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Trailer Axle Question

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by TNGrassCutter, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    I have a tandem axle 16 ft trailer with dovetail, I have problems with the rear end bottoming out sometimes because it only sits up about 8-9 inches off the ground in the back. The trailer is level when hooked to the truck hitch so that isn't the issue. The leaf springs on my trailer go underneath the axles and are bolted up to the underside of the axle with u bolts. What I am wondering is could I take the leaf springs off, flip the axle so the flat tabs are facing up, and bolt the springs back on top of the axles instead of underneath. This would give me an extra 4" or so of clearance. On all my trailers the leaf springs go underneath the axles, so I don't know if it is like that for a reason and changing it would be detrimental. Any trailer experts or guys that have done this that could help? Thanks
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    That won't work.

    Get a 1" or 2" drop receiver.
    That's assuming you got the clearance in front.
    Drop the front some, that will raise the back.
    You can drop it as far as you want, 4" and more, but keep in mind you don't want to drop the tongue too far.

    That's what I usually do.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    The problem with that is a lot of axles have a slight bend in them to induce camber which helps the trailer tow correctly. If there isn't a bend in the axle then you should be able to do what you want. People have been doing this for a long time to either lower or raise a vehicle.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    You'll have to do some researching, but my guess is to get some bigger shackles for the leaf springs.

    That or change the mounting points to drop them a few inches to get the clearance your looking for.
  5. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    Your trailer is level when it's empty?.....or, loaded?
  6. mowingtowing

    mowingtowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    It can be done. Ive done it. I changed it back though because the rear gate angle was too much of a pain to go up and down all day long. Also, like Richard Martin said, there is likely a bend in the axle for a little bit of camber in the trailer tires.

    Assuming your trailer has electric brakes you would probably have to rotate the backing plates unless you cut off and re-welded the spring perches to the top of the axle (which would also eliminate your camber issue)

    Get some rollers like what go on the back or large RV's and mound them to the back of the trailer. It will save further damage to your trailer and possibly a customers driveway (if you pull into their driveways).

    Could you go to a slightly larger trailer tire when you replace them next?
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  7. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    I can't get a bigger drop hitch, then the jack would be too low, I will definitely be getting bigger tires when I replace them, the trailer is level when loaded and sits a couple inches high in front when unloaded. I haven't noticed any bend in the axles, I'll get the level out and check tomorrow. Thanks for the help.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    I would just drop the hitch a little more. I know it will be too low for the jack, but simply take your floor jack and pop it up a little bit off the hitch until your trailer jack can swing out, or get a different jack that will fit.

    we do the first one, just use the floor jack. It works and its quick and easy. Its much quicker then taking the trailer apart and doing all sorts of stuff to it. I know people love weekend projects, but during the middle of the season, my favorite weekened project is sitting outside on the patio or porch with a beer in hand and relaxing.
  9. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    It's not a swing jack, it is welded to the tongue, just goes up and down.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    You can remount the jack higher. The company that makes my trailer mounts the jack in the fame back far enough to clear the tailgate. I took it back when I had to have a new jack installed and had them remount it on top of the fame fixing any dragging issue.If you raise the trailer in some way(tires,springs) you might want to have someone to make your gate longer.

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