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Electronic Trailer Brake Controller Question - Need Help

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by hayhauler, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. hayhauler

    hayhauler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I mowed yards this year and outgrew my single axle 6x10ft trailer. I'm now going to get a double axle trailer and I'm going to put a trailer brake(s) on my new one. I'm a novice as far as knowledge on this, so I'd appreciate some help. I see that several people get the Prodigy digital brake controller. Is there a reason that this is more liked than others? Should I go with a cheaper controller or not? Please respond with feedback whether it's positive or negative for one controller vs. another. Also, do you advise that I get one brake or should I have brakes on both axles? Thanks.
  2. jimslawns

    jimslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    How big is your new trailer going to be, how much weight are you carrying? What is the TN law on Trailer brakes, What Truck are you pulling it with?

    Don't be cheap get a good brake controller.
  3. moleman

    moleman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    You've asked a good question and something I've also been wondering about. I know that many landscapers have the prodigy digital brake controller; however, I'm just wondering why so many folks select this particular controller. Is this brake controller the best or are there alternatives. I would appreciate any help on this matter especially since I'm on a limited budget.
  4. hayhauler

    hayhauler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Thanks for the response Jimslawns. I'm getting a 6x14 trailer. I would only be carrying around 2,000lbs of lawn equipment, but the reason I'm going to a 14ft trailer is so I can carry more mulch/top soil when needed. I'm checking into the TN law for trailer brakes since I only had a single axle before. I'll be pulling this with a Silverado truck.
  5. old oak lawn

    old oak lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    brakes on one axle will be ok with your 6x14. i use a digital brake controal from napa i dont know who makes it but it cost a $100.00 and works good. digital lets me see where i set brake presure. your truck might be hardwired for controaler allready ck owners manual if so it will be simple to install,if not controal comes with directions.
  6. jimslawns

    jimslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Most Brake controllers are under $100. They are easy to install for the most part. The newer 99 up atleast silverados came with a pig tail (originally in the glove box) that would plug into a fuse type box behind the brake pedal of the truck. If you truck is missing it you can get it from cheverolet or probably the parts store.

    A single brake is fine for smaller trailers, but if your trailer is commericaly licensed or insured, it may be required to have brakes and a brake-away box and DOT approved lighting. Check with you State DOT for sure.

    Good Luck!
  7. IA_James

    IA_James LawnSite Silver Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 2,593

    Most of the brake controllers on the market are between $80-130. The Prodigy is at the high end of that. It's self levelling (brakes the same on level, uphill, or downhill), and has a digital read out of the amperage your trailer brakes are set up for. Most everything else uses a little knob with a red bar that gets wider the more brake you put to it. Picture your heat control knob in the truck, but take the blue for the AC off, and you'll have it.
  8. JoshC

    JoshC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    Definately spend the money to buy a quality brake controller. I had a cheapo in my truck for a while and almost paid the price. The controller was fine for in town driving without much of a load, but one day I was on the interstate loaded down with a 4-wheeler and fertilizer when traffic came to a complete stop. I think I ended up getting stopped about 5 feet from the car in front of me. Now I've got a P3 controller which is the newer version of the Prodigy. The harder I push on the truck brakes, the more power that is applied to the trailer brakes. It is much smoother than the cheapo I had. Most of the time while braking I don't even know the trailer is back there. Also you can get a plug and play wiring harness that goes directly from the controller to the truck, so you don't have to mess with pigtail connections. I got my P3 and the wiring harness for $140 - $20 mail in rebate.
  9. talus

    talus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 718

    I have a prodigy and would not buy anything else. It's by far the best controller on the market. Simple set up and operation. I have two trailers (horse and deckover) and had two other controllers on the truck over the years. Trust me you will not be disapointed. They are so popular for a reason.What year is your truck? If its at least a mid 90's or newer you can by the pigtail that goes under the dash by the brake pedal and plug the Tekonsha Prodigy in the other end. I have seen the pigtails in Northern Tool and etrailer.com has the controllers. or you can get both from etrailer.com Their prices were the best when I was looking a while back. Shop around. Good luck.
  10. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I spent a lot of time over at a GM diesel truck forum and saw prodigy was the crowd favorite. I bought one (my first brake controller) and I love it. Once you set it up for the weight of your trailer, you won't realized it's back there even when on the brakes hard.

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