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Why Does My Semi Truck Shake? (11 Questions Answered)

When your truck shakes it can leave you concerned that you may have to shed out a load of money for repairs, breakdown, and loss of earnings, but this may not always be the case.

We have some answers that may help prevent any loss you may suffer.

Here’s a short summary to why Semi Trucks Shake:

Semi trucks may shake or vibrate unusually whilst idling, turning, braking, or travelling at a low or high speed. The excessive shaking can occur at the front or back end of the semi truck and is usually a result of damaged component such as tires, brake or ignition system, steering column or more.

Trucks can shake for a number of reasons from the changing of speed to braking or accelerating and anything in-between, nonetheless, this can leave you very fearful that you may have to take a little time off work.

It could be a very simple fix, but most of the time it’s human nature to think the worst in these situations, so we tend to overthink and then panic.

We do not need to be mechanics or even have a working knowledge of the vehicle’s mechanics to solve this mystery.

We can even roughly detect the location of the problem by pinpointing the vibration to the front end of the truck if the steering wheel is shaking and the rear of the truck if your seat is shaking.

Vibration is an up and down, side to side loping movement of the vehicles and should be taken seriously.

I have had my truck’s steering wheel shake like it was possessed and on another occasion, my clutch pedal shook so much it made my leg look like it was out of control.

By investigating why trucks shake (vibrate) at certain speeds and when braking, accelerating, or when idling, we hope to have covered your questions and eased your mind, and perhaps even helped prevent any shaking altogether.

We have even compiled a list of the most reliable trucks on the current market which will lead you in the right direction.

We’ll also cover any maintenance issues that may be and usually are the cause of the problem in the first place.

Is it Bad if your Semi Truck Shakes?

It’s generally not a good thing and can get bad rapidly depending on how serious the problem is.

If the issue is dealt with promptly then there is a good chance it will be ok and potentially save you money in the long run.

However, if on the other hand it is not detected in the first place or ignored, then I think it’s safe to say it will be pretty bad for the truck and for your pocket.

Why does my Semi Truck Front End Shake?

Shaking of the steering wheel or the pedals is a sign that the problem may be around the front end of the truck but this isn’t always the case, by carrying out a quick investigation we can detect the root of the problem and deal with it.

Check the tires are evenly worn by using a depth gauge, unevenly worn tires do not come into contact with the road surface at the same time, therefore, creating an uneven ride that will result in shaking.

Check the lug nuts have the correct torque, whilst it is very rare they come loose or haven’t been tightened properly, one or two may have loosened up and it may be an easy fix.

The driveline is also a suspect for front-end vibration, this may require a visit to a mechanic as you’ll need to have the U – joints or slip yoke on the driveshaft checked.

The problem could be the brakes if you have noticed shaking when braking.

If it shakes on turns you may want to have the shocks looked at or the wheel bearings.

Why does my Semi Truck Shake at 45 mph?

The vibration may come through the steering wheel at this speed if tires are out of balance, if this keeps happening have the tires checked and the alignment.

Road conditions play a role in knocking the wheels of the truck off balance or even bending them slightly, we shouldn’t rule out the wheel bearings as they can also loosen or be worn.

Tie rods wearing out are another thing that can cause shaking, this usually starts with the steering wheel followed by rattling noises more common in turning at lower speeds.

Why Does My Semi Truck Shake at 60 mph?

If it occurs while braking there may be a brake system error that will need immediate attention.

If the vibration is not continuous this could indicate there is a problem with more than one wheel, check the tire wheel balance.

If the vibration occurs when accelerating or decelerating and seems to disappear when you press the clutch the problem is likely to be driveline related.

If the steering wheel shakes then the steer tires may need to be balanced.

It may be a simple case of changing one or more tires or even more simple and a lot cheaper, it could be the leveling valve as this little adjustable arm found attached to the axle is designed to maintain a constant level of height with a loaded or unloaded truck.

Why Does My Semi Truck Shake at 65 mph?

If a tire’s cord has separated this will cause the truck to shake, you should have them inspected as soon as possible as this is one of the main reasons for a blowout as we all know can be very dangerous.

An out-of-round brake drum can create issues as well as non-functioning components in the suspension.

Driveshafts that are outbalanced or incorrectly angled can also cause shaking at this speed.

The positioning of the 5th wheel can be overlooked but could also be the reason, make sure it is well greased and not set too far forward.

The trailer has some influence and may cause the truck to shake as does the conditions of the road.

Correctly inflated tires and not overloading the suspension will reduce shaking.

Check payload of cab and body mount, if this is exceeded it will cause unnecessary strain to the inner parts which will typically end in shaking.

Why does my Semi Truck Shake when Braking?

Over time the brakes on your semi-truck would have gone through some tough treatment, it takes a long of strength to slow down and stop a huge vehicle of this type.

When brakes overheat they can mildly reshape the rotor which is the disc your brake pads cling on to when your foot hits that peddle, this doesn’t affect your driving and stopping ability, but it does however result in shaking.

The heat from the pads will make the material crumble and transfer to the brake rotors, in the industry this is known as warped rotors, warping is basically an uneven surface and sounds worse than it is.

It’s worth having your suspension system checked as this could cause your truck to shake while braking.

An improper balance in your tires can also cause shaking, along with worn tie rods, wheel bearings, and ball joints.

Why does my Semi Truck Shake when I Accelerate?

It could be as simple as topping up on your transmission fluid, as if this gets too low it can cause the truck to shake on acceleration, be sure to check the level promptly, if there’s a leak it may cause serious damage to the transmission.

When the rear axle is incorrectly aligned with the prop shaft accelerating can be a bit uncomfortable, this must be realigned for a smooth ride.

If you depress the clutch and the shaking stops then the problem is engine related, if it continues then check drive chain components, suspensions and mounts, and rotating assemblies.

Check the speed at which the shaking starts and/or ends, checking if it’s continuous or comes and goes.

Does driving on a rough road trigger the truck to shake, if so you may want to check the tires are not overinflated or the suspension isn’t worn.

Why does my Semi Truck Steering Wheel Shake?

Tires are the main culprit for your steering wheel shaking, bad alignment or off-balance can set off a chain reaction.

If the steering wheel shakes whilst breaking, it could be a sign that your brake system needs tending to, as a general rule of thumb the motor trade suggests that any shaking on the steering wheel is a sign of a front-end issue.

Your suspension system is also a suspect although this would usually be associated with some horrible metal-on-metal noises coming from underneath you.

Have the wheel bearings checked to make sure there well lubricated and not worn, a lack of grease or worn bearings can cause the steering wheel to shake.

The death wobble is something to be very careful of, it is when the truck shakes like mad making it almost impossible to control the steering until you slow the vehicle right down.

If this happens, keep calm, put your hazards on and go nice and easy on the breaks, hold the steering wheel as firmly as you can and look for a safe place to stop, call it in and then get the truck to a mechanic as soon as possible.

The cause for the death wobble is a combination of things ranging from suspension issues to loose or damaged steering components.

What causes your Semi Truck to Shake while Idling?

It is not recommended to spend unnecessary amounts of time idling your truck, as this could shorten its lifespan, however, if you do and it shakes there could be a number of reasons.

Dodgy valves or spark plugs can cause the truck to misfire, your valves may need adjusting and the spark plugs cleaned or replaced.

An effect of fuel and airflow on the engine can well cause shaking while idling, having the fuel injectors checked for dirt, cleaning dirty fuel injectors are cheap and can save you a lot of money and headache.

It is a great idea to get the issue solved as soon as you can to prevent further issues like slow acceleration, stalling, and eventual breakdown.

You may notice the truck shake when in park or slowing to a stop, using a powerful solvent-based cleaner to blast away tough carbon deposits, oil and grime can really make a difference in the vehicles idling, try a carburetor cleaner, a cheap and simple way.

Excessive engine oil will make contact with the sparks and cause a misfire, resulting in shaking.

It may be that all your truck needs is a fine tune-up.

What causes Semi Truck Clutch Vibration?

A clutch vibrating is a clear sign that attention is needed, not only does it make your drive less enjoyable it can lead to serious problems with the gearbox, the shifter, and even the starter motor, not to mention costing you a week or twos wage.

If the vibrating occurs when you release the clutch then this could mean the clutch assembly and flywheel may need to be replaced.

The clutch disc lining may be worn or burnt or might just need a good clean.

The vibration can also be caused by a warped clutch disc that has been worn or overheated and then will not engage smoothly with the flywheel and pressure plate.

The cost of replacing a clutch on a semi is around the $3k mark, but proper care and an early diagnosis should save you a lot.

Can you Prevent your Semi Truck from Shaking?

With the right care and regular checkups, it can be seriously reduced but like any vehicle, they can make sneaky attacks, with a semi-truck covering anywhere up to 650 miles per working day it is a very tough job to keep shaking at bay.

It is not impossible to stay on top of all the maintenance a semi-truck requires but it is impossible to foresee some of the underline occurring issues.

Regular fluid checks and inspections of the body, brakes, tires, suspension, etc will prolong the lifespan of your truck and even help prevent shaking altogether.

As long as you treat the truck with respect and drive it skillfully then the impossible might just become possible.

Happy Trucking!