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Is it Okay to Use Two Axles of Different Capacities on a Tandem Axle Trailer

Question:

I have a tandem axle trailer that needs a new axle. Im wondering if it would become an issue if one of the axles was straight and the new one Im looking at has a bend in it for the camber. Im also curious if it is feasible to add a higher rated axle to replace just one of the axles and leave one of the original. So instead of two 3.5k, have one 3.5k and one 5k.

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Expert Reply:

Trailer axles will typically have the bend in the axle beam so that when the trailer is loaded down, the beam will flatten out causing the tire treads to make full contact with the pavement. If straight axle beams are used, the wheels could get into a negative camber situation with the trailer loaded, which will cause increased tire wear on the inside edge of the tire tread.

Using a higher rated axle isn't recommended as it won't change the load bearing capacity of the trailer. The suspension and trailer frame will still be rated for the capacity of the original axles so you'd be better off simply replacing the 3.5K axle with one of like capacity.

In order to choose the correct replacement axle, you'll need to choose one with identical hub face to hub face and spring center to spring center dimensions as the one you're replacing. I've shown those dimensions in the provided diagram.

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expert reply by:
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Mike L

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