FAQ

Here are the frequently asked questions we have received through out the years, if you don’t see the answer for your inquiry here, feel free to contact us.

Q: List of Commercial Carriers?

A: Here are the list of commercial carriers and couries that we deal with:

Commerical Carriers

  • Canadian Freightways
  • Gardewine Transport
  • Day & Ross
  • Fast Frate
  • Grimshaw Trucking
  • Hwy9 Transport
  • Jay’s Transport
  • Rosenau Transport
  • VanKam Freightways

Couriers

  • Purolator
  • DHL

Other

  • Canada Post
Q: How to Ensure Actual Size Printing for the Bolt Circle Template?

A: You have to know which browser you are using while viewing the template. We have prepared a post to ensure the print settings are correct for the template.

Click Here to view the post.

Q: How to Measure a Trailer Spring Axle?

A: We have prepared a video and written tutorial about measuring trailer spring axles.

Click Here to view the post.

Q: How To Measure a Torsion Axle?

A: We have prepared a video and written tutorial about measuring torsion axles.

Click Here to view the post.

Q: How to Measure a Trailer Wheel and Tire?

A: We have prepared a video and written tutorial about measuring a trailer wheel and tire.

Click Here to view the post.

Q: How to select Torflex Axles?

A:  Determining GVW, what axles, brakes, and frame dimensions you need.

1. How to Determine the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) When building a trainer, the total Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) must be determined in order to select the right axle or axles for the application. GVW includes the weight of the empty trailer and the weight of the intended cargo. (Example: 2,000 lb empty trailer weight + 8,000 lb cargo = GVW of 10,000 lbs.)

2. How Many Axles?  After determining the GVW, the number and capacity of the axles must be selected. For example, if you want 10,000 lb GVW and want tandem axles, the minimum required capacity is 6,000 lb per axle.

3. Brakes?  First, determine if you want brakes on each axle. Most provinces require by law that at least one axle has brakes. Many provinces require that all axles have brakes. To determine how many brakes are necessary in a province, contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles. Second, determine what type of brake do you prefer. Choose from Electric, Hydraulic Single-Serve, or Hydraulic Dual-Serve.

4. What is the Length of the Axle? Of the several ways and industry terms to describe this procedure, the most popular term is “Hub Face” which is the measurement from the base of the wheel stud to the base of the wheel stud on the opposite end of the axle.

5. Which Bolt Pattern?  The Bolt Pattern of the axles can vary depending on the capacity of the axle. The Bolt Pattern also determines what type tire and wheel can be used. If there is a specific tire and wheel you would like to use, please relay that information so we can help you to determine the proper bolt pattern and axle.

6. What is the Outside Frame Dimension? Since the mounting brackets of the Torflex axles mount directly to the frame of your trailer, it is necessary to know the outside frame measurement in order to install them on the axle correctly.

7. How to Determine the Trailing Arm Starting Angle  The starting angle is the position of the spindle in reference to the trailer frame. Conctact our office for help in select the starting angle for your Torflex axle.

Q: How to select tubular axles and running gear?

A: Determining GVW, what axles, brakes, springs, and hanger kit you need

1. How to Determine the GVW – the Gross Vehicle Weight The total Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer to be built must be determined in order to select the axle or axles to properly fit the application. GVW is the Gross Vehicle Weight including the weight of the empty trailer and the weight of the intended cargo. (Example: GVW of 10.000 Ibs. = 2.000 lb. empty trailer weight + 8.000 Ibs. cargo.)

 

2. How Many Axles? After GVW is known, you must select the number and capacity of the axles. For example, if you want 10,000 lb. GVW and want tandem axles, the minimum required capacity is 6,000 lb. per axle.

 

3. Brakes? Determine if you want brakes on each axle. Most provinces require by law that one axle has brakes. Some provinces require that all axles have brakes. To determine how many brakes are necessary in a province, contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles. What type of brake do you prefer: Electric, Hydraulic Single-Serve, Hydraulic Free-Backing, Hydraulic Duo-Serve, Hydraulic Disc or Air “S” Cam Brakes?

 

4. What Type of Trailer Are You Preparing? Is the trailer you are outfitting going to be a Bumper Pull, Gooseneck, King Pin or Pintle Eye Type? Is the trailer going to be a flat bed with the bed above or between the tires? Is the trailer going to need to be built with a low ground clearance? With an extra wide bed?

 

5. What Type of Spindles Are Going To Be Required? Straight spindles are used mostly when the bed is over the tires or when low ground clearance is not required. Examples are flat beds, pull-type utility trailers, etc. Drop spindles are used when the lowest possible ground clearance is desired. Examples are Livestock and Horse Trailers, Car Haulers, Enclosed Cargo Van Trailers, etc.

 

6. What Are the Spring Centers? Spring Centers are the CL (centerline) measurement of the Spring Mounting Pads on the axle. (Usually matched to the approximate frame width of the trailer.)

 

7. What Bolt Pattern? The Bolt Pattern of the axles can vary depending on the capacity of the axle. The Bolt Pattern also determines what type tire and wheel can be used. If there is a specific tire and wheel you would like to use. please relay that information so we can help you to determine the proper bolt pattern and axle.

 

8. What is the Length of the Axle? The next step is to determine the length of the axle. Of the several ways and industry terms to describe this procedure. the most popular term is “Hub Face” which is the measurement from the base of the wheel stud to the base of the wheel stud on the opposite end of the axle. Another term frequently used is “Track”. Track is the center of the tire to the center of the opposite tire. This measurement varies depending on what type of wheel used because each type of wheel (White Spoke, O.E.M., Custom) could have a different offset and this changes the tire center.

 

9. What Type of Springs? There are two basic types of springs to choose from: Double Eye or Slipper Springs . Double Eye Springs are used on the shackle-type suspensions. Slipper Springs are the heavy-duty type of springs used with slipper-type suspensions and will provide longer and more rugged service. Springs are sold with axles in sets of (2 each) and (1 each) U-Bolt Kit per axle.

 

10. What Hanger Kit? There are several Hanger Kits to choose from — single, tandem or triple for double eye or slipper-type springs. Complete Hanger Kits consist of the Equalizer and Spring Hangers to attach to the frame. Shackle Straps (if double eye springs). Equalizers for tandem or triple Hanger Kits. Hangers and all the necessary bolts and nuts to attach the Equalizers, Springs and Shackle Straps.

Q: What are the advantages of ATV/Snowmobile Trailer?

A: If you are planning to tow a trailer over poor roads with muddy or snowy conditions, you may wish to choose a trailer in which the trailer axle tire width is reasonably close to the width of the towing vehicles tire width. As long as the trailers axle width is close it will cut into the towing vehicles tracks. This will greatly improve mobility and tow-ability. We find that ATV’ers and snowmobilers will generally be better served with an ATV/Snowmobile trailer not only because of the full 8′ width that is required to haul two snowmobiles side by side but also because of the towability of the trailer due to the placement of the trailer axle tires or the width being close to the width of the towing vehicle. This allows the user to pull the trailer through much more difficult conditions.

Q: Wheel bearing maintenance?

A: One of the most important items to maintain on a trailer are the wheel bearings. The wheel bearings should have enough lubricant (wheel bearing grease) and the tapered wheel bearings should have the correct adjustment. The procedure for checking wheel bearing tightness is as follows: Block the trailer on a level spot so it cannot move, raise the trailer one side at the time. Locate the jack in a safe location preferably on the trailer frame. Raise it up just enough so that the wheels are free to rotate. Check for wheel play (looseness) by placing on hand at front and one at the rear of the tire and rock it back and forth. If there is play remove the axle cap with a sharp object such as a screwdriver or fine chisel. Under the axle cap there is a castlelated nut with a cotter pin or a special washer (EZ lube spindle). The cotter pin must be straightened and pulled out and the EZ lube washer tabs must be pried up and out of the way of the nut so that the nut can be tightened. Tighten the castle nut one notch at the time then rotate the wheel. There should be a little resistance on the wheel when it is rotated. Too much resistance will cause the bearing to overheat. Finally, to install the axle cap, line the cap up straight with hub, using a drift (hammer) and a wooden spacer such as a short piece of 2″x4″ material drive the axle cap on. Hammer it straight on. Do not hammer directly onto the axle cap as it will become damaged. Let trailer down, remove jack and apply the same procedure to the other side

Q: Electric Brake and Electric Brake control settings?

A: Modern trailer electric brakes are of course a full time operational brake system used on most of today’s small and medium duty trailers. They are not to be compared with the mobile home trailer brakes that were never designed as a full time operational braking system. There are two systems working together with the electric brake system. One is the brake actuator or electronic brake control and the other is the electric drum brake system typical of many trailers. Both the electronic brake control and the drum brakes can be adjusted. When a trailer is new it can take a few hundred kilometres for the brake shoes to seat in. Once the brake shoes have set in it is then possible to adjust the sensitivity and gain on the electronic brake control. The sensitivity and gain will vary somewhat with respect to typical load weight. If however when you apply the brakes and the trailer brakes seem to delay and then lock full on this probably means that you will need to adjust the brake shoes so that they are closer to the brake drum. Adjusting the brake shoes will eliminate the delay and by further fine tuning the electronic brake control this will make the braking operation smooth and seamless. If you are not getting enough braking from the trailer you can set the gain up higher. If after adjusting the gain you find that the trailer is not providing enough braking it may be that your electronic brake control does have the capacity to handle the load. Check with the manufacturer or your dealer. You may have to upgrade your electronic brake control to one with a higher output capacity.

Q: Trailer Towing Bow Safety?

A: This trailer safety tip related to a situation that occurred last summer. I was contacted at home on a Saturday evening by a person requiring trailer coupler parts. It turned out the gentleman had lost his holiday trailer on the highway when the trailer became uncoupled from the ball. I met him at the shop and we repaired his mangled coupler. The cause of his problem was discovered as we were hitching his trailer to the car. I noticed that his ball was extremely worn and as a result the coupler was able to pop out. He was interested to know that it is required that the hitch ball be lubricated with grease at regular intervals to avoid metal on metal wear to the ball and avoiding a potentially hazardous situation.

Q: Trailer Suspension Safety?

A: Regular maintenance on your trailer should include attention to the suspension components. There are many moving and therefore wearing parts that form the trailers suspension. A typical conventional tandem axle trailer contains hangers, leaf springs, shackle straps, shackle bolts, equalizers, u-bolts, and axle plates to name a few. The leaf springs and equalizers usually contain Teflon bushings to extend the life of the suspension components. These bushings, shackle straps and bolts will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. This procedure should be regarded as normal operational maintenance. Periodic inspection of these components can avert problems such as premature tire wear. Extreme wear of these components can cause the trailer to wonder behind the towing vehicle resulting in serious instability.

Q: Break-away Kit Safety?

A: All trailers sold with electric brakes have a break-a-way kit including battery, battery box, break away switch with attached plunger and cable. The theory is that if your coupler becomes separated from the tow ball the plunger of the breakaway switch will come out thereby completing the electrical circuit, allowing the battery to provide power to the electric brakes and bringing your trailer to a stop. This will work of course provided there is adequate power in the battery and provided your breakaway switch cable is properly attached to the towing vehicle. It is important to charge the battery periodically and it is recommended that you check the battery charge level with each seasonal change. If the wet cell battery does not keep adequate charge it can freeze in the winter months and become useless. The breakaway switch cable itself should be attached to its own anchor in order to provide the correct amount of play, not too loose or too tight.

Q: Trailer Wiring and Electric Brake Safety?

A: In spite of continued improvements in trailer wiring and electrical components, wiring problems can occur if regular maintenance is avoided. Many of the problems we see with a trailers electrical system stem from the conditions under which many trailers are operating in. Under gravel road conditions the underside of the trailer is being bombarded by an abrasive mixture of sand and stone (gravel). The trailer is literally being sandblasted. This sandblasting effect can damage the wiring underneath the trailer. The most common problems are with the electrical wires coming out of the electric brakes. It is important to inspect the wiring on a regular basis to make sure the wires are clean and tucked up in position and not dangling in a vulnerable position. Under winter conditions it is important that the wiring behind the brake drums does not ice up. It is a good idea to wash the underneath with a high pressure washer to remove corrosive salts and road gravel and other corrosive materials that may be present. Other causes of wiring problems are poor grounding or poor contacts in the truck end or trailer end electrical plugs. Often there is corrosion on the electrical plug terminals and that prevents proper electrical conduction. It is a good idea to spray the electrical plugs with a good penetrating fluid or WD-40 to help dissolve the built up corrosion. Don’t forget to check the electrical ground as part of your check list if your trailers electrical system is not working properly.

Q: How to replace or convert trailer electrical plugs?

A: I have learned a very important lesson over the years with respect to changing or converting a trailers electrical plug. You can save yourself a potential hassle and loss of time by marking down the location and the color of each wire to each of the connections from the existing trailer plug prior to replacing it or changing it. The trailer plug itself has each plug wire connection identified by either a letter embossed next to the connection or a color identity embossed and printed next to the electrical terminal. If you carefully mark down these locations along with the trailer wire colors you will be able to easily transfer the wires in the correct position to the next trailer electrical plug. You will have the necessary information from the old plug to tell you not only what the connections function is but also what the function is of the trailer wire by its color identification. The trailer wires function and record of it is important for example if the whole plug becomes detached from your trailer and a replacement is necessary.

Q: How to determine my trailer needs?

A: Measure your hauling objects length, width, height to be certain it will fit on the selected trailer. It is a good idea to place or line up the objects on the ground first and take measurements. Find out the weight of the object(s) you wish to haul. This information will help determine the frame size, frame strength, axle capacity and ramping options that will suite your needs.

Q: How to replace trailer plank decking?

A: If it becomes necessary to replace your trailers plank decking I can offer a few suggestions to make the job easier and faster. The planks are usually held in place with special hardened self threading deck screws using a torx head. It is a good idea to spray a good quality penetrating fluid or WD40 on the screw ends first to work on the rust. With a high quality torx bit unscrew as many as possible. If you are having difficulty removing the deck screws, cut of the threaded ends of the screws with an acetylene cutting torch simply because it will be very difficult to deal with the screw if the head is stripped out. Once you have removed the deck planking and all the screws have been removed it is time to replace the planks. The easiest and fastest way is to lay in the new plank, clamp it down at each end and from underneath mark the plank through all the screw holes with a pencil. Pre-drill the holes in the plank then bring the plank in place and apply the new deck screws.

Q: Trailer load balance?

A: Remember to adjust or balance your load by placing adequate tongue weight on the front of your trailer to insure proper tow ability.

Q: Water Hauling?

A: If you are going to haul water, be sure to look at trailers first so that your water container will fit. Many water tanks especially large round types will not fit on the fendered car hauler style trailers that are rectangular in shape.