When Should You Replace Your Skateboard Trucks: Your Ultimate Guide

Get the lowdown on when to replace your skateboard trucks for a safer, smoother ride. Gain insights from a seasoned skater's experience!

When you’re flying through the air, nailing that triple kickflip, or shredding an epic bowl run, the last thing you want is for your skateboard trucks to betray you. But how do you know they are calling for a sub? The answer lies within the signs that tell you when to replace your skateboard trucks. In this exploration, you’ll pinpoint the telltale signs of truck wear and pick-up tips on extending truck lifespan, all while saving your ankles and wallet from unnecessary damage.

Why are your skateboard trucks important?

Your trucks dictate your board’s overall feel, determine the sharpness of your turns, your ability to land those flips, and how smoothly you can ride that concrete wave. Think of your trucks as the steering wheel of your board; they define the finesse of your movements and provide that much-needed stability, both critical aspects of cruising or bombing hills.

Image of a skateboard with trucks and wheels that shows usage marks. Source: wiki commons
Image of a skateboard with trucks and wheels that shows usage marks. Source: wiki commons
My favorite trucks (at the moment):

Thunder Night Hollow II Lights Trucks

When should you replace your skateboard trucks: your ultimate guide | 61r 0zf6sgl. Ac sl1050 | skateboard salad
My favorite trucks (at the moment):

Thunder Night Hollow II Lights Trucks

I switched over from Tensor to Thunder Trucks, and I never went back. They just feel a lot lighter, in my opinion, and I love the look of these trucks, (And the thunderbolt gives me Weezer vibes, I dig it)

What are the signs of broken or damaged trucks?

First, if your trucks are visibly broken—wobbling like a wobbly desk chair or showcasing cracks on the baseplate or truck hanger—this is a surefire sign your trucks need a makeover. Also, if your bushings are dried out and damaged, or the axles and kingpins are warped, making an annoying squeaky noise, replace your trucks ASAP.

Don’t roll the dice for your safety. Cracked or warped trucks degrade your skateboard’s performance and risk sudden malfunctions while riding. This could lead to you eating concrete, and trust me, it’s not the kind of meal you’re going to enjoy.

When should you replace your skateboard trucks?

It would be best if you considered replacing your skateboard trucks when you noticed significant signs of wear or damage that affected your riding experience and safety. Some common indicators for replacing skateboard trucks include:

  • Bent or cracked trucks: If your trucks are visibly bent or have cracks, they may have structural damage that compromises their strength and safety.
  • Excessive wobble: If you notice excessive wobbling or instability in your skateboard, even after tightening the trucks, it could indicate worn-out pivot cups or bushings.
  • Inconsistent turning: If your trucks do not turn smoothly or have become unresponsive, it might be due to worn or damaged pivot cups and bushings.
  • Uneven wear: Uneven wear patterns on the hanger or pivot cup can affect the truck’s performance and should be addressed.
  • Rust and corrosion: Significant rust or corrosion on the trucks can weaken them over time and make them less reliable.
  • Axle damage: If the axles are bent or damaged, it can affect wheel alignment and overall stability.
  • Safety concerns: If you ever feel your trucks pose a safety risk due to wear or damage, it’s best to replace them immediately.

The decision to replace your skateboard truck depends on your specific situation and how much the wear or damage impacts your riding experience. Regular maintenance and inspections can help you identify issues early and prevent them from becoming more severe.

Image of a skateboard flipped on the floor. Source: wiki commons
Image of a skateboard flipped on the floor. Source: wiki commons

What is the lowdown on generic trucks?

Generic, or blank trucks, can be a bit of a wildcard. They are cheaper but often of lower quality and lack the dependability and longevity of brand-name trucks. These trucks are typically attached to lower-end complete skateboards and might break under the impact of more aggressive skateboarding.

So, while they might do the job for a casual cruise or curb-hopping if you plan to amp your game with beefier tricks or transition skating, it might be time to upgrade your trucks. Here’s my two cents on this: I used to ride cheap completes with generic trucks, which might’ve done the trick for my cruising and light trick days, but once I got into more intense maneuvers, they just kept breaking.

In a sad cycle, I ended up spending way more cash than I would’ve on just adopting quality trucks from reputable brands like Royal, Independent, or Thunder. Quality trucks will outlive several decks and prove a solid choice for your money in the long run—a lesson I learned the hard way, so now you won’t have to.

My opinion

Here’s my take as a skating enthusiast: While, yes, you can ride your trucks until they are barely holding together, I’m not a big fan of that approach. Your trucks are like the bones of your skateboard, and running severely damaged trucks risks your safety and restricts your skateboarding potential.

Quality trucks are a solid choice, not just a fancy add-on. They’re the key to a safer, smoother ride and that means more stoked sessions and fewer sketchy falls.

Checking your trucks for visible or functional problems, upgrading from generic to branded trucks, or prioritizing quality during your initial purchase helps in the long run. Skateboard maintenance and regular check-ups, including keeping your skateboard in good condition, should never be overlooked.

Advantages and disadvantages of replacing skateboard trucks

When it comes to changing your skateboard trucks, there are both pros and cons that are worth weighing in on before you leap.


  • You have improved stability and control over your board.
  • Reduced risk of truck-related accidents or injuries.
  • Enhanced performance, especially for trick or transition skating.
  • Better turning capability, giving you more control over your maneuvers.


  • Cost: High-quality trucks can be expensive.
  • Adjustment period: New trucks often need time to “break in.”
  • Fit: You must ensure the new trucks are the right size for your board.
  • Preference: Some skaters don’t like the feel of new trucks.

Replacing your trucks might have its challenges, but the benefits of a smooth, controlled ride make all the difference in your skating experience.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Navigating through the maze of truck replacement can come with a long list of questions. Here are some commonly asked questions about when to replace your skateboard truck.

How often should I inspect my skateboard trucks?

Ideally, it would be best to give your trucks a once-over before every ride or, at the bare minimum, once a week. Checking your trucks for visible cracks, bent axles, or signs of wear and tear ensures you spot any problems promptly. For comprehensive maintenance, you might find it helpful to check how to keep your skateboard in good condition.

Can I replace the damaged parts, or do I need to change the whole truck?

Often, you can replace specific parts like the kingpin, nuts, baseplate, washers, bushings, pivot cup, or hangar without buying a completely new set. This can be a great cost-effective option if only certain components of your trucks are damaged. There are many online sites offering repair kits to facilitate this.

Are brand-name trucks worth the extra money?

In my experience, they are. High-quality trucks from reputable brands are more durable, provide smoother rides, and help improve your control and stability as you skate. Of course, individual preferences play a part, but I’ve found investing in quality trucks initially can save you money and trouble in the long run.

Does wheel size affect when I should replace my trucks?

Your wheel size can indeed impact your truck, especially in cases of frequent wheel bites or if you’re struggling with balance. You might want to explore whether skateboard wheel size matters to understand how wheel size can influence your ride, turn radius, and truck performance.

Remember, knowledge is power, and these answers should equip you with the insights you need to decide when it’s time for a truck upgrade!

Final thoughts

Skateboarding is an exhilarating sport and a lifestyle that involves a great deal of balance, precision, and, of course, quality gear. Your skateboard trucks are an integral part of that equation, and maintaining them well is the key to many safe and stoked hours of shredding the streets. So be mindful, be proactive, and you’ll have an incredible ride every time!

I’m eager to hear your thoughts. What’s been your experience with skateboard trucks? Have you had to change yours recently? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and roll on!

Key takeaways

This article covers everything you need to know about when you should replace your skateboard trucks. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Trucks are crucial for board control and stability, so regular inspection is essential.
  • If your trucks are visibly or functionally damaged, it’s time to consider a replacement.
  • Quality brand trucks can make a world of difference regarding durability and performance.
  • Don’t neglect the signals your ride gives you, even if your trucks aren’t visibly damaged.
  • Replacing trucks serves both safety purposes and helps to experiment with different riding styles.
  • The cost of quality trucks outweighs the risk of injuries or accidents due to old or damaged trucks.
Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

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