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Forward lift drive axle? Why not a...

lift able rear drive axle?

I read a lot on here of people doing a lift axle of the front drive axle. I think it would be easier, cheaper and better to make the rear axle the one that lifts. You could put a regular drive axle from a 4x2 configured truck in place of your current axle, the drive line would be shorter and you wouldn't have to have a special axle made with a U shape in it to clear the drive line.

What say you?

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If you take a look where your fifth wheel is at on the frame - it is between the drive axles. If you make your rear drive axle liftable, then there could be stability issues as more weight will be behind the axle on the ground, unless your fifth wheel slides to in front of the drive axle.

Most liftable drive axles are the forward axles because of this reason. Any time a rear axle is used as a "dead axle", it is not liftable.

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I've seen rear axles lifted, also in my operation the only time I would lift any of my axles is when I am running empty, so the weight behind the axle would not matter.

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I have driven both mid lift axles and rear lift(tag) since 1982. I have always driven tankers with moving products and the mid lift handles in a far superior manner for both handling on curves and traction. as a added bonus the ride is much better when a mid lift is off the ground than a rear tag. also in snow, when loaded you can lift mid axle to put more weight on drives, in 35 years i have never had to chain a loaded truck.

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You run with the axle lifted while loaded?

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i lift axle on upward grades when loaded in deep snow for better traction. obviously i am not driving the truck at max speeds.

when you lift the middle axle when loaded the weight is distributed between rear and steer axle and axles are designed to carry a lot more than the engineers will admit to. they like to cover themselves. as long as you drive sensibly there is no problems and the ride is a lot smoother.

as an added bonus when empty on sheet ice and mid lift is raised the truck handles better than double drive.

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I don't think that is legal.

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it may or may not be legal, if you are over axle weights obviously not legal,but so is speeding,altering log books, changing lanes without flasher,having mud flaps of different heights.messing with egr's etc.

i am not advocating the constant driving around with the axle raised, just to help get out of a fix, after all who would drive downhill with a raised axle? this would seriously decrease braking efficiency.

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This subject has been hashed out before, and the only difference(s) is front or rear.

Messila Valley trucks have the rear axle lift, I'm pretty sure about that.

Even still, lifting the front you won't have the 5th wheel setting problem. I think anyone would only lift any axle is when empty or weight allows.

Presently I operate just forward of center with enough to move back for single axle operation.

Also some of my loads can travel weight wise with a lift axle.

My personal preference would be the front being the lift axle.

On my truck there would not be an issue with the 5th wheel setting.

A more even ride would be what I think you would get with the frame flexing thus a more floating ride. Depending on your weight distribution, and your length in frame in front of the 1st drive axle, I think this would work.

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Messila valley rear tags are not liftable , they are dead non liftable.

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I have seen lifted rear axle, on day cabs only when the 5th wheel was forward near the front axle.

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In my operation I would only lift that axle when empty. I have a long wheelbase truck for hauling long loads, I can get 9 feet of front overhang. When my 5th wheel is all the way forward it is over top of my front drive axle, when all the way back it is about 9 inches behind my rear drive axle. I think in my operation a rear lifting drive axle would be better.

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I plan on doing a liftable front drive axle this year. I think i remember Kevin saying its difficult to just get the rear axle liftable up high enough also.

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There is a fleet of orange and white trucks running out of the Portland,OR area that hauls containers. They go out loaded and come back empty. There whole fleet has rear lift able tag axles. I also know of a fleet of logging trucks in northern California that is set up the same way. Does not seem to be a problem for them.

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I drove a Ford Louisville daycab with a liftable rear axle for a couple of years. I think if you are converting an existing tandem then it would be better financially to put in a lifting rear tag. The other advantage of it being on the rear axle is that it shortens your wheelbase and gives you a better turning radius for those tight spots.

5th Wheel placement was not a big issue as I could slide mine right over the front drive axle or back almost to the rear axle. You just had to watch out for your mudflaps on the landing gear.

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Okay, I am wanting to go with a single drive axle. Front drive or read drive, I dont care. My question in this debate is "HANDLING". When I am loaded, What is my best option? I pull flat bed and sometimes go into construction sites where the ground is not level. I have not seen any remarks about that issue yet. does anyone have any experience on that???? And does one way handle better than another in weather conditions?

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how long will drive tires (super singles or duals) last with this type of application?

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the probluem with the liftable rear ax is, u may get in to the landing gear before u get the 5th wheel forward enough to to run with the rear ax up and still get weight on the steer

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There are some Heavey hual trucks that are set up with the rear axle that is not powered and does lift. But they require special trailers with longer necks to allow the fifth wheel to be slid farward and it is not practical to pull other trailers

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Chris Hileman will be eternally grateful.
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