A utility trailer axle is a lightweight trailer axle designed for carrying small loads of lawn and yard rubbish, as well as small hand tools. Commonly used behind a riding lawn tractor, the utility trailer is intended to save steps for the yard worker by carrying all of the tools and materials required for a small project. The utility trailer axle is mounted to the trailer and supports the wheels and tires. Commonly used without a working suspension, the utility trailer axle usually mounts directly to the trailer frame or chassis with bolts. The wheels are commonly held on by a flat washer and a cotter pin.
Utility trailers are commonly used to carry yard waste or planting supplies behind a small tractor. The trailer uses a utility trailer axle to attach the tires and wheels that allow the trailer to be easily pulled. The design of the utility trailer axle prevents large and heavy loads of materials from being pulled in the trailer since the lightweight axle might bend or break under the stress of the load. Tires used on a utility trailer often resemble the tire used on a wheelbarrow, with a single axle rod coming through the center of the wheel and a flat washer and cotter pin holding the assembly on the utility trailer axle.
It is unusual for a utility trailer axle to be mounted on a spring-type suspension, as most are attached directly to the frame or even the bottom of the trailer bed. Occasionally, a dump-style utility trailer will incorporate a small sub-frame under the trailer to allow the trailer to remain hitched to the tractor while being dumped. In this type of design, the utility trailer axle commonly passes through the sub-frame and may be welded to the sub-frame where the axle exits the metal material. Other axle designs use metal tabs attached to the axle to bolt the axle to the trailer's bottom side.
Rarely does a utility trailer axle break, however, some well-known manufacturers such as Sears and John Deere manufacture replacement axles for some models of their utility trailers. Often, a replacement axle can be fashioned from a piece of round bar stock and a pair of U-bolts. The round bar should be of the proper size to pass through the wheels and long enough to protrude past the sides of the trailer far enough to allow the tires to spin freely. The bottom of the trailer can be drilled and the U-bolts passed through the trailer and over the axle, then tightened securely to hold the assembly in place.