the trucks are the soul of our skateboards. Without a good pair of these components, none of these tricks and cruising rides can happen. And since trucks can break or get damaged over time, the first step to replacing them is knowing how to put trucks on a skateboard. Consider the following steps.
- Preparing the hardware
- Popping the bolts in
- Tightening the trucks
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
1. Skateboard trucks
Along with your decision to change your skateboard trucks is deciding what kind of skateboard truck you want.
A skateboard truck assembly includes the hanger, kingpin, and a base plate. Often, you have to buy the hardware separately. Whichever pair of trucks you choose, what matters is its physical specifications.
Skateboard trucks come in different sizes. For example, if your deck width is around 8″, you can have trucks with an axle width of 7.875″ to 8.125″.
These skateboard parts also differ in terms of material composition, and each material has a corresponding level of durability. You can have a full aluminum truck or one made with other metals like steel and brass.
Lastly, skateboard trucks also matter based on your weight, type of ride, and skateboard itself. So, never miss any of these considerations.
There’s no way you can install skateboard trucks without complete hardware. These components include your nuts and bolts. Most skateboard decks come with four holes near the tail and another four near the nose. That means you need eight pairs of nuts and bolts to attach the trucks to your board.
What’s crucial here is the appropriateness of the size of your hardware. Before buying these parts from the store, you need to secure the size of your board’s holes. Bolts that are too thin will be useless, and the ones too thick can only damage your deck and trucks.
Some skateboard decks may only have holes on the body and not on the grip tape when they’re newly installed. So, you may also need a thin hexagon wrench or something to pop those tapes up and make room for the hardware to pass through. You can also use this tool should you need to tighten things with it.
3. T-tool and power drill
You will do a lot of turning in the process. Thus, you will need a T-tool and a power drill to free your hand from this mechanical work.
A T-tool is a compact version of 3-size sockets, a Phillips screwdriver, and an Allen head. All these three come in T-shaped hardware that makes adjustments easy for you.
Meanwhile, the power drill is a hand machine people use for various occasions. Most people use this device when drilling holes on the wall or ceiling. But for your skateboard, this tool will help you rotate the screws without shedding some sweat.
4. Skateboard wheels
The best way to know whether you mounted your trucks well is by testing them. That means you will have to ride a few meters to see if you picked the right trucks and if they fit perfectly.
So, when you buy your skateboard trucks, consider getting a new set of wheels, too. Or if you still have a pack of good-running rollers, that won’t be a problem. Our only goal here is to ensure that you’re doing the process correctly.
Steps in Mounting Trucks on the Skateboard
Your procedures in installing skateboard trucks on the deck focus on alignment and tightening. See the detailed explanations below.
Step 1: Preparation
You will be dealing with small parts throughout the process. So first, secure a working space enough for your skateboard deck, hand tools, hardware, and other items necessary to accomplish the task. Ensure all the things you need are available at your first glance and that they’re easy to reach.
Step 2: Deck clean-up
The best way to maximize the installation of your new trucks is by cleaning your skateboard deck. Start with the deck’s surface.
You might have a new grip tape on your stepping surface as part of your skateboard makeover, and that’s great. If your board comes with a newly installed grip tape, use your hexagon wrench to pop it up from behind.
Be sure the holes are big enough for the bolts to pass through. Next, clean both sides of the deck and its holes of raised wood parts and debris, if any. Our goal is to make both sides of the deck smooth.
Step 3: Skateboard trucks set up
This step won’t apply if you already bought a completely assembled skateboard truck, but it will be helpful if otherwise.
To join your trucks’ parts, you will only need the base plate, the hanger, kingpin, and a T-tool to tighten things up. Begin by fitting the hanger into the base plate. Be sure to align the hanger onto one hole so the kingpin will be easier to install. Next, thread the kingpin in and adjust its tightness to an appropriate level.
Step 4: Truck attachment
The truck’s base plate comes with six holes, two of which are for the hanger & the kingpin. The other four accommodate the nuts & bolts.
All you need is to flip the board with the bottom side up and align the trucks’ slots with the deck. Next, insert the bolts from the deck’s surface and follow up by threading the nuts from the other side. You need not tighten these two yet. You first need to secure the bolts by locking them with the nuts.
After doing this step for all the eight deck holes, it’s time to tighten things up.
Step 5: Wheel attachment
You will not know how well your trucks fit unless you install some wheels on them. Grab your rollers and T-tool and begin installing them on each axle. Adjust them and make sure they’re not too loose nor too tight. Also, don’t forget to use wheels that match your riding style and type of board.
Step 6: Test riding
The last step to ascertain whether you did the installation correctly is to ride your skateboard with your new trucks. Before you put your board on the road, be sure all the bolts, gears, and other parts fit snugly. Try riding a smooth road first and be sensitive. That way, you’ll know if there are areas you need to adjust.
- Clean your skateboard regularly so you won’t have to spend too frequently on its parts wearing down because of dirt.
- Ask for advice from skateboard store personnel should you want to be more confident about the parts you buy, be they hardware or trucks.
- Maintain your trucks by greasing the parts that need it. That way, you get to ensure quality rides from your skateboard.
Maintaining skateboards in any way is a must for skateboarders. What’s even better is that you get to know more about your boards, making upgrades easier for you. Know that it’s never wrong to modify your skateboard to something better.
Now that you know how to put trucks on a skateboard, there’s no doubt you won’t be able to do more with it. Always remember the basics, and I’m sure you’ll do great in your future upgrades.
Did you enjoy this article? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
I am Michael, and I have been enjoying this fun sport for seven years. And nothing is better than having a community to share our passion for those thrilling tricks. I am ready to tell you all I know about skateboarding, showing you how to choose a good board and trick to start and how the practice goes. Stay tuned!