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Old 11-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Steer axle weight

New to posting but have read a lot of stuff here for a long time. Short story. I'm a drag racer and recently sold my diesel pusher in favor of a truck conversion for hauling my race car. The pusher and tag trailer was a bit of a handful in the wind and my wife was stressed about some of our trips....lol. I decided a gooseneck style toter/trailer would provide the best possible towing. I found a sweet deal on a 2004 Columbia 15' box with a gooseneck hitch. I then picked up an old 40' gn trailer that I will be raising the roof and converting to a double stacker, two car trailer. We found towing with this beast is awesome.....even in the wind. 500 hp is just a bonus.

Now to my problem. Before starting work on the trailer I wanted a base weight to reference during the build. I took the complete rig to a local CAT scale. Empty trailer was 5600#, rear axle was 15K#.....all good. To my shock though, the steer axle was 15500#(steer axle is rated at 13800#) Half tank of fuel(100 out of 200) and no fresh water, which will add more weight. So far I have found tires to get me to about a 14500# rating and my wheels are 7400# each.

I'm not as worried about a lawful weigh due to non commercial, as I am blowing tires. This truck has nearly a 24' wheelbase, as do similar conversions, so I realize that is the issue. I'm planning on moving the gn ball 2' farther back(total of 3' behind axle) but I'm assuming that will show little gains. How common is this steer weight and should I be concerned from a safety standpoint? Sorry for the long post.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:39 PM   #2
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How far is your rear axle center from the rear of the rig? btw...it is interesting to compare part numbers of bearings, spindles, springs, etc on different rated front axle setups.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:47 PM   #3
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Rear axle centerline is approx. 3' from rear of toter. It's winter time up here, so I won't be digging into the parts of a frontend for awhile, but I will let you know when I find something out. I've been toying with the idea new front wheels and changing tire size to accommodate a higher load, but I don't believe I have enough room in the rear to match a taller tire in front. I'm not so worried about axle hardware as I am the tires.

Sorry if this is kind of a repeat post, but I just now found other threads I have been reading.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:57 PM   #4
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neetchracer, A few of us on here have been through this. Mine is a long story and started somewhat like your's except I didn't find out until after a blow out on the interstate. I put our rig on a scale after the blow out and found about the same as you, almost 15K lbs on the front axle with a light fuel load. After talking to one of the new Sport Truck dealers I discovered we're not alone and a lot of the new rigs are coming with 18K front axles and tires. We did a full front axle swap on our truck along with new tires and rims to get to an 18K spec. I don't want say this is required but at a minimum you may want to consider switching to a set of 9K (9" wide) wheels and 315/75 x 22.5 tires. You can run the 315's on the smaller (8") wheels but you usually have to de-rate the tires a little. The trash trucks pretty much all run the 18K axles and wheels so this is where we found our parts. I will only run the Michelin 315 tires and replace them every 5-years. You can get a pretty good Michelin discount if you join FMCA.

There are some other tire options a little lighter or heavier but I felt the 315's would have better availability since a lot of the big passenger buses also run the 315's. We switched from 11R's to the 315. The biggest clearance issue was with the steering travel and we did loose some steering travel.

As for the axle assembly, some say these lighter axles are fine and I've heard the 12K, 14K & 16K sometimes use the same parts and just have higher spring rates. It's difficult to get a clear answer on this though. We had a Volvo only front axle under our truck and I couldn't get a clear answer from anyone on it's capacity so we swapped it for a true 18K used Rockwell assembly and then put all new hubs and brakes on. We also added dual steering.

I'd be happy to talk with you if you want or feel free to ask any questions here if you'd like.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
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Thanks, I may take you up on that. I'm good with new wheels and tires, but the extra 2" or so my create an issue getting it into my barn......lol. I'll figure it out. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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As a comparison - We run 275/80 22.5's (on 8.5 inch rims rated at the same 7,400 lbs)

of particular interest our DOOR tag says - 13,888 (f) / 22,700 (r)



But our BUILD tag claims some kind of front Axle mod to 14,600




Moderately loaded (full water, fuel, beer, NO Toad / No Trailer) we tip the scale at - 12,460 (f) / 19,780 (r) -



WITH the 22 foot trailer, race car, tools, full water & beer - we top out at 12,640 (f) / 21,820 (r) -

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Old 11-23-2016, 12:21 PM   #7
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Interesting.

I was just thinking. If I moved my GN ball back 2', I could actually add more bed to the rear and possibly mount the generator (approx 700#s) and the coach batteries behind the rear axle. I'm not concerned with the extra rear axle weight, I'm very safe with that right now. Not sure about water off the rear tires though, I'll have to look into that. I though about moving the fresh water tanks, but that might be a plumbing nightmare......lol.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:49 PM   #8
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I had similar issue, but just changed my front tires from 11R22.5 to 315/80R22.5, and the 315's are load range L. I run them on the thinner 8.25 inch wide wheels. This gave me some margin for weight. I did not change the axle or hubs.

As stated, it is very difficult to get a straight answer if the axle and hubs are actually any different. I am sure when you jump up to a 16-18K axle there are some differences.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:22 PM   #9
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Did you find 8.25" wheels that are rated higher than 7400#s? I don't mind getting new wheels, but I'm having an issue finding wheels that I know will fit. Alot of choices....lol.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:24 PM   #10
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The 315/80's seem to be about 1" taller. No problem and that's the way I'm going. Just need to figure out 9K wheels now.
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