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Author Topic: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?  (Read 701 times)

Dorian

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Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« on: December 04, 2017, 10:12:44 AM »
I'm swapping axles on my tandem axle trailer this spring.  My question is about supporting the weight while I remove and replace them.  I have 3-ton jack stands, but they don't reach high enough (flipped axles on the trailer) and I don't want to put the jacks on blocks (too high and too tippy).  Should I use concrete cinder blocks or giant wood blocks?  Also, should I be concerned with their placement on the frame?  As in, should I try to place them near where the axles are?  Or can I just place them at the far back end?  The frame is solid, I just don't want to cause problems by changing the point where all the load is carried.  Worried it might flex the frame just a little bit and cause problems...

PS. The axle leafs share a center swing pivot, so I can't do one at a time, all 4 wheels will need to be off the ground.

Rene T

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 10:32:16 AM »
I'm swapping axles on my tandem axle trailer this spring.  My question is about supporting the weight while I remove and replace them.  I have 3-ton jack stands, but they don't reach high enough (flipped axles on the trailer) and I don't want to put the jacks on blocks (too high and too tippy).  Should I use concrete cinder blocks or giant wood blocks?  Also, should I be concerned with their placement on the frame?  As in, should I try to place them near where the axles are?  Or can I just place them at the far back end?  The frame is solid, I just don't want to cause problems by changing the point where all the load is carried.  Worried it might flex the frame just a little bit and cause problems...

PS. The axle leafs share a center swing pivot, so I can't do one at a time, all 4 wheels will need to be off the ground.

If it was me, I would use wooden blocking say 8" X 8" or even bigger if you have access to them. You could also use concrete blocks just make sure the holes in the blocks are vertical and you put a piece of 2" X 8 under the bottom block so it doen't sink into the ground or pavement.  If you know of someone building a house, several pieces of 2" X 6" would also work. There are several ways of doing it.

I would place them maybe 4' behind the rear axle to give you space to work.  I wouldn't put anything forward of the axles. The front jacks should support it OK. If you have stabilizer jacks, you could extend them.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 10:35:38 AM by Rene T »
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Dorian

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 11:42:20 AM »
Thanks Rene!  Big wood blocks sound better to me but I wasn't sure.  Really want to be cautious when thinking of getting under the trailer once the axles are out...  I did assume that the front jack should hold it fine, but I may leave it hooked up to my truck instead.

grashley

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 03:16:38 PM »
Remember, too the rear STABILIZER jacks are intended to reduce bounce, and not to support the weight of the camper.

I would trust my front jacks and leave the truck free for any necessary parts run, unless you have a "spare" truck.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 03:50:22 PM »
I don't understand your reluctance to put the jack stands on blocks, yet are willing to use blocks alone. If the blocks are of suitable size , they won't be tippy. whether with jacks or stacked alone.  If you use a sufficiently wide & long block under the jack stand, it is no different than placing the stand on the ground. Maybe even better, since it distributes the weight more and doesn't dig in. Soft earth is tippy too!

The same applies when stacking wood or concrete blocks - the base layer(s) has to be broad enough to avoid being tippy in any situation. If it is, then no worries.
Gary
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muskoka guy

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 06:49:32 PM »
Use multiple blocks in each direction. That is how we shore up houses we work on. This way, as Gary stated they will be stable and not tippy

longhaul

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 09:16:54 PM »
I use 2' and 3' rr ties placed at different angles to each stack so they won't roll and drop the trailer.
 Be sure and get the spring shackles turned in the right direction at the equalizer bar before removing cribbing.

Also now is the time to replace the plastic OEM bushing with a wet bolt kit.

Dorian

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 09:50:54 AM »
Definitely don't think the jack stands would be a good idea because their base is so narrow.  Full extended makes them look very tippy....

I'll also be doing this on a concrete pad, my driveway.  It's flat and level.  No worries about anything sinking in anywhere.  My only worry is holding the thing in the air while I'm under it.

Remember, too the rear STABILIZER jacks are intended to reduce bounce, and not to support the weight of the camper.

I would trust my front jacks and leave the truck free for any necessary parts run, unless you have a "spare" truck.

I don't have stabilizers so that's not an issue, but I'm also aware that they're not meant to support the weight...  If I have to do any parts runs I can always use the wife's car so that's not a big deal.

Use multiple blocks in each direction. That is how we shore up houses we work on. This way, as Gary stated they will be stable and not tippy

Yes that's what I was thinking.  We have a yard at work with big blocks of wood like railway ties.  There are also some that are massive, about 2'x2' and 3-4' long (FEET not inches).  If I can find some the same size, I can use two of them.  Either that or the cinder blocks, still not sure.

Rene T

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 02:54:14 PM »

But you would need a forklift or crane to move them. 
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Dorian

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 09:53:15 AM »

But you would need a forklift or crane to move them.

I never did try to push one over...  I'll have to check that out.  Hopefully me and a couple buddies can lift it into the bed of my truck...

butch50

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 01:50:54 PM »
Definitely don't think the jack stands would be a good idea because their base is so narrow.  Full extended makes them look very tippy....

I'll also be doing this on a concrete pad, my driveway.  It's flat and level.  No worries about anything sinking in anywhere.  My only worry is holding the thing in the air while I'm under it.

I don't have stabilizers so that's not an issue, but I'm also aware that they're not meant to support the weight...  If I have to do any parts runs I can always use the wife's car so that's not a big deal.

Yes that's what I was thinking.  We have a yard at work with big blocks of wood like railway ties.  There are also some that are massive, about 2'x2' and 3-4' long (FEET not inches).  If I can find some the same size, I can use two of them.  Either that or the cinder blocks, still not sure.

I wouldn't use cinder block as it is not as strong as concrete block. Then make sure that the hole are upright and not to the sides.
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kjansen

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 07:05:57 PM »
I wouldn't use cinder block as it is not as strong as concrete block. Then make sure that the hole are upright and not to the sides.

Exactly, DO NOT use cinder blocks as they are not as strong as the cement blocks. There is a difference.
Keven Jansen
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Dorian

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 09:35:10 AM »
Ok, good to know!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Supporting trailer while swapping axles?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 01:29:12 PM »
Quote
Definitely don't think the jack stands would be a good idea because their base is so narrow.  Full extended makes them look very tippy....

Agree about full extension being more tippy, but if the base is too narrow to trust with with its rated weight on it when not extended, throw the stands away. The base isn't any more or less tippy by being placed on a pile of sturdy blocks. It would tip (or not) equally when placed on the pavement.

Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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