Q&A: Are axles supposed to bend?

Jul 5, 2023 | Uncategorized

This Q&A answers the popular question: Are axles supposed to bend? Do bent axles need replaced? Why are your axles bent?

Have you ever noticed that trailer axles appear bent? What is the right amount of bend of an axle? What is the bend of an axle called? This article answers all of your most important questions about the bend of an axle and discusses everything you need to know.

Q: What is the bend of an axle called?

A: The “bend” in an axle is called the Camber. The Camber ensures that the axle sits flat when under load. Without the Camber, the axle might sag when under load, increasing additional wear on the inner tread. This extra wear can be extremely dangerous while on the road.

Q: Why are my axles bent?

A: When the trailer is loaded down the axle’s weight pushes down, making the axles straighter. According to HSI Duratek, this allows the tires to sit flat which helps increase the tire’s contact surface. It also allows for even weight distribution, even tire wear, and proper alignment. 

Q: How much upward bend should an axle have?

A: While trailer axles do feature an upward bend, there isn’t a particular amount or bend measurement that is standard across the board. The bend in the axle is designed so that it will straighten under a trailer’s loaded capacity. 

Q: Why is my axle still bent with a full load?

A: The axle may be overrated for the trailer, which might result in the trailer’s load not being enough to straighten out the bow of the axle. If you have axles that are rated for considerably more than what the trailer will ever have loaded then the bow of the axle will be too extreme and may result in worn tire issues.

Q: Why is my axle bent downwards?

Your axle may appear bent downwards if your trailer is overloaded with a weight that exceeds your axle’s weight rating. If you frequently drive with a load that exceeds your trailer’s limits, your axle may slowly bend over time. If your axles are permanently bent downwards even when your trailer is empty, it may be time for replacement axles. Contact BlueSwift Axles for all of your axle replacement options.