View Full Version : Tandem axle VS Single axle

NC Scaper
04-29-2004, 02:32 AM
hello every one, i am getting ready to get a new trailer and i was gonna get a tandem like usual but everyone keeps telling me to get a single axle and when asked why they just say they are better. I have never had a single so i would not know. So what about some input from all of you

04-29-2004, 02:40 AM
Really depends on what you're hauling.

Large heavy equipment, ie more than one z mower, tandem is the way to go, pulls nice, easier (weight) on the truck.
Small stuff, walk-behinds, etc. single is okay, easier to manuever, but doesn't pull as well.

04-29-2004, 06:15 AM
All depends on what you are hauling.

04-29-2004, 07:21 AM
I see no good side to a single over a dual except for the guy starting out who cant afford the dual. That was my situation when I started, and i would never have one now. You may want to have more weight on the trailer sometime so its just good to have. Its not like you can have too little weight on a dual.

04-29-2004, 07:49 AM
A story....went to get a load of mulch and after being loaded, I discovered I had a flat tire. With my tandem I was still able to drive home. It also makes equipment placement on the trailer easier as you have a larger load platform. I would never go back to a single axle after having a tandem. The peace of mind is priceless.

04-29-2004, 08:01 AM
It depends on the size of your buisness and what kind of truck you are gonna be pulling the trailer with. S-10 and Rangers I dont think a tandem trl with a couple of mowers would handle it.

04-29-2004, 08:25 AM
Single axle - Cheap
Decent tire wear

Dual axle -- Load rides smoother
Safety - one wheel blowout (no loss of control)
Easier wheel change if you have a flat (ramp)
Another axle with brakes
Minus - High Tire Wear (scuffing)

Have had two single axle trailers, never again...


04-29-2004, 08:25 AM
I have only been in this business for a short time, but I have already grown out of my single axle trailer.

I was told by some seasoned pros to get a larger dual axle, but thought I was saving cash. I am wishing I listened! :o

But... that being said... if you are a small LCO and intend to stay that way, a smaller trailer is easier on tires and is more manuverable.

Richard Martin
04-29-2004, 08:29 AM
Before deciding you may want to check into how much grief having a tandem will cause you. In that I mean problems with the recently discussed DOT numbers and the associated equipment, medical cards and documentation involved. They may not even require it in North Carolina, I don't know. If they do but don't actively enforce it (like Maryland) you may want to still become legal. All it takes is for one cop to have a bad day and it can really ruin yours.

04-29-2004, 08:31 AM
My trailer is a 5x12, single axle. I only carry a 32" WB and 21" Toro so I have no need for an extra axle.

I was only considering adding a second axle because I think anything over 10ft long looks better with two.

04-29-2004, 08:40 AM
Good point Richard, there was a post a while back that the state of NC. are checking trailers very heavy now, cant remember who posted but they were in the Raliegh area

Mark McC
04-29-2004, 08:58 AM
I have to admit that I'm a little put off by the difference in cost between a single and a tandem. This being my first year, no way I need a tandem, and I'm not sure when I will.

Got a quote for just over 1100 for a single and nearly 1900 for a tandem with brakes on one axle. If it's two seasons (2006) before I really need a tandem, would it be a waste of money to go with a single? I mean, it's not like those things are hard to sell in the newspaper.

04-29-2004, 10:58 AM
I heard that you had to have a special license to drive a tandem, can someone clear me up on that issue.

NC Scaper
04-29-2004, 12:42 PM
well i think i am gonna go tandem due to my outlook this year and i would rather have more now than less later.I dont wanna have to buy a single now then a tandem later

04-29-2004, 02:22 PM
hey, the guy i work for actually shocked me. he sold his 18' trailer and bought a 14' single axle trailer. he does have a full line of equip including 2 61'' ztrs and a 44'' walkbehind. he bought the smaller trailer because he got tired of towing the big trailer and it has the larger gate which gets very tiring after a full days work. he can manage fine with the smaller trailer, and also has a dump trailer and two trucks if need be.

04-29-2004, 02:33 PM
$1900 sound like a lot for a tandem, depending on the options. I just got a quote for $1475 for a 6.5' X 16' with 6" channel, brakes on both axles, 4' gate with spring assist, 2 5/16" coupler, diamond plate floor, heavy duty jack and fenders. No racks or boxes, as I will build myself.

Mark McC
04-29-2004, 03:10 PM
Cels, I agree about the price. I called Gator and left a message a couple of weeks back and never heard anything. Maybe I need to look around more.

Soccer, that varies by jurisdiction. You maybe need to look up NC state law on the Web.

I'm hoping steel prices will drop again, but haven't checked into steel futures (assuming anyone does that with steel) to get a feel for when that might happen. Funny, for a while, Japan was dumping steel here in the U.S. and it was cheap. Talk about commoditized materials.

04-29-2004, 08:35 PM
It all depends on YOUR situation. The best advice I can give if undecided is to take and piece and right down all of your requirements for the trailer. A requirement would be something that you can NOT do without. This will then eliminate trailers that you CAN't look at because they don't meet your requirements. Next, write down what your maximum cost of the trailer you can afford and/or are willing to spend. Now you have eliminated, even further, the trailers you can choose from.

Next, with the trailers that are remaining make three columns per trailer that you are now looking at. Make one of the columns a list for price, specifications, baseline cost, and options cost. Utilize the next two columns for pros and cons, likes and dislikes. This should give you a real indication of what you are looking at and what is better suited for you. someone telling you this or that is better for you without knowing anything about your background, uses, etc. has no clue what they are talking about.

If you really want to gung-ho then you can weight (i.e. rank) different characteristics. For instance, let's say there are five characteristics for each trailer. Assume they are the following, (A) GVWR, (B) Length, (C) Width, (D) Brand, (E) Cost. You would then assign a rank to each characteristic, not necessarily equal. You would grade each characteristic for each trailer. the one with the highest total should (according to your ranking and analysis) be the one that best would suit your needs for your price range, requirements, etc.

Now that everyone is asleep, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

04-29-2004, 10:59 PM
Mark McC, I hear ya on the steel prices. I was reviewing some quotes at work and many of the raw materials I purchase have gone up 95 percent. Right now, stainless steel tubing is killing me.

04-30-2004, 04:44 AM
Buy a used tandem? In Kentucky and Tennessee you can find them in the heavy equiptment trader magazine. You can always add a ramp if you buy a used one without it. You should be able to get one for less than $1000.

05-02-2004, 04:50 AM
Tandem is the only way to go. Unless you do not plan on growing.
You may pay a little extra in gas and in tires, but it will be worth every penny (or dollar)!
When it comes to a truck or trailer, Bigger is ALWAYS better in my Book.