trailer axles

Learn About Leaf Spring & Torsion Trailer Axles

Jan 29, 2019

When shopping for a trailer, it’s important to know everything you’re getting and what’s involved in the make-up of that trailer.

For that reason, we’d like to go over more information about trailer axles.

Axle’s are a key structural component that help determine how much you can haul, how durable your trailer is and the life of the trailer.

You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best quality manufactured axle’s.

At NC Trailers we equip our trailers with Dexter axles, Lippert axles, and Sure trac axles. Keep in mind we can also custom order the axle brand of your choice such as, Al-KO axles.

What else should you know?

Trailer axles, in general, are supported by two types of suspension systems.

  1. Leaf Spring
  2. Torsion

Leaf Spring Axles

Leaf spring axles are used in the majority of the trailers we stock on our lot. They are made up of stacked spring leaves and are assembled over or under the trailer’s axle.

Take a look at these images to get an idea of what that looks like:

                           Underslug                                                       Overslug

Benefits of leaf spring axles:

  • Reliable and equal distribution of tire wear.
  • Independent wheel suspension.
  • Easy Installation and replacement
  • Easy on-going maintenance, due to accessibility and separate parts
  • Inexpensive
  • No rewelding if you have to replace an axle

 

Cons:

  • Metal to metal contact wears a little faster
  • Little more of a bumpy ride compared to torsion axles

 

Torsion Axles

The other type of axle you’ll encounter when shopping for a trailer is a torsion axle. These don’t come stock on our trailers but are available for special order by talking to one of our trailer pro’s.

So let’s understand why most dealers don’t stock their trailers with torsion axles.

These type of axle’s are constructed a little differently than the leaf spring axle. Instead of using metal spring plates and supporting the axle externally, a torsion axle uses long rubber cords situated around an inner core to support the axle internally. This system is  all set-up inside of the metal axle itself and the core piece is attached to the torsion arms which softens impact and creates suspension.

Also, another big difference is the outer metal tubing of the axle is welded on to the frame of the trailer.

Benefits of torsion axles:

  • Dependable and durable
  • Welding the axle to the frame means a smoother ride
  • No metal to metal contact or springs, quieter ride
  • Low maintenance, all you need to do is grease your bearings
  • Good in saltwater or other water saturated areas

Cons:

  • Axles must be ordered and built by axle manufacturer resulting in longer lead times to source replacement axles
  • Difficult to do maintenance, not designed to be reconstructed, must be cut off
  • A little more expensive up-front cost

Which one to use?

So now that you know more about the two types of axle’s we provide, which type should  you get, which type is better? Well, it’s more of an individual answer because everyone’s hauling needs are going to be a little different.

We recommend you go with the leaf spring axle as all of our trailers in stock are equipped with these and have had long running customer satisfaction with them. Also, each trailers GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), or how much weight your trailer can haul, will be highly dependable on your axles rated capacity.

 If you are a trailer user that would benefit more with the use of torsion axles after understanding the differences, then we are more than happy to assist you in outfitting your trailer with these axles. If you’d like to know more about the special ordering process, or axles in general your best bet is to give us a call and speak with a trailer pro.

Axle Service, Parts, Brakes, Warranties

A)Axle Parts for Trailers

We carry parts related to the care and maintenance of your axles. A trailer axle kit can assist you to conveniently service your trailer. Some of the products we offer are; bearing kits, replacement leaf springs, hub kits, drum kits, and break kits. .

B) Trailer Brakes

Not every trailer axle come’s with brakes. However, manufacturer’s will start installing brakes when the GVWR of the trailer reaches 3,500 lbs. The law in North Carolina is if you have a trailer with a GVWR of 4,000 lbs or more.

C) Trailer Axle Warranties

Please keep in mind that every new trailer we have in stock will have a warranty on the axle through the manufacturer.

Generally, the warranties are at least a year and vary in length from each axle manufacturer.

In case any issues come up you can contact the axle’s manufacturer after your purchase to ensure your trailer axles will be covered. We can also take care of this for you, just ask about it while you’re checking out to make your warranty claim easier!

D) Service for Trailer Axles

We recommend that you get your axles serviced every year or every 12,000 miles, which ever one comes first.

Around 6 months you’ll want to examine your spring and suspension parts for damage or wear.

We have a 1 year service plan available at check out that includes 1 axle service, anytime greasing of axles, and lug nut torque adjustments. 

The service plan offers more perks but as far as your axles are concerned that is what’s covered. To learn more ask your trailer pro during checkout.

 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that trailer axles are a very important part of a quality trailer. We wanted to educate you about the differences between leaf-spring and torsion style axles.

Both leaf-spring and torsion axles are available to you for purchase. Also remember, the trailers on our lot will feature leaf spring suspension. Check with our trailer pro’s to discuss GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and how axle’s play a big part in this rating.

Our trailer pro’s are very educated about the trailers we sell and the axles involved. We will do our best to equip you with the best axles and highest quality trailer for your hauling needs.

We hope you have learned something from this article and if you have any more questions about trailer axles or buying a trailer in general please give us a call at (336) 276-0329