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Overload Axle For Increasing Truck's Capacity
Mike and Edsel Thomas, Petersburg, Ill., boosted load capacity of their one-ton truck by equipping it with a homemade overload axle.
The add-on axle rides up free and clear of the road when the truck is empty. But, when the load gets down on the overload springs, the axle comes into contact with the road, making it possible to carry an extra 50 bu. of grain, or heavier livestock loads, in the one-ton truck.
The axle was designed to permit use of a hydraulic cylinder to mechanically raise and lower the rear axle. In use, however, the Thomases have found that the hydraulic cylinder doesn't add much. Instead, they rely solely on a hand operated adjusting link. Once it is properly adjusted, the overload springs do the rest. The overload axle, rated at 6,000 lbs. of load, was salvaged from a house trailer. The axle actually is a heavy pipe. To shorten it so it would tread precisely behind the inside dual on their truck, Mike cut 30 in. out of the middle.
Since they have extra load capacity, the Thomases increased length of the truck bed to 10 ft. At that length, the truck would be rear-end heavy without the overload axle. The Thomases say they have had little or no traction problems since adding the overload axle.

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #1