A quick count of the wheels will tell you what kind of trailer you’re looking at. Just as the name implies, a single axle trailer has one set of wheels while a double axle towing trailer has two sets of wheels. Besides the number of wheels, these two trailers are different and serve varying purposes. How do you know which of these trailers you require? Let’s find out.

How Heavy is Your Load?

One of the things which will determine the type of trailer you need is the weight of the load to be carried, and what type of loads you will carry.

The weight of the loads that you foresee pulling can well determine your decision of what type of trailer you need. There are various types of single-axle trailer boxes: 6×4 trailer, 7×4 trailer, 7×5 trailer, 8×5 trailer, 8×5 trailer. Each trailer has a typical ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of 1,350 kg. You can easily calculate your load weight using this calculator

If you are using a trailer to cart a few pieces of furniture, garbage or green waste, or for light industrial use, a single-axle trailer may well be what you need. Nonetheless, should you choose to carry heavy or more unwieldy loads, it is possible to modify any of these versions to a 2,000 kg ATM, or to install an enclosure over the trailer.

However, if you plan to transport loads weighing more than 2 tons, you’ll need a trailer with a tandem axle.

Tandem axle trailers can be modified to a capacity of 3,500 kg ATM by incorporating features such as an improved frame and drawbar, 4000 kg rocker roller suspension, 4-wheel electronic braking, a breakaway mechanism and 2000 compliant 50 mm axles. This implies that dual-axle trailers are solid, robust and capable of carrying heavy loads.

When it comes to weight, the double axle trailer gets the win as it allows for heavier load to be hauled easily.


Another crucial factor is the stability of the trailers. A double-axle trailer is more robust, because of the two axles carrying the weight and has better stability than a single axle, specially at highway speeds. This makes towing easier when carrying loads over long distances. This gives the double axle trailer another solid win over the single axle trailer.

When it comes to towing guidelines, the AA  specifies the required towing weights

Usually a Single-axle trailer expenses less to manufacture and repair, but are harder to navigate in tight quarters. They are more affordable to tow since they weigh less. When you are transporting light loads over short distances and want a lower upfront expense, trailers with single axles will work for you.

If you’re relatively new to towing a trailer, or you don’t tow one too often, you’ll probably consider a single-axle trailer to be more manoeuvrable, particularly when it comes to reversing and parking.

The single-axle trailers are usually smaller and simpler to pull by car, easy to hook up even while pushing your trailer in or out of your driveway or shed. The long-term running expenses associated with a single-axle truck are less, as you only have one set of wheels, tyres and bearings to maintain, repair or replace.

Need help to decide which trailer you need even faster? here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the single axle trailer and the double axle trailer.

Advantages of Single Axle Trailers

  • Single axle trailers weigh less and they are cheaper to pull.They are also cheaper to purchase.
  • They are harder to navigate than a similar-size double-axle trailer.
  • They are very convenient to park in a tight spot.
  • It is cheaper to maintain and repair a smaller set of wheels, bearings, and braking.

Disadvantages of Single-axle Trailers

  • They cannot carry as much weight as a trailer with a tandem axle.
  • There is no need to provide braking on single-axle trailers below 750 kg, so it’s up to the owner to make a decision on this critical safety issue.
  • It has little stability, it does not support the load very well, which can cause an uncomfortable trip over bumps.

Tandem-axle Trailer Advantages

  • They are more robust at highway speeds.
  • Suspension generally is easier.
  • A flat tyre is less of a traumatic occurrence and the tyre can probably be changed by using a jack if it should happen.
  • Trailers with twin axles are stronger.
  • A dual-axle trailer should rock less when fully loaded. They are also less prone to tilt.

Disadvantages of Tandem-axle Trailers

  • A trailer with tandem axles is more expensive.
  • It weighs more and is less fuel-efficient than a single-axle trailer.
  • The more axles, the more work is needed with gears, oil and rubber, such as four spare tyres to carry.

Whether you are buying a single- or a double-axle trailer largely depends on your needs. A single-axle trailer would be fine if you do not tow often and over shorter distances. On the flip side, a tandem-axle trailer is possibly the better choice if you are towing over long distances or are worried about safety.

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