Torsion suspension vs. leaf spring suspension axles – the pros and cons of each!
There are two forms of suspension that are used on most trailer axles – torsion or leaf sprung. If you have researched either type, you have probably found that there are many contradictory opinions. However, the reality is that both forms of suspension have pros and cons. You need to decide which system is best for you. We will discuss both forms of suspension.
Torsion Suspension Axles
Torsion axles are mounted directly to the frame of the trailer. They have four rubber cords in the axle tubing that resist torsion, create suspension, and provide shock absorption. As you drive down the road, the rubberized cords compress and offer even wheel suspension which gives a smoother ride with less vibration.
The problem with torsion axles is that they do not have replaceable or repairable parts due to their attached construction. If your axle breaks, you will have to replace the entire suspension system by cutting off the old one and installing new. This can be extremely costly. In addition, because each axle is separate from the other, there is no transfer of impact. For example, if a pothole is hit, the full force will hit only that wheel which can cause more damage.
Leaf Spring Suspension Axles
Leaf spring axles are the most common form of axles due to their affordability. A leaf spring axle is composed of curved leaves stacked on top of each other installed below the axle. The leaf spring suspension has an “equalizer bar” that connects both axles. This bar is designed to equally distribute force between the two axles. This will limit the damage caused by potholes, etc. Leaf spring axles are fairly easy and inexpensive to replace as they are made up of many different components.
Unfortunately, leaf springs have their downfalls too. Because leaf springs have so many components, there are a lot of things that can break. Unlike the torsion suspension, leaf sprung suspension does not have rubber cords to take the impact of a bumpy road. This can make the trailer ride a bit bumpy.
As you can see, both types of suspension have their pros and cons. You need to weigh your options and see which type of suspension is best for the hauling you will be doing. Know your facts and swear by your axles – not at them!
For more information on torsion and leaf sprung suspension, visit: http://trailers123.com/leaf-spring-axles-versus-torsion-axles/