Options available for heavy haulers in managing load distribution are key to meet regulations for weight and safety. Heavy haul transporting requires specific details outlining a loads weight and the distribution points of that weight.
Four axle step decks are used to meet the conditions of a specific load and its height weight and width characteristics. The empty weight of the trailer is the tare weight and is a substantial consideration for the total gross weight. If a three-axle trailer can be used instead of a four-axle, then more weight can be used against the cargo if the weight meets the proper distribution.
When combining the load weight and the trailer tare weight the gross weight is the target weight to consider when determining if a load is overweight and if the equipment can handle the weight and its distribution layout. Three and four axles trailers can carry more weight but will not increase the allowed gross weight. Given all these details a heavy haul transporter has the facts that he needs to configure the load carefully choosing the best equipment for that load.
All states axle requirements on the planned route need to be considered before a final decision is determined. Again, when considering all the facts mentioned above a well-educated decision can be made.
Another tool with these step deck trailers to aid in proper load distribution is the sliding fifth wheel located over the drive axle and tandems. This transfers the weight between the steer axles and drive axles. When finalizing the allowed legal weight, it may take a trial and error approach to achieve the legal regulations adjusting the distribution, axle position, and fifth wheel location. Sliding tandems enable the heavy front to be shifted to the rear balancing the load distribution. Each tandem axle hole usually shifts the load in two hundred pound increments. This shift is usually between the trailer and drive axles.
When placing more weight on the steers the fifth wheel is moved towards the steer axle and to remove the weight it can be slid back. If all these adjustments cannot meet requirements, then the load may need to be broken down into two loads.