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Slightly bent axle in horse trailer?

My rear axle on my trailer is slightly bent according to the shop. The back right tire is wearing the outside of the tread down. Granted these tires are 6 years old and due to be replaced. He said they can replace the axle for $600 or I can just replace my back tires a little more often.

The roads around here are atrocious with terrible potholes. The county keeps adding more patches, rather than repaving them. Eventually they will get to repaving in the next 5 years or so. Would you go ahead and replace the axle or just leave it? I’m not sure if this is something to be concerned about or just something to be aware of.

I would (and did) definitely replace the axle.

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Same, replace the axle! Bent axle could cause more issues than just tire wear over time or suprise with sudden failure during use. No one needs a surprise like that!! Roads here are also terrible, though millions are being spent to fix them.

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100% replace the axle, no question.

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when in college I worked for a saddlehorse farm who had a 36ft gooseneck trailer, the axles were often bent when backing the trailer into tied stops by jackknifing the trailer

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Replace the axle and the tires. You will be glad that you did.

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It is never wrong to do proper maintenance.

I will say, I know two people who have trailers with a bent axle and other than some weird tire wear, like you say, they have had no issues.

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They’ve had no issues YET. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d replace the axle.

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You won’t save money in the long run by buying tires more often AND you have the worry of a damaged axle hanging in the back of your mind and the possibility of it affecting the tires and how they wear as you trailer.

Get it replaced

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Replace the axle. But. Close friend’s trailer got a bent axle during COVID shortages. She used it regularly including a couple long trips with highways with no problems. As soon as the axle was available she got it replaced and was very happy not to have that worry that something would go wrong.

$ to fix the bent axel. Not having a broken axel in the middle of nowhere with horses in a trailer, priceless.

I had a bent axel. Since I carry insurance on the trailer, State Farm paid for it.

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Axle. And I would ask that they use the same make and rating as the good axle. Every horse trailer I am familiar with has Dexter brand axles.

$600 is a good price for a Dexter 3500 pound rated axle with electric brakes installed. Just be careful of no-name axles. And question - are they planning to reuse your current drums and brakes on a new axle, or one with these factory installed?

I’m probably going to send a copy of my bill and fill out a complaint with the county. I’m pretty certain I know exactly where the damage occurred. It’s the same road the closest equine vet is on, and also a truck route. The potholes at one point were huge although they’ve patched some of them. Good luck proving it though. It just makes me angry that they can’t maintain the roads.

I’m not the first person to have problems with the roads around here- it’s a very well known issue. My friend was driving behind me one time and said “did you see the bald eagle?”. I was like “No. I was too busy dodging potholes.”

That was my thought… I had a bent axle replaced about 10 years ago and it was about $700+ all in. I can’t believe it’s cheaper now! I would definitely confirm it’s a Dexter AND the proper weight range axle (I could see someone accidentally looking at the price for a lower range axle).

Replace the axle. Before I owned my own horse trailer I borrowed one from a co-worker’s family to pick up a horse about a hundred miles away. The axle was slightly bent, tires in good condition. We picked up the horse and about 40 miles from home a tire started smoking from getting hot due to the angle the axle put it at and then it blew - going 65 mph down the interstate. It was not fun.

Echoing others that you’ll want to replace the axle, but just letting you know with most trailers it is an enormously easy job. The cost is mostly in the axle itself.

I know $600 can be a lot to drop unexpectedly but the thing about bent axles that the shop may not have told you, besides the tire wear being uneven and costly, is that when they fail it’s usually catastrophic failure and usually moreso at speed - you go over a big bump like a bridge on a highway and it can be enough to make things worse. You’ll not want a horse in that when it happens.

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