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Choosing the right number of side dump axles is crucial to the trailer design process. At SmithCo, we want to make the best side dump trailer, plain and simple, from top to bottom. We sell trailers all over the world, so we’ve become experts at matching each trailer to the specific bridge laws of the area. Plus, we understand that maximizing payload and efficiencies for a haul means more profitability for our customer. Getting to know our customers and the work they do is part of our job. It helps us create the world’s best side dumps.

What factors to consider

We’d love to have an easy answer for figuring out how many axles your side dump trailer needs. The truth is, there just isn’t one. Laws that guide the use of axles change from state to state and province to province. We always take into account the type of work being accomplished by a trailer before we recommend a particular configuration for a customer. When discussing axle configurations, the primary goal is to find a setup that will be legal, safe, and most efficient in the area it will be performing work.

Why axles matter

Many serious issues can arise from having an improper configuration of side dump axles. Driving a trailer without a legal axle configuration may result in a fine for the operator not obeying the local bridge law. From a mechanical standpoint, having the incorrect axle configuration based on the density and weight of the product being hauled is incredibly important. Otherwise, it could inadvertently overload one or more of the axles if they are not set up to accommodate the payload the customer is looking to achieve.

Axles configuration options

When it comes to options for axle configuration, let’s talk. From a single-axle trailer to a 16-axle train setup, if we haven’t done it already, we will come up with a solution that makes the trailer work for your needs.Unlike our competitors, we strive to make the best possible solution for any application. Our engineering capability and customization options vastly surpass what any of our competitors are willing to attempt. We work with the top axle manufacturers to provide our customers with options in both axle cost and capabilities. For instance, certain jobs will require fewer, heavier built axles rather than multiple, lighter axles.

The SmithCo process

To figure out what axle configuration will work with your specific needs, we’ll ask a series of questions. These include what you need to haul, what trucks you have, and in what states or provinces you will operate. Then, we’ll make a specific drawing that shows your current equipment and the best SmithCo option for your needs. We’ll also list the gross payload that the proposed trailer or trailers could net, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

Bridge law experts

We are the side dump industry’s bridge law experts. No other manufacturer will work with you more closely or go further to make sure the final product created for you is safe, legal, and the absolute best tool for the job, no matter how many axles you require.


Gerred Zeising

Blog Author

Gerred Zeising
District Sales Manager

Gerred brings fresh energy and forward thinking to the SmithCo team. Prior to joining us in February, he served his country in the Air Force where he was a fuel systems technician. From there, he excelled in roles for a flooring manufacturer, Verizon Wireless, and a small business marketing firm. When he’s not selling the best side dump trailers on the market, you can find him with a fishing pole in his hand if the weather suits. Gerred also loves to grill—if it can fit, he can cook it better than you can.

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