Resources: Trailers

What Is The Difference Between Single Axle & Tandem Trailers?

You know you want to buy a new trailer, but not sure which one? You probably have started your research and now realise there are different types, sizes and models to choose. One of the first questions you might come across is should you invest in a single axle or a tandem? 

Difference Single Axle & Tandem Trailers

The construction and axles dictate their performance, so knowing how you will use your trailer will determine which to choose. Put simply a single axle trailer has one axle and one set of wheels, where a tandem has two axles with two sets of wheels. Let’s explore further so you can choose the right one for you.

Single Axle

As mentioned, single axles have one axle and one set of wheels and are therefore lighter and smaller than tandems. If you are solely looking to transport smaller to medium loads, then these are ideal. Mostly purchased for home use, they tow easily behind smaller cars.

Benefits:

  • Smaller and easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces.  .
  • Lighter weight so they are easier to tow and more economical on fuel.
  • Generally cheaper to purchase due to smaller size and straight forward construction.
  • Less maintenance needed with only two wheels, tyres, bearings and brakes.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited by payload. Not suitable to tow heavy loads.
  • More wear and tear on tyres as the weight of the load is distributed over two tyres compared to four.
  • Not required to have a braking system which can present some safety issues.

Tandem Trailers

Tandem trailers are suited to those needing to carry heavier loads and you can easily spot one by its two set of wheels. These models come with two axles close together, along with extra tyres that help disperse the weight of the load. They are perfect for handling heavier loads and offer a higher payload than singles.

Benefits:

  • Most often have better suspension.
  • Generally larger, so you can carry larger loads.
  • Tandems disperse the weight across both axles and set of wheels.
  • More stable at highway speeds and conditions. 
  • Safer as the brakes will help you stop, especially important when carrying a heavy load. By law if trailers are rated 750kg to 2000kg it’s a requirement to include brakes.
  • Heavy duty built to regularly transport heavy loads
  • Better stability and sturdiness on the road with less bounce and sway
  • Flat tyres wont completely stop you in your tracks as they are simple to change, even without using a jack.

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive as they are generally bigger in size and require more complicated construction.
  • Weigh more than single axles, so not as fuel efficient.
  • Increase maintenance with the double axles and 4 wheels and tyres to maintain.
  • Potentially more difficult to manoeuvre in driveways or smaller spaces.

Let’s Get Started

When it comes to choosing between single or tandem, the first step is to work out how you’ll be using it and what you be hauling. If you are towing lighter loads here and there, a single axle is ideal. If you need to carry heavier loads and worry about safety, then a tandem is for you. 

Why not head into our showroom and have a chat. One of our team will be happy to walk you through the different options available and help you choose the right one for your needs. We offer a large range of designs suited for personal use through to industrial tippers. Plus a major advantage of buying with us is we offer you choice. Choice to select either a fully galvanised imported or painted Australian made trailer. Not only that, but our fabricators can custom build any type for you. With over 10 years’ experience in fabrication, you can feel 100% confident with your purchase.

Find us at 1421 Main North Rd, Para Hills West or alternatively give us a call on 08 8281 6696 for further information.

Things to consider before buying a trailer

Buying a trailer is quite a big investment so there are many things to consider before making your purchase.  These days there are many manufacturers and plenty to choose from, so we thought we would highlight some things you should consider before making your purchase.

TYPE OF TRAILER

The type and size of trailer you need is determined mainly by how you intend to use it, the type of load and the weight of the load you will be carrying.

Depending on what you will be carrying will determine whether you need a box or cage trailer.  If you only intend to carry sand, garden materials or rubbish a box trailer would be perfect.  A caged one is more suitable if you need to carry taller loads or want to protect the load, such as equipment and furniture. The great thing about buying a cage trailer is you can actually remove the cage, giving you the best of both worlds.

Also consider the weight you intend to carry; light loads only need a single axle trailer and don’t require brakes, they can carry loads up to 750kg. Heavier loads require a tandem axle or a braked single axle.

IS YOUR CAR COMPATIBLE?

Before making your purchase it’s important to find out the towing capacity of your car.  Your car’s maximum towing capacity is set by its manufacturer and you can find this information in the vehicle handbook or online. Using a trailer that exceeds your car’s towing limits or is too big can cause damage, be dangerous and is illegal. There are legal requirements you must follow when towing and all new trailers are required to have a plate listing that shows the ATM, Tare weight and GTM. For more information on these regulations check out the National Towing Guide.

WHAT ABOUT BRAKES?

For safe towing you need to make sure your trailer has adequate braking.  Whether you need to have brakes is once again determined by the weight of the load you will be carrying. Here is an overview of the regulations:

  • Trailers with a GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) of 750kg or less do not need a braking system.
  • Trailers with a GTM that exceeds 750kg and under 2000kg must be fitted with brakes on at least one axle.
  • Trailers over 2000kg GTM must have an electric brake system that operates on all wheels and that can activate if the trailer becomes detached from the car.

WHAT MAKES A QUALITY TRAILER?

There are loads of trailers in the market at the moment so it can be hard to decide which one to buy.  Like anything there are good quality products and ones you should avoid buying. It’s important to buy a quality product as they last longer and are more durable. But how do you know which ones are quality?  Well here are some features that you will find in a quality trailer:

  • Hot dipped galvanised – these coatings are more durable than steel/painted trailers and protects them from rust and Australia’s harsh weather.
  • New light truck tyres  - you will be surprised that many manufacturers use second hand tyres, so make sure you ask if the tyres are new before buying.
  • LED lights – LED’s are better than conventional bulbs as they have a longer life, are more energy efficient and are more resistant to shock and vibration.
  • Jockey wheel and Spare wheel should be included in the price.

When buying a trailer cheaper isn’t always better.  It’s important to do your research beforehand and choose a quality built one that fits your purpose.  Taking your time will to choose the right one will pay off in the long run.

If you would like any further advice feel free to call us and our sales staff will be happy to assist.  You can contact our Adelaide showroom on 08 8281 6696 or our Perth showroom on 0447 901 977.  Eagle Camper Trailers have many years experience in the trailer industry and produce top quality products. We also have the skills and experience needed to build custom trailers to suit your individual needs.

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