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Trailer Axle Question's

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Panhead, May 31, 2009.

  1. Panhead

    Panhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    The trailer I have is a year old this month. The trailer is rated for 3500lbs, its a 6x12, open trailer. But I took notice the axle is slightly kinked upwards in the middle and when its loaded (2 mowers) it will bottom out and hit the floor. I was on I-78 and the highway was pretty rough and had a 61" walk behind on the trailer. I now have to carry 2 pieces of equipment on the trailer but the axle is close to bottoming out. Is the axle being kinked upwards slightly normal? Anywhere I can slightly lift the trailer a little? I was thinking about flipping the axle down to the bottom of the springs and see how high it lifts. i was also considering of fabricating bump stops so the axle wont hit the floor. I need some advice from the people who knows trailers.

  2. Ruben Rocha

    Ruben Rocha LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Well it sounds like you overloaded the trailer and bent the axle.
    Just because it is rated for 3500LBS does not mean squat.
    I have been through this myself.
    A standard 3000lb trailer has springs rated for around 2000lbs.
    Hit a pot hole and it is over.
    Let alone if you have two large mowers than are sitting on one side only
    The static rating may be 3500LBS but hit a pot hole or speed bump and you may have exceeded it to say 5000lbs.
    So I would say.
    Axle is bent and or springs. Then you start to eat up tires etc.
    So it may sound expensive at first but you will save in the long run on tires.
    Figure out what the weight of everything is including the trailer.
    Size your springs to exceed that weight and replace your axle.
    In my area I am lucky that there is a company that specializes in just springs so they helped me out quite a bit.
  3. 4.3mudder

    4.3mudder LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,227

    Hmm, my 16 foot trailer is like that too, but does not bottom out against the floor.
  4. Ruben Rocha

    Ruben Rocha LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Well some axles are bowed on purpose. But if you are bottoming out then the springs are overloaded. Which also means the axle is prone to be bent, Which means the camber gets out of wack and eats tires.
    Most trailers in this class are rated for 3000lbs not 3500(meaning the axle. But they put say a 2200lb spring on each side.
    Then you have to deal with the 3000lb rating is static not moving. So when driving down the road all the bumps,dips,potholes increase the weight on the springs. When the springs bottom out something has to give. So it ends up being the axle being bent. Which in turn means the camber changes and the tires get worn very quickly.

    Also most 16' trailers are dual axle so if it was not aligned properly when assembled then the alignment problem will erode the tires..
    But to know if it is bottoming out you need to crawl under the trailer and look where the ubolts are and see if there are marks on the wood planks underneath.
  5. Ruben Rocha

    Ruben Rocha LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    And BTW, The leaf springs do get worn out over time. And need to be replaced.
  6. Panhead

    Panhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    I never overloaded the trailer. I only have 2 Cub Cadet's (1 HDS 2135 and HDS 2185) and 3 walk behinds but will only have 2 mowers ocasionally on the trailer. Thats the most weight it ever saw in its life time. I don't always carry 2 walk behinds when I go mowing grass. Usually just one.
  7. seabee1

    seabee1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    the Axel's are bowed upwards on purpose ,it helps the alignment .when you come up to capacity the Axel straightens out .if it was bowed down the wheels would be tipped in and it would wear the tire's out !you say it is bottoming out ?next time it is loaded get under it and check for clearance ,this happened on my ole man's trailer ,man it was well built triple h trailer ,they got it nice and low to the ground ,and guess what ?the u-bolt's were right under the frame and would hit when it was loaded and bounced ,it only was able to move about 3/8 of a inch.we put longer shackle straps on it and it helped .you can put taller hanger's on the frame ,or if the axel is on top of the springs weld new Axel spring seat's on the top of the Axel and you will gain the diameter of the Axel and height of the seat ,about 3 1/2 inches .:usflag:
  8. Panhead

    Panhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    I did have the trailer loaded with my Cub Cadet HDS 2135 and my 36" Walk Behind and where the axle is bowed, its close to the floor. I would say theres about 2 1/2 - 3" of clearance before it hits the floor.
  9. seabee1

    seabee1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    did you see any contact point's ?it's possible the spring's are too weak !check the fender's to see if the tire's are making contact also at the top .
  10. Ruben Rocha

    Ruben Rocha LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Well to add up the weight you have to add everything
    Trailer weight
    Trimmer racks.
    Gas in mowers
    Gas cans
    Water jug
    Chain saw

    Pallet of sod??
    Brick pavers??

    I think you will see it adds up fast.
    Then like I said hit a bad pothole and you go way up there in weight.
    Also even if you are not over weight you could have a broken leaf spring.

    But anyway two+ inches clearance on the axle is nothing.
    The u bolts will usually hit the deck first.
    So double check for rubbing or bottoming out like I said and in the previous post

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