Getting the Right Trailer Brakes Installed

Many wheeled items today, such as certain RV models or trailers for animals or cargo, cannot move themselves, as they do not have an engine or driver compartment. Instead, to get these trailers around, a pickup truck will tow them, and this means that two different sets of wheels are on the road, so the best trailer brake controller possible should be used to coordinate their braking efforts to prevent a crash. Electronic brake controllers are often the best option for more delicate setups, and the best trailer brake controller will be calibrated for the truck’s speed and the trailer’s weight and size. Brake controller wiring will be threaded between the truck and the trailer so that everything stays coordinated, and towing safety is often based mainly on how well, or not, a pickup truck and its trailer can brake when they need to. Towing safety facts can be reviewed by any truck driver to help prevent accidents, and if a driver gets the best trailer brake controller for the job, no one and nothing will suffer any accidents out there on the road.

Pickup Trucks and Towing

It is fairly common for American drivers today to drive a pickup truck and a trailer across the roads of the United States, but care must be taken so that accidents to not happen along the way. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers are careless, and accidents occur each year; according to the NHTSA, for example, reports show that around 50,000 road accidents involving towing happen on American roads each year, so any driver today should have the best trailer brake controller and basic safety know-how to avoid becoming another statistic. And there are plenty of Americans towing things around; RVIA estimates that across the United States, as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts are around, which includes RV renters, and all of them except self-driving motor homes will need towing setups to get around. Around 11% of American households headed by someone aged 35-54 includes an RV, so there are plenty of people looking to tow them around. And this doesn’t even include those who are towing other items with a pickup truck, such as an enclosed carrier containing cows or horses, or a trailer full of furniture during a move. The best trailer brake controller should be in place so that the truck and trailer alike can brake safely and smoothly. What might these brakes look like?

Models of Brakes

According to Curt MFG, several main models of truck and trailer brake systems are commonly used today. One model that does not even use a brake control system is the surge brake type. In this case, the brakes involve a self-contained hydraulic brake system that makes use of the trailer’s own momentum and weight to activate. No brake control system or electronic system is used with the towing truck; it is analog and automatic. Often, these make for smooth brakes and some drivers may prefer them, but their performance and timing cannot be adjusted like electronic brakes can, so a driver going across tricky terrain may not want surge brakes, but a truck towing a trailer across flat terrain may make use of them.

Meanwhile, a brake control system in the towing truck can be used with electronic brakes for more hands-on control, and in trickier terrain or when a lot of stops or partial braking may occur, a driver may prefer this route. One such model is timing-based brakes, and while not the most accurate brake model, they can make for smooth stops and are simple to use. The driver will adjust the gain setting as needed on these electronic brakes, and whenever the truck driver steps on the brakes, these brake types will sense that and will gradually apply the trailer’s brakes over a set period of time. But this time frame and braking power cannot be adjusted to unexpected situations, which is when inertia-based electronic brakes may be preferred. It will sense the inertia of the truck towing the trailer and apply power proportionately to the truck’s momentum, so that the truck and trailer both brake the same way. This is best when a lot of sloped roads are involved.

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