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Understanding Why Some Trucks Have Tires Hanging in the Air

Have you ever noticed trucks with tires hanging in the air, seemingly not touching the road? It's not a malfunction but a deliberate design feature to optimize weight distribution and maneuverability.

Trucks employ extra axles that can move up and down based on the load they carry. When fully loaded, these trucks lower the axles to reduce pressure on the road, spreading the load over more axles and tires. For example, concrete mixer trucks have axles that resemble trailers hanging off the back, only lowering when loaded. Similarly, large dump trucks have middle axles that move up and down as needed.

Moreover, some buses feature "tag" axles at the rear, single-tire axles that pivot when making tight turns, enabling them to navigate inner-city streets effortlessly. This rear steering, combined with front steering, enhances maneuverability, especially in crowded areas. Specialized trucks like fire trucks may also incorporate rear steer axles for enhanced control.

Weight distribution is key for trucks, which is why heavy haul trucks and trailers boast numerous axles tailored to the load. Trailers with more than the standard two axles, seen in milk tanker trucks, facilitate hauling extra weight efficiently. These axles remain down consistently to support the load.

In essence, the sight of trucks with tires off the ground signifies a sophisticated approach to optimizing weight distribution and maneuverability, ensuring safe and efficient transportation of goods and passengers.

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