Tandem or spread axle on new flatbed?

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by OldeSkool, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. OldeSkool

    OldeSkool Road Train Member

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    It looks like I’m going to be buying a flatbed trailer soon for hauling mostly lumber. I’m sure most loads I will be close to legal weight. Would i be better off with a spread or tandem axle? I’m going to be doing short haul so the thought of always trying to get my axle weight right makes me think spread, but i would prefer a tandem if I could keep from always having to hit a scale where i can get my axle weight set right every load.
     
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  3. bjrc

    bjrc Light Load Member

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    Spread axle rides smoother, easier to scale axle weights, but is harder to make tight turns forward or backward, really needs a dump valve. If you are only doing short hauls in tight areas might think about a tandem since you wont be crossing scales often. You could get the air weight gauges setup for truck and trailer, comes in handy.
     
  4. beastr123

    beastr123 Road Train Member

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    For mostly lumber a 48ft spread or a 48ft front sliding spread would be what I would choose.
    Why pay for and haul that extra 5ft of trailer when your primary haul will fit as well on a 48ft? It is more important to ensure that you have winches on both sides of the trailer and that you should have strap storage on both sides. Air gauges on both truck and trailer are a godsend and a dump valve pays for itself in tire life very quickly.
     
  5. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Heavy Load Member

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    If you get a spread, add a dump valve to the rear axle. It'll make your life a lot easier. For what you're doing though a tandem could work just as well and you'll probably be able to find one cheaper than a spread.
     
  6. shooter19802003

    shooter19802003 Road Train Member

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    I vote a spread, because in my opinion it's more versatile. You might be buying it to haul lumber now, but you never know what the future holds.
     
  7. OldeSkool

    OldeSkool Road Train Member

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    You’re right. The load board is my backup plan.
     
  8. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    Lumber they are going to load you to 80k every single time. A spread is the only way to go. Get trailer and truck gauges to make life easier
     
  9. LTL Bull

    LTL Bull Medium Load Member

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    Spread with a liftable axle
     
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  10. SamuraiTater

    SamuraiTater Light Load Member

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    Spread axles are for guys that can’t do math and can’t conceptionalize how to balance a load. ;)

    I prefer sliding tandems for two reasons :

    1. Even after the load has been placed on my deck, I still have the ability to manipulate weight. With a spread ( even though you have 6000 extra pounds back there to work with ), you are stuck with however it was placed on your deck by the loader.

    I ask two questions EVERY SINGLE TIME…. “What’s this going to weigh ?” and “How much of my deck will it take up ?” Sometimes you can’t get answers to those questions. Sometimes you get incorrect answers to those questions. Sometimes the components of the load vary in weight and the loader really doesn’t know how much each part weighs.

    If you’re pulling a spread you have no choice but to take the loaders word, place it where you THINK is best and hope his numbers were accurate. Give me the sliding tandem, I’m smart enough to have the loader place it where I’ll still have autonomy to work around his bad math.


    2. I like being able to skew the weight forward, then bring my tandems up and shorten my deck. The added maneuverability is advantageous.
     
    catalinaflyer, kylefitzy and Cat sdp Thank this.
  11. MTN Boomer

    MTN Boomer Road Train Member

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    Spread axel, my load, it is loaded the way I want it
     
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