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Posted by Stephanie on July 10, 2023

When you transport heavy loads from one destination to another, you must do so in a manner that’s safe and legal. The easiest way to keep these items safe and secure is by choosing triple axles for your trailer. Tri-axle vehicles are trailers, tractors, or trucks that use three distinct axles to keep the wheels connected to the vehicle. In most cases, each axle will connect two wheels, while the third axle is air-lifted.

It’s possible for drivers to move the third axle down or up to ensure the wheels remain off the ground at times when the truck has yet to be loaded. In this scenario, you can avoid tire wear, keep your fuel economy high, and save a considerable sum of money. Having three axles can also be beneficial for stability and weight distribution. The following is a comprehensive guide about triple axles and why you should use them when hauling heavy loads.

triple axle trailer

Why Use Triple Axles?

Triple axles are mainly used to carry heavy loads while also providing such benefits as better tire capacity, a smoother ride, improved tracking, and proper load distribution. You may be wondering why you need to place three separate axles under your truck instead of using just one large axle. Using a single axle is too risky even when the load is only moderately heavy.

There are several reasons why you should opt for three axles. For one, you need heavier tires with better capacity to carry additional weight. When you have a single axle in place, damaging one tire can be a major problem. If, on the other hand, you have around two to three tires for each side, it’s possible to stop before severe damage is done. Having more axles also means that the load in your vehicle will be spread out over a large portion of the frame, which adds strength to the system.

Triple Axle Technologies

Before you buy axles for your truck, there are many triple axle technologies you should know about to select the one that’s right for you.

Leaf Spring Style:

The most common and affordable triple axle technology is the leaf spring style. You can choose from the eye-eye or slipper style configuration. Slipper technology accommodates heavy loads that amount to 6,000 pounds per axle. In comparison, the eye-eye style is ideal for hauls that weigh in at 4,000 pounds per axle or below.

Torsion Axles:

While torsion axles have their advantages, they are also highly risky to use and aren’t recommended with triple axles. These axles cause uneven load distribution and may increase the risk of an overload. They don’t interact with one another, which means that they won’t equally share the load you’re transporting unless the road is level and flat. In a scenario where an overload occurs, your truck’s frame and tires will be the first portions of your vehicle to be damaged.

If you opt for torsion axles, you can obtain a hybrid system that offers vibration damping with rubber and equalizing. When you install a hybrid system, your axles will be able to more effectively share the load even at times when the road isn’t level and flat. There are also many methods you can use on your own to add suspension and load sharing to the axles you buy.

Center Pivot (or Walking Beam):

Also known as walking beam suspension, the center pivot design was made with equalization in mind. While the center pivot solution is expensive, it offers the best equalization out of all options. You can expect center pivot axles to cost around 5-10 times as much as the more affordable leaf springs. Keep in mind that these axles don’t cause the load to spread over a large area of the frame, which means that you’ll need to pay attention to strength and stability while items are being transported.

Unique or Less Common Options:

There are several more unique and less common solutions that you can implement on your truck. For instance, the low-profile trailer suspension is highly effective when used with tandem axles.

Triple Axle Trailers

You can also choose to use axles without suspension for triple axle trailers. However, this option is rarely ever useful and isn’t recommended for tandem axles.

triple axle trailer

Considerations in Choosing a Trailer Suspension

When you’re searching for the right trailer suspension, there are several factors to consider, which include everything from load sharing to stability. You should also consider how the trailer is going to be used and what environment you’ll be driving in. For instance, will the conditions be wet or dry? You should also consider how often you’ll be driving off-road. If you select multiple axles, it’s essential that they work together and accommodate uneven ground. There’s no reason to buy multiple axles if they don’t offer load sharing.

To understand how dangerous it can be when axles don’t properly share the load, think about what happens when a trailer that has tandem axles but not suspension or springs goes over a speed bump. In this situation, the first wheel will rise when the bump takes place. Since there isn’t any equalization, the back wheel could respond by lifting off the ground as well. Now imagine that your trailer has tandem axles as well as an equalizing suspension. When the initial wheel goes over a bump, the equalizing suspension will move to the back wheel, which keeps it in place on the road.

It’s also highly recommended that you focus on making sure the axles remain stable while under the trailer. When you first mount the axles, look for any signs that one or more of the axles has resistance to it. If this occurs, the axle wasn’t mounted correctly.

After you mount your axles, it’s important that you establish a solid connection with the frame. If you use a single-axle leaf spring, the forward area of the spring will serve as an arm that trails away from the frame. This option allows for a stable connection when you’re mounting an axle.

When you choose tandem leaf spring axles, the back axle will be the leading arm. This connection doesn’t have the same amount of stability. Even though the connection lacks stability, it will become stable when the vehicle is in motion. Because of how this connection occurs, the brakes may be placed along the front tandem axle without being added to the back one.

If you use slipper-style leaf springs, the back axle springs will be pinned to the equalizer to create a trailing arm for every axle. The back springs will attach directly to the central equalizer, which makes it possible for them to effectively float in the back.

If you use the walking beam style, the back axle works like a trailing arm, while the front axle is placed on the same beam. This setup is more complex and difficult to understand. However, it’s been used for years and has proven to be effective across many industries. Along with axle stability, you should also make sure that the axles are correctly positioned beneath the trailer. For instance, the axles will need to be straight and parallel.

Truck stability can only occur if all vehicle components are stable. Without proper stability, the truck’s tires will go through an ample amount of wear and tear in very little time. If the axles haven’t been correctly positioned, you might also notice that your truck’s fuel economy is worse than usual.

triple axle trailer

Triple Axles Recommendations

If you’re looking to purchase the best triple axles for your trailer, there are several options to consider. One off-the-shelf option you might be interested in is the Timbren Silent Ride, which provides a smooth ride and a strong frame. It accommodates a tandem axle setup.

If price is an important consideration for you, consider the leaf spring suspension alongside a rubber isolator. As long as you place the rubber isolator in the equalizer, you can use this setup for tandems and triples.

Standard leaf springs are a well-proven and affordable choice if you want to save money while also ensuring your trailer can transport heavy loads without encountering issues. The slipper style is effective for heavy-duty applications, while the eye-eye style is suitable for lighter applications.

Even though you can use twin torsion axles, you shouldn’t do so unless you also obtain some form of load sharing. While torsion axles may be effective with lighter trailers, they create more problems than they solve with a heavier trailer.

Conclusion

Since there are several great solutions available to you, you’ll need to focus on choosing the right axle configuration based on application, load, and desired performance. No matter which axle configuration you select, make sure you implement consistent load sharing and strong axle stability to maintain a safe and efficient trailer.

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