OEM Trailer  

The OEM Trailer Division  is proud to serve a variety of trailer manufacturers. We can supply running gear, fenders, frame accessories, actuators and custom designed parts for your trailers. Take time to review our catalog. If  you do not see what you are looking for, give us a call.


Can I buy axles directly from Tie Down Engineering?

No. TDE builds axles for OEM trailer manufacturers. We do have several trailer parts distributors that sell what they consider ‘stock” or common sizes. Should you need a replacement axle, contact your trailer manufacturer or a trailer parts supply company.

What are the advantages of the Eliminator Torsion axles from Tie Down Engineering?

First, torsion axles provide an independent suspension, which will give a smoother ride. The rubber cords eliminate metal-to-metal contact for less wear and tear. The axle tube is welded or bolted to the frame and acts as an additional cross member for a stiffer trailer frame. Eliminator Torsion axles have one feature that can only be found on an Eliminator Torsion axle, quick change spindles. The ability to remove and replace the spindle could save the purchase of a new axle should the spindle become damaged in an accident or from bearing failure where the spindle is severely damaged. As a trailer owner, you can carry a spare tire, hub and spindle mounted on your spare tire carrier where only a spare tire was before. This keeps you on the road, not on the side of it.

Can I replace my spring axle with a torsion axle?

Torsion axles have many additional measurements that must be correct to replace a spring axle. Frame type and width, torsion bar angle, mounting brackets used, are additional frame brackets required, capacity, hub face, beam type, etc. In our manufacturing process, to place one axle in the loop is more difficult than building 400 at a time. An engineer must make a technical drawing, the buyer must approve drawing, and planning must make a bill of materials and schedule. As a result, we are not able to build single axles. We do sell torsion axles to a few trailer parts distributors. However, they carry what they consider “stock” size axles, for replacement purposes, which may or may not be the correct axle for your trailer due to all the requirements outlined above.

Can I use 3 Torsion axles under my trailer?

There are many trailer manufacturers that build triple torsion axles with great success and reliability. Generally these manufacturers “down rate” the axle capacity to cover the shock loads that the trailer may experience. Tie Down Engineering and other major axle manufacturers do not recommend triple torsion axle applications without thought to load balance and shock loads. Torsion axles are totally independent and are not equalized like a typical leaf spring set of axles. Torsion axles have many benefits over spring axles but they do not have the ability to transfer loads from one axle to another as in a spring axle set that has equalizers between the spring mounts. The entire load of the trailer can be put on one torsion axle when hitting a pothole, curb, uneven surface, railroad tracks or speed bumps. Rear axles can experience overload on boat ramps where a rear tire drops off the end of the ramp and the full load of a wet boat and tow vehicle is placed on the one axle. The weight transfer can be exaggerated even more if the trailer is not towed level. Even though the overload may be short lived, it isn’t reasonable to expect one axle to carry the entire load of three axles when these conditions occur.

Why is it necessary to tow a trailer level?

Yes, especially with multi axle trailers. Spring axles have some forgiveness with the equalizer between the springs. Torsion axles do not have this feature and towing an un-level torsion axle trailer places most or all of the trailer weight on one axle. This will lead to premature tire wear, loss of braking power and possible axle or trailer damage.

Can I weld additional brackets onto a torsion axle?

No, only during the pre-production of the axle tube. After the axle is assembled, only the mounting brackets can accept welding. The extreme heat axle that welding produces can damage the rubber inside the axle.

Why are some axles bent in the middle?

Sometimes you will notice a slight bend in the axle that is not a “V’d” axle as described below. Sometimes to set the camber of the wheel (angular relationship to the road) the axle must be bent slightly to make it match the trailer builder’s requirements. Most times the axle is designed with a camber that takes into the consideration the load that will be placed on the axle.

What is meant by a “drop” axle vs. a “V’d” axle?

A drop axle is a term used for spring axles that have a “drop” or raised spindle, which in effect lowers the trailer. A V’d axle has a bend in the middle to accommodate a deep hull boat or just to match the design of the trailer cross members.

How often should I grease the bearings?

The standard we use is every 12 months or 12,000 miles whichever comes first.

What is “Super Lube” and how does it differ from the “Bearing Protector Caps”

Super Lube is TDE’s brand of grease lubrication that changes the grease in the hub as you add new grease. Super Lube comes in two versions.

  1. This spindle type has a grease fitting under the wheel cap on the end of the spindle. Grease is pressured into the fitting and travels through a drilled hole in the spindle and exits under the rear bearing. This pushes the old grease outward through the front bearing and out the hub. Super Lube provides new grease for both the front and rear bearing without pressurizing the hub.
  2. Super lube is also offered on specially machined hubs with a grease fitting on the rear of the hub. The Super Lube hubs allow you to have this great feature on axles that were not drilled for the Super Lube lubrication.

“Bearing Protector Caps” offer a grease fitting on the outside of a spring loaded dust cap. New grease is pushed into the hub from the front side only. This does provide an easy way to pack grease into the hub on trips. However, since the rear bearing does not get to see this new grease, we still recommend repacking the wheels every 12 months or 12,000 miles when using this type of lubrication system.

What is the proper bearing adjustment?
  1. Fully assemble end unit with Spindle, Hub w/Bearing Races (cones), Bearing Cups & Oil Seal, Castle Nut, and Washers (Flat washer, D- washer, Tang washer as specified in the BOM for the end unit).
  2. With Spindle secured at axle mounting end, tighten & torque Castle Nut to 40 to 50 pounds while rotating or oscillating (rotating partially back & forth) the hub. A minimum of three (3) complete rotations of the Hub about the spindle is necessary while applying torque to the Castle Nut. This step fully “seats” and aligns the bearings’ rollers within the cones and cups.
  3. Next loosen the Castle Nut 1/6 to ¼ of a turn (1 flat or 1 slot of the Castle Nut). Check that the Hub rotates on the spindle freely, with no obvious internal friction. If internal friction is felt, loosen the Castle Nut 1/6 of a turn more.
    Check that the cotter pin will pass through the Castle Nut slot and spindle drilling or that the Tang Washer is correctly oriented.

    If a Castle Nut slot or flat does not align with the cotter pin hole or tang washer tab after loosening 1/6 turn, loosen the Castle nut a little more until it does.

  4. Check endplay between the spindle & hub by pulling outward on the hub with both hands. There should be no movement detected. If movement is detected, repeat steps 2, 3 & 4.
  5. Insert the cotter pin and bend the legs around the Castle Nut or Bend the Tang Washer Tabs to lock the Castle Nut.
Can brakes be added to an axle that does not have brakes?

Yes, if the axle has brake flanges welded to the axle. This is a metal plate with four holes for 10” brakes and five holes for 12” brakes. It is not advisable to try to weld these on. The brake flanges must be straight and 90 degrees to the spindle. If they are not “square” to the spindle, the brakes will not center in the brake hub or rotor and create wear problems.

How often should I adjust my hydraulic drum brakes?

New brakes should be adjusted after a break in period of 150 to 200 miles. After the break in period adjustment drum brakes should be adjusted every 3,000 miles. If you are experiencing brake chatter at low braking speeds, this could be an indication of needing to adjust the brakes.

How often do I adjust my disc brakes?

One of the many advantages of disc brakes is that you do not need to adjust them.

I have a dual axle trailer with brakes on only one axle. Do I need brakes on the other axle?

As a safety concern, TDE always recommends brakes on all axles. DOT requirements for trailer brakes combine the tow vehicle and trailer in the stopping equation. The tow vehicle and trailer are required to stop in a predetermined distance. Needless to say, the type of tow vehicle used can affect this requirement. State laws also come into play. Many states require brakes over certain weight capacities other states have minimal requirements. Remember, any brakes are better than no brakes.

Why can’t I use DOT 5 Brake fluid in the Tie Down Brake system?

DOT 5: This brake fluid is based upon silicone. Its dry boiling point (ERBP) is 260°C minimum and wet boiling point is (Wet ERBP) 180°C. It is used in applications, like for weekend, antique, collector cars that sit for long periods and for some military vehicles. Some car manufacturers use it in their road driven vehicles. Systems designed for DOT 3 fluid may use rubber parts that will be adversely affected by silicone based fluids. This brake fluid does not mix with DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5.1. It absorbs more air and giving poor pedal feeling. It is unsuitable for racing due to more compressibility under high temperatures. If as little as one drop of water enters the fluid, severe localized corrosion, freezing or gassing may occur. This can happen because water is heavier and not mixable with silicone fluids.

Customer Service Contacts

Kevin Brewer Director OEM and Marine Divisions

Roy Segovia Marine & OEM Inside Account Manager

Denise Barber Customer Service
404-344-0000 Ext. 1526

Sara Schenck National Sales Manager OEM and Marine Divisions

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers
National Marine Manufacturers Association
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