Is it unsafe to drive with a bent trailer axle?

Apr 19, 2023 | Trailer Axles

This article answers the popular question, Is it safe to drive with a bent trailer axle?

There are a few factors that may impact your ability to continue driving on your trailer’s bent axle. In this article, we’re going to first talk through how to identify or diagnose a bent axle and then talk through if it is unsafe to drive on a bent axle and some recommendations for fixing or replacing a bent axle. 

Diagnosing a Bent Axle

Sometimes a bent axle goes unnoticed if you don’t inspect your axles. If your trailer or axles sustained damage during an accident, or if you hit something in the road, or hit a curb, be sure to always crawl under your trailer and assess any potential damage. 

One sign of a bent axle is a wobbly wheel. But, keep in mind, just because you suspect one of your wheels is wobbly doesn’t necessarily always mean it’s a damaged axle – it could also mean that your wheel itself is damaged. You won’t know until you or a trusted mechanic inspects your axles. 

Assessing the Axle Damage

If you discover that your axle is bent, assessing just how bad the bend is will help you decide if repair is needed immediately. With a slight axle bend, continuing to drive is generally still safe. 

Even with a slight bend in the axle, you may begin to notice vibration while driving. While it may feel like everything is working properly, over time a bent axle can begin to cause damage to other components on your trailer – such as the CV Joint. With a slight bend in your axle, it is still a good idea to get the axle inspected and continue to keep a close eye on your other trailer components. 

If the bend in your axle is more severe, then you should consider replacing your axle immediately. Driving with a very bent axle will cause excessive stress on other trailer components. Bent axles can impact your trailer’s bearings and wheel hubs, and even cause stress on your tires from uneven wear and tear. 

Look for the Signs

A bent axle on a trailer, if left damaged, can cause your trailer tires to have uneven wear on one side. This causes the tires to wear out more quickly. If you notice one side of your tires is wearing much faster than the other, this is a good indication of improper axle alignment or a bent axle. When the axle is significantly bent, it puts the tire at an improper angle.

Take Action

If you discover that your axle is bent or damaged, it’s time to order a replacement. BlueSwift Axles offers high-quality American-made spring and torsion axles. All of our axles are custom-built for your trailer. Give us a call today or use our convenient online ordering system to order your custom axle. Our axles are manufactured in 48 hours and can be picked up at our Des Moines, Iowa-based shop, or can be shipped out to you quickly. Click here to get started ordering your custom axles today!