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Old 05-06-2015, 10:11 AM   #1
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Explain tag axle please

Is a tag axle just for additional weight carrying capacity?
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:18 AM   #2
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That's about it.
More axles( tires ) on the road to spread the load.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:23 AM   #3
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IMHO generally yes - it's for additional gross vehicle weight rating. It also adds stability and redistributes the weight. By increasing the spring rate (i.e. higher air bag pressure) in the tag axle more weight may be shifted to the front axle.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:31 AM   #4
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Yes. It's used when the weight on a single rear axle would be over the axle's weight carrying capacity.

A tag axle usually has a 10,000# weight capacity which really boosts a MHs CCC.

Unfortunately, most of that additional CCC can't be used, as there's just not enough storage space near the tag axle to place cargo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Is a tag axle just for additional weight carrying capacity?
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:37 AM   #5
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It adds weight capacity and also over the road stability. With the system on our Roadmaster coaches, you can change the down pressure on the tag Axle to shift weight between axles. If you increase the weight on the tag, you reduce weight on the drive axle and also add weight to the steer axle. You can fine tune the weight distribution pretty nicely.


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Old 05-06-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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For my use the primary advantage is the additional braking, coupled with the reduction of rear overhang, improved ride quality, and stability while towing large toads or trailers. As with all things MH related, your expectations and usage will determine if a tag axle should be on your priority list.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:55 AM   #7
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Or, you could just want a tag because it's cool. And I understand it changes the ride of the coach (for the better) dramatically.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:09 AM   #8
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Also it moves the engine, transmission, and radiator further back from the drive axle. This helps take weight off the steer axel via cantaleivering.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Is a tag axle just for additional weight carrying capacity?
Joe you asked two questions in your post. The title is to explain a tag and the body was about capacity.

A tag axle is an unpowered axle placed behind the drive axle. In the case of a bus or MH generally there is a single tire on each side. It does happen at times when there are dual (2 tires) on each side (American Eagle buses ran by Trailways come to mind - but they have not been around for years).

Primarily a tag is added to increase the capacity of the chassis. MH greater than 40 feet will have a tag axle. Lenghts of 40' can go both ways and less than 40' will generally be single axle. The drive axle was limited to 20,000 lbs but recent federal changes have increased the allowable weight to 22,000. Normally the tag has a 9,000 - 10,000 lb rating.

It can get a bit confusing as the capacity of both axles will be less than the sum of the capacities because of axle spacing. Without going into all of the 'rules' you will notice that a number of semi trailers have a large distance between the axles. This is to enable each axle to carry the full 20,000 lbs.

A second and really nice benefit of a tag is a better ride. The tag smooths out the drive axle. Additionally MH with tags will normally have an air suspension which helps as well. There are a few older tags out there that were produced with spring suspension.

An additional benefit is increased stability when driving in inclement weather. It is there but should not be counted on to let you drive faster or with less care.

A tag axle will in some cases let you turn shorter than a comparable single axle coach. When turning at low speeds the wheelbase of a tag coach will be effectively shortened when the tag air is dumped. This removes the coach weight from the axle making the drive axle to the steering axle the effective wheelbase.

Some higher end coaches are going to passive steering tag axles. When driving forward the tags will turn to follow the coach. This means the tag air will not have to be dumped.

When backing up with a passive steerable tag the axle will lock in straight position. I am not sure but would expect that the air would be dumped in order to make turning when backing up easier. I have seen one thread where the locking part of the steerable was not working when backing up and the tag would turn the wrong way making backing up extremenly difficult.

Biggest downside of a tag is the purchase of 2 more tires whenever replacing tires. There may be some additional maintenance issues but generally speaking the tag is a very simple mechanical system that will work well for a long time.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:45 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! You've satisfied my curiosity!
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcurt23 View Post
And I understand it changes the ride of the coach (for the better) dramatically.
I've found that they porpoise more, kind of unsettling at first.

Our tag is rated for 14,000#'s and lifts a few inches, will automatically drop at 10 mph if I forget to do it manually. The new to us 45' turns almost as well as the 40' we had before. I didn't have to modify my gates at all to get it into the side yard.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I've found that they porpoise more, kind of unsettling at first.
Mr. D, you mention this coach is new to you. Porpoising isn't a normal condition and in my experience can be eliminated by adjusting the tag axle pressure assuming there are no air bag, shock, or suspension related issues.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:30 PM   #13
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Certain models of the American Eagle buses operated by Continental Trailways had the tag axle in front of the drive axle, with single (not dual) wheels on the tag. These coaches had torsilastic suspension, rather than air bags. I don't remember ever driving one of them, although they did compete for our Airporter service. We ended up getting the MCI coaches. Talk about a dream to drive!
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:35 PM   #14
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Certain models of the American Eagle buses operated by Continental Trailways had the tag axle in front of the drive axle, with single (not dual) wheels on the tag. These coaches had torsilastic suspension, rather than air bags. I don't remember ever driving one of them, although they did compete for our Airporter service. We ended up getting the MCI coaches. Talk about a dream to drive!
Good to know. Will remember that for the future.
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