Bennett Trucks: How to fine tune

I had a customer get in touch recently, with some questions about their Bennett skateboard trucks for pumping.

It's been a while since I've owned one (as a front truck) but I did spend a good bit of time on it as part of my slalom / pumping skateboard setup, although not so much LDP.

As I went pretty in depth, I thought I'd share it here, in order to make it a reference point in future.

IMG_4045 Bennett truck stock 19mm boardside bushing setup

Q: "I’ve changed the standard Bennett bushings out for Orangutan Nipples (Hard at the back and soft at the front) which has made a big difference."
A: If you haven't already, I'd recommend making sure that the bushing height difference between the stock Bennett boarside 19mm and Otange Nipple 15mm is addressed.
Otherwise it can detract from the turn and create metal on metal contact easier, between the kingpin and hanger's bushing seat.

Bennett truck setup with a boardside Venom HPF 15mm bushing. We'd recommend using a 19mm tall bushing, which are made by Venom, RipTide and Fat Ant

Q: "I was thinking of getting the Khiro Angled Wedge Rail Riser Kit and a couple of 1/8 shock pads, would this be my best option?"
A: The riser kit will give you a lot of options to experiment with, most notably the very high 15* wedges.
A soft pair of shock pads won't hurt, but aren't necessary unless you're mostly skating on rough roads.

Now, the Bennett truck features a lot of turn with a very easy lean, it's generally not what I'd recommend for use as a rear truck on a pumping setup. But if you are going to use I'd recommend more focus on dewedging that than wedging the front.
Say -15 rear, +5 to +10 front

The use of long hardware and extreme wedges can end up in hardware needing to bend to conform to the shape.
It's imperative that hardware is inspected regularly to make sure it's not close to failure, which can be catastrophic mid pump.
The act of pumping increases wear on the hardware with the side to side forces.
In a nut shell, use the shortest possible hardware and wedges where possible.

Q: "I’ve also read about swapping the kingpin on the truck can make a difference? Do you have any idea if this makes a difference?"
A: A kingpin swap can be beneficial if:
There is less exposed thread on it, so that bushings are less prone to being chewed up.
The strength is increased, so that kingpin failure is reduced / eliminated.
Both of the above are issues more likely to arise from a frequently pumped setup.

I haven't actually knocked a Bennett kingpin out, ever, the one time I tried I gave up after it wouldn't budge at all.

Bennett Trucks Stock Pivot Pin Bennett Pivot pin, this can do with some tidying up for a smoother pump.

One thing I would highly recommend however, is cleaning up the pivot pin shape and surface.
As it is stock it's not well shaped and isn't overly smooth.
Use a file to remove any protruding lumps, then smooth down with a high grain sand paper (1200 or so)
Clean up with a paper towl, reinsert into hanger along with some kind of lube, like soap bar shavings.
The result is a more fluid turn and reduced/eliminated friction from the pivot and pivot cup interaction.

If you're interested in having your Bennett truck(s) fine tuned by us, please do get in touch.

We can usually:

  • Face your hangers, so that bearings sit well aligned with hanger and spin unrestricted.
  • Tidy up your pivot pin, so that turning is smooth and your pivot cup doesn't wear out so fast.
  • Upgrade your pivot cup to a RipTide one, so that it almost never wears out.
  • Replcace your pivot cup with an Independent one, so that you can carry on skating.
  • Upgrade your bushings, so that you can pump easily and have a decent return to centre.
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