When you consider buying or building a utility trailer, you'll have many choices. The axles will be divided into two basic types: torsion and spring.
Both types of axles will perform the same jobs, for the most part, but the way they go about it is a bit different. When comparing torsion vs. spring utility trailer axles, you'll be looking at two different ways of providing cushioning and suspension for the trailer load.
Torsion Utility Trailer Axles
Torsion axles don't include any type of metal spring for suspension and cushioning. Instead, these axles use a series of rubber cords inside a square tube. The tube also includes an inner core piece, which the torsion arms are attached to.
While it may be hard to understand without seeing a torsion axle at work, the basic benefits of a torsion utility trailer axle include:
- No metal-on-metal contact points
- Less noise during travel
- Adjustable torsion bars make it easy to change the ride height
- Easier maintenance compared to spring axles
- Better corrosion resistance
- Usually last longer than spring axles
The benefits make torsion utility trailer axles very appealing.
Spring Utility Trailer Axles
If you've spent any time around regular motor vehicles, spring utility trailer axles will seem rather common to you. This type of axle will use stacked flat springs for suspension and cushioning.
While on a pickup truck, the springs are found over the axle, on a trailer, the axle will be over the springs, in most cases. This helps to lower the ride height of the trailer, which provides biter stability and makes it easier to load and unload the trailer.
Spring trailer axles offer plenty of benefits including:
- Inexpensive compared to torsion axles
- Most dependable tire wear
- No rewelding necessary when needing replaced
- Easy to install
Choosing Between Torsion and Spring Trailer Axles
When you have the choice of a torsion utility trailer axle or a spring utility trailer axle, the decision may not be easy. Both provide a different type of suspension and cushioning, but one isn't necessarily better than the other.
Spring trailer axles are great for utility trailers and dump trailers. Torsion axles, on the other hand, are excellent for boat trailers, windy conditions, bumpy roads, high vibration applications, and saltwater spray environments.
When you choose a spring axle, you'll get a more durable and less expensive choice for your trailer. However, a torsion utility trailer axle will provide a smoother ride without the need for as much maintenance.
There really isn't a clear right choice between the two. It depends on your application for the utility trailer you plan to build. It's best to consider what you'll be loading into the trailer and where you will be operating it.
If you plan to use the trailer on normal roads to haul wood or equipment, you may want a spring utility trailer axle. However, if the environment you will be using the trailer in includes windy conditions, bumpy roads, and you need a lower ride height, a torsion utility trailer axle may be the right choice.
No matter which you choose, make sure you properly load your trailer to enjoy the best results.