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How to Determine Correct Trailer Axle Placement


On a tri axle trailer could you remove one axle and if so which one?


Expert Reply:

A trailer that was built with three axles will have a gross weight rating (GVWR) based on the combined weight capacities of the three axles. Removing any of them will substantially reduce the trailer's weight carrying capacity.

If you had reason to remove one of the three axles on a trailer it would be best to remove either the front or rear axle, but not the middle one. If you removed the middle axle there would be a large gap between the two remaining axles and this would cause more of what is known as scrubbing of the rear axle's tires. This means that the turning of the trailer will be handled mostly by the front axle (nearest to the vehicle) and the rear axle's tires will more or less get dragged along. This causes more tire wear on those rear tires.

The other consideration is what axle removal/placement will do to the tongue weight of the trailer. This matter is covered in the linked article on trailer axle placement.

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