Defective Tandem Axle

A tandem axle with a burned-out bearing or damaged wheel can disable a vehicle or cause further damage if operation continues.

  • Move the wheel of the disabled axle onto a rock, log, or similar object to raise the wheel as high as possible.
  • While the wheel is raised, tie the axle as tightly as possible to the frame using heavy wire, ratchet strap, or a tow chain. Do not let the chain, strap or wire cause damage to the brake lines.
  • If the wheel bearing is burned out, or for some other reason the wheel does not turn, remove the axle shaft from the axle housing.
  • Stuff the hole in the hub with rags to keep out foreign matter.

This expedient method allows the other wheels to drive. Reposition any cargo over good axles or transfer cargo to a second vehicle.

Use the same technique on both ends of the axle if both wheels are defective. Since both ends of the axle are tied up, do not load the vehicle too heavily.

Source: U.S. Army FM 4-30.31, Recovery and Battle Damage Assessment and Repair