Camber of a bridge

Should Trailer Axles be Straight or Curved – What are Spring and Torsion Axles? 

There are two types of axles; torsion axles and spring axles, both of which have a curve that allows some spring action, designed as a suspension advantage. A spring axle’s camber is more noticeably pronounced than a torsion axle’s because of its design. Both axles are higher in the centre and curve to each end to properly distribute your trailer’s load. 

 

One type of axle is not better than the other; torsion axles or spring axles are simply different, each with its unique benefits. Standard Axle, located in London, Ontario, on top of providing parts for both, manufactures spring axles to the specifications best suited for your trailer.

 

The upward bend, curve, or camber of both torsion and spring axles, are designed to straighten under the load typical for your size trailer.

Cambers are found everywhere in engineering. Bridges, railroads, roads, wheels, and axles all take advantage of the strength of an upward curve to help handling and suspension.

When a trailer is unloaded, the wheels naturally extend outward at their tops, straightening when the trailer is loaded.

When the load is too heavy, your axle bows downward, and this causes your wheels to point inward at their tops, wearing them improperly on the inside shoulder of the tire and shortening the tires’ lives.

An excessively high camber angle in an axle spring will produce constant increased tire wear, and the camber may be so high that it rubs on the underside of the trailer frame. Always ensure you’ve correctly determined the spring axles suited for your trailer and load.

If you would like to know more about how you can measure a properly sized trailer axle, read our helpful article here.

 

Is there a particular amount of bend that is standard? 

There is no standard camber to a spring or torsion axle. However, your axle’s curve must make sense for the likely load carried, a predetermined specification of the trailer size you own. Contact, online our knowledgeable staff or call (519) 451 1116 if you need help with any aspect of your trailer’s spring axles or torsion axles.

 

Where can I get custom-made axle assemblies?

Standard Axle in London, Ontario, provides: 

  • Complete spring axle assemblies made to your trailer and load specifications in-house in a short period of time for your convenience. 
  • Complete torsion axle assemblies made to your trailer and load specifications through our off-site assembler.

 

Are there other reasons for inconsistent tire wear?

Here’s an interesting fact; tires do not wear evenly on any vehicle. A trailer with four tires going around a tight curve will experience more wear on the inside tires because their travel distance is less, and bits of tread is scuffed off. 

However, you should note and ask about any uneven, significant tire wear.

  • The load is too heavy: The inside shoulder of all of the tires wear due to the downward bow of the axle (read above)
  • The axle has been flipped: The camber of the axle points down instead of properly up and prematurely wears the inside shoulders of the tires. 
  • A consistently underloaded trailer: If the trailer weight is too light, it can’t straighten the axle and outer tread wear results.
  • An unmoved trailer: When you leave a trailer sitting in one spot for a long time, it can cause tires to develop stress lines around the flattened resting areas of the tires. Simply move your trailer occasionally.
  • A worn suspension part: If one tire is wearing on the outer tread faster than the others, it may be due to a worn suspension component.  
  • A bent suspension part: If one tire is wearing on the inside tread faster than the others, it may be due to a bent suspension component.  
  • Improperly balanced tires wheel bearing concerns, alignment issues, excessive speed, or worn suspension assembly: You might notice a bulge on a part of the tire because the metal and nylon cords of the tires are failing.
  • Uneven load distribution: This will strain one set of axles more, causing those tires to wear more. It is also difficult to control or handle a trailer with uneven weight distribution.

Standard Axle is here to assist you with most of your trailer accessory needs. Drop in and see us at our new location at 336 Sovereign Road in London, Ontario.