The king pin, normally made of metal, is the major pivot in the steering device of a motor vehicle. The initial design was in fact a steel pin on which the movable steerable wheel was attached to the suspension. In view of the fact that it can freely rotate on a single axis, it limited the levels of freedom of movement of the remainder of the front suspension. During the 1950s, when its bearings were substituted by ball joints, more comprehensive suspension designs became available to designers. King pin suspensions are still featured on several heavy trucks for the reason that they have the advantage of being capable of lifting a lot heavier cargo.
Newer designs no longer restrict this apparatus to moving similar to a pin and these days, the term might not be utilized for an actual pin but for the axis around which the steered wheels turn.
The kingpin inclination or also called KPI is also called the steering axis inclination or SAI. This is the description of having the kingpin placed at an angle relative to the true vertical line on most new designs, as looked at from the front or back of the forklift. This has a major effect on the steering, making it tend to go back to the straight ahead or center position. The centre position is where the wheel is at its highest position relative to the suspended body of the lift truck. The vehicles' weight tends to turn the king pin to this position.
Another impact of the kingpin inclination is to set the scrub radius of the steered wheel. The scrub radius is the offset between the projected axis of the steering down through the kingpin and the tire's contact point with the road surface. If these items coincide, the scrub radius is defined as zero. Though a zero scrub radius is possible without an inclined king pin, it requires a deeply dished wheel so as to maintain that the king pin is at the centerline of the wheel. It is more sensible to tilt the king pin and use a less dished wheel. This likewise supplies the self-centering effect.
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