Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Tech and general discussion forum - the place to ask those questions!
WomblingFree
Been here a while
Posts: 160
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 6:56 am

Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Unread post by WomblingFree » November 7th, 2013, 10:21 am

Hi

I'm interested to know who's had a axle break. What caused it (snapped beam, failed welds, bent, etc), what size was the axle and what weight do you think you were carrying?

WomblingFree
Been here a while
Posts: 160
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 6:56 am

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by WomblingFree » December 2nd, 2013, 9:29 am

No broken axles, outstanding!

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20807
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 2nd, 2013, 10:01 am

No Wombling, you asked "who's had ONE?" and getting no answers simply means that everyone has had MORE than just ONE broken axle!! :p

I don't want to count how many I've had over the years, they are often just one of those things that sometimes break for no apparent immediate reason, altho it's almost certainly due to the cumulative wear and tear on them; especially in 4WD's, off road campers, and tow vehicles that will build up the stresses and fatigue over time! You may never know exactly what it was that became the final straw that broke an axle this time around. And it happens like that to just about any vehicle too, even some vehicles/trailers that supposedly have a rep for weak axles will stand up to stuff/abuse that you wouldn't believe they'd take but then later on they might snap like a frozen cheese stick at the least provocation?! :irked:

All that said, I've never had a broken axle in a GQ Patrol... And I reckon that most off road Campers tend to break wheel bearings or suspension components that hold the axle a little more readily than they break axles too, altho that could just be that I get to see more of those broken by the side of the road/track! ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

mydmax
Need to get out more
Posts: 5384
Joined: August 4th, 2011, 10:43 pm

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by mydmax » December 2nd, 2013, 12:18 pm

What type of vehicle is being referred to, 4wd? fully floating axles? semi floating? Twin bearing? single bearing?
Trailer? with parallel shaft? trailer with stepped bearings?

Axle break because of load? Axle break because of torque ie twist break? Axle break because of loose wheel bearings ( fatigue)?

There are many possibles and I haven't a clue what you are wanting to know, cos all won't apply to your situation.
Some Jayco's break axles but it isn't the axles fault, it is the stupid way the suspension is made which ensures the axle is hammered to death.

Injected
Here and there
Posts: 57
Joined: February 13th, 2010, 6:44 pm

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by Injected » December 12th, 2013, 10:58 pm

I think we are looking into this too much. We are in the camper Trailer section. I personally haven't broken an axle on my camper but you do hear a few stories of axles breaking due to poor machining practices. If a sharp shoulder is machined into axle where the bearing sits its highly likely for the axle to snap there.
Regards.

WomblingFree
Been here a while
Posts: 160
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 6:56 am

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by WomblingFree » December 18th, 2013, 11:25 am

Well as its posted under camper trailers so yes, I was referring to camper trailer axles.
In particular leaf sprung jobs but I guess it still relevant to independent stubs.

I'm under constant advise(criticism) from mates hence I'm thinking of upping my 40mm (or was it 45) axle to 50mm to help avoid breaking one.
Before I do, I'm doing a bit more research into why they break and if its really worth the bother.
So many re3asons such as crap Chinese steel, no lube, excessive clamping force on the outer clamp, etc etc.
All of which have to traded off against additional unsprung weight which can also contribute to breakage.

Interested in gaining some reality on why yours broke rather than stories.

kevinmealing60
Been here a while
Posts: 229
Joined: July 15th, 2011, 9:47 pm

Re: Broken axles - who's had one?

Unread post by kevinmealing60 » December 20th, 2013, 2:13 am

I have a 60 series axle housing and bearings, hubs, brakes and axles cut off as cover plates, also diff center removed. Will never break! And if it does, aI hav bigger problems cause ma car towing it broke first. ( gtm=2.50t, 1 quad+ 1 utv/sxsu, water + fuel +rtt.
85 60series 315/75r16 MT mtz on 16x10 sunnys
12h-t, front mount intercooled, 16 PSI boost, 93rwkw
beaudesert 3" mandrel bent, 3"suspension custom leaf packs,
superior extended shackles, air on board system.

rmoore
Been here a while
Posts: 204
Joined: April 20th, 2011, 10:10 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Unread post by rmoore » March 16th, 2014, 3:30 pm

Yep, broke an axle on my trailer.

Day two of a 13 day trip. Hit a pot hole in the Farina bitumen creek crossing at about 80-90 kph. 1200 kg all-up trailer weight. Al-Ko rubber suspension. Tyre punctured & alloy Nissan rim broke/shattered all in a split second. The collapsed rim etc caused all to fall on to the 40 mm off side stub axle, which snapped off as clean as a carrot. I saw it all happen in the rear view mirror & pulled up about 70 metres further on. The shattered & incomplete rim & tyre had the hub & brakes still attached. Bugger! :urgh:

Image

Had a spare stub axle & hub, so trundled off with the whole axle assembly unbolted from the trailer, to adjacent station owner's workshop. He was great and let me & my mate (next-door station owner) effect a repair. That was not a completely perfect alignment and over the balance of the trip (3,000 dirt km) I wore a spare tyre out, having reversed it on the rim to even up the bad wear pattern as much as practical.

When I got home I replaced the entire axle assy, bearing cap to bearing cap; the electric brakes were faulty anyhow and the linings worn. This cost about $ 500 more than repairing the old unit.

Gotta love driving 4WD's etc in the Outback. :crazy:

Moral of the story:
1. ***** happens.
2. Never run alloy rims - I have since seen these rims shatter on other vehicles. The trailer is now on steel sunnies.


RM
Mazda BT50 DualCab XT auto, new in April 2012. ARB bar, side rails, steps, suspension. Redarc trailer brakes. Anti-spinifex plate. Lightforce HID's. Extra 5 micron fuel filter. Custom Al canopy on ute. Designed as a touring rig.

mydmax
Need to get out more
Posts: 5384
Joined: August 4th, 2011, 10:43 pm

Re: Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Unread post by mydmax » March 16th, 2014, 6:12 pm

Do you have a close up of the broken axle face. That would be very interesting to see.

rmoore
Been here a while
Posts: 204
Joined: April 20th, 2011, 10:10 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Re: Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Unread post by rmoore » March 17th, 2014, 9:17 am

No, that's the only pic I have.
Mazda BT50 DualCab XT auto, new in April 2012. ARB bar, side rails, steps, suspension. Redarc trailer brakes. Anti-spinifex plate. Lightforce HID's. Extra 5 micron fuel filter. Custom Al canopy on ute. Designed as a touring rig.

TLC60S
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1059
Joined: June 17th, 2012, 8:36 pm
Location: Londonderry, NSW

Re: Broken trailer axles - who's had one?

Unread post by TLC60S » March 17th, 2014, 8:59 pm

No broken trailer axle yet
Did break the original springs up in Werrikimbe NP, replaced for larger springs.
Next was snapped the springs locating bolt on the first day of a 3 week trip.
Last month replaced the bent axle which is a 40mm for a 50mm, at a cost of $1000 which was meant to be for electric brakes, it was wearing the tyres on an angle waisting the tread.
CheersTLC60S

Return to “General Camper Trailer Tech”