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View Full Version : Do I need trailer brakes?


vencops
03-13-2011, 11:23 PM
Guys...I am NOT a LCO....lol. Full disclosure. Lawn care/maintenance is a small part of my business. I can do all of mine in 1day/wk.. My business is still somewhat new, also. And, I haven't trailered a "lot" of things through the years (mostly ATV's here and there....and very little of that).

I have a new 6.5'X10.5' trailer with an equipment basket. I'll be hauling a 52" Bobcat ZTR; push mower and some power hand tools (the usual assortment). I have safety chains (of course). But, I'm a little concerned with what happens (what's the likelihood?) if it were to somehow come un-hitched.

Do I need brakes on the trailer? How hard (cost?) would it be to add them to this trailer? Is it necessary? Advisable?

Thanks. My truck's wired for brakes. Just curious.

Puddle of Oil
03-13-2011, 11:26 PM
No, you'll be fine. Brakes are only needed for heavy loads, you don't have to worry about it.

hosejockey2002
03-14-2011, 12:05 AM
You didn't mention what type of vehicle you are towing with, which makes a big difference in the answer to your question. If you have a small SUV, minivan or compact pickup, then you definitely need brakes. If you have a 1/2 ton (150/1500 series) pickup you should be fine without brakes but use caution and expect to burn through brake pads more quickly, and if you have a 3/4 ton (250/2500 series) pickup or larger you'll be good to go without brakes.

mow4cash
03-14-2011, 02:00 AM
You don't need brakes until its a tandem. You won't be able to carry enough weight on a single.

vencops
03-14-2011, 07:55 AM
I'm pulling it with a 2003 Tundra (new brakes, last Nov.).

Thanks, guys.

M&SLawnCare
03-15-2011, 02:13 PM
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M&SLawnCare
03-15-2011, 02:14 PM
Your fine without them. Just keep your truck brakes in good condition, as you should anyway.
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mowerbrad
03-15-2011, 08:35 PM
If you're worried about the trailer coming unhitched (not very likely) just make sure to have your safety chains attached correctly and that they are strong enough.

Otherwise, you'll be good.

cms289
03-15-2011, 09:51 PM
You do not NEED them. I personally really like brakes. Safer, break away kit stops it if it comes loose. Under heavy braking the trailer stays in line better.

But in short, I would not bother, if you grow and get something larger, go with brakes...

GravelyNut
03-17-2011, 02:20 PM
You don't need brakes until its a tandem. You won't be able to carry enough weight on a single.

Not true. I have a trailer with a single 3500 lb rated axle. To be street legal in Florida, it has to have brakes as 3000 lb and up requires them single or dual. And if it is a tandem axle, both axles. NY requires them if over 3000 lbs. NC says 4000 which is still in a single axle range of a 5K axle.

castlerockmo
03-17-2011, 02:49 PM
I prefer brakes on all my axles, I have added brakes to all my single axles and my tandems that only had one now have two. My fist year with my bizz I went through the brakes on my F-150 with a 52 and a Wb so I put brakes on it then. I also like having a break away just in case the trailer comes off and the chains break or are forgotten about (employees). Better to be safe than sorry!
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unkownfl
03-17-2011, 05:35 PM
Not true. I have a trailer with a single 3500 lb rated axle. To be street legal in Florida, it has to have brakes as 3000 lb and up requires them single or dual. And if it is a tandem axle, both axles. NY requires them if over 3000 lbs. NC says 4000 which is still in a single axle range of a 5K axle.

First of, a single axle trailer doesn't have a GVWR more than 3000lbs its 2990 for the law. Secondly, there is a 40% towing capacity law based on your vehicle if I remember right. Excluded the first sentence if you have some beefed up trailer or special trailer other than a normal utility trailer.