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Is your trailer stressed out?

Monday, Mar 29, 2021

How strong is your loaded trailer? It’s an important question to ask before you haul any heavy load. When considering your truck’s structural prowess, there are a few major stresses to consider.

Stress #1: Longitudinal Stress

To truly understand the structural strength of a trailer, you have to start by looking under the hood. The bolstering structure will tell you a lot. A center rail is a must when towing trailers—maybe even two or three with fillers for extraordinarily heavy loads. You need adequate support to withstand the tremendous longitudinal pulling forces on both ends of the trailer.

Stress #2: Side Load Stress

Sideload stress on a trailer can happen in a few ways. When sideloading a trailer, the operator might misjudge the height of their load and/or the trailer deck height and slam into the side rail with either their forks or the load itself. This is no bueno. It can put incredible stress on the axle, or the plates on either side of the wheels.

Simply turning a corner can also create lateral forces on a trailer, especially if it’s loaded. Tight turns that force the trailer to rub against protective barriers can cause extreme and sudden side forces, too. Strategic design planning can mitigate these forces by adding features such as axle supports and steel plates added to cross members. Proper running gear also plays a crucial role in reducing side forces. Thankfully, Hamilton trailers feature quality running gear, with premium tapered or precision ball bearings and integral kingpins.

Stress #3: Load Stress

Loads can be sneaky. The downward force from a load or sudden impact can find weak points in a trailer build. When planned correctly, center rails and cross supports with an appropriately thick deck plate all work together to create a herculean support structure—thereby evenly distributing the forces across the entire trailer system and extending its lifespan.

Want to ensure your trailers live long and prosper? Hamilton design engineers build trailers that meet your exact structural needs. Contact us today.

To learn more about the design principles of trailers? Click here.

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