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How to Determine if Trailer Axle is Not Aligned and How to Measure to Replace Trailer Axle  


I have a 6x12 carry on trailer, one of my workers jack knifed the trailer the other day now it seems to have more trailer on the driver side then the passenger side, it looks like the tires are tweaked it bit could it be the axle the is tweaked and if so what dimensions do I need to replace the old axle with the new one.


Expert Reply:

If the trailer wheels scrubbed (dragged and scrapped the ground instead of rolling) when jack knifed then it could have thrown something out of alignment or damaged something. First, inspect the suspension. Look for any elongated holes where suspension is bolted/hanging. Elongated holes can cause things to shift from the proper positions.

You can check axle alignment by measuring from the center of the coupler back diagonally to the center of one of the wheels. Then take the same measurement to the other wheel center. They should be identical or within 1/8 of an inch, give or take 1/16 of an inch. If the measurements are off you can loosen up the suspension and straighten the axle.

There are multiple ways to measure the length of an axle beam, but the hub-face-to-hub-face and spring-center-to-spring-center lengths are the most accurate. Hub face refers to the length of the axle measured from the base of one wheel stud to the base of the wheel stud on the opposite side of the axle (when hubs are mounted on the beam).

The spring center is the approximate width of your trailer. It is measured from the center of the spring seat on one side of the axle to the center of the seat on the other. I have included a link to the axle options we carry. If we do not have a match you can order an axle to the specifications needed from a local tractor or trailer supply store.

expert reply by:
Michael H
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