When it comes to utility trailer axles, you should never assume “one-axle-fits-all”. While utility trailer axles may perform the same task, the differences among them can greatly affect the suspension of your utility trailer.
We’ve honed our skills and built our knowledge here at Camco Wheel & Axle for over 30 years in order to provide you the best guidance and services when it comes utility trailers and their parts.
Consider the following information when you are purchasing a utility trailer axle.
Spring Utility Trailer Axles
Spring utility trailer axles are the most common trailer suspension axle currently in use. Their design can range anywhere from a drop axle beam to straight, with curved stack springs—also known as leaves—and are attached either above or underneath the axle itself.
For the purpose of a utility trailer, it’s a better fit to have the axle slung over the spring. The benefits of a lower trailer are two-fold:
- A lower trailer means greater load stability.
- Unloading and loading are made easier.
Since they are a common suspension system, finding replacement parts for them isn’t difficult and can often be found locally. Spring utility trailer axles also carry the benefit of being cost-effective. Additionally, the curved springs are usually pre-attached when shipped, making installation easier and further reducing costs.
A spring utility trailer axle system is an ideal component for utility trailers, cargo trailers, dump trailers, and in open-and-closed trailers.
On the positive side, spring utility trailer axles:
- Have a cheaper upfront cost.
- Are easier and more cost-effective to repair.
- Are durable.
- Have even tire wear for multi-axle trailers.
- Have even weight distribution due to the built-in weight equalizer.
- Prevent load spikes, meaning when all the weight of the trailer is on one axle for a short period of time (typically in off-road situations, curb hopping, or crossing over large speed bumps).
On the negative side, spring utility trailer axles:
- Need repairs more frequently.
- Have a bouncy ride on uneven or rough roads.
- Have metal on metal design, which can lead to faster wear and tear.
- Generally have shorter warranty periods from manufacturers.
When it comes to durable, reliable equipment, the spring utility trailer axle system is your best bet to get those heavy, commercial-use jobs done, especially if downtime for repairs will cost you business. It isn’t the only suspension system on the market, however.
Torsion Utility Trailer Axles
The torsion utility trailer axle system uses torsion, or twisting, strength to keep the trailer suspended and balanced. Its construction usually consists of a square steel rod surrounded on all four sides by high-density rubber cords fitted inside of an outer tube.
An independent suspension system, the torsion utility trailer axle allows you to jack up your trailer, normally with Trailer-aid or blocks of wood. When traveling, the trailer wheel moves up and down on bumpy roads, causing the inner bar to compress the rubber cords along the length of their bearing surface.
Some of the benefits of a torsion utility trailer axle system include:
- Fewer moving parts (no shackle straps, equalizers, or leaf springs to maintain or replace).
- Offer a quiet, smoother ride.
- No metal on metal contact, meaning less wear and tear.
- Offer greater control on rough, bumpy roads and in windy areas.
- Mostly maintenance free (except for wheel bearing lubrication).
- Less spring hop on lighter weight and empty trailers.
- Generally has longer warranty periods from most manufacturers vs spring utility trailer axles.
On the downside:
- Higher upfront costs.
- They are not repairable.
- Can be expensive to replace.
- If severely bent, axle can damage trailer frame.
- They have no impact distribution, so hitting a curb will fully impact the affected wheel or set of wheels.
- The rubber cords can become stiff in cold weather.
- They cannot be welded to, as the rubber inside may melt.
It is worth noting that the Rio Grande Valley is a perfect spot to use a torsion utility trailer axle given the rough and bumpy roads that stretch their way through the Texas brush country. The Valley’s winds aren’t much work for the torsion system either.
Which One Is Best For Me?
When it comes to making the difficult decision on which one to equip your trailer with, it all boils down to what you want to do with your trailer, where your trailer will be traveling down the most, and what kind of loads will you be carrying.
The spring system is less costly, easier to find and replace parts, and durable. On the other hand, the torsion system offers a smoother, more quiet ride, requires less maintenance, and is dependable.
Let The Experts Of Camco Wheel & Axle Provide You The Best Utility Trailer Axles and Other Parts For Your Needs.
Making that final decision on the type of utility trailer axle system you need isn’t one that you have to make alone. With over 30 years of experience in the field, our experts here at Camco can recommend the best fit for you and your cargo.
Come see why we are the greater Rio Grande Valley’s number one Total Vehicle Solution. Contact us today at (956) 781-4800.