Australia’s Drake Trailers has developed double-acting suspension rams for its series of low loaders.

The rams enable the axles to be quickly retracted to reduce tyre wear. Byron Foss, trailer sales at the Drake Group, said: “The biggest benefits of double acting suspension rams is the ability to lift any axles whether or not you are empty or loaded. This makes it quicker, easier and safer for the operator to change tyres or to carry an axle when you want lift axles for empty travel.”

Drake Trailers explained: “Every tyre has a rolling resistance, which is essentially the force required to make it roll on the road. The bigger the load, the more downward pressure is applied from gravity that needs to be countered against by the engine burning fuel and powering the rotation of the tyres. However, the resistance makes the tyre heat up and it’s this heat, combined with road friction, that leads to the tyre wearing away over time and distance.

“The tyres positioned on the rearmost axles also get extra friction from how they scrub sideways around corners, especially on trailers with three or more axles. One way to mitigate against this is having the rearmost axle turn, or by lifting the tyres off the ground completely.

“On trips where the trailer is carrying a light or even empty load though it is typical to see the rearmost tyres lifted up to save wear and tear.”