How To Soundproof Your Truck Cab
Those of us who own trucks often have to put up with the fact that the vehicle makes a large amount of noise. While this can be the case outside of it, it’s especially true in the truck cabin, with this often being much louder than we might want.
This would naturally lead to the majority of us wishing we could get rid of this sound, although we might not think that it can be done. While getting a professional to do this is something that many of us might have thought of, you may not have to do this.
Instead, there are quite a few things that you can do to soundproof a truck cab. While it’ll take a certain amount of time and effort, it could be well worth your time. Coupled with this is the fact that it’s much more straightforward than you might think.
What You’ll Need To Soundproof A Truck Cab
Naturally, the first step that you’ll need to take to soundproof a truck cab is to get the materials that you’ll need. However, quite a large number of us might not know what we’ll need to do so.
While there’s quite a large number of options to choose from, there are a few that stand out from others. However, you should make sure that they’re right for your needs before buying. Typically, you might need to use a few of them, including:
Though some of the products should come with self-adhesive properties, some might not. As such, it’s recommended that you have one at hand, just in case. Alongside this, you might want to consider buying a roller. This will make it much easier to apply each of the soundproof materials.
While you should be able to find each of these in an automotive or DIY store, these could be much more expensive than you might have anticipated. However, they’ll also be available online while also being somewhat cheaper.
Though the price shouldn’t be the first thing you look at when choosing the products that you need to soundproof a truck, it could make a large difference. However, slightly more expensive options could be much more effective at this than cheaper models.
As such, it can sometimes be recommended that you choose one of the more expensive options, as these will give you more value for money. They also shouldn’t need to be replaced anytime soon, so you could save money in the long-term.
Before you order any of the materials, however, you’ll need to know how much of them you’ll need. While truck cab sizes can often be relatively standard, you’ll still need to make sure that you have enough of the materials to soundproof your truck cab. You might also want to avoid over-buying.
As such, it’s recommended that you measure each of the areas that you’re looking to soundproof before buying them. You should be able to find a range of sizes online, although you’ll naturally have to wait a few days so that they can be delivered.
When you’re buying your materials, it’s highly recommended that you avoid any that are made from asphalt. The main reason for this is that it has a tendency to melt in high temperatures. While this might not be a large issue for the majority of us, it could still be a problem.
The Main Causes Of Noise In A Truck Cab
The majority of us might think that noise is noise, especially in a truck cab. However, there can be a variety of causes for this sound, which could mean that you’ll have to take different steps to reducing it. As such, it’s worth noting what could be causing the noise in your truck cab.
Structure-born noise is perhaps the most notable sound that you’ll hear while driving, as it mainly comes from the wheels and how your truck interacts with the road. Typically, a good suspension system will help reduce the amount of sound that comes up through here, although it might not get rid of it.
To deal with this, there are a variety of products that you’ll be able to use, with the majority of these being constrained layer dampening materials. These are often much more effective at soundproofing a truck cab, as they’ll often stretch to restrain any vibrations felt in the vehicle.
These products are perhaps best known as sound deadeners, with there being several well-known brands that you’ll be able to take advantage of. Typically, these are quite thin, so you may often need to use another material with them, such as mass loaded vinyl or something similar.
Despite this, they can often have quite a significant impact on how much sound is let into your truck cabin. Given that the majority of the sound comes in the form of vibrations through your wheels, it could be worth investing in a high-quality suspension.
Alongside structure-borne noise, airborne sound is perhaps the most likely to bother you while you’re driving. Typically, this will come in the form of other traffic, high-winds, and much more. Alongside this, horns can be another notable component of this.
There are a few ways that you’ll be able to deal with this, with there being a significant number of products that you can use. However, one of the most notable of these is mass loaded vinyl, as it’s one of the more effective at dealing with any airborne noises.
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While this is normally the case for homes and other areas, it can be just as effective in your truck cabin. As such, it’s worth picking up some mass loaded vinyl for your truck cabin. While the thicker options will be expensive, you should be able to do the trick with some of the thinner alternatives.
There can be a variety of noises caused by the interior of your truck rattling around, with this typically being driven by objects that aren’t nailed down. While you’ll be able to avoid the majority of this by having as few things in your cabin as you can, this might often not be possible.
In the majority of cases, you’ll simply need to put down a variety of acoustic materials, although these can be somewhat expensive. Alongside this, the majority of steps you’ll need to take to reduce this noise will be focused on the trims and other areas.
This could make it slightly difficult to deal with, as you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the smaller areas covered. Alongside this, if there are some parts of the truck that are rattling that shouldn’t be, you might need to get a mechanic to fix them.
How To Soundproof A Truck Cab
Now that you know what the leading causes of noise in your truck cabin can be, you’ll be able to start tackling them. While your approach could depend on where the sound is coming from, there are a few areas that you’ll need to target. When doing so, you’ll have to take a few specific steps.
Before you start, however, it’s recommended that you clean out the interior of your truck cabin. The main reason for this is that the majority of materials may not apply properly if the cab is dirty.
While you might think that it’s already clean enough to apply each of the soundproof materials, this might not be the case. Instead, you should make sure that there’s no dust or any other dirt along the cabin.
As such, giving everything a proper clean should be the first step that you take before moving on to everything else. This should then mean that everything stays applied for as long as possible.
The Cabin Floor
The majority of noises that you’ll have to put up with in your truck will be coming from your wheels and the road itself. This should mean that you’ll have to place a significant amount of attention on the cabin floor when you’re soundproofing. However, this will be somewhat more difficult to do than you might have anticipated.
First, you’ll need to remove the majority of things from your cabin, including the carpet, seats, and any trimming you might have. This will give you a large amount of space to soundproof the cabin and should allow you to soundproof as much of the floor as possible.
You’ll have to put down several layers of whichever soundproofing material you’ve chosen, which should be placed across the majority of the cabin. However, it should be noted that some areas should already have sound-dampening materials on it.
This should mean that you’ll be able to skip them; placing any fabrics over them will be a waste of time and material. You should instead target the more sensitive areas of the cabin, which will typically be the larger, flatter panels.
Typically, these should be the areas under both the driver’s and passenger’s seats, as this will be where the majority of the noise is heard. Once you’ve put down your soundproofing material, such as Dynamat, it’s recommended that you put down some mass loaded vinyl.
This will help to make sure that the floor is as soundproof as possible. It’s also recommended that you put some soundproof fabrics on the cabin’s trimming, which will help enhance this. When you’re putting down all of the materials, you may need to customize them somewhat.
This will mainly be focused on ensuring that the materials are cut to the size and shape of where you’re placing it. While this will take quite a significant amount of time, it’s well worth the investment.
Alongside this, it’s worth making sure that you put down several layers of the soundproofing materials. While one layer of Dynamat – or something similar – and a layer of mass loaded vinyl will typically be enough, if you’ve got quite a noisy truck, then you should consider an extra layer or two.
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Once you’ve got these put down, you should be able to put back your seats and carpeting, and your truck cabin’s floor should now be completely soundproof. If necessary, you might need to repeat the process and add an extra layer.
The Car Doors
Next to the floor, your truck’s doors will be the largest area where noise can get through. As such, you’ll need to spend a certain amount of time making sure that these are as soundproof as you can. In the majority of cases, you’ll need to follow the same steps as you did with the floor.
It’s typically recommended that you place several layers of sound-deadening material on the outer area of the skin while placing two or three layers on the inside. Once these have been applied, you should then attach a layer of mass loaded vinyl to complete the process.
However, you might not be able to do much with the windows of the truck. The main reason for this is that they’re going to leave in sound anytime they’re open, so there are almost no soundproofing steps you can take to combat this.
When they’re closed, however, you shouldn’t be able to hear much noise, especially once all of the other soundproofing steps have been done.
The Back Wall & Roof
The back wall and roof might not let a significant amount of sound in, although they’re still worth soundproofing. However, you shouldn’t need to go to as much effort with these as you did with the floor and the doors, which could be a relief to many of us.
Typically, you’ll need to just apply the soundproofing material to the roof and back wall and be able to skip the mass loaded vinyl. However, much of this can depend significantly on what kind of truck you drive and how much noise gets in through these areas.
- Polyurethane based, moisture-curing adhesive
- Low VOC content: Meets stringent state and federal regulatory requirements
This should mean that you’ll have to use your best judgment when deciding. With both of these areas, however, you’ll need to make sure that you used a high-quality adhesive when applying them.
The main reason for this is that they could come off at some point, which could prove to be dangerous when you’re driving. As such, you should put safety first and make sure that they’re well applied to both of these areas.
While soundproofing your truck cab will take a certain amount of time, it can pay off significantly once it’s been done. However, it should be noted that a large amount of noise could come in through the window when it’s open. Naturally, there’s very little that can be done to prevent this.
Before you start soundproofing a truck cab, you’ll need to make sure that it’s worth the effort. Since all of the above can take a decent amount of time and effort, you’ll need to make sure that it’s something that you want to do. Should the noise levels not bother you too much, then it might not be worth it.
If you have to put up with a significant amount of noise and want to minimize it, however, each of the above steps should be quite effective. Though time-consuming, they’ll be well worth the investment, especially for long journeys in trucks that are somewhat well-known for their noise levels.