Live Axle in Vehicles

A Live axle is a type of beam axle. A beam axle is a suspension design, where a set of wheels is connected laterally by using one beam or shaft. Beam axles were common in the rear wheels, but they have also been used as front axles in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

A live axle is a beam axle where the shaft or the shafts connected to move as a single unit transfers power to the wheels.

The beam axle that is not transmitting power is a dead axle. These axles are usually found in vehicles with Hotchkiss drive. However, such suspension systems are also found in other types of power transmission.

The basic advantage of the live axle is its simplicity which makes it very less space-consuming and relatively cheaper to manufacture. Live axles are almost used in all heavy-duty trucks and most light and medium duty pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans. These axles are almost always found in the rear set of wheels.