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How Do I Know What The Capacity Of The Axles Are On My Trailer?

Question:

I have a 7K GVWR tandem axle trailer. The Dexter axle tubes measure 3. It has 4 leaf springs. These axles should be 3,500 lb. axles, but all I didnt find any 3inch 3,500 lb. axles, only 3inch heavier axles. What do I have under my trailer?

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Expert Reply:

Unless your axles were custom made/modified, the 3" diameter will denote an axle in the capacity range of 5,200 pounds (like the Dexter # 6340624) up to 7,000 pounds (like the Dexter # 8327834). If there was a previous owner of your trailer, they may have upped them to a heavier capacity, but even some manufacturers will equip trailers with heavier duty parts than needed. Especially if it is a newer trailer. Demand has been much higher than supply recently so I have seen a couple trailers put together with parts that were available, even though they were a bit beefier than completely necessary.

However, if your trailer is rated to 7,000 pounds, this is the max it should still be loaded to. The axles are just one component in the trailer's weight carrying capacity and will not be the determining factor in what a trailer is rated to. The only real downside to having axles that are over-rated for your trailer will be replacements. As they are designed for heavier loads, replacement brakes and drums will end up costing more than their smaller counterparts.

With that being said, if you did want to change back over to a standard 3,500 pound axle with the 2-3/8" diameter, like the Dexter # 7359765, you will most likely need to replace the hubs (or drums) and brakes if you have them. The inner and outer bearings, diameter of the brakes, and the brake mounting bolt pattern will be different if your axles really are 5,200 to 7,000 pound capacity axles. This will also require you to measure from hub face to hub face and from center of one spring seat to the center of the other spring seat as these do need to match your current axles. As an example again, the # 7359765 will measure 95" from hub face to hub face and 80" for the spring seats.

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Lazer S

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