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Trailer Tales: Conversions And Maintenance

There are various ways to improve the functionality of your trailer. Conversions are perhaps the most common. The reasons for undertaking conversions are often as varied as the trailer owners themselves.

However, one factor that's constant is that these conversations are bound to have an impact on trailer maintenance. Keep reading to find out some reasons for two common trailer conversions and how these conversions affect maintenance.

Converting To Tandem Axles From A Single Axle

Single axle trailers are designed with a single set of wheels while tandem axle trailers have two sets of wheels. Converting to a tandem axle trailer simply means adding an extra set of wheels to the trailer.

This conversion is often done to improve the distribution of weight whenever the trailer is loaded. In a tandem axle trailer, the weight of the load is distributed across four wheels instead of two (as is the case with single axle trailers). This often makes for a more stable ride when the trailer is used for towing.

The extra set of wheels means that the trailer has a greater number of mobile parts (e.g. the additional wheels and the torsion/leaf spring suspension systems on the additional axle). Thus, converting to a tandem axle trailer is likely to create the need for a more intensive maintenance schedule and the need for more frequent repairs on worn out mobile parts.

Converting To Torsion Springs From Leaf Springs

Leaf springs are often preferred for tandem axle trailers because they allow for the equal distribution of force to both axles. This is possible because leaf springs come with a metal bar that connects the springs on both sides. This bar is referred to as the equalizer bar.

When the trailer is driven through a pothole, the equalizer bar ensures that the impact that follows is spread across both axles. The absence of this bar in torsion springs means that the wheels on one axle would have to bear more of the impact in such a case. The affected wheel(s) would probably wear out faster than the rest, thereby creating a more frequent need for replacement.

Torsion springs use flexed rubber to absorb impact while leaf springs rely on flexed metal. The flexing of metal creates more vigorous vibrations. Thus, vehicle owners often convert to torsion springs in search of a less bumpy ride.

It is important to point out that torsion springs often have a more compact structure than leaf springs and they have fewer moving parts. Thus, the level of maintenance that they require is less intensive than that required for leaf springs.

For more information or assistance, contact an expert in auto parts and trailer parts.