What is meant by lift axle? Are lift axles useful in heavy duty trucks?

You may have seen in some heavy-duty vehicles, some wheels standing high without touching the road. The axles to which such wheels are attached are commonly called lift axles.

Such axles can be lifted and lowered as per the requirements of the driver.


Why lift axles in heavy-duty vehicles

We know that heavy-duty vehicles are used to carry heavy loads. Vehicle load can be distributed using multiple axles, so the vehicle can carry more weight.

But such vehicles do not always travel with maximum load. Sometimes at half load, sometimes without load.

It is in these situations that we understand the importance of the lift axle. That is, when the vehicle is not at maximum load, the wheel attached to the lift axil is lifted off the road.

Benefits of lift axles

Improves fuel efficiency: We know that as the number of wheels in a vehicle increases, the fuel efficiency of the vehicle decreases due to the rolling resistance of the wheels. when the axle is lifted when it is not needed, the energy loss can be reduced to a certain extent. This is because the resistance to the road decreases as the number of wheels coming in contact with the road decreases.

Therefore, the fuel efficiency of the vehicle increases when the vehicle is not at full load.

Tire wear is reduced: Heavy vehicle tires are relatively expensive. The wear and tear of these tires are reduced due to the tire being lifted when not needed.

Helps in sharp turns: Vehicles with more axles will find it difficult to make sharp turns. However, by lifting the axles that can be lifted, this difficulty can be avoided to some extent.


However, in some vehicles, the lift axles may also have a steering function. Such vehicles do not need to lift the axle at turns.

Sometimes the lift axle is placed behind the rear drive axle, such axles are called the tag axle. The driver can also steer this axle, But this axle turns in the opposite direction of what a driver steers.

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