How to Determine the Load Capacity for a Trailer Axle

Driving a truck may seem like a simple task to most people but it is a very intense and complex experience. Truck driving presents itself with many challenges and as a driver or truck owner you have to be knowledgeable in terms of the capability of your truck and its trailer. One of the areas that you need to be aware of is how much cargo your trailer and axle can handle.

Before you set off on your journey, you need to determine the load capacity for your truck, trailer and trailer axle. It is imperative that you get this right as the consequences can be dire and you could damage your truck and trailer or you could cause an accident.

First of all you need find out what is the maximum gross vehicle weight rating. This is how much the truck weighs when it is fully loaded, which includes the passengers, fuel and the cargo. Next, you need to take the type and design of vehicle into account. Once you have this, find out what is the load rating of the axle.

The load rating of the axle must support the maximum gross vehicle weight rating. This includes the gross vehicle weight plus the gross trailer weight. When you add the two figures together you should never exceed this weight. When you have multiple axle trailers, divide the gross vehicle weight rating by the number of axles. This will determine the minimum load capacity of each axle. Before you purchase a trailer axle or any other truck and trailer parts, you need to consider how it will affect your truck’s load capacity as well as driving ability.

Opting for the first affordable trailer axle without doing your homework could lead to further problems in the future. It is recommended that you opt for a quality trailer axle that is manufactured with the latest technical standards and precise production tolerances. Also, consider design features of the trailer axle such as the outboard brake drums, equal size and large diameter wheel bearings, dust-proofed seal bushing and self-aligned spherical camshaft bearings. These design features will tell you whether the axle you are buying is manufactured with your safety in mind. It is also suggested that you check that it is SABS approved so that you can be assured of its safety standard.

It is important that you get the weight rating correct as pulling a trailer that is too light or too heavy could be detrimental to the driver and the truck.