When the word “axle” is mentioned, do you know what it means? You need to know because if your car’s axle is broken, you won’t be able to drive it. In this article, I’ll discuss the 2-axle meaning – what is it?
A 2-axle vehicle has a single frame with four wheels supported by two axles. Axles support the front and rear tires. Since the axle is designed to help each set of tires, naturally, your vehicle will have two axles.
Most vehicles are designed with one single frame, including passenger cars, pickup trucks, some commercial trucks, recreational vehicles, motor homes, and camping vehicles. They all have four wheels supported by two axles.
Read on to learn more about what a 2-axle vehicle means, what an axle does, and what you need to know about axles.
2-Axle Vehicle Meaning – What Is It?
All vehicles need axles to operate and run as they should. The car’s axle is the shaft or rod that supports its weight and rotates its wheels. As you can see, an axle plays an essential role in the operation of a vehicle.
Most vehicles are built on a single frame. These vehicles include passenger cars, pickup trucks, most commercial trucks, motor homes, and camping vehicles.
All passenger cars have four wheels. Since each set of wheels rotates in an axle, the car has two sets of wheels. The vehicle will have two axles.
What is considered a 2-axle vehicle? Identifying a 2-axle vehicle is easy. Just look at it from the side. Now, count the number of its tires. Naturally, it will have two axles if it has four tires. In other words, if you have two sets of tires, you will also have a set of axles or two axles.
What Does an Axle Do?
1. Connects the Engine’s Shaft to the Wheels
The axle in a vehicle plays a crucial role in its operation. Without it, the car won’t run correctly, if it can run at all. The axle is a central shaft shaped like a rod that connects the shaft of the engine to the wheels so that the wheels can rotate.
2. Transfers Force from the Transmission to the Wheels
Its primary role in a vehicle is to acquire torque from the transmission and transfer the force to the wheels. When the engine shaft rotates, it transmits its rotating movement to the wheels so they, together with the tires, can also rotate.
In that way, your car can move forward or backward, in whichever direction you want your car to go.
3. Makes the Wheels Smoothly Rotate
Axles are connected directly to the wheels so they can rotate simultaneously. There are bearings inside these axles that make them rotate smoothly. These bearings are at the center of the wheels, so your driving will be noiseless and seamless.
Generally, there are only two axles in a conventional vehicle, one for each set of wheels. However, there are other different types of axles that can accommodate more than two in a vehicle.
4. Supports the Vehicle’s Weight
An axle is also essential because it supports the vehicle’s weight, the passenger’s, and the cargo’s weight. It also helps the force that propels the car forward as the brake is applied to the wheels.
In a way, the axle controls the force that pushes the wheels in their chosen direction. It is a steel beam that primarily supports the vehicle and runs along its entire length. The number of axles in a car matches the number of its wheels.
5. Absorbs Shocks Caused by Rough Roads
An axle also absorbs the shocks caused by rough roads. So, it has to be made of solid steel material, so it can resist the stress from the abrasions, compressions, cracks, and deformation as the vehicle is driven.
Most motorized vehicles consist of four wheels. But there are some which have only three wheels. Passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs are the most common vehicles that use the two-axle systems you see on our roads today.
Tractor trailers, including 18-wheeler trucks, use three-axle systems. There are also some vehicles with four axles, but they are not very common. Garbage trucks are the most common type of 4-axle vehicle.
How Many Axles Does Your Car Have?
The type of your vehicle will determine the number of axles it uses. Most passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs use two axles, one for every set of wheels. If your car has only four wheels and tires, it will naturally use only two axles.
So you won’t have trouble determining the number of axles on your car. If it has four wheels and tires, it will have two axles. It has one axle in its front wheels and tires and another in its rear wheels and tires.
However, as a vehicle grows bigger, it gets heavier. So, if you speak of big and heavy trucks, they may have more than two axles. For one, they are bigger, so they are heavier. So, an axle of a heavy truck will have to carry more weight to support a big, heavy load.
No matter how big or small a truck is, you can quickly determine the total number of its axles. Just go to the side of the truck and count its total number of pairs of tires. Remember that every set of wheels should have a corresponding axle.
Types of Axles
Not all axles are the same. There are two types of axles in automotive construction – the Dead Axle and the Live Axle. A Dead Axle is one that primarily carries the weight of the vehicle.
The Live Axle has a connection to the wheel responsible for propelling the vehicle forward or backward. A constant velocity (CV) joint connects the Live Axle to the wheels, allowing it to transmit power from the engine to the wheels seamlessly and smoothly.
Other Categories of Axles
Aside from the Dead Axle and Live Axle, there are three other categories of axles:
1. Front Axle
As the word implies, this axle is installed at the front part of a vehicle. It helps with the steering of the wheels and takes care of the shocks from the rough surfaces of the road. Front axles can be live or dead. They are also composed of four parts.
The four parts are the track rod, the beam, the stub axle, and the swivel pin. These axles must be solid and sturdy because of their work. Most of them are nickel or carbon steel, two of the most robust steel materials available today.
2. Rear Axle
The Rear Axle is the one that takes care of supplying power to the driven wheels. This means most of them are live axles. The Rear Axle is connected to the rear wheels of a vehicle.
It consists of two halves which are called half shafts. The differential connects the two halves. Since it is a live axle, it rotates as the vehicle’s wheel rotates.
3. Stub Axle
A Stub Axle is connected to the front wheels of a vehicle. These types of axles are in most rear-wheel drive vehicles. Several kingpins are used to connect a stub axle to the front axle. A car may have four types of stub axles depending on its stub axle arrangement.
What Are the Types of Front Axles?
Live Front Axle
Front axles are also classified into a live front axle and a dead front axle. The live front axle can supply power from the transmission to the front wheels.
Dead Front Axle
In contrast, the dead front axle does not rotate at all. A housing protects the majority of dead axles so they won’t come in contact with dirt or water.
Again, what does a two-axle vehicle mean? A two-axle vehicle has two sets of tires. Most cars have one set of tires in the front and one in the rear.
What Are the Different Types of Rear Axles?
Rear axles can differ depending on their mounting methods and the support that a vehicle is using. There are three types of rear axles:
1. Three-Quarter Floating Axle
This is the most complex type of all three classes of rear axles. But it is the most reliable of the three. It helps maintain the wheels’ alignment, handles side thrust, and produces more torque.
2. Full Floating Axle
As its name implies, this rear axle type is floating in its place. It also maintains this position with the help of two bearings. It can also transmit the driving torque.
These axle types are best for bigger vehicles like heavy-duty trucks. Larger trucks that can tow heavier loads and four-wheel drives can also benefit if they have floating axles.
3. Semi Floating Axle
This type of floating rear axle connects the flange to the wheels on the exterior of the axle shaft and holds it there firmly. A bearing supports one end of the axle shaft. The other end of the shaft goes inside the housing.
To deliver the same torque, a semi-floating axle with two bearings must be bigger than the other axle types. These axle types are mainly for passenger cars, SUVs, and mid-size trucks like light-duty pickups and half-ton trucks.
Four Types of Stub Axles
Stub axles also come in four different types:
- Lamoine – an axle that has an L-shaped spindle instead of the yoke-type hinge
- Reverse Lamoise – an axle that has an opposite design to a conventional Lamoise axle
- Elliot – an axle that uses a kingpin, yoke, and a cotter to connect to a front axle
- Reverse Elliot – an axle that has an opposite design to the conventional Elliot
Factors that Determine the Axle Type for a Vehicle
Several factors determine the type of axle used in a vehicle. The two most important deciding factors are the following:
- The amount of force that the axle will be required to handle
- The technical requirements needed to construct the axle itself
Some vehicles come with pre-designed axles in standard configurations. Some people customize the car’s axles to satisfy the vehicle’s purpose.
Such axles can tune or modify the speed and torque of the vehicle to finer degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our topic today is a bit technical, although not that complicated. Perhaps you are still entertaining questions in your mind about this subject. You may get your answers below:
What Is the Meaning of a 2-axle Vehicle?
A 2-axle vehicle is simply a vehicle that uses two axles on its wheels. This is the type of axle you will see in most conventional vehicles, primarily passenger cars. SUVs and light pickup trucks also use this kind of axle.
How Can You Identify a 2-axle Vehicle?
It’s easy to identify vehicles using two axles. Just go to the side of the car and count its number of wheels. If you see four wheels in all, it is a 2-axle vehicle. In a conventional automobile, each set of wheels uses only one axle.
So, if you have four wheels in a vehicle, then that makes two sets of wheels. For every set of wheels, you need one axle. So, if you have two sets of wheels, you will also have two sets of axles.
What Exactly Is an Axle?
An axle is a part of a car made of a steel rod or beam. It consists of a shaft shaped like a big rod and connected to a pair of wheels in a car. The axle enables the vehicle’s wheels to rotate and move forward or backward.
As you can see, the axle plays a crucial role in the movement of a vehicle. There are bearings inside an axle to make it rotate and move smoothly. The axle is directly connected to the wheels, so if the axle moves, the wheels will also move simultaneously.
Is There Only One Type of Axle?
There are several kinds of axles. The basic types of axles are the live axle and the dead axle. Their primary difference is that the live axle transmits power from the transmission to the wheels. In contrast, the dead axle does not move.
There are other different axle classifications; they all fall under the living or dead axle types. These other axle types include the Front Axle, the Rear Axle, and the Stub Axle. Under the Front Axle, there is the live front axle and the dead front axle.
There are also three types of rear axles. They are full-floating rear axle, semi-floating rear axle, and semi-quarter rear axle.
Do All Vehicles Have Two Axles?
Most passenger vehicles have two axles. But not all vehicles have two axles. Some have three, four, or even five axles. Vehicles with more than two axles are usually light or heavy-duty vehicles designed to carry the extra load.
That means they have more than four wheels in the vehicle. Examples of vehicles with more than two axles are light-duty trucks with more than four wheels and heavy-duty trucks with more than 6, 8, or 10 wheels.
Greyhound passenger buses are vehicles that use three or more than four axles in their structure.
Do Four-wheel Drives Use More than Two Axles?
Four-wheel drives are also equipped with only two axles. Four-wheel drive refers to the number of wheels that can be driven or moved by the four-wheeled vehicle. It does not refer to the number of axles that the car is equipped with.
So, if the four-wheel drive uses only four wheels, it is equipped with only two axles since one is enough to handle a set of wheels.
In Closing: What Is a 2-axle Vehicle?
Most passenger vehicles stand on four tires supported by a single frame. The car parts that keep the four wheels are called axles. If your car has four wheels, one in front and one at the back, an axle supports each set of wheels.
So, since your car has four wheels, each supported by an axle, naturally, your car is called a 2-axle vehicle. It is easy to determine if a car is a 2-axle vehicle. Check the side. The number of wheels will tell you whether it is a 2-axle vehicle.