The king pin, normally constructed of metal, is the major pivot in the steering mechanism of a motor vehicle. The original design was really a steel pin on which the movable steerable wheel was mounted to the suspension. Able to freely rotate on a single axis, it limited the levels of freedom of movement of the rest of the front suspension. During the 1950s, when its bearings were substituted by ball joints, more comprehensive suspension designs became accessible to designers. King pin suspensions are still utilized on several heavy trucks as they could carry much heavier cargo.

Newer designs no longer restrict this particular device to moving like a pin and now, the term might not be utilized for an actual pin but for the axis around which the steered wheels revolve.

The kingpin inclination or also called KPI is likewise known as the steering axis inclination or also known as SAI. This is the explanation of having the kingpin put at an angle relative to the true vertical line on most recent designs, as looked at from the front or back of the forklift. This has a major effect on the steering, making it likely to return to the straight ahead or center position. The centre arrangement is where the wheel is at its highest point relative to the suspended body of the forklift. The motor vehicles weight tends to turn the king pin to this position.

One more effect of the kingpin inclination is to fix the scrub radius of the steered wheel. The scrub radius is the offset amid the tire's contact point with the road surface and the projected axis of the steering down through the king pin. If these items coincide, the scrub radius is defined as zero. Although a zero scrub radius is likely without an inclined king pin, it needs a deeply dished wheel in order to maintain that the king pin is at the centerline of the wheel. It is much more practical to slant the king pin and make use of a less dished wheel. This also provides the self-centering effect.

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