October 9, 2023 Determining the right axles and tires for your commercial trailers.
Choosing the appropriate axle configuration and tire rating for your specialty and commercial trailers is essential for safety, not to mention stability and performance for the life of the trailer (and truck for that matter). When it comes to choosing axle options, one will find double and triple axles as the most popular choices. Furthermore, selecting the right tires for your commercial trailer, such as a G-rating or higher can be paramount for managing your load and maintaining the trailer’s performance and structural integrity. So, let’s take a dive in to the types of axles and tire ratings, shall we??
DOUBLE OR TRIPLE AXLES? That is the question.
Advantages of double axles:
- Cost & Efficiency: Double axles are usually less expensive to buy and maintain compared to triple axles
- Maneuverability: Doubles are usually easier to maneuver, especially in tight spaces. They will tend to provide better handling on certain terrains: pavement, dirt, etc.
- Lower Maintenance: Fewer axles means less to repair and replace when compared to triple.
- Reduced Stability: like comparing a bike to a car; less tires on the surface usually mean less stability. On a commercial trailer, one needs to consider their trailer’s weight and total load.
- Weight Limitations: Doubles tend to have lower weight capacities compared to triple axles.
Triple Axle Advantages:
- Better, enhanced Stability: Better stability especially on rough terrain and with heavier loads. Weight is distributed among 3 sets as opposed to sets of axles.
- Higher weight capacity: again, weight distributed on three axles which helps on larger commercial trailers.
- Higher Maintenance Costs: Kind of like the opposite of advantage of double axles, one more set of things that can go wrong and which need maintaining.
- Complexity: More axles, more components, again, more to go wrong; more to be aware of.
So, those are some things to consider when choosing axles. Let’s take a look at tire ratings. To begin, the higher the letter, the better the tire in terms of wearabilty and performance. Most commercial trailers are equipped with G, H, J, or L rated.
G- rated tires have several advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is cost. G’s are usually cheaper than other options. The are built to withstand heavy loads and provide excellent stability. When choosing tires, make certain the G-rated tires can adequately support the weight carried by your chosen axles and axle configuration.
H, J, or L tires. These higher rated tires can handle extremely heavy loads which make them ideal for larger commercial and specialty trailers. Furthermore, they’re designed for enhanced and robust performance in challenging conditions, be it road or weather. Be aware, higher rated tires are more of an investment than G rated tires. And, one should consider whether the added load capacity is necessary for your commercial trailer.
So, which tires and which axles should you choose? To sound a little like a politician, that depends.
Whether you go with double axle, or triple, what type of tire rating, one needs to asses load requirements, budget and intended uses. Furthermore, careful consideration should go in to all decisions to ensure ease of operation, maneuverability, and safety of drivers both trailer drivers and those drivers with whom they share the road.
Happy trailers, rom your friends at Workforce by RBD