“What’s the difference between a leaf spring and torsion axle?”
This is a very common question that our customers have when purchasing a trailer. Leaf spring vs. torsion axle; which one is better? We’d like to take a moment to educate YOU, the buyer on each of the two suspension types. Consider it a quick crash course in trailer suspension. We want to save you from getting ‘wrapped around the axle’, and give you the confidence to make the right decision when buying a trailer.
Leaf Spring vs. Torsion
Leaf Spring Axle
Leaf Spring Axles are the most commonly used suspension systems in the trailer industry and come standard on almost every type of trailer. They are made up of a series of curved stacked springs (leaves) that are attached under or over the trailer’s axle. This is commonly called over-slung or under-slung.
Leaf Spring Pro’s:
- Even weight distribution due to the built-in weight equalizer
- Even tire wear for multi axle trailers
- More affordable (up front)
- Cheap and easy to repair
Leaf Spring Con’s:
- Repairs are needed more frequently
- Bouncy ride on uneven or rough roads
- Metal on metal design typically leads to faster wear
The stiff competitor of the Leaf Spring Axle, is known as the Torsion Axle. Torsion axles mount directly to the trailer’s frame and are made up of thick rubber cords concealed inside the axle’s tubing. These cords are created to resist torsion and create suspension. Trailers don’t generally come stock with the torsion axle, but it is an available upgrade in many models.
Torsion Axle Pro’s:
- Quiet/Smoother ride
- No metal on metal contact
- Offers trailer rigidity as axle is bolted to the trailer
- Increases handling control in crosswinds/rough roads
- Maintenance free (except wheel bearing lubrication)
Torsion Axle Con’s
- Not repairable
- Costs more to replace
- Severely bent axle can damage trailer frame
- No impact distribution (ie: hitting a curb) full impact on one wheel or set of wheels
- Rubber cords become stiffer in colder weather
Not everyone agrees on which axle type is better and it really depends on your preferences. Where you live, how often you use your trailer and what you’re carrying will play a big role in deciding which axle is right for you. If you have any more questions, please give us a call at 616-538-2290 or stop by. Also, keep in mind that we do have a full service garage and we are happy to assist you with any upgrades or maintenance that you need!
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