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Twin Axle vs Tri Axle Trailer ?

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Evening,

I'm on the lookout for a new trailer as my new build will not fit on my current BJ.

My one at the moment is a BJ AD 16ft, twin axle... Which tows excellantly and has a really low bed :)

I'm wanting one of the 3.5 tonne versions now, with the bed above the wheels. So yes, the bed is a bit higher but the trailer has a higher weight rating as well.

My question is this - do the tri axle trailers tow better ? Speaking to the guy at bateson, he says they're more stable but woudn't advise them for offroad, due to how they lift wheels and then weight being transferred to the 'other' axles.

I will not be driving across farmers' field carrying livestock food. Just for transporting vehicles down tarmac roads :D

Cheers

Gordon

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vs

lot_252.jpg

Images from google.

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Unless something has changed a tri axle cant carry as much payload as a tandem axle as they are both limited to the 3.5tonne max weight and the tri axle obviously has an extra axle in its unladen weight. Another point is when reversing they can be unpredictable as to there turning as the turning point varies depending on which axle has the greatest weight on it.

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Hi

I've got a 16' ifor williams twin axle with wheels below bed , and would not change to tri axle like Phil says you can carry less because gross weight is still 3500kgs and you've got six tyres wearing out instead of four.

would imagine the tyres scrub like a bar steward if you're turning round in a tight space :(

Just my two penneth

Gary

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Looking at the BJ website, the tri axle has a 40kg less capacity than the twin. The bateson tri is rated the same as the BJ.

Fair enough about the reversing fact.

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ive got a tri axel 14' ifor williams and it tows great , 60-70mph with the 90 on still very stable , not had any problems with reversing and tyre scrub shouldnt be a problem as its not used day in day out, much better than my old twin axel jobbie(not an ifor)

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People frequently forget that trailers need maintenance, just like the towing vehicle. I've just had to replace all the tyres, brake shoes and brake cables on my IWT 2000 kg twin axle - cost was over GBP 500. Had it been a three axle trailer, it would have cost half as much again.

Small, highly rated tyres as used on IWT and similar trailers are expensive and difficult to get. If I was buying another trailer now, one of the key deciding factors would be to identify which had the lowest cost for replacement tyres.

Nick.

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I have got a IW 16 foot triple axle and I am really happy with how it tows very stable at speed :ph34r:

I have however had numerous tyre failures more than I ever had with my previous tandem axle trailer.

I put this down to the tyres not coping with the heat generated by motorway journeys running at higher speeds.

I do have to run with my tow hitch higher than expected and with the load further forward than expected in order for me to be able to tow at speed stable.

I am sure you can "legally" tow more weight with a tandem axle trailer than triple, my argument is that it is not unusual for me to be over loaded (max load on my trailer is 2400kg with trailer weighing 1100kg) and with a triple axle trailer the load doesn't look as badly overloaded.with ivor williams I think a 3rd axle reduces towing capacity by 110kg?

I know for sure that a triple axle trailer takes more pulling than a double axle trailer and I have seen this in back to back difference in fuel consumption.

As I intend on towing less weight in the future I would change my triple axle trailer for a tandem axle in the future.

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I prefer tri axle, tows forward with much more stability and much nicer to reverse as are slower turning.The braking is good as well. The downside is less weight capacity and hardwork to move by hand. Just my opinion based on 1000s of miles towing here and mainland europe

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My vote would be a twin axle, I own a IWT C177 myself. Very stable at speed and a low loading height. Also very easy to operate alone because it's a tipper.

Arguments have already been made:

- heigher empty weight

- more tyre scrub, especially when the load isn't balanced perfectly

- more difficult to manoever by hand (another vote for the IWT tipper, because the pivot point is in the chassis, you effectively lift the front axle, turning it into a threewheeler)

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i borrowed a 16ft IW tri-axle a while back, towed it with my 90 and after 150 miles i was going to leave it at the side of the road, i wasnt sure what was towing what most of the time, i'd stick with the twin wheel or maybe look at the bockmann range, i use one of their twin axle transporters and its awsome.

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I've just bought a 16ft twin axle brian james CarGo trailer, the only advantage I can see that the tri axle has is smaller wheels which give a lower bed height, I regularly put 2700kg on mine and it tows fine if it's loaded right.

like any trailer, leave 1 pallet right at the back and it'll get scary very quickly

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I've only towed a couple of tri-axle trailers (mostly boat trailers) and have to say I've found them harder to set up correctly, in terms of weight balance and nose height. Plus I found them harder to manouver due to the same reasons as mentioned above, that is when reversing on un-even ground the pivot point continually changes, changing the rate of turn. Plus they suffer more on rough ground due to the low ride height.

My own car trailer is a big old twin axle on 6.50x16 tyres and it has great ground clearance, the tyres are real cheap and it it's easy to load and reverse. Plus it's only cost £500 so far!

The same goes for my twin axle boat trailers, the tyres are either 165R14C or 185R15C, which are cheap and easy to get. If you have a blow out somewhere in Europe on a Sunday, you're not going to get one of those odd little things on the tri-axle trailers, but you can normally find a 165R14C. Worth thinking about.

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Well.... contrary to the general consensus above, i've gone and got myself an 18ft x 7ft tri axle TT brian james. It's fairly big and not the easiest to manauver around small spaces - but worth the extra load space :)

Towed it back from london (220 miles) empty and it was horrible ! Bounced all the way back :lol: which i put down to having small wheels (10") with 55% profile tyres.

Today i took my landrover out on it and :o it was beautiful ! Was as solid as a rock :)

Put a little corsa and it bounced a little, i'd probably prefer to use my BJ AD series for small cars due to the bigger wheels with a bit more "give".

G

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i have used tri and dual axle trailers. my experience is that your tow hitch hight must be spot on or you will have a few brown pants moments. !

My preference is the duel axle... nose weight is better on the back of the truck and very well behaved on a road trip with weight or without.

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i have used tri and dual axle trailers. my experience is that your tow hitch hight must be spot on or you will have a few brown pants moments. !

Not surprised, towing with a Saxo! :P

Chris

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To use the tri axle with a small load or empty you need to adjust tyre pressures down , that is why its bouncing as tyres too hard for load. Tri axles are safer as wider load position envelope. But load to take into account rear axle blow out . middle or front blow out not critical.

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Thought i would put in my 2 pence worth here as im having the same dilema.

I have towed my 2.5 ton off roaders about for 20 plus years so feel a reasonable amout of experience.

I pull my off road jeep from the uk down to south of France 2 or 3 times a year so milage is about 800 miles each way and usually done non stop. I also do a few shortr trips , say 20 or 30 miles round trip a few times a year.,

In 2008 i bought a brand new IWT LM126 that has a 3500kg capacity with twin axles so thought my towing days would be stress free but how wrong i was.

I am careful to load the trailer level with about 50 -70 kg nose weight and the drop hitch was moved to suit. the trailer tows very stable except for when in tramlines when it can be un nerving but im suffering with loss pf confidence in this trailer as the tyres are failing and i dont know why. the tyres are 185/60/12, im told IWT now use 195/60/12 to get arround the problem of tyres almost de-laminating but not all the way round. the damaged tyres seem to have bulged tread one side and inverted tread the other suggesting tyre failure to me? My tyres are always run at 90psi, later advise was to run the old 185 at 95 psi regardless of load.

My trailer has to make a sharpe turn off the driveway which stresses the tyres, now we all know what happens to a steel winch cable once it has kinked, its only a matter of time before it fails so is this why the tyre fails if the steel bands are damaged during sharp turns? it doesnt fail there and then but half way through france where spares are at best " difficult" to get.

The trailer is a non tilting and in typical Ifor style has leaf springs which have to be quite far apart therfor scrubbing harder than a rubber sprung version with shorter wheel base.

Im considering a Brian James triple axle tilt bed for the following reasons..

Even if i lose a tyre, the trailer can still cope with the weight

The weight on each tyre would be a third less so scub damage while turning should be less.

The BJ tilt bed when pumped up lifts the front axles up, so while coming on and off my drive i could pump it a couple of times to take the pressure off of the front axles so manouvering should be with minimum scrub and damage.

your thought on this would be appreciated as i need to get a new trailer very soon

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my input:

i do a lot of towing, mainly with our 12ft graham edwards tri axle flat post-13725-0-09905300-1354209135_thumb.jpg

have also done round the country with a 14ft ifor twin axle

the tri axle definately follows much better especially at high speeds, reversing wise, theres not much in it, both are extremely predictable. personally i would choose to tow with the tri axle it definately has less of an effect on the towing vehicle when fully loaded.

the tri axle also behaves better when the trailer is not loaded correctly. i.e. a bit light on the nose, it doesent snake as much, however i always make sure that there is always plenty of nose weight but not too much.

im after a defenition of a "4 wheeled trailer" if anyone has any more in detail information, because my understanding is any trailer with 4 wheels (or more in the context) however it may mean a 4 wheeled trailer where the front axle is right at the front of the trailer and it pivots

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Regarding 'bulging' of tyres on ifor williams - I had this when I borrowed my brothers trailer. I loaded a 4 post lift (there F**King heavy), drove from Stirling to Sheffield. Pulled over for fuel at Shap on the M6 and all 4 tyres have bulges as per the previous poster etc..... One night in a BnB later and four new tyres, I arrived 24 hours late and £350 lighter.

We looked at the load rating of the tyres. I can't rmeber the figures, but the difference between the maxium tyre loading x 4 and the trailer max wieght was only 100Kg. We decided that if you overloaded, didn't load centrally, went to fast with a heavy load, etc there was insufficent margin in the tyre capabilty. We had done a number of 'big' long distance loads (275 miles on motorway). The tyres fitted to the twin axle iforwilliams couldn't hack it.

End result is that I would carefully check tyre ratings if I bought a trailer. I also suspect that I would be tempted by a tri axles as the tyre loading per tyre will be more conservative.

Adrian

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Regarding 'bulging' of tyres on ifor williams - I had this when I borrowed my brothers trailer. I loaded a 4 post lift (there F**King heavy), drove from Stirling to Sheffield. Pulled over for fuel at Shap on the M6 and all 4 tyres have bulges as per the previous poster etc..... One night in a BnB later and four new tyres, I arrived 24 hours late and £350 lighter.

We looked at the load rating of the tyres. I can't rmeber the figures, but the difference between the maxium tyre loading x 4 and the trailer max wieght was only 100Kg. We decided that if you overloaded, didn't load centrally, went to fast with a heavy load, etc there was insufficent margin in the tyre capabilty. We had done a number of 'big' long distance loads (275 miles on motorway). The tyres fitted to the twin axle iforwilliams couldn't hack it.

End result is that I would carefully check tyre ratings if I bought a trailer. I also suspect that I would be tempted by a tri axles as the tyre loading per tyre will be more conservative.

Adrian

Tyre loading is interesting thought which hadn't crossed my mind.

One thing against the tri-axles, is the weight of the extra axles comes off the maximum payload :(

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Regarding 'bulging' of tyres on ifor williams - I had this when I borrowed my brothers trailer. I loaded a 4 post lift (there F**King heavy), drove from Stirling to Sheffield. Pulled over for fuel at Shap on the M6 and all 4 tyres have bulges as per the previous poster etc..... One night in a BnB later and four new tyres, I arrived 24 hours late and £350 lighter.

We looked at the load rating of the tyres. I can't rmeber the figures, but the difference between the maxium tyre loading x 4 and the trailer max wieght was only 100Kg. We decided that if you overloaded, didn't load centrally, went to fast with a heavy load, etc there was insufficent margin in the tyre capabilty. We had done a number of 'big' long distance loads (275 miles on motorway). The tyres fitted to the twin axle iforwilliams couldn't hack it.

End result is that I would carefully check tyre ratings if I bought a trailer. I also suspect that I would be tempted by a tri axles as the tyre loading per tyre will be more conservative.

Adrian

thats quite interesting, because i can offer some comparison, i bought a 4 post ramp from near essex, and brought it back to derbyshire on our tri axle GE trailer. not a problem empty on the way down or loaded on the way back. obviously the third axle helps to distribute weight, but having been with my dad (farmer) when it was overloaded taking cattle from one end of the farm to the other, we didnt have any trouble with tyre bulging. we had just over 4 ton of cattle on board and had no problem.

to relate to a fully loaded ifor twin axle, at 3.5t because of the extra axle it would have to carry 150% of that to give the same stress to the tyres ASSUMING, the load on each axle is equal. that would be 5.25T.

ill have a look at the tyre make model size and load rating when i next go home.

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Ahemm what are towing with Gordon, is it a 90 or a 110?

When i put this post up years ago it was my RR P38, so what's that about a 110 ?

I still prefer towing my tri axle now with the truck. This has a 156" wheelbase i think.

G

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thats quite interesting, because i can offer some comparison, i bought a 4 post ramp from near essex, and brought it back to derbyshire on our tri axle GE trailer. not a problem empty on the way down or loaded on the way back. obviously the third axle helps to distribute weight, but having been with my dad (farmer) when it was overloaded taking cattle from one end of the farm to the other, we didnt have any trouble with tyre bulging. we had just over 4 ton of cattle on board and had no problem.

to relate to a fully loaded ifor twin axle, at 3.5t because of the extra axle it would have to carry 150% of that to give the same stress to the tyres ASSUMING, the load on each axle is equal. that would be 5.25T.

ill have a look at the tyre make model size and load rating when i next go home.

Err,

well, a previous load over the same distance 'could' have weighed 4.0 and a little bit Tons + the trailer. Couple in some 300 miles at 'speed' on the motorway and the tyres 'may' have been operated outside thier design limits....

Personally I'd preffer a triaxle to have the factor of saftey. 'If' I were to be over the weight limit for due to the additional axle weight and be accidentally caught by the police I would see the fine as a small price for a factor of safety on the tyres.

Adrian

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