Trucks are the crucial part of your skateboard that keep it all together. Also sometimes referred to as axles, they help skaters turn, twist, jump and grind.
Essentially, they are the middleman between you, your board, and your wheels.
Typically, trucks consist of a baseplate, a hangar (the part the wheels are attached to), a kingpin, bolts and nuts, bushings, and washers.
You may want to change or replace your trucks from time to time, and this article covers exactly how to do so.
How to Put Trucks on a Skateboard
First, all the separate parts should be assembled. This entails attaching the axle or hangar to the baseplate using the kingpin bolt, bushings, and washers. Next, secure the assembled trucks to your board by bolting them through the deck holes. Finally, attach your wheels to fully assemble your skateboard.
How to Assemble Trucks
New trucks are not always assembled when you purchase them, in which case you will need to put them together before mounting them to your skateboard.
You may also have removed your trucks from your board to clean them, replace your bushings, or place them on a new deck.
Either way, every skater should know how to assemble and attach trucks. Fortunately, it requires barely any equipment, and you can easily do this at home.
Before assembling your trucks, ensure you have a clean, large workspace, a dish or tray to keep all your parts in, and a skate tool.
If you don’t have a skate tool, obtain a three-eighths inch wrench (0,95cm) and a Phillips screwdriver.
A single truck comprises a baseplate, a hangar (axle), a kingpin and kingpin nut, bushings, washers, and four bolts and nuts.
To put your truck together, first attach the hangar using the kingpin and kingpin nut. The hangar is the long part of the truck that you connect your wheels to.
It should have two long arms, one short vertical arm in the center, and a big hole for the kingpin.
Set the short arm into one of the grooves in the baseplate. Next, you need to put the kingpin through the big hole, with a bushing and a washer on either side of it.
Bushings should always be on the side closest to the hangar, as they help facilitate the turning motion of a skateboard and prevent the metal hangar from hitting the baseplate.
Secure the kingpin with the kingpin nut. Too tight, and you’ll ruin your bushings out the gate, too loose, and you’ll have little control over your board.
Just make sure they are firmly attached, but that board still has a bit of give.
Repeat this process for your second truck, and then you’re ready to mount them to your board.
Attaching Trucks to your Skateboard Deck
More often than not, your skateboard will have two sets of four holes drilled into the deck. These are for attaching your trucks.
You’re going to install your trucks one at a time. Start by pushing your truck bolts through the holes in the deck before flipping it over onto its top.
You may need to press them against the board with your hand to stop them from falling out as you turn it.
Next, position the baseplate of your truck over the bolts (which are sticking up) so that its holes align and drop it down over them onto the deck.
The kingpin side of the truck always faces toward the center of the board.
Secure the truck bolts with nuts. These should be properly tightened to ensure they don’t loosen and slip off while you’re riding.
Repeat this process for your second truck. Once complete, you’ve successfully attached your trucks to your skateboard.
Securing your Wheels to your Trucks
Once your trucks are mounted to your deck, all that’s left to do is attach your wheels.
You’ll need to begin this process by popping your bearings into your wheels first. Once they’re in, place the wheels on each side of your two axles.
Many skaters use washers (also called speed rings) on each side of their wheels.
Use your wheel bolt to fix the wheels to the axle and tighten.
When this process is complete, well done, you’re ready to hit the streets or skatepark with your board.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Put Trucks on a Skateboard
Which way do skateboard trucks face?
Skateboard trucks have a kingpin side (the side with the big center bolt) and a hangar or axle side. The kingpin side of the truck always faces inwards, and the axle side faces outwards towards the ends of the board.
How often should you replace the trucks?
Trucks can be replaced every 2-5 years, but it depends on how often or how aggressively you skate. You may need to replace some parts of your trucks more regularly, like the bushings, as these can wear down quite easily. It may be time for new trucks if your board starts to feel off-kilter or difficult to turn.
How often should I swap my wheels around?
As with cars, skateboard wheels can be rotated every so often to try and even out their wear and tear. Generally speaking, you can swap your wheels around every 2 or 3 months, depending on your skating frequency.
The Last Truck
A big part of skateboarding is maintaining your hardware. Working with your deck, wheels, and trucks will also give you a better understanding of how it all works together.
Attaching trucks to a deck is a relatively easy task and doesn’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes.
You’ll undoubtedly feel a sense of satisfaction, too, if you’re able to service your own board.