Axle housing cases are manufactured in either a one-piece or split construction. An axle housing with a split design is commonly referred to as "banjo housing" by many, as they bear resemblance to a banjo instrument. Both the front and rear openings of the axle housing are provided in the centre housing. The differential carrier closes the front opening, while a spherical cover plate covers the rear opening.
It is responsible for carrying the weight of a vehicle and is typically an extremely heavy component. Heavy-duty trucks and truck-trailers possess axle housing that is heavier than the housing found in common commercial vehicles, as they are designed to transport heavy weight.
The axle housing in light-duty trucks may be a combination of cast iron and cast steel tube. The differential and final drive cases are generally a cast and machined unit, while the axle housing itself is welded or extruded steel tubing.