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The Axle Beam and Its Functions

An axle beam is also called a solid axle. It is a suspension system wherein a set of wheels is attached laterally by a single shaft or beam through a built-in in bushing or bearing to the gears inside of the differential. A bearing or bushing is fitted inside the center of the wheel and allows the wheels to rotate without disrupting the functions of the axle itself. On vehicles with front-wheel drive, the rear axle beam connects the two back wheels together; whereas on a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the front axle beam connects the two front wheels together. The axle beam is an important part of a vehicle because aside from supporting the entire vehicle's weight, it also takes in the acceleration as well as the braking forces produced by the vehicle. The axle beam's design has been modified over time to fit the structural requirements and the varied design of modern-day vehicles.

The Axle Beam
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Although light- and medium-duty vehicles such as vans and pickup trucks also use axle beams, they are normally used at the rear. For heavy-duty trucks, on the other hand, axle beams are used at the front as well as the rear of the vehicle. A good beam axle is also a vital advantage for off-road applications since it provides agility, durability, and easier manageability in high-load environments.

Significant Functions of an Axle Beam

Every part of a vehicle is important, and each part does not stand on its own but in one way or another connected with other significant parts. Each bolt, nut, and the tiniest screw and thinnest wire has something to do with the vehicle's functionality. For the axle beam, it plays a role in the driving, steering, and braking functions. Other important functions of an axle beam include the following:

  • Mounts the springs
  • Acts as the vehicle's shock absorber
  • Mounts the rotating wheels or gears
  • Secures the gears or wheels to their particular locations relative to other gears or wheels
  • General strength of the vehicle's structure
  • Absorbs the entire weight of the vehicle and transfer the forces away from the wheels so as to decrease pressure on the joints of the vehicle.
  • Where Is an Axle Beam Located?

    Every vehicle has an axle beam. The only difference is that some vehicles have rear axle beams, while some have front axle beams or both. Axle beams have a fixed location, and they can be found underneath the vehicle where the wheels are attached. Without the axle beam, it would be impossible for the wheels to be kept in their fixed positions and the weight and force of the vehicle would flatten the wheels.

    Types of Axle Beams

    There are three different types of axle beams. There is the straight axle, which connects two parallel wheels through a single shaft and its rotation rate and direction is fixed by the axle. There is also the split-axle design wherein each wheel is attached to a separate shaft making the wheels move independently. A tandem axle is a multiple axle placed near the other axles. Its main purpose is to maximize the weight capacity of the vehicle and is commonly used in heavy-duty trucks.

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