Mobile Dental Systems Van Structural Considerations
h. What are some suspension considerations?

The suspension system determines how sturdy and how smooth the ride is. It is designed to isolate road shock and vibration from the vehicle and onboard equipment. Unlike an automobile, select a vehicle with a suspension that best protects the equipment inside the vehicle rather than personal preference or comfort of the driver. Suspension types include spring and air ride. Leaf spring suspensions are stacked pieces of spring steel that are sturdy and long lasting, but do little to eliminate road shock and vibration that can jar and damage dental equipment. (Dental chair bases have fractured due to the road shock after as little as 4 years.) Air-Ride is the most expensive type, but offers the best protection. This suspension eliminates road shock by suspending the chassis and body off the axles on air bags designed for that purpose. Mammography units have been on vehicles for 8 -10 years without damage to sensitive x-ray tubes on air ride equipped vehicles.

There are basically three air ride options:

  • Full air
  • Air assist (spring suspension in back, air in the rear)
  • Spring in front and rear.