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17 September 2020

NEWS & INSIGHTSStability of Off-road Trailers

Stability of Off-road Trailers

There is a very big difference between vehicles that are designed to be used on paved roads and vehicles that are designed to be used in harsh off-road conditions. That much is obvious. It simply needs a look at a new passenger car and a proper off road “bakkie” to quickly appreciate the differences.

Obvious points are suspension travel, size of wheels and the type of tyre fitted, ground clearance provided, sturdier chassis etc. clearly the components that perform well on paved roads will probably be found wanting when used off-road.

The same applies to trailers and the components used on them. The simple fact is that an off-road trailer must be designed to perform in the extreme conditions. Components like suspension, wheels and tyres, brake systems must be carefully chosen to give the best possible performance. Remember that the job of the suspension is to keep the tyres in contact with the grounds. There will be bigger obstacles to negotiate so the springs must be able to cope with the extra travel.

A very important consideration is the stability of the trailer. This is essential to prevent roll over. Remember that the ground will be far from level and that the center of gravity of the trailer should be kept as low as possible. Also the center of gravity must be close to the axle to ensure that the nose weight of the trailer is within legal limits and also the limits of the towing vehicle.

The following diagram shows the maximum angles before roll over will occur. So always make sure the design is not subjected to these angles.