The Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Enclosed Trailer Axles

race car trailer

Single axle, tandem axle, torsion axles, oh my? Truth is, we receive a lot of questions from our customers concerning enclosed trailer axles. That’s because this component really defines how much of a load your new trailer can safely carry. So, in today’s spotlight series, we sat down with our trailer pros and decided to focus and expand on the top 10 questions we’ve received about enclosed trailer axles.

10. Are trailer axles meant to be bent?

You may have noticed that many trailer axles you’re looking at have a slight bow in them. Don’t fret, this isn’t the manufacturer getting sloppy and putting out deformed trailers. Rather, this is an engineering marvel that is very much meant to be there. Trailer axles will typically have this bow in order to provide a means for compensating the load they’re taking on. The bending helps them deflect the load down and out which will help maintain the proper camber in the trailer’s wheels. 

Camber is the angle of the wheels and when it isn’t calibrated correctly, can lead to uneven tread wear. Think of it this way, if you have two wheels connected with a board and then load up that board with a ton of weight in the middle, the board would tend to sag and then pull the wheels down towards it. These wheels would then be out of camber. So instead of a design flaw, the bend in your trailer axle is very much an intended design feature and will ensure your trailer can handle the load it’s specified for.

9. Is a torsion axle superior to a leaf spring?

This depends on the application you are looking for with your trailer as each of these offers their own unique benefits. Torsion axles are actually mounted to the trailer’s frame which adds durability. Torsion axles use long rubber cords within the axle itself, which also help to absorb force. This makes them generally less noisy and provide a smoother ride than a leaf spring. The design of a torsion axle makes them virtually maintenance free beyond greasing the wheel bearing from time to time. 

Torsion axles also offer great corrosion resistance and are therefore better used when water or salt spray may be encountered. With better shock absorption, they’re also a better bet for bumpy and uneven terrain or where a lot of vibrations may be present as perhaps with a commercial wood chipper operation. On the minus side, torsion axle repairs can be really difficult and can require cutting the axle itself.

Leaf springs are the more common type of trailer axles because they are less expensive than a torsion axle and are far easier to maintain or replace. Selecting the best between the two depends on where and how you intend to put your trailer to use. Talking to our expert trailer pros can help you understand which option would work best for your situation.

8. Are all trailer axles straight?

Nope. As we explained above, a slight bow in your trailer axle is desired to help deflect the weight of the vertical load over it. This helps keep the wheels in the proper camber to avoid uneven tread wear.

7. What is the average lifespan of a trailer axle?

This varies greatly depending on where and how the trailer is driven. If your enclosed trailer axles are being subjected to extreme temperature swings, water, or salt spray, these variables are especially harsh and can all affect various components within the axle and shorten their respective lifespans. 

Preventative maintenance like proper lubrication can dramatically improve how long your components last. That being said, the lifespan for a leaf spring is generally around 10-15 years and a torsion axle is around 15-20 years. 

6. How do I know what my trailer axles are rated for?

Generally, you can find the weight rating on an enclosed trailer axle by locating where the VIN number is displayed. This can be a plate or sticker which should list both the VIN and the weight rating for your trailer’s axles. If you’re having trouble locating this, you can also do a little measuring to find a general capacity number based on the axle’s diameter. For example, a 1,000 to 2,000-pound axle will usually run around 1.5” to 1.75” in diameter. 

As always, when in doubt, give our experts a shout. Overloading your axles can have some really negative effects on the axles and other vital components.

5. How can I tell which axle my trailer has?

If you’re looking over your axle, you should see a sign, placard, or even a stamping into the axle itself that will help you ID your trailer’s axle-type. If you can’t find anything, you can look elsewhere on the axle or trailer. First up, is your trailer’s weight rating. For example, if your trailer is weight-rated to 7,000 lbs and you have a tandem axle trailer, it’s a safe bet to assume you have two, 3500-lb axles. Other parts around the axle like the bearings and seals may also have industry standard numbers, or ISNs, that can help narrow your search and aid in finding replacement parts. 

4. What are the different types of trailer axles available?

In the wide world, there are many different types of trailer axles, used for different purposes and applications. You’ll see coil spring axles, leaf spring axles, trailing arm axles, rubber compression axles, and torsion axles out there. However, by far the two most commonly used trailer axles used today are drop leaf spring and torsion. 

Drop Leaf Spring Axles – this is the most commonly used axle as it is generally cheaper and easier to work on than a torsion axle. Leaf spring axles have a flat stack of springs that are placed underneath the axle. This helps stabilize the load and distribute the weight of the cargo. Attached components like springs are done so individually which means they can be easily taken on and off when they need to be maintained or replaced. 

Torsion Axles – use long, dense rubber cords as opposed to steel springs.The rubber cords run inside a square tube which surrounds an inner piece and is attached to the torsion arms. The lack of metal-to-metal contact means torsion axles offer quieter, smoother rides than that of a leaf spring. These axles require little maintenance but if a repair is ever needed, it can require cutting into the axle itself.

3. Should a trailer axle bow up or down?

The trailer axle should bow up slightly when it is unloaded. After you load up the enclosed trailer, you’ll notice the axle straightens out. As we mentioned above, this helps maintain the correct camber for the wheels, which helps distribute the load evenly and avoids excessive or uneven tread wear on the trailer’s tires. If you trailer axles are bowing downward, this can mean the trailer axles have been overloaded and may even need to be replaced. 

2. What are the best trailer axles on the market today?

Trailer axles range anywhere from being able to carry 400 pounds to 25,000 pounds. Simply put, there is a great diversity of trailer axles available. Our manufacturers use the very best components in their trailers so you can be sure the axles you are getting are quality-made and can stand up to the loads they’ve been rated for. 

1. Which enclosed cargo trailer axles do I need?

When looking over your options, you’ll notice Renown carries single axles, tandem axles, and a triple torsion axle option for our 38’ and above Gooseneck Trailers. Which type of axle is best for your enclosed cargo trailer depends on how you want to use your trailer as each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Our smallest trailer size is a 6×12 single axle. This is a very popular model because it gives you a great amount of space to secure all your gear but is still small enough to be maneuverable and is also the most inexpensive model available. The 6×12 single axle has one 3500lb-rated drop leaf spring axle. Contrary to what you may think, the 6x12SA actually has a higher payload capacity than a 7x14SA. With a higher empty weight and trailer tongue weight, the 7x14SA simply has less weight to spare for payload capacity. 

For deciding between torsion or spring, consider again your load. For goosenecks, we include torsion axles to give a smoother ride for carrying livestock or a lot of equipment long distance. The 8.5×16 tandem axle employs two 3500-lb drop leaf spring axles with electric brakes on both axles to assist in controlling stops.

Finding the Best Enclosed Trailer Axles for Your Cargo Hauler

For finding the right trailer for the right price, look no further than Renown. You can browse our huge selection, get financed, check out, and even have your trailer delivered, all online. Contact our team now.

Single Vs. Tandem Axle Enclosed Cargo Trailers

Over the years, our customers have asked many times whether the inherent versatility of the single axle trailer or the powerhouse qualities that make up our tandem axle trailer takes the cake as the best trailer we carry. Truth is, both of these trailer options have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to one another. The greatest determining factor in which trailer is right for you boils down to how you plan on employing your trailer. Here, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each trailer type to help you decide which option is right for you.

6x12 rock solid enclosed trailer - single axle trailer

The Single Axle Trailer

Renown’s single axle trailer has one 3500 lb. drop leaf spring axle which connects two ST 205 15” radial tires. Because of their versatility, the single axle trailer is a very popular unit so we always have an ample number in-stock and ready to roll of our lots. The standard features of our single axle trailers create a tough, dependable unit, at a low price point, and with enough muscle to accomplish an incredible array of different tasks. With many custom options available, we can build out the perfect set up for your unique application. 

Advantages of Single Axle Trailers

  • Less expensive than a tandem axle 
  • Easier to maneuver around town and to park in tight spaces
  • Fewer tires and brakes means less to maintain
  • Better fuel economy for your vehicle
  • Can be pulled by vehicles with smaller towing capacity
  • Great for in-town cargo transport

Disadvantages of Single Axle Trailers

  • Smaller payload capacity than an equal-sized tandem axle
  • Single axles are not currently required by the DOT for units to have their own braking systems to help your vehicle stop. Tandem axles come with brakes on both axles. 
  • More weight on one axle and two tires can translate to more wear and tear on these components over a tandem
red mobile office trailer

Renown’s Tandem Axle Trailers

Our stout tandem axle trailers have two, separate 3,500 lb. drop leaf spring axles that each has its own set of brakes. These beefy axles connect two sets of ST 205 15” radial tires, which can be customized with a variety of wheel options. So, what is a tandem axle most suited for? The short answer – heavier loads and longer hauls. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Advantages of Tandem Axle Trailers

  • Can haul increased payloads over a single axle
  • Affords greater control and stability, especially from crosswinds
  • Brakes on the trailer help you stop; this is very important when you are hauling a heavy load
  • Better equipped for highway/long-distance travel
  • Will generally not sway as much as a single axle
  • A flat tire is compensated for by the additional tire on the side making getting off the road safer and easier. This also makes changing the blown tire easier.

Disadvantages of Tandem Axle Trailers

  • Generally more expensive than single axle trailers
  • Tandem axle trailers weigh more than single axle trailers
  • Will not be as fuel-efficient with your vehicle over a single axle
  • Where they are enforced, tolls for tandem can be more expensive versus a single axle trailer
  • Four tires on a tandem axle trailer mean having four tires to maintain and replace and four hubs to lubricate. By nature, tandem axles simply have more to maintain.

What to Look for When Deciding Between Single Axle vs Tandem Axle

No one understands exactly how you desire to use your new trailer better than you, but our experienced sales staff are really good at helping guide you to the right trailer based on the requirements you present. We’ll take the time to go over all the possibilities you envision for you and your enclosed trailer to find the perfect set up to meet your needs.

When you are torn between the single axle and tandem axle trailer options, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where will I drive my trailer? 

If you are a handyman and need your trailer to bring your tools and equipment all-around a city, the best option is probably a single axle trailer. If you are looking at hauling heavier loads longer distances, like on the highway, then a tandem axle will probably be more beneficial in the long run. 

  1. What will you be hauling in your enclosed cargo trailer?

This all comes down to payload capacity. Simply put, our tandem axle trailers can safely carry significantly more cargo than our single axle trailers. 

  1. What can I realistically afford?

Our financial service providers can help find the best funding options for financing your new trailer, but consider your long-term goals with the trailer. Tandem axles tend to be more expensive, so if everything you need your trailer for can be accomplished with a single axle trailer you can save money by going with the less expensive single axle. 

How to Choose the Best Enclosed Cargo Trailer

From Rock Solid Cargo to Anvil Trailers we are proud to carry the best of the best when it comes to enclosed cargo trailers on the market today. We are often asked which of these manufacturers makes the best trailers. In reality, each manufacturer we carry has quality products, built on dependability, and conduct their business by the same principles that we hold ourselves to. In that light, there are several categories to look at when comparing trailer options side-by-side:

  • Lowest Price: while the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true for most transactions, within the three manufacturers we are proud to carry you can definitely find a great trailer at a great price. This is usually the chief driver with many consumers and we are incredibly adept at blending affordability and functionality in one great trailer package. We also offer a monthly special, allowing special pricing for different trailer options on our line. Be sure to check back regularly to see what sales are running in a given month.
  • Durability Ratings: do your research or ask your sales associate to help you compare the different components used in the trailer’s manufacturing. Aspects like a thicker aluminum skin can translate to the outer shell withstanding the elements longer, which can increase your trailer’s overall lifespan.
  • Customization Options: while customization options are really only limited by your imagination, look at the different options available to you with a stock model. Options like having an array of different base colors you can choose from can help you find the right trailer for your personal or business use. 
  • Customer Reviews: online reviews should always be taken in perspective. There are many fake reviews out there and other times one bad experience led someone to rant and rave, but it doesn’t necessarily give a true depiction of the brand. That being said, Google does provide a good platform from which to look at how these trailers stack up against each other based on ratings. Note things like service after the sale, which can be an incredible advantage. For example, Rock Solid Cargo doesn’t require bringing a trailer back to them for repairs like some other manufacturers do. Ease of service after sale is also an important consideration as you consider your trailer purchase.
  • Warranty Period: most all manufacturers will list their warranty information on their website but you can also ask your sales associate to provide this information. Like above, consider what happens if you have trouble in the future and how accessible the manufacturer is making themselves towards providing an easy warranty process. 

Ready to Find Your Perfect Trailer?

Our team takes great pride in how we conduct our business. We choose to be a firm with integrity, treating customers as we would want to be treated. This means we don’t employ pushy sales people. Our professional team members are partners in your success and will take the time to understand your needs before recommending the perfect set-up for your unique situation. Our trailers can be accessorized with a virtually unlimited number of different options to outfit the trailer for whatever you need it for. Whether that’s a custom construction trailer or our popular food truck trailer, we have the ability to build a trailer from the ground up and have it delivered straight from the manufacturer. However, if we meet with a customer and find we don’t have the right trailer to match their needs, we’ll gladly say so and recommend other dealerships that might be able to help. That’s the Renown difference. We would much rather see you go somewhere else over putting you in something that’s not entirely right. Whether anyone notices or not we choose to do the right thing in our business, day in and day out. It’s one small reason we’ve enjoyed continued success and give thanks to Him who continually provides. 

Ready for a completely different trailer buying experience? Check out our online inventory or come in and see for yourself. Questions? Call, chat, or email us now.