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Author Topic: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?  (Read 26265 times)

Sndguy (Joel Ashcraft)

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 06:15:49 pm »

Dave
A lot of good comments here.  Although I have one trailer (we bought it for smaller gigs here in FL), I had previously always used box trucks.

When I decided we needed a "small format vehicle", I ordered a 7 x 12 x6' 6" v nose tandem (torsion) axle, with two sets of e-track, ramp door - with additional fold down flap between door and body, breakaway kit, electric brakes, and all LED lighting.

Having thought much of this out previously, I thought it was all ready to rock n roll, including rolling my Sumner (genie) towers right in and strap to the wall.  I use the 2x4 holders to create a bulkhead and put my spare and stuff like that in the v nose area.
Well, seeing as how most of my gear is setup in cases that fit 90" box trucks, my 1/4 pack gear packs 3 wide and has an extra 12" to fit snugly.  Oops.  Although I can get more stuff in than the 6 x 12 I was considering, I wish I would've gotten a 6 x 12 when just using my road cased equipment.  When putting the Sumners in there, I find that the extra width helps me move them around / tie them down easier, since there is just simply more room to move when putting them in, etc.  What I'm saying is, is that I almost need two different trailers for the different setups I need to haul.

Take some time to really look at your equipment, and make sure it will pack properly and safely, without too much room for stuff to move from side to side. Having said that, don't go too small or you'll be finding out that stuffing it full can be problematic and lead to really unsafe traveling. Tie downs of some sort, dual axles, and brakes should be a must for those of us who are towing for profit.  You really don't want a blowout, or loose cargo to jeopardize your life or the lives of others. It's not worth it.  A few more dollars now, can save lives, as well as reap you more down the road in resale, too.

Good luck.

Joel   
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 06:23:43 pm by Sndguy (Joel Ashcraft) »
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Adam Sykes

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 06:23:49 pm »


The smoother suspensions are called Torsen axles. Named for the designer not their function, although it is a torsion effect ;>).

Mike McNany

I don't believe this is correct.   Torsen is a type of limited slip differential. 

I second the votes for dual axles.  They are more stable, offer more safety in the case of a blow out, and most importantly are a hell of a lot easier to back up.  I own an 8', single axle utility trailer, a 14' dual axle deck over, and two 24' deck overs also dual axles.  They all have leaf springs.   The 14' is by far the most pleasure to drive. 
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David Parker

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 08:55:45 pm »

 

I'm on my fourth trailer, and I built them all. The first one was 4'x8'. I was shocked at how much weight I could fit into it. I was glad I had put heavy springs on it. Go with the tandem, you'll be glad you did. I have one trailer that is 5'x10', and loaded it goes 2660#. The rating for the axle is 3500, so that doesn't give much wiggle room, and you have to use at least load range c tires to get 3500# capacity. With a 6x12 you'll easily go over 3500#. Another thought. My second trailer was 5.5x12. I kicked myself shortly after building it, because I could have built it 2' longer for no more cost, since all my materials were at least 14'. I filled it up quickly, and so will you. Buy more trailer than you think you need, it will help with loading and unloading having more room, and you'll probably fill it up and wish you had more.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 10:23:38 pm »

tandem is the only way to go. haulmark and wellscargo make good trailers. torque flex axles ride the smoothest but the rubber eventually wears out. be sure to get "dexter" brand axles with the trasiler. the china made axles are junk.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2011, 12:18:53 am »

Tandem for sure. One nice thing is you don't need a jack to change a flat. I have a kit of http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog/lynx-levelers-15-0287.html and you can just back the good tire up on some and it lifts the flat one! I also use them under the front jack when I take the trailer off the truck.

I bought a Haulmark 7x12. Nice trailer. Too short! I should have got the 14 or 16. Longer trailers ride better. A short one doesn't have enough room in front of the tandems for a full size side door.

I got barn doors and use a ramp. I didn't want to have to lower and raise the back for each trip into the venue and I don't need to have room for the ramp door all the time.

Etrack for sure! I would do 2 rows if were doing it again. One at about 20" and another at 36". I have one row and use it all the time.
I put a shelf up front where I carry a couple of milk crates with straps and cords and such.

I wish I had got a v-nose as it would get a little better gas mileage. If you get a Well Cargo they offer a bulbous nose for that reason. They cost more than the Haulmark though.

After you load it up for the first time, take the rig to the scales and get two weights. The CAT scales are made up of four scales so park with the truck on one and the trailer on the other with the back bumper of the truck at the joint. Get a first weigh (print out will have 2 weights - one for each scale), then uncouple the trailer and get a second weigh. Now you can figure the tongue weight and the CGVW (look up the number for your tow vehicle).
When I did it I was shocked at how much weight was up front. 800lbs! A re-plan of the pack was in order. I drew up a plan and posted it in the trailer so I pack the same each time.

Oh, one last thing... I got my trailer with 6'6" ceiling. This gave me a 6ft clearance at the rear doors (which lets me load my tractor to take it for service :-) ).
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2011, 11:12:07 am »

I have had a 6X12 single axel Haulmark since 2003.  Be aware, the equipment will not have a gentle ride!  I learned that the hard way when I tried hauling lights in my trailer.  I found myself replacing lamps every gig until I moved them into the van.

My next one will definitely be a tandom.  Everyone tells me they ride smoother.  Also, make sure you get the ramp door!

Oh, and buy a spare tire!  I have a story from my younger and dumber days involving a blow out in the middle of the night in some southern state on my way to a gig in Flordia.  All I will say is have a spare, a good jack and a lug wrench that you know fits and thank goodness for southern hospitality!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 11:21:52 am by Chuck Simon »
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Don Davis

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2011, 06:13:03 pm »

We started out with a 5x8 single axle but outgrew it in a year. We just recently purchased a 7x12 v-nose Haulmark tandem axle with a ramp door. As other have recommended we installed 2 rows of e-track and shelving in the front and down one side. Its once of the best purchases we've made recently. Tows great and hauls all our gear with a little room to spare. In the v-nose we added two small wedge shaped shelves at the same level as the e-tracks. This serves as a bulkhead and a great place to store the jack, tire iron and other small stuff. Having trailer brakes is a real plus too. A spare is a must.
Don
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Dave Marra

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2011, 11:11:39 am »

On with the story.

I found a used Haulmark trailer an hour from me.  The trailer has the following characteristics:
  • The online pictures display an excellent condition trailer and the seller says there's no rot, leaks, or rust...
  • 1997 Manufacture
  • 7x14
  • Ramp
  • Tandem Axles
  • Torsion Suspension
  • Electric Brakes
  • Ramp
  • Good tires
  • Extra height
  • Side door

We've agreed on a price of $3,000.  Is this reasonable based upon the above description?

 - .dave.
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Gene Declue

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2011, 12:07:18 pm »

On with the story.

I found a used Haulmark trailer an hour from me.  The trailer has the following characteristics:
  • The online pictures display an excellent condition trailer and the seller says there's no rot, leaks, or rust...
  • 1997 Manufacture
  • 7x14
  • Ramp
  • Tandem Axles
  • Torsion Suspension
  • Electric Brakes
  • Ramp
  • Good tires
  • Extra height
  • Side door

We've agreed on a price of $3,000.  Is this reasonable based upon the above description?

 - .dave.

FWIW...
Haukmark is a good trailer.

I had a Homesteader, VERY cheaply made.  The exterior sidewalls vibrated due to the screw placement being so far apart, resulting in the panels breaking loose from the screws and pulling away. Stay far away...

I just bought a brand new Arising (http://www.arisingindustries.com/) 6x12 V-nose, elec. brakes, spare mount, extra interior lights!!!!!!, electric jack!!!!!!!, back support legs (so I can work inside it without it being hitched), extra interior height, single axle with upgraded axle (5200 lbs.) for under $4000. 

My experience (pulling a trailer for gigs for 12 years with various Ford Expeditions) is the extra cost, weight (and lower MPG) of the second axle doesn't justify the smoothness of ride, unless you are doing long haul and/or off road.  I've had 2 flats in 12 years, both (luckily) controllable going the speed limit.  Single axle is easier to maneuver (for me at least) in a tight parking lot and Taco Bell drive thru.  If I were using a larger tow vehicle, I'd probably go double axle, but I really like being able to control my trailer in a crowded parking lot.
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Tracy Garner

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Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2011, 12:29:27 pm »

My initial trek was to locate a trailer until I found so many deals on box trucks.

I had the choice of 4 different diesel box trucks ranging from 16 to 22 feet with lift gates - all for less than $4000.

With all of the housing-related stores that have gone out of business, the market is flooded with box trucks. I ended up purchasing a 1996 22ft box truck with lift, rated at 25.5K gross without hydraulic brakes. The truck had 168k miles on it and have an earlier life as a furniture truck. The thing was spotless everyplace and well-maintained.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Trailer purchase: single or tandem axle?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2011, 12:29:27 pm »


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