Trailer Brakes 101

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As North Carolinians, we are blessed with an amazing state from the coast to the mountains and we love to take full advantage of it. Some activities only call for a backpack while some require some pretty large equipment or supplies. When it comes to boating on our coast and lakes, to horseback riding in the Sandhills we have pretty heavy “toys” that we have to get from our homes to our destination. Taking a look at the regulations that govern the trailers that we pull shows that the NCDOT on their website (www.ncdot.org) requires electric trailer brakes on trailers weighing over 4.000 lbs GVW. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the actual weight of the fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment, as measured by a scale. On the Internet, there are many locations where you can weigh your vehicle.
Now that we know we need some trailer brakes, we probably need to take a look at what they are.

trailer pic

The signal starts when we press on the brake pedal which in tandem applies the brakes on the tow vehicle as well as sends a signal to the brake controller. This signal is either on or off–there is no determination of how hard you are pressing on the brake pedal. The controller takes this signal and provides us with options for how hard we want our trailer brakes to be applied. Too little brake, and the trailer still pushes on the tow vehicle. Too much braking and the trailer will tug on you as it tries to stop the tow vehicle. This is set on the controller and is based on the trailer and the weight of what you have in the trailer. The setting for the brakes should always be tested before driving at normal road speeds. To test the brakes roll forward slowly and apply the trailer brakes using the manual setting on the controller. This will give you only trailer brakes and not the tow vehicle brakes. Read the manual provided with your controller for proper settings. Most trailer brakes use a drum brake assembly where the pads push outwardly against the drum when applied causing friction and slowing the trailer. This is the same style of brakes that was found on the rear of most vehicles until the mid-2000’s. The activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shows that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe

brakesThe activation of the trailer brake is electric rather than hydraulic like the brakes on your truck are. These use an electric current and a magnet to apply the braking power. As you can see there are two shoes that make contact with the hub, a smaller front shoe and a larger rear shoe. This image would be flipped for the right side of your trailer. Some vehicles come with a trailer brake setup built in from the factory and some do not. When a vehicle does not have a factory controller we can install one in your vehicle. Please give us a call and we can help you safely get your toys to wherever you are going. (910) 483-2958

Spring is in the air and summer is coming fast!

Get ready for warm seasons by getting your own Husqvarna equipment. Once you have the right tools for the job, the job becomes a lot less of a job and a lot more fun. Trust us. We only sell this line because we love it!

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Crumpler’s Automotive

7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, N.C.

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