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Thread: Proper way to measure wheelbase

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    SoCal79 is offline Member
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    Default Proper way to measure wheelbase

    Got in a friendly debate with the local commercial cop. I say on a 3 axle you measure from the center point of the steering axle to the centerpoint of the two drive axles. He says from the steering axle to the center point of the third drive axle. Make sense? Who is right?

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    thebaldeagle655's Avatar
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    Dictionary:
    wheelbase
    (hw?l'b?s', w?l'-) pronunciation

    n.

    The distance from the center of the front wheel to that of the rear wheel in a motor vehicle, usually expressed in inches.


    Took less time to do the Google Search than you took to type your question.

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    Twilight Flyer's Avatar
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    Baldeagle, you would be wrong. Wheelbase in a car is different than a wheelbase on a truck. The original poster is correct. Wheelbase is measured from the center of the steer axle to the dead space BETWEEN the tandems.

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    NotSteve is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight Flyer
    Baldeagle, you would be wrong. Wheelbase in a car is different than a wheelbase on a truck. The original poster is correct. Wheelbase is measured from the center of the steer axle to the dead space BETWEEN the tandems.
    I agree and live through it every time I go into Canada. My wheelbase is 265 and I have to buy a 1 month permit for oversize wheelbase for $20.00

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    SoCal79 is offline Member
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    Thanks guys I knew I was right, I called my local CHP office and the guy is going to find it in his book and fax it to me. The commercial man in question is a city cop in a pick up, so if I get this fax I will leave it on his windsheild at Taco Bell.

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    So where do you measure a 4 axle truck? I know when I ordered mine I was center of front axle to the dead space in between the drive axles then added a lift axle in front of the tandems. But where would the cops measure for Bridge Law calculations? I am very lucky in that everywhere I run I am only weighed on gross not the Bridge Law.
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    Default Re: Proper way to measure wheelbase

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal79
    I say on a 3 axle you measure from the center point of the steering axle to the centerpoint of the two drive axles. He says from the steering axle to the center point of the third drive axle.
    The third drive axle? On a 3 axle truck, there are only two drive axles. Sounds like this cop is smoking crack if he sees three drive axles on a 3 axle truck.

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    Kranky's Avatar
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    Here is the definition I've always used:

    Horizontal dimension from the center line of the front axle to the center line of the rear axle on a single-rear-axle truck chassis; measured from the center line of the front axle to the center line mid-way between the axles on a tandem-rear-axle truck chassis.

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    If you can't shift it smoothly, you shouldn't be driving it.

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    Don't confuse wheelbase with axle spacing. If you haul oversize, permits require axle spacing which goes from the center of the steer to the center of the second axle and from the second axle to the third and so on. It is possible that the cop is confused.

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    Heavy Duty is offline Board Regular
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    It is possible that the cop is confused.
    That couldn't be, cops know every thing and are always right.

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    Default Re: Proper way to measure wheelbase

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.Vassago
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCal79
    I say on a 3 axle you measure from the center point of the steering axle to the centerpoint of the two drive axles. He says from the steering axle to the center point of the third drive axle.
    The third drive axle? On a 3 axle truck, there are only two drive axles. Sounds like this cop is smoking crack if he sees three drive axles on a 3 axle truck.
    Question? Why do we call the tri axles when there are four and quad axles when there are five. Some of the new Michigan trucks do have three drive axles called a tridem.
    Don't trust anybody. Especially that guy in the mirror.

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    NotSteve is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Duty
    That couldn't be, cops know every thing and are always right.
    I think your confusing women with cops?


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    Default Re: Proper way to measure wheelbase

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbo
    Question? Why do we call the tri axles when there are four and quad axles when there are five. Some of the new Michigan trucks do have three drive axles called a tridem.
    I was always told that the steering axle was assumed in all axle configurations. Hence a single axle truck has 2 axles. I have a tri-axle but it actually has 4 axles total. Tridems I believe is a bastardization of tandem and is called that to separate it from a twin drive single dummy axle configuration. Confused yet?

    And for anyone who searches this later on, Wheelbase on a 4 axle truck is center of steer to the center of the axle group. Any axle within 9' on the same unit is considered a group.....I think
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

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    SoCal79 is offline Member
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    The comedy continues, got my fax from the CHP officer he said that the city cops that do commercial enforcement go to the CHP's school so he should know better. This morning I spotted the local cop infront of the gate to the asphalt plant (fishing in a barrel) so I rolled up and handed him the paper showing the proper way to calculate wheelbase on a 3 axle truck, he pretends to have forgotten all about it then says "Oh a THREE axle I thought you had a two axle" Duh we were standing right by my truck when he rolled up that day out of boredom to see what we were doing. Then his next statement was "The CHP does it different than us." Whos us? Arent all cops on the same team? Enforce the same laws? Whatever, he owes me a dozen doughnuts now.

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    tweety bird is offline Senior Board Member
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    If I wasn't confused before I started reading this thread, I sure am now... wow.

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    rank is offline Senior Board Member
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    I agree the most common is to measure to the center of the tandems, but it really doesn't matter. All that matters is what the individual jurisdictions consider legal. Ontario may say one thing, Cali another, and CT yet another.

    IIRC, CT measures the wheelbase of a trailer (.....I know, I know, but it's still wheelbase) to the center of the rearmost axle.

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    I've got a question for ya; What is the most common way to measure wheelbase on a truck with a tandem steer axle and a tandem drive axle.

    I've always believed it was from the center of the steers to the center of the drives but I can't find any info to back that.

    If I'm right then would a tandem-tandem truck have a tighter turning radius than a same length truck with a single steer?

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    my door sticker says wheelbase 288" my truck measures 288" from the center of the steering axle to the center of the rear drive axle

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    Dejanh is offline BANNED Senior Board Member
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    My wheelbase is 230 on my Columbia.

    What trucks have wheelbase of 288. That sounds like alot.

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    Fredog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dejanh View Post
    My wheelbase is 230 on my Columbia.

    What trucks have wheelbase of 288. That sounds like alot.

    it's a W9 It is LOOOONG, I have to drop my trailer on the scale at a lot of places because the whole truck wont fit

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