What Causes Slightly Offset Trailers And Is There Any Way To Fix Them?

Topic 31645 | Page 1

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Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

A lot of the trailers I get will appear straight in one more but really offset in the other, usually the passenger side.

Some are really bad, so that it's noticable in both. I had one that the pins wouldn't lock in the holes on one side, when they did, they were one hole off from the other side.

I've tried various positions on the tandems , unhooking and rehooking I'm a slightly different position, multiple tug tests backwards and forwards. Nothing seems to change it.

It's drives me absolutely nuts. I'm pretty sure I have a bit of OCD anyway, and this doesn't help. Any way to fix it and is it something that I'm doing when I hook up to it that's causing it or exacerbating the problem?

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ugh. Typos. *Mirrors. *Had one that was so bad that...

*Re-hooking in a different position

Sorry, typing on the phone.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve noticed this, seeing a trailer going down the road in front of me all wobby-jawed… it definitely looks weird as heck. I asked someone about it once, and they told me it was because the trailer [axles] were out of alignment. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but it sounds reasonable.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

You’re talking about dog legged trailers right? As far as I know nothing you can do. If it’s really bad it needs to go into the shop. It’s an axle/suspension thing, has nothing to do with how you’re hooking to it

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Yep torsion bars outta whack or something else, some are worse than others "Dog tracking" down the road. Ford trucks and others can do the same thing, those usually is in the leaf springs or worn out bushings not keeping things aligned

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Primary cause is hitting curbs. Typically on the passenger side, which is the side they usually off-track.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Curbs, docks, potholes, uneven wear on the tires (usually from improper inflation)...

Many things can cause the trailer to "crab", necessitating an alignment.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

I see it alot here at millis. The guys in the trailer shop tell the same story as mentioned before, curbs and potholes. They also said because we haul heavy beer loads so much that contributes to the problem. Not sure how that works exactly, maybe the way some people back. I see alot of guys pushing trailers straight and the wheels not moving much. I know that tears up tires and rips chucks out of our super singles but not sure it affects axles.

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

Dan67's Comment
member avatar

Years ago I had a trailer that off tracked so bad and it was actually somewhat swaying. Turns out the holes for the tandem pin holes where actually egg shaped and wallowed out. And from talking to my current companies trailer shop gurus that it is fixable. The biggest causes are hitting curbs while cornering and u-turns with heavy loads and super singles.

Oh, and a few years ago I was in Virginia on a two lane highway and the truck in front of me had a sever dog leg. So bad that he was actually knocking out mailboxes. He keep going and never stopped. Took out about 2 miles of mailboxes.

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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