Single Axle Vs. Double Axle Trailer

 In Trailer Tips

Choosing between a single or tandem axle trailer? Here are the benefits and disadvantages of each. Larger payload trailers do have the requirement to have dual axles, however, for the mid-payload range, it is personal preference as to whether you choose single or double axle.

Single Axle Trailers

A single axle trailer, as the name implies, has one axle with a wheel connected on each end. It’s attached to the trailer either via the springs or directly on to the trailer bed with clamps or supporting hardware.

Advantages of single axle trailers:

  • Great for towing lighter weights and short distances.
  • Single axle trailers weigh less so they are more economical to tow.
  • Often cost less to buy.
  • Are easier to manoeuvre than a double axle trailer of the same size.
  • Easier to park in a tight spot.
  • One fewer set of tyres, bearings and brakes to maintain and replace.

Disadvantages of single axle trailers:

  • They can not haul as heavy a payload as a tandem axle trailer of the same size.
  • Single axle trailers below 750kg GTM are not required to have brakes, so it’s up to the owner to make a call about this important safety issue.
  • A single axle trailer will be harder on tyres as they carry more weight per tyre than a dual axle trailer.
  • If you get a flat tire whilst driving, you will immediately pick up a trailer wobble.
  • If it does not have suspension, it will not cushion the load so well or provide a stable ride over bumps.

Tandem Trailers

Double or tandem trailer axles have two axles placed in close proximity to each other to help disperse the weight load of the cargo.

Advantages of tandem axle trailers:

  • More suitable solution if your towing over long distances and are concerned about safety.
  • More stable at highway speeds.
  • Usually, have much better suspension.
  • A flat tyre is less of a dramatic event and if it happens the tyre could possibly be changed without using a jack.
  • Tandem axle trailers are safer. If they are rated to carry 750kg to 3000kg, they are required by law to have brakes, while anything over 2000kg must have brakes on all axles.
  • When properly loaded, a dual axle trailer will bounce less and is less prone to swaying.

Disadvantages of duel axle trailers:

  • A tandem axle trailer often costs more.
  • Depending on the brand, they are often more difficult to manoeuvre
  • It weighs more so fuel economy suffers.
  • The more axles, the more maintenance is involved, such as four wheels to maintain with bearings, grease and tyres.

Choosing between a single or double axle will depend on your individual needs and preferences. However, ensuring you are purchasing a high quality manufactured trailer from someone with knowledge and experience in the field so you can guarantee safety and longevity with your purchase.

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