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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    51

    Default Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    I like two axle trailers for forklifts, but it is difficult to make sharp turns with them. I had two new tires blown in March because of this. Mine is a 12ft trailer rated for 7k, two axle.
    I saw RVs on highways towing cars behind and thought probably it will be good to have the same set up on a trailer as on the car, where the front axle wheels will turn as on the car.
    I would like to hear some input on this topic. Can it be done, will it work?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    Let it be known that i am not the epicenter of trailering information, nor can I claim to have a more valid opinion than most of the otehr folks out there that have hauled trailers around for a while.

    I have owned a number of trailers over the years ranging from single to triple axled varieties. Some were commercially made, but most of them were made by myself or my father. I know i have more to learn, but i am an engineer and think i have a pretty decent grasp on the physics involved in trailering.

    The number of axles isn't significantly changing your turning radius, nor is it the reason that your tires blew. Yes, there is some tire scrubbing when turning, but it's not that big of a deal. If it was a big problem, do you think that semis would be using a similar system? Their tires are a lot more expensive than some little trailer tires.

    What makes most tandem axle trailers harder to turn is that they are typically longer. The further the hitch is from the axle, the wider the turning radiuus is. If you don't need the length, cut your trailer down to fit your needs and axles as far forward as possible while maintaining adequate tongue weight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    Why wouldn't it work. However you need to completely custom build that trailer and your front axle needs to be at front like a car with your rear axle in back like a car. Haywagons are built in this fashion and have worked for over 100 years now. With that stated you have to use excellent components on your trailer. Haywagons like to dance back and forth at 20-30 MPH. Mainly cause they are old and used up.

    Maybe you can get a rolling chasis from the junkyard of an old truck. Strip everything off except drive linkage would be a fine start of this project.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    I had to make "U" turns in those orchards where my truck/trailer barely fit. Several months ago bearings failed on one wheel. All these happened only on rear axle (bearings and blown tires). Probably I have to go with single axle trailer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Bellwood, Pa (USA)
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    Good luck finding a heavy enough trailer with only one axle. I am no truck driver but have pulled many trailers. twin axles do not tear up tires/ wheel bearings any more than a single, ok maybe just alittle when making super tight turns. Make sure your brakes are not locking up that will make the tire slide instead of rolling. Also just remember that a short trailer does turn faster going forward and backwards. You will find most people that have to do alot of backing up like a longer trailer because it is easyer. And the turning front axle would work great for going forward but don't try to back it up. If you don't believe me ask a farmer about trying to backup a hay wagon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    I am curious to know if beekeepers use turning front axles on forklift trailers. It is interesting what you say that not to try to back up. This tells me that turning front axle does not work at all for this kind of job.
    Thank you for your reply.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    articulated trailers can certainly be backed up, but it is "opposite" of backing up a standard trailer. You have to steer oppotisite direction that you would on a "normal' trailer. This certainly takes some getting used to. it is incredibly easy for teh trailer to get away from you and you've got to pull forward and retry. I can back them up adequately, but I still find it embarrasing every time i do it. I get the job done, but it isn't pretty. Fortuantely, my days of living on a farm are in my past and I'll probably enver have to embarrass myself in that manner again

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    if you dont mind me asking how much does your loader weigh? I use a 6 ton dual axle 20 foot equipment trailer and have made too many u turns getting out of tight spots and have never destroyed tires or bearings. Im just wondering if you need a heavier duty trailer?.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,627

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    Quote Originally Posted by happybees View Post
    Several months ago bearings failed on one wheel. All these happened only on rear axle (bearings and blown tires).
    If the bearings on the rear axle were starting to fail, and periodically or partially seized, that could explain why the tires on that axle also failed.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Bellwood, Pa (USA)
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    I know you can back them up, however I find most people can not even back up a standard trailer unless they do it a lot. If you ever want to see what I mean just take a trip to the lake some hot weekend and watch the boat launch. I knew a guy that could back up two hay wagons now that takes practice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    fresno CA USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Forklift trailer with dual axle question

    I had 3 tandem forklift trailer the rear tires seemed to always pick up the nails, bolts or what ever's on the road. Bearings also a problem. Then went to single 11/22.5's but now run single 10,000 lb oil bath tork flex axle and 245/70r 17.5 tires. Need to run good quality tires and high quality syn oil in the hubs. Have had the least problems with this set up.

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