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There are many types of locking differential, they all replace the centre carrier of the standard differential and can activate automatically or manually using either compresser air or an electric solenoid. When activated the ‘locker’ will lock the 2 halfshafts together which will make both wheels spin at the same speed, so if one wheel is off the ground both wheels will continue to turn at the same speed.
When unlocked, for example, on the road, the manually operated differential behaves as a normal open differential giving equal torque to each wheel, allowing the differential action required for smooth cornering. This is not the case with the automatically activated lockers which all have differing degrees of on-road side effects which range from clicking to banging. It is for this reason we no longer supply them with the exception of the Detroit Locker for the 110 Salisbury axle which due to the longer wheelbase we have found to be acceptable on road.
We are able to offer both our own Ashcroft Locker and the ARB air locker. Both these are driver operated lockers and are activated by a switch in the cab and will also require an on board air supply. The benefit of this type of locker is that it gives you 100% lock up when required and that the driver has total control and none of the on road side effects associated with the automatic lockers.
Depending on what type of off roading you do you may also want to consider a limited slip differential, we usually find these are best suited to the faster rally raid events and also the customer that does less severe off roading and doesn’t really require a full 100% locking.