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Aluminum Pin and Subframe

Mar 08, 2019 at 06:30 PM CST
I have read a few other posts about the reliability of aluminum pins and subs for both farm and OTR use. I'd like to hear from some of you as to how Timpte and Wilson compare with regard to the issues other people have seen. I'm looking for info on pretty late model trailers, say 2015 to present, closed tandem for OTR use at 80000#. Do widebased tires affect things in any way? I have a friend who runs them all around and says they ride much better, but I din't know if that had any bearing on the sub failures some people have seen. If a guy buys a 2015-16 that has run average highway miles, how long will it be before any problems show up?
Replied on Sat, Mar 09, 2019 at 09:56 AM CST
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2017 Timpte Bought in 16 340,000 miles all OTR aluminum sub and pin Wide base tires I’ve had no problems with this trailer. Last one was a 12 model it cracked the sub frame but they extended the warranty by one year and covered it said there was a design flaw don’t know what that was. As far as wide base tires I’ve been running them for over 15 years it is a love-hate relationship :-) when you blow one your on the side of the road but don’t listen to everybody you won’t ruin the rim unless you slammed on the brakes. They’re more expensive and don’t get the wire that you could get out of duels the at least I don’t but there are 900 pounds lighter tractor and trailer and in my one-man operation I run some good numbers and they’re worth it but I love a challenge
Replied on Sat, Mar 09, 2019 at 05:02 PM CST
I have a friend pulling a 15 timpte with all aluminum subframe and king pin. No issues and the trailer pulled loads over 100k gross
Replied on Sun, Mar 10, 2019 at 04:38 PM CST
Thanks for the comments. Since there weren't many responses I guess I'll assume that the later model trailers don't have the problems the earlier ones had. Mainly I had wondered if there was any difference between Timpte and Wilson with the subs cracking, but maybe everyone has there design problems figured out now.
Replied on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 12:49 PM CST
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I will think twice before ording the aluminum components again. We ordered an pair of ultra light American Ag Timpte's in 2012, and a 3rd in 2013. All have had issues. While the trailers were under warranty, Timpte replaced the upper coupler assembly on the 2012's due to warpage and broken brackets (possibly on the '13 too, but I can't remember off hand) They also replaced the rear sub-frame on one 2012, and the 2013 due to stress cracks. Our dealer ordered a sub frame at that time for the remaining 2012, and I paid the labor last month to replace it as by now it is out of warranty. ($3,100) On a good note, the trailers with the updated sub-frame seem to be holding up well. For the brackets in the nose that kept breaking, my dealer finally had new ones fabricated. One version uses thicker aluminum, and they made some from steel for the other. So far those are holding up well. My previous Timpte's were a pair of 2008's and a 2004 with steel components, all 3 were sold to area farmers and are still running down the road without issue. I guess I would really have to weigh things out again. I believe the cost for the components is around $4,000 (probably more today) and the weight savings is around 650 lbs. Timpte was very good about taking care of many of the issues under warranty, but we still had downtime, I have put several thousand of my money in these trailers after warranty ran out, but they are 6 years old now, and keeping them in excellent condition is far cheaper than trading for new. We haul elevator and farm loads. We do not run overloaded like outlaws with these trailers either as our empty weight is around 25k lbs full of fuel, there is no need for that. So the issues were not caused by abuse. I think next time, for my application, and the resale to area farmers, I would save the $4,000 and give up the 650 lbs. We would still be under 26k empty, and have a better trailer to sell to the farmers.
Replied on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 at 07:52 AM CST
I forgot to add, the 2012's were ordered with widebase tires and the required axles. We also run an auto-inflate system. We pull these with ultra-light '09 and '10 Kenworth T660's that I also ordered new with widebase. The 2013 Timpte was ordered with 22.5 duals as our driver didn't want widebase. We now pull that trailer with a 2017 T880 and weigh 26k full of fuel and DEF. I'm impressed with that weight esp on duals. Widebase tires aren't for everyone, but we have had pretty good luck for the conditions we run in. In answer to your question, we find no difference in reliability of the sub-frame based on tire choice.