Singling Axles

Single versus Tandem Axles


Single Axle Versus Tandem Axle - Which is Best for Our Application?

The amount of weight most members pull OR load on a custom built deck doesn't require tandem axles in many cases therefore most owners prefer to purchase a singled out HDT or to have them singled out after they purchase their class 8 HDT.

I will say that several members have posted that they now Regret Not Thinking Things Out More Thoroughly before converting to a single axle with a short wheel base and in some cases having singled their trucks as a long wheel base if they intend to haul heavy loads directly behind the cab.

With the growing popularity of hauling a Smart4two, a motorcycle or two, having a large drom box or dog house filled with tools and other heavy items riding on the deck some people are now faced with Major Expenses to accommodate these items due to the possibility of overloading their 12K rated front axle which is standard on most HDT's.


Singling long on a condo height Volvo 770, 780 or condo height Peterbilt 387 as well as other condo height HDT's will More Than Likely Cause Overloading of the front axle if it is 12K rated.  If you are inclined to single one of these trucks long at least make sure your truck was manufactured with a higher rated front axle before doing so.....

IMPO one would be Much Better Off living with a tandem axle tractor until they drive the truck for awhile to see how it handles with the longer tandem axle wheelbase before moving the rear axle forward and chopping the frame a couple feet or so behind the new axle location or before singling long by dropping the front drive axle.......

If not, you might be looking at more Expensive Modifications To Your Truck like some members are to accommodate these heavy items that a growing number of use want to carry.....

Pros and Cons of a Single Axle Toter:


  • Tighter turning radius.
  • Slightly better fuel mileage.
  • Shorter overall rig length which can be important if one plans to double tow a toad = a car.
  • Less preventative maintenance.
  • Fewer tires, brake shoes, air bags, shocks wheel bearings etc. to replace down the road.
  • Some claim a better resale value if and when you sell the truck.
  • A little cheaper to have a toter bed built for a singled axle truck.
  • Cheaper tolls if you frequent Eastern states.


  • Shorter deck to carry items on - I.E. small car, motorcycles, bikes, golf cart, etc.

  • The expense of the conversion to single the truck out.

  • Some claim less off road traction.

  • To some, aesthetics.

  • Lower re-sale value to those who want to haul heavy loads on their deck or to re-enter normal commercial use.

  • The loss of hauling capacity if you intend to pull heavy personal loads - I.E. Personal household goods or a converted commercial trailer.

Basically, it all boils down to your preferences or to what you'll be loading on the deck of your truck.