Trailer Suspension Types

Updated April 17, 2017

There are a number of different trailer suspension types, each used for specific trailers and jobs. The type of trailer suspension you use will determine the performance capabilities of the entire trailer unit. Although often overlooked, it is vital that consumers do their research when picking out their trailer's suspension to get the best result in the job.

Leaf Spring

Leaf spring suspension is the most widely used and available type of trailer suspension on the market today. One of the most common styles of leaf spring suspension is the "slipper style," which is generally used on trailers that are light in weight. The name for the slipper style comes from the way the suspension operates, with the back side of the spring sliding (or slipping) up and down through a metal ring that is attached to the trailer itself. Because of the way the leaf spring suspension system operates, it can be fairly noisy when on the road.

Air Ride

Larger trailers generally use air ride suspension more than any other type. The air ride suspension system operates by using several small air bags. These tiny air bags are operated by a ride height valve. The trailer frame connects to the ride height valve using an adjustable chain link. While the air ride variety of trailer suspension is by far the smoothest type of suspension available today, it is also the most expensive system to use.

Rubber Torsion

In general, rubber torsion suspension is used for small trailers that are not carrying a heavy or difficult load. The rubber torsion variety of trailer suspension is also one of the smallest types available. In addition to the rubber torsion suspension's small size, it delivers one of the smoothest rides of all the types of suspension. The frame has an axle built right into it, making it easy to connect the suspension directly to the frame of the trailer. The suspension uses brackets to make the connection to the trailer. The entirety of the rubber torsion's suspension is located within the axle of the trailer, and uses a torsion arm to effectively operate.

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About the Author

Hailing from Arizona, William Hanz has been writing on a wide variety of subjects for nearly 2 years. His articles have appeared on several popular websites such as Hanz attended the University of Arizona majoring in computer science with a minor in English.