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Is it Possible to Increase Weight Rating of Haul Master Utility Trailer By Changing Axle/Hubs

Question:

can you recommend an axle and hub replacement for a new harbor freight trailer I just purchased? the axle looks too weak for my taste, even though what Ill use it for is under the weight rating . . . its model number 62648 . . . thanks!

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Helpful Expert Reply:

In order to increase the actual weight-carrying capacity for any trailer, such as your imported Haul Master folding utility trailer model 62648, you would need to replace the weakest component part in the trailer. Upgrading the axle/hubs to ones with a higher weight rating would increase the trailer's capacity ONLY IF the axle/hub system were the lowest-rated component part. If the frame, or the hinged coupler, or the decking surface had a lower rating than the axle and hubs then changing the axle would NOT increase load capacity. This is where it pays to have a mechanical engineering background!

Since you intend to use the trailer well within its rated payload limit of 1195-lbs what I suggest you do to minimize wear and tear is carefully follow the product's maintenance guidelines.

In particular, make sure your wheel bearings are always maintained with a suitable level of wheel bearing grease like # L11382 to avoid overheating and damage. Make sure your tires are always inflated to the cold psi pressure that is noted on their sidewalls (60-psi, according to the online manual I reviewed); it is never appropriate to under- or over-inflate a trailer tire for any reason. Drive the trailer within the speed rating indicated on the tires; if unmarked you should presume the tire speed rating to be 62-mph (known as a "J" speed rating). And always load the trailer carefully to avoid one wheel carrying more weight than the other. Load cargo so that your tongue weight is within the ideal 12- to 14-percent of the trailer's rated gross weight.

In the event that you can confirm with the manufacturer that the axle and hubs are indeed the weakest link in terms of weight capacity then you could install a higher-rated axle and hubs like the 2K-rated kit # 20440I-ST-60 and actually end up with a trailer that can hold more weight or that has a higher safety margin. Keep in mind that a higher-rated axle also requires higher-rated leaf springs.

I would not make any assumptions on this but would rely on the manufacturer's recommendation to ensure your safety.

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