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Trailer Suspension: Understanding the Replacement Leaf Spring Types

The leaf spring is a critical component of a trailer's suspension system. In general, this module consists of thin strips of metals known as leaves; these are arranged on top of each other to form a single curved unit. The leaf spring is crucial in supporting the weight of the trailer when your rig is in motion. In addition, it absorbs the mechanical impact of bumps and potholes as well as other adverse road irregularities.

Unfortunately, the leaf springs are prone to eventual wear or sudden damage due to prolonged usage or mechanical impact on adverse roads respectively. This makes the trailer perform poorly or even fail. Therefore, you must replace the component to restore functionality. Here is a description of the different leaf spring types in the market to help you identify the right choice for your trailer.

Shackle Springs

The shackle leaf spring is the traditional design, and it is also commonly known as the double eye or eye to eye spring. As implied, the ends of this spring are both curled to form tubular designs or 'eyes'. The bushings are placed into these eyes during installation. This design provides stability on rough road conditions, and the connection created is strong. Also, it is ideal for multi-axle configurations because it allows the weight to be distributed evenly between the axles.

Slipper Springs

Slipper leaf springs are favoured in trailers because they are long-lasting and simple in design. Basically, this design consists of a single curled eye on one end of the spring. The other end is not coiled; the leaves are left open and form a tail. This is designed to connect to a hangar which in normally welded to the chassis of the trailer. The slipper is cheaper than the shackle, and it is considered to be an alternative in multi-axle suspensions. Unfortunately, this does not distribute the weight.

Parabolic Springs

The parabolic spring is similar in design to the slipper type. However, this type does not have multiple leaves forming a single component. Instead, this is built from a single piece or leaf of metal. The general functionality is similar to the multi-leaf alternatives. This is primarily designed for use with boat trailer because it is less prone to corrosion and rust.

In simple terms, the multiple leaves rub against each other, so the protective coat wears away quickly, exposing the inner metal to adverse conditions. This minimised the detriment for a longer lifespan.

Where possible, you should replace your leaf spring with an identical alternative. To learn more about trailer suspension parts, contact online suppliers.