Since semi-trucks travel great distances while hauling a lot of weight, they require more tires. The additional tires aid in weight distribution, reducing the frequency of tire blowouts. Additionally, it keeps the vehicle stable, prevents tipping as a result of a weight change, and enables the semi to travel off-road as required.
Occasionally, semi-trucks will be seen with a set of tires that are simply hovering above the ground. These are not the vehicle’s spare tires; instead, they are “drop axles.” Auxiliary axles on trucks can move up and down in response to the load they are carrying.
When a truck is loaded, the axles are lowered to spread the load across more axles and tires, which relieves strain on the road. These axles, which resemble trailers dangling off the back of trucks, are only lowered when the truck is loaded. Some axles are located in the middle of the vehicle and can only move up and down, as those on large dump trucks.
You may notice that a heavy haul truck and trailer have many more axles than usual, all of which are in proportion to the load carried by the truck. When a trailer has more axles than the conventional two, it is doing so in order to be able to tow heavier loads, such as a milk tanker truck. But instead of going up and down, they stay down the entire time.
Let’s take a look at trucks with many tires and axles in the video below:
Source: Gear Tech HD
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