Skateboard trucks are installed on both ends of the skateboard and are an extremely crucial component of a skater’s setup. The trucks control most of the turning function of a skateboard and dictate a majority of the balance and stability elements. All skateboards have two trucks.
Because trucks are such a heavily used and often moving part on a skateboard, this also means they go through a lot of wear. If you use your skateboard heavily, you can go through trucks pretty quickly thanks to normal wear, plus the effects of dirt and grime.
However, there is a way to remedy this through proper care. Did you know there is an efficient method for cleaning your skateboard trucks that can make them last longer?
In this guide, we’ll go over the truck cleaning process step-by-step. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get some extra life out of your trucks by making good use of this guide.
Table of Contents
What Are the Parts Available to Clean On Skateboard Trucks?
This is a list of the working parts on trucks that are available for you to clean. If you’re going to learn how to clean skateboard trucks, you need to understand their different components.
It’s worth noting that longboard trucks have the same parts. This guide can be used for any type of skateboard truck, including:
- ׄLongboard trucks
The axle is the long pin that runs through the hanger of the trucks. The wheels are attached to either end of the axle.
2. Base Plate
The base plate is the flat piece connected to the top side of a skateboard truck. This component is lined with holes that allow the trucks to be fastened to the deck.
3. Bushings or Pivot Cups
Bushings, also known as pivot cups, are the urethan rings that stay fitted around the kingpin nut. Bushings change the feeling of the board by increasing the stability and turning elements.There is a bottom bushing and a top bushing on longboard trucks.
4. Truck Hanger
The hanger is the long area of the trucks that the axles are threaded through. The kingpin nut and bolt run through the bottom portion of the hanger.
This component holds the bushings and hanger in place. It also provides a pivot point for the board through the bushing.
Related: How to Clean Skateboard Wheels?
The Cleaning Process for Skateboard Trucks and Longboard Trucks
Follow these easy steps to get the entire truck system clean. You can use a skate tool to remove all of these parts.
1. Take Off Wheels, Washers and Nuts
Detach the wheels from the axles and put them in a safe place. You’ll need to remove the washers and axle nut when you do this, so make sure you keep them with the wheel, so they don’t get lost.
2. Removing the Bearings
You can detach the bearings using the small SIM ejector pins that come with cell phones. If you don’t have one, you can also use a paperclip that’s been straightened. Push gently through the bearing, in the middle of the balls.
Don’t push too hard; you need to be mindful of damaging the bearings. After you remove the bearings and rubber shield, set them in a separate glass jar.
3. Kingpin Nut
Remove this nut from the hanger. Make sure you pull it all the way through and drop the component in a separate jar or cup with the nut. The bushings will separate from the nut at this point. You can keep the bushings with these other parts in the same jar.
4. Detach the Base Plate Using Your Skate Tool
Remove the base plate from the bottom of the deck. There are four bolts that secure it to the board. After you remove the screws, put them together in another separate glass jar. If there are risers installed under the base plate, separate them from the bottom of the plate.
5. Alcohol and Cloth
Using rubbing alcohol and a paper towel, wipe the base plate and risers clean. You can use a toothbrush or wire brush dipped in alcohol to clean the kingpin hole and get any dirt and dust away that sits where the axle and hanger are joined. Pay special attention to the bushing seat also. This tends to get really dirty. Make sure you clean the screw holes around the bottom of the base plate as well. After cleaning everything with alcohol you can wipe the extra dirt away with a dry cloth.
All of the components you had stored in separate jars should be filled with alcohol. Cap the tops of the jars and shake them vigorously. This will remove any debris and grime from all the components.
7. Dry and Reassemble
After you’ve cleaned everything, pour the alcohol out of the jars and set all the components on a dry paper towel. Use a towel to wipe them all clean and dry, then replace them on the cloth to let them air dry for a couple of hours.
Make sure they are all free from moisture before moving to the next step.
8. Lubricate and Replace Everything On the Skateboard Deck
After you are sure everything is dry, inspect the components for any visible damage. If everything looks good (meaning no cracks or stress fractures), you can lubricate everything before replacing the trucks and all the components.
You can buy oil for skateboard parts at any skate shop. Alternatively, you can also use WD40 or transmission fluid in a jam. Give extra care to the bearing areas of the board. You want the wheels to spin efficiently.
When you reassemble all the parts, don’t over-tighten any of the nuts or bolts. You will need to take your board for a test ride to see if you need to loosen or tighten the main nut to make adjustments.
This cleaning process is incredibly simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. You should already have all the materials in your home to complete the job.
Now that you know how to clean skateboard trucks, you should be able to save a little money. Trucks cost anywhere from $40 to $80. Just by following these simple maintenance steps, you can add an extra year or more to their shelf life.