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Trailers - torsion axles vs. leaf springs

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  • Trailers - torsion axles vs. leaf springs

    I think most everyone says that torsion axles are best for the horse passenger.

    I may have found the almost perfect good used trailer I've been searching for over the past year. I think it has everything I need/want ex. a rear ramp for easy loading of my gig cart.

    It's a 2007 and made by Double D in NC. Look like great trailers, but they are still being made with leaf springs vs. torsion axles. They make all alum. or galvalume skins (no steel) so price wouldn't be the object.

    What is your exp. with these two - and would leaf springs be a deal-breaker for you if everything else was great?

    This would be our first trailer and probably wouldn't go far for quite some time. But we may want the option of taking it up to about 750 miles.


    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

  • #2
    The thing about rubber torsion axles, is they will dip one tire/wheel into a pothole/over a bump etc., and the others will not react. They also allow you to continue with a blowout--at least for a little while.

    Having said that, I had a tire disintegrate on my 1969 Stidham, about 10 miles of highway before I could get off... I drove slowly in the breakdown lane, and got to the closest VIP just fine. I'm sure the Stidham was leaf springs. Caveat: Only one horse, and a very, super well balanced trailer... so not like a max load... still... it did OK.

    If I were ordering new--yes, I'd insist. If the price was right on a used, and it has everything else I want... I would not insist.

    Just me personally. I rarely go less than 500mi round trip when I use mine. I got the '69 Stidham in 99, and put thousands of miles on it before I got a new S&S in '04. Only the one blowout/flat, and that was my own fault--tires were dry rotted and I should have known better.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


    • #3
      The main thing that I don't like about leaf springs is the way some are set up with a long equalizer between them. With these, and I've seen a number built like this, if the tire to fender clearance is built too tight and one tire blows, the other tire cannot avoid rubbing the fender.

      I wouldn't buy one of those but do have some equipment trailers that do have leaf springs.


      • #4
        It would be and has been a deal breaker for me. There are a lot of things that I wanted, but few that I required - and torsion axels fall into that category.


        • #5
          I would pass on a trailer with leaf springs and I'm surprised Double D still uses them because they are a good and forward thinking company. In the event of a blow out or flat tire you will have more stability and control with torsian axles. Also, it provides a nicer ride for your horse.

          Good luck in your search!


          • Original Poster

            I tried to call the factory today but they only work Mon-Fri.

            From what hub read on their website, they only use leaf springs. I was so impressed with how the rest of the trailers are built, I also couldn't understand their use of leaf springs. I want to talk to Brad to see if this is true, and WHY. To me, it ruined a wonderful trailer.

            We were going to go see it tomorrow (Sun.) nut I'm going to cancel or postpone till I can talk to Double D. I think it's going to be a deal-breaker if it is leaf-springs for sure. I'm considering getting a custom built and thought DD would be another great choice - but alas, maybe not.

            "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx


            • #7
              He, the owner of DoubleD, posts at horse trailer world trailer talk, so you may want to ask there. Also, you may want to see if there is a facebook page. I asked about the trailer I recently bought on the mfg facebook and received information that way.


              • #8
                I looked at the website to and it says 'smooth ride leaf suspension' or something like that. I wonder if it has an air ride component or something like that. Yip, perhaps you should go look at the trailer and make your decision when you find out more. I think DoubleD and Equispirit have become partners. You could ask Karen to talk to Neva and see if she knows about the suspension. If Equispirit is open on weekend, the people there should know also.


                • #9
                  The people who make my trailer use leaf springs. They say that they are better for mountainous, twisty roads. If a torsion axle gets damaged, it has to be replaced which is more money. Our axel specialist, who does the big rigs, also said leaf springs - so, for what it is worth, my trailer has leaf springs. I'm not at all competent to judge the difference. I hear that the ride is more comfortable for the horse with torsion....but it would not be a deal breaker for me.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Coyoteco View Post
                    It would be and has been a deal breaker for me. There are a lot of things that I wanted, but few that I required - and torsion axels fall into that category.
                    aluminum trailer with torsion axles were deal breakers for us (what we wanted/non negotiable)
                    Providence Farm


                    • #11
                      Hey Yip,
                      I sent you some info on the 2007 Double D axles. Hope it helps!

                      Bartley Heath
                      Buy Factory Direct and $ave at www.DoubleDTrailers.com


                      • Original Poster

                        Thank you, TrailerMan! I msgd. back.

                        "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx


                        • #13
                          Well what did he say?? I was hoping to learn some new information on why leaf springs are preferred over the torsion axles in DD trailers.


                          • #14
                            I am almost 100% positive the 2007 Double D has leaf springs. There is a huge debate over which is better.
                            Here are a few points:
                            1. There isn't a big difference in cost.

                            2. Some people question the durability of rubber core inside the torsion axle.

                            3. with leaf springs, the axles are always balanced, meaning...if the trailer is slightly up in the front, both axles still carry the same amount of weight because of the equalizer. That isn't true with torsion...more weight on one tire can cause heat build-up and blowouts. This is a big deal!

                            4. trailers with torsion axles typically sit higher from ground vs leaf springs (from Dexter's specs, vs 4" drop: .5" higher on 22 up, 2" higher on 10 up)

                            5. Torsion is quicker to install (I think this is a biggest reason for their widespread use)

                            6. The equalizer is now available with a rubber shock absorber to further dampen vibration

                            We have some customers to tell us that their horses are able to recover faster from long hauls with leaf springs vs torsion.

                            I think they both have pros and cons.
                            Hope this helps!

                            Last edited by DD_TrailerMan; Jun. 15, 2010, 11:43 AM.


                            • Original Poster

                              He said that torsion axles are fine on smaller trailers, but on the big trailers w/ LQ, they (the rubber rings) wear out and need to be replaced. The co. that makes them seals them in such a way that the owner and the dealer/mechanic cannot get into them, therefore, the entire unit needs to be replaced instead of just the worn parts. $$

                              He said that other trailers all use them (hauling all kinds of products) and they often last the lifetime of that trailer, incl. horse trailers. Truckers say the more load they carry, the better they work. Which is why they might seem stiff for light loads.

                              They have tested with people and with horses and have not found much difference, if any, in the ride to the load. Their horses arrive in condition to work.

                              I learned that if you have torsion axles that fail and you want to switch to leaf springs, it can be done. Not sure about the other way.

                              If you're in the market for a new trailer, take a look at Double D's website. I think they are cutting edge in R & D. They just began building their new trailers with advanced materials from roof to kick sides, and flooring. And they're double wall construction with insulation between the walls. They're quieter, cooler, warmer, and just more comfortable & lower maintenance.


                              You get a great trailer at less cost than competetors because they deal straight from the factory w/ no middleman. I spoke with Brad and he knows his trailers inside out. I'll probably have one custom built, and Double D will get the order. I need to load a big gig cart in the front and the horse/s behind, so I'll be able to get the axles placed properly for back loading. I won't buy the used trailer but not because of the suspension, because of the axle issue.


                              LOL! I see TrailerMan and I were typing at the same time. He also knows DoubleD inside out!
                              "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx


                              • #16
                                Brad is my older, slightly less sophisticated brother, don't tell him I told you that though, haha. He handles the sales and I handle the manufacturing. We have a unique direct marketing approach and it works for us because we are the manufacturer and do know our products inside and out. I am bias but we build an awesome trailer with some cool features that aren't found on other trailers. Back in 2008, we started researching new ways to build trailers, our 2010 models reflect our complete transformation from old way to new way, totally different trailer. We have been fortunate too, sales continue to flow in, even through tough times. I am not sure we would have survived building trailers under the old configuration.

                                Bartley Heath
                                Buy Factory Direct and $ave at DoubleDTrailers.com
                                Last edited by DD_TrailerMan; Jun. 15, 2010, 12:51 PM.


                                • #17
                                  Thanks to both of you for the remarks! I always appreciate having correct info!


                                  • #18
                                    I just have to add that - in my view - insulation is a very necessary design feature. My trailer - also a custom - is cooler in summer than others and in the winter it does not drip condensation. I also say it buffers road noise.
                                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                                      I just have to add that - in my view - insulation is a very necessary design feature. My trailer - also a custom - is cooler in summer than others and in the winter it does not drip condensation. I also say it buffers road noise.
                                      Reduces condensation, true.

                                      Buffers road noise, maybe.

                                      Cooler in summer, I don't think so.

                                      Insulation is only going to delay a temp change when there is nothing to counteract it such as an AC unit. The small amount of insulation found in the wall/roof of a trailer will not delay the change very long.

                                      My CM is not insulated and the inside/outside temp is usually within 5 degrees of each other, presumably because of the heat generated by the horses inside.
                                      Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
                                      Not in the 42% or the 96%


                                      • #20
                                        The way I see it is that the trailer is parked, maybe near shade. I leave the doors open. I go for a ride, put my horse in a noticeably cooler trailer than my companions', or tie him outside, have a quick picnic - load up a cooled out horse into a cool trailer and am home before he gets hot again. I know some parts are stinking hot and extreme. Not here. I think insulaltion is a great feature.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique