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  1. #1
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    I have a utility trailer (2990 lb GVW) with a straight axle, no brakes, and was skipping over a multi-state sales newspaper where the builder/seller of utility trailers was claiming "we use drop axles, no straight axles" like the drop axles he used were more costly than a straight axle.

    Might be a stupid question, but for a utility trailer like mine, would there be any advantage to having a drop axle over a straight axle? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    2000 Power Trac 422

    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    The trailer bed is lower on a drop axle. This makes loading and unloading easier. You loose ground clearance though.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
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  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobRip View Post
    The trailer bed is lower on a drop axle. This makes loading and unloading easier. You loose ground clearance though.
    I figured out the ground clearance/bed height issue before I purchased but was wondering if there was another plus factor the drop axles would give....thanks.

  4. #4
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDgreen227 View Post
    I figured out the ground clearance/bed height issue before I purchased but was wondering if there was another plus factor the drop axles would give....thanks.
    There may be others. I just don't know.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    Some will say the trailer is more stable with a lower center of gravity...

    I have drop and straight utility trailers... there is a noticeable deck height difference.

    I use the drop axle most of the time, the lower deck height let me use the tailgate as a ramp for moving things like refrigerators or I can back up to a city curb and drive my riding mower right in... no ramps required.

    Now, my home made dump trailer has a straight axle and it benefits my dump design by being higher up, there is more room or travel for dumping when I raise the bed

    Drop axles are generally forged as far as the drop goes because it has to be made stronger... I have seen one or two drop axles with the spindle bent from too much weight of going over a pothole loaded.

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultrarunner View Post
    Some will say the trailer is more stable with a lower center of gravity...

    I have drop and straight utility trailers... there is a noticeable deck height difference.

    I use the drop axle most of the time, the lower deck height let me use the tailgate as a ramp for moving things like refrigerators or I can back up to a city curb and drive my riding mower right in... no ramps required.

    Now, my home made dump trailer has a straight axle and it benefits my dump design by being higher up, there is more room or travel for dumping when I raise the bed

    Drop axles are generally forged as far as the drop goes because it has to be made stronger... I have seen one or two drop axles with the spindle bent from too much weight of going over a pothole loaded.
    Thanks for your input, my trailer has a five foot long rear ramp gate so deck height isn't an issue. I would rather have ground clearance instead of a lower deck height.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    As said before ramp angle is the main advantage. They are very common on boat trailers because it allows the trailer to get in deeper while keeping the tow vehicle farther away from the water.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Gold Member newt92's Avatar
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    Secor Illinois
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    John Deere 2520 and 2305

    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    I have drop axles on my 16' flatbed trailer. Ordered it like that, and I built a 3' gate for it. Lower deck height with only a 3' tall gate = less wind drag too. Yea, it has less ground clearance, but I love the trailer.

    2007 JD 2305, 2008 JD 2520 w/200cx loader, Harbor Freight quick hitch, homemade pallet forks, 5' KK tiller, 5' KKxb disc, 4' landpride pulverizer, Frontier RB1072 blade, homemade 5 1/2' lawn roller at 3500lbs, 2005 John Deere 797 w/60" deck, 2009 John Deere 997 w/ 72" deck, 2005 JD HPX Gator w/power dump, 1998 Toro 455D 10.5' deck!

  9. #9
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    Quote Originally Posted by newt92 View Post
    I have drop axles on my 16' flatbed trailer. Ordered it like that, and I built a 3' gate for it. Lower deck height with only a 3' tall gate = less wind drag too. Yea, it has less ground clearance, but I love the trailer.

    I'm with you on the ground clearance vs. load height. I like my trailer LOW. I do scrape the tail at times and occasionally the tongue, but I love it when I can load my tractor at a 10 degree loading angle.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Straight axle vs. drop axle?

    I like my low trailer also but it does not have drop axles. Its deck height is only 14" and its a 18'x82" 7,000# trailer. No dove tail or gate, just slide in ramps from the rear. Very easy to use and load. Only weighs 1,250# empty so it has a 5,750# payload. Perfect trailer for me.

    My last trailer was a 25+5 GN Deckover 25,000# unit. Hated it. Hated the GN for the loss of my truck bed. Hated the deckover for its load height and ramp angle. Hated the Dove Tail for its loss of flat floor space. Only liked its heavy duty load capacity but for no more than I used it I can pay someone to move my heavy stuff for a $100 or so. The darn thing weighed 5,800# and some change empty.

    Chris

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