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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    Advantages of a spread axle trailer?

    I see mention in threads from time to time that some drivers would rather pull a spread axle trailer. Just wondering what the opinions are. I noticed the other day at the local NAPA store they have a 1996 spread axle trailer for $4500, don't remember the name.


  2. #2
    Light Load Member arky870's Avatar
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    i like the ride of them.you can load it heavy to the rear and not worry about sliding tandems.

  3. #3
    Road Train Member Les2's Avatar
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    You just want to hear the advantages?

    It's easier to grease than a closed tandem.

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    Light Load Member JWinNC's Avatar
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    I often wondered about those, but never asked anyone. If you had say a fully loaded trailer (van) front to back and the load was 44k, and you went to the truck stop and scaled it out, what would the scale ticket look like weight wise on each section (steer, drives, etc.)?

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    A ten foot spread can legally haul 10 tons per axle; 40 k total versus 34k on a standard tandem axle, you can load more heavily on the rear and not have to worry so much about being exactly 34 K on the drives and 12 K on the steer axle. You can overload the trailer, but not by that much with a legal load.

    They pull better on rough roads and tend to slide out(jacknife) less than a standard tandem, but they are harder on tires and turn harder unless one of the axles is unloaded for tight maneuvers. They tend to back differently over uneven surfaces, I call it hook or slice, depending on if the front axle is steering or the back axle.

  6. #6
    Mutant Trucker ironpony's Avatar
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    Advantages?

    - they look cool
    - don't have to drag your fat butt out of the truck to adjust the tandems

    Disadvantages - what I can think of...

    - can't turn as tight
    - have to get the load reworked if the axle weights are off
    - can't trim the weight for even distribution (a fuel issue)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWinNC View Post
    I often wondered about those, but never asked anyone. If you had say a fully loaded trailer (van) front to back and the load was 44k, and you went to the truck stop and scaled it out, what would the scale ticket look like weight wise on each section (steer, drives, etc.)?

    Unless you specify each axle, the back 2 are combined on any scale I have ever weighed at, we haul live poultry on mostly spread axle trailers.

  8. #8
    Road Train Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les2 View Post
    It's easier to grease than a closed tandem.
    LOL, that is so true.

    The biggest advantage IMO is you can load 45,000 and as long as it's loaded heavier on the rear, you are good to go. No need to scale at a truckstop and no sliding the tandems. This is provided the weight on the bills is correct of course. I have the air suspension gauge for my drives, so as long as I dont go over 61 psi, I know I'm good, as it's hard to actually get to 40,000 on the trailer, unless it really loaded stupid. Generaly most loads are 42-43 ish anyways so unless they are really off, you dont need to scale out, at least I never do. Drawback, they eat tires due to the scrub, but this can be minimalized with dumps. A must have in my book. Once you go to a spread, you'll never go back.

    A spread will hold its value better that a closed tandem too.

  9. #9
    Road Train Member Les2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winchester Magnum View Post
    LOL, that is so true.

    The biggest advantage IMO is you can load 45,000 and as long as it's loaded heavier on the rear, you are good to go. No need to scale at a truckstop and no sliding the tandems. This is provided the weight on the bills is correct of course. I have the air suspension gauge for my drives, so as long as I dont go over 61 psi, I know I'm good, as it's hard to actually get to 40,000 on the trailer, unless it really loaded stupid. Generaly most loads are 42-43 ish anyways so unless they are really off, you dont need to scale out, at least I never do. Drawback, they eat tires due to the scrub, but this can be minimalized with dumps. A must have in my book. Once you go to a spread, you'll never go back.

    A spread will hold its value better that a closed tandem too.
    How do you load your reefer compaired to a closed tandem reefer?

  10. #10
    Road Train Member heyns57's Avatar
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    With a tandem-tandem, the sum of the legal axle weights is the same as the legal gross weight. 12,000 + 34,000 + 34,000 = 80,000. It is practically impossible to achieve this maximum distribution of axle weights. 80,000 lbs on a tandem-tandem is only a theoretical goal.

    With a spread, the legal maximum gross is still 80,000. The driver has room for error at 80,000 lbs gross because the sum of the legal axle weights is 86,000. It is possible to achieve 80,000 and still be legal on axle weights.
    12,000 + 34,000 + 40,000 = 86,000. If the rig is legal on gross and loaded heavy toward the rear, it is almost impossible to be overweight on any axle.

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