Swear BY Your Axles or Swear AT Them?

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/


Swear BY Your Axles or Swear AT Them? — 4 Comments

  1. Hello there, I am getting ready to purchase a 14 foot enclosed aluminum trailer that I will use to haul my side by side down the beach on sand. Will a straight axle give me more ground clearance and help me more in the sand then a torsion axle?

  2. The straight axle is probably your best bet in this case. The torsion axles are made in different configurations, usually as a ” drop axle ” to some degree. You would need to look at the trailer to determine if this is so. Different manufacturers do different things. A torsion axle can sit higher than a straight axle, but this is not typical as the trailer manufacturers are usually trying to keep the trailers low to the ground for ease of loading.

  3. We are thinking of having a cargo trailer, 8.5 x 20 + a 4 foot v nose, built with a small bathroom (shower, tolet, sink). Then in the main cargo area have a sink, stove, microwave & refrigeator. An extended counter for 2 stools. In the back have a happy jack bed. We want to carry 2 ATV, 725lb each, & 2 15.5 foot long kayaks. Would you go with torsion or spring axles with shocks added?

  4. I will be purchasing 53 foot trailer to haul automobiles. Mainly van or work utility type vehicles. I was wondering if a spring or torsion would be best for the job?

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