Difference Between Single and Double Axle Trailers



A trailer is a vehicle towed by a powerful vehicle. It is generally used for carrying goods and materials, and sometimes cars and people too. Depending on your requirements, budget, and size of your company, you may want to purchase a single axle trailer or a double axle one; either way you should check all the criteria mentioned in this article.

What Are Single Axle And Double Axle Trailers

As the name suggests, single axle trailers have only one axle with a wheel connected to each end. This wheel is attached to the trailer either indirectly via springs or directly with clamps or some other supporting hardware. They can be identified by only one pair of wheels.

On the other hand, double aka tandem trailer axle trailers have two axles, therefore have two pairs of wheels. Tandem means one following the other. It is called so because these axles are placed near each other which distribute the weight load of the cargo better over the whole trailer.

What Is The Difference Between Single And Double Axle Trailers

There are quite a few areas of qualities and usage, where a single and a double axle trailer vary from each other.


All trailers are used to carry weights or tow other vehicles. The difference between single and double axles is therefore the size and weight they carry.

Single axle trailers are much smaller in size. They also have less parts in them and hence they are lighter by weight. This makes them more efficient, and you can easily move them. However, this also poses a drawback in the maximum capacity of the weight and size of the load they can carry, as mentioned above. Also,  in case you want to tow heavy loads in them, single axle box trailers would not be much suitable, you should rather go for the open ones where the load can have its own free space.

On the contrary, tandem axle trailers with their two sets of axles weigh more and are bigger in size. They may be less easy to move, but when it comes to carrying capacity, these two sets of tires present them with an advantage in the maximum weight to be carried. These trailers are excellent for jobs where you have to carry extreme loads. You can even use box trailers if you are carrying sensitive loads. In fact, for fragile items, double axle box trailers are surely the way to go as they are more stable on the road.

What Is The Difference Between Single & Tandem Axle? | Trailering ...

Ease In Maneuver

Single axle trailers are smaller in size, and therefore, they are much easier to handle. Driving them is really easy and they can quickly take turns in sharp corners. Single axle car trailers are low in height, and at the same time, you have more control over the trailer. So when you are towing a car with these, your car will stay safe from damages. Also, because of their small size, they can squeeze into most spaces, and so parking them anywhere is no headache. Even in congested areas, they fit in quite well, though flatbed single axle trailers suit best in areas like that.

Double axle trailers are bigger, heavier, and therefore are not so easy to manage. You will need to be more careful while driving them on the road. Towing becomes a bit problematic because of their heavy weight. So before you tow any car with these, make sure that the trailer is at the level of the car to avoid damaging the car you are towing. Parking is a bit difficult for these trailers as well, because of their bigger size.


Upon pressing the brakes, single axle car trailers require much less stopping distance as they are so lightweight. As a matter of law, they are not even required to include brakes as an essential part if they are carrying a load below 750kg GTM. on top of it, they can have a maximum of only two brakes. This will surely cost you less while buying the vehicle, but it might pose a threat on the road if you do not calculate the weight right, or are not a smooth driver.

On the contrary, if rated to carry 750kg to 3000kg, tandem axle trailers are required by law to essentially have brakes. If it carries anything over 2000kg, it must have brakes on all axles. This makes them more stable, and safe for any driver – from newbies to experts. However, they require more stopping distance after applying the brakes, so they should not be out on congested roads.


Single axle trailers have only two tyres to maintain, and they are smaller too, making them faster to move. However, because they have fewer tyres, any load they carry will be borne only by them, so each tyre is always under more pressure. This ends up wearing them out sooner than their double axle counterparts.

Double axle tyres have more tyres, therefore more to maintain. However, they have four tyres to handle the weights, and so the pressure borne by each of them is less. So they take longer to wear out. Also, a flat tyre for a double axle trailer is easier to change, possibly even without a jack.


Being lightweight, single axle trailers have more mileage.

As for tandem axle trailers, you may get poor mileage because of their heaviness. One way to solve this is by getting trailers that are designed specially for the purpose, using high quality composite materials that are not only tougher but also are lighter than regular trailer materials.


Single axle trailers save you a lot of cost in a lot of ways.

  • They are cheaper than their double axle counterparts.
  • They have less parts, so less parts are there to repair, replace, and maintain. In fact, their maintenance cost is almost zero.
  • These are lightweight, and therefore, can be easily towed applying minimum force. They also stop quickly after applying brakes as stated earlier. These make single axle trailers really fuel efficient.

It is true that double axle trailers are more expensive in terms of initial purchase, maintenance, parts replacement, as well as repairs. Yet they save you money in the long run than their single axle alternatives.

  • Their parts require replacement and repair less often.
  • They also uphold their resale value better than single axle models. So you will receive more money than single axle ones when you go to sell these.
  • They are more unlikely to outgrow a larger model of theirs, and therefore, they have a better chance of staying in demand even in the used trailer market.


Double axle trailers win the race in safety.

  • The weight of the load in a double axle trailer is distributed more evenly over the vehicle. Hence, when loaded appropriately – by maintaining the maximum capacity that comes in the drivers’ manual – a tandem axle trailer absorbs more shock, bounces less, and is less susceptible to swaying. This keeps your cargo more secure.
  • As stated earlier, these trailers carry brakes, mandated by law. So anybody can drive them and still be safe, especially while hauling long distances.
  • A sudden flat tyre in a double axle trailer is more manageable as you will still have three more tyres to support you, while in a single axle trailer, this can cause your entire vehicle to topple over.


You are buying a single axle trailer or a double axle one, always make sure you choose only a reputed and authentic dealer shop to purchase it so that you receive all original parts for your vehicle and at the same time, get it at a reasonable price.