View Full Version : Which axle to put brakes on?

Travis E
02-21-2007, 10:00 AM
We are working on building a tandem axle 16' trailer. When it comes to the brakes, shoud we put them on the front axle or back axle? Probably a stupid question but we are clueless. Thanks in advance!

02-21-2007, 11:19 AM
Spend the extra $$$ and do both axles, will save on the truck brakes and just add more stopping power to the trailer.

02-21-2007, 11:48 AM
I agree to put them on both axles. However, when there is only one brake axle, it is uaually the front one. But, you have to make sure that the trailer is towed level, or with slightly more weight on the front axle, or you will be locking up and dragging brake tires alot.

Dirt Digger2
02-21-2007, 12:15 PM
both, it cant hurt...might cost a little more upfront but down the long road you will be replacing trailer and truck brakes less.

02-22-2007, 09:25 AM
Mine are on the rear axle


02-22-2007, 12:15 PM
When I towed a 16" tandem trailer, the brakes were on the rear axle. It did a very good job of stopping the trailer.

02-22-2007, 02:21 PM

It is actually required in some (if not most) states

Jason Rose
02-22-2007, 04:22 PM
Yes, the rear axle is usually where a single braking axle is placed, and YES, most states require brakes on both axles if it's any type of commercially used trailer i.e. pulled with a truck with a business name on it.

Travis E
02-22-2007, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the imput everyone. I hooked up the trailer to the truck and the trailer sits pretty level so the front axle isn't that much higher than the rear one. The truck isn't going to be lettered up at all so i shouldn't have to worry about that. From what all info I have received, I have decided to put the brakes on the front axle for now and maybe add them to the back axle latter in the year if I feel that I need them.

Triple L
02-22-2007, 05:56 PM
Myn came on the front axle only, both axles are the best but it depends on how much money you got. Never seen them only on the back, but thats Canada

02-22-2007, 11:00 PM
My old trailer, built in '88, only has them on the front axle. My new one, built in 06, has both. If DOT is even a remote concern where you're at, both axles are a must. It will be one less thing for them to say you're doing wrong.

02-22-2007, 11:23 PM
Be safe and put them on both axles

02-23-2007, 09:39 AM
I know each state is different........I dont know why we dont have frederal guide lines good for all 50 states. In Virginia.....if its a dual axle trailer...1 axle must have brakes.....if its a tri-axle then 2 axles must have brakes. Personally......I prefer all axles have brakes.....if/when you need them.......you cant have too many


02-23-2007, 10:40 PM
It is hard to get two wheels with brakes in sync so you don't skid the tires on one side. Maybe if they were on all four tires wouldn't it be even harder to get them to all stop the same amount. Will the controller handle 4 magnet.

02-24-2007, 12:55 AM
jack up both axles of the trailer and put jack stands under the axles and adjust all the brakes and that should stop you from skidding any tires and they should be applying equal amount of braking force unless one side is wore out or the magnets are not working but it needs to be check out would make stopping in a hurry a bad problem

chuck bow
02-24-2007, 05:26 PM
I maybe wrong and God knows i have been wrong before but it is my understanding that any trailer built after 2005 has to have brakes on all axles, I thought this was a federal regulation. I know for a fact that it is a law in Indiana or at least my trailer repair /inspection station told me that

02-25-2007, 01:23 PM
Here we go again into the confused mess of DOT rules and regs across the country. But, when I met with a special investigator last spring, he told me that since Kansas, where I work in, adopted the federal guidelines, IF the GCWR of the truck and trailer is over 10,001 lbs, this is door tag rating of truck and weight rating of trailer, not actual weight, then the rig falls into, in our case, KCC or Kansas Corporation Commission Motor Carrier guidelines, adopted from fed. According to him, this means every trailer axle on the ground must have breaks. If your state hasn't adopted these guidelines, you're lucky, but if it has, you need both axles. And at least around here, you will get stopped by a "DOT trained" officer, that has no clue what is going on. I just carry a copy of the Motor Carrier manual with me with everything the special investigator said applied to me highlighted. But, to answer your question, if you guys have adopted the federal regulations, then both axles, if not, then it is whatever your state requires.