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Thread: trailer jacking - why do manufacturers say to lift from the frame and not the axle?

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    trailer jacking - why do manufacturers say to lift from the frame and not the axle?

    For example from the lippert manual for my trailer axle
    Lift unit by the frame and never the axle or suspension. Do not go under unit unless it is properly supported by jack stands. Unsupported units can fall causing serious injury or death.
    Why can't you jack up the axle from an under mounted leaf spring mount? Block of wood to spread the load (and allow bolts to sink it a bit).. seems that area of the axle supports the trailer weight just fine... Perhaps this admonition is just to keep people from jacking via the axle tube (which would probably be a bad idea)? Or am I missing some good reason to only jack from the frame?

    Just hate to have to lift up the frame to get a wheel off the ground.. seems inefficient.
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    Afraid the suspension will flex while it's on the jacks and the frame/body will clobber you?

  3. The Following User Likes grumpyoldretiredcop's Post:

    Dennis (March 23rd, 2015)

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    With tandem axles trailers, When jacking only one axle the load begins to shift to the axle being lifted. When this is done the max load capacity of that axle can be quickly reached. On torsion axles the opposite is true after you lift past the sweet spot of the torsion performance curve.

    I don't know why this is an issue with mono axles. maybe the manufacture only uses one sticker/owners manual?

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    Reno Computer Repair (March 23rd, 2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Trooper View Post
    With tandem axles trailers, When jacking only one axle the load begins to shift to the axle being lifted. When this is done the max load capacity of that axle can be quickly reached. On torsion axles the opposite is true after you lift past the sweet spot of the torsion performance curve.

    I don't know why this is an issue with mono axles. maybe the manufacture only uses one sticker/owners manual?
    I've never had a tandem axle trailer, I could see lifting an axle in that case could easily be a problem. I probably should have specified single axle..

    Obviously doesn't make sense to lift from spring mounts if you're going to put it on jackstands as there would be no sensible place to put the jackstands except under the frame...

    When I need to service bearings/wheels/tires though, in particular when inspecting where you may just need to jack it up for a few minutes I don't bother with stands...
    Last edited by braindead0; March 23rd, 2015 at 11:36 AM.
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    I'm surprised nobody has suggested I stop jacking my trailer aka.. inb4..
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    Quote Originally Posted by braindead0 View Post
    For example from the lippert manual for my trailer axle


    .

    You actually read the owners manual??????????
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    Toyota_James (April 9th, 2015)

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlmeck View Post
    You actually read the owners manual??????????
    Yeah.. probably a bad idea.. I used the manufacturers instructions when I serviced the bearings and that ended badly..
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    Why did you have to post this. Now you have me thinking about my trailer (tandem axle). Doubting the bottle jack in my truck has enough travel to lift the frame further than the axles can droop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j03_tj View Post
    Why did you have to post this. Now you have me thinking about my trailer (tandem axle). Doubting the bottle jack in my truck has enough travel to lift the frame further than the axles can droop.
    Precisely to screw with your day! I've seen various items for tandems, such as a ramp.. that you run one axle wheel up on in order to lift the other... However that does seem like it would by necessity put a lot of load on one wheel... I'd check weight vs. axle ratings, maybe typical tandems are designed to be safe if you lose a tire, if so then the 3 remaining wheels should be able to support the entire gross weight of the trailer?
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    It's most likely a lawyer talk statement. It would be less stable if you jack under axle instead of the frame, but when done properly there should be no side affects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by braindead0 View Post
    Precisely to screw with your day! I've seen various items for tandems, such as a ramp.. that you run one axle wheel up on in order to lift the other... However that does seem like it would by necessity put a lot of load on one wheel... I'd check weight vs. axle ratings, maybe typical tandems are designed to be safe if you lose a tire, if so then the 3 remaining wheels should be able to support the entire gross weight of the trailer?
    I lost a tire on my tandem boat trailer a few years ago. Jacked up the trailer with my standard screw jack that came with my truck. Pulled the tire off and pulled the trailer the remaining 25 miles home with 3 tires to my house.

    The screw jack was questionable, but worked. The three tire thing was questionable, but it worked. The axle without a tire was maybe 6 inches or a bit less from the ground after pulling the jack.

    Would not recommend doing this for a long duration. The side with a single tire was pretty stressed, but made it.

    No ill effects after I replaced the blown tire.

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