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New Axles

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Last activity 2017-09-24 9:27 PM
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Painted Horse
Posted 2017-09-14 5:43 PM (#170627)
Subject: New Axles



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Location: Northern Utah
 In 2010 I had a spare tire come loose on a long washboard road and fall off. It went under the trailer and was hit by both axles.  This, of course, bent the axles, ruin some tires etc.  I took the trailer in and put it on a large alignment rack and they hydraulically bent the axles back into alignment. They warned me that once bent, the axles have a tendency to rebend. So I've been worried for 6 years about bending axles again.

My axles were 6,000 lbs each and my loaded trail runs about 13,000 lbs. So when I subtract off the pin weight, I'm within the axle ratings.  But I sometimes throw a 5th horse in the trailer, Which I'm sure pushes me over the rating. With newer trucks, I find my trailer just keeps getting a little nose high with each new truck I buy. So I suspect that my rear axle is packing more weight than the front axles.  And I've drug the rear bumper a couple of times on forest service and BLM roads. 

So this spring I had a little extra money and thought I'd get some new heavier axles and maybe block the axles at the same time to level the trailer out. I called and found out that if I change my Torsion axles from the 22° up position to the 22° down position, that I probably would not need to block the axles.  The new axles would lift the trailer. So I ordered two 7,000 axles.  The mobile trailer repair guy showed up with the new axles and dropped the old axles and had the new axles installed in under an hour right in my driveway.

My trailer previously sat at 19" at the front of the box and 13" at the rear of the box. With the new axles, I am now level at 19" front and back.  That's higher than I like my horses having to step down when backing out. But it seems to be no big deal if I let them turn around and walk out forward. My adult horses hop right in. I'm sure they have crossed logs bigger than that on the trail.  But I might find it a big deal when my next generation foals try to load for the first time. The installer of course suggested that they would settle a inch or two as I started hauling them and got some weight in the trailer. I'm sure he is just defending his position that I asked for a 4" increase in ride height and got 6"

So in the process, I bumped my axles from 6,000 to 7,000 lbs. I leveled the trailer and I got new brakes and bearings. It was $1450 with sales tax and installation. I've hauled a couple thousand miles since the work was done, And everything seems to be working great.

I think next spring I'll check into new tires that might take advantage of the increased axle loads.  The current 235-85R16 tires are rated at 3160 lbs each. If the new Goodyear Endurance  tires get some decent reviews over the winter, I might look at buy a set of those in the 255-85r16 size which are rated over 4000 lbs per tire. I've not had goodluck with Goodyear tires in the past. So we will see if the reviews are enough to change my opinion. Otherwise I may be looking at some "G" rated 14 ply tires.

 
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retento
Posted 2017-09-15 11:43 AM (#170636 - in reply to #170627)
Subject: RE: New Axles


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 That 255 Endurance tire will probably need a 8" wide wheel and it will be 33.1" tall... Imagine you'll have to block up those new axles or either take the fenders off so they will fit....!!!  Just stick with a name brand LT truck tire in a 235/85R16 load range E, rated at 3042# and 100+ mph. Something like a BFG Commercial TA, Michelin LTX-MS, or, a Michelin XPS-RIB which is an all steel LT tire that's built alot stronger than alot of the ST load range G China built trash.

  
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RTSmith
Posted 2017-09-15 1:10 PM (#170637 - in reply to #170627)
Subject: RE: New Axles


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For what it is worth, conventional wisdom says that when we go from a 22.5 up to 0 we gain 2", and 2 more inches going to 22.5 down. So his story to you matches industry thoughts. I do wonder if part of the other 2" comes from going to 7s now. Used to, your trailer squatted the 6s to a certain point. The same trailer, will not be as much of a load on the 7s, so less squat- but more remaining capacity. The 6s were also worn which will have some more settle with age. But I don't think you'll see any settling anytime soon with the new axles. 

Also FWIW- personally, I think it is better to change axle articulation than to block axles if possible. 
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Painted Horse
Posted 2017-09-24 9:27 PM (#170689 - in reply to #170627)
Subject: RE: New Axles



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Location: Northern Utah
Rentento, I've got 6 extra inches of fender clearance with the new axles,  So a taller tire is not going to touch the fenders.
 I've not had good luck with Goodyear truck tires, so I'm nervous about their new trailer tire. We will see what kind of reviews they have after a year of use.  And I'm definitely not excited about made in china "G" rated.  Hence the reason I'm even considering the new Goodyears which are made in the USA

RT I'm glad to hear that you prefer to change the torison angle vs blocking.

 
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