When you have trouble maintaining full control over your truck's steering, you don't want to ignore this problem. A truck that pulls to one side or another can easily slide out of control, or even tip, especially if you're towing a heavy trailer behind you. This is why truck wheel alignment is so important. If you're having problems with your truck's steering, note a few simple things to check or consider so you can address these issues yourself or know what to discuss with a mechanic.

One wheel pulling

If you notice that one wheel seems to pull when driving or that it drags when you turn, first check the tyre itself. If it's worn or damaged, this can cause drag. If the tyre is fine, that wheel itself may not be aligned properly. You can check the alignment of that one wheel with a long, straight board. Run the board from the problematic wheel to the one in front of or behind it. Note if the board touches both wheels evenly or if there is a gap between one wheel and the board; if there is a gap, the wheel that is pulling or dragging may have a bent tie rod or damaged rim that needs replacing.

Losing control when you brake

If you hit the brakes and one wheel seems to pull the truck forward or if that wheel bounces up and down so severely that you can't control the steering, this often signals a broken brake caliper. If that caliper is not squeezing the brake pads as it should, the tyre will keep spinning, even after you apply the brake pedal. In turn, the truck may pull forward toward that side, or the wheel may bounce up and down as it tries to keep spinning after the other wheels have stopped.

Odd steering after a collision

If you notice any steering problems after a collision, have the vehicle checked for a needed alignment in the area of collision damage. Even a seemingly minor accident can damage a tie rod, bend the struts that keep the tyres connected to the truck's frame or otherwise cause damage that affects the steering. You may not think a recent collision is the reason why the truck is now difficult to steer if the steering column itself was not damaged, but any damage to the area around the wheel well can mean that the truck's tyres are now out of alignment, making it difficult to control the vehicle.