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Replacing Electric Trailer Brakes with ?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by SiteSolutions, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    I've got electric drum brakes on all four wheels of my trailer. The trailer stays loaded near it's gross weight rating. The brakes never stay adjusted more than a few weeks. What are possible solutions? I've seen kits for surge brakes and electric over hydraulic. I am open to anything that has good stopping power and never needs adjustment.
  2. seabee1

    seabee1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    i guess you can go to hydraulic surge disc brake's .no adjustment necessary
  3. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    Surge brakes don't work in reverse, like when backing down a hill, do they? I rented a dump trailer with surge brakes a month or two ago and it stopped ok.

    Do you know if anyone makes a hydraulic disc setup that is controlled by a brake controller?
  4. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    PS I was with the NMCB 24 out of Huntsville for a couple years.
  5. seabee1

    seabee1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    most all of the newer surge brake's have a back up cut out switch on the coupler so that is not a issue .ether mechanical or elect cut out ,that allows backing .:usflag: here's one http://www.cabelas.com/hprod-1/0001978.shtml
  6. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    The ultimate solution is electric-over-hydraulic disc brakes--but this is a very expensive setup (I'm guessing $1500+ for a tandem axle). Go to Dexter's website to see the brake setups that they sell.

    Another solution may be heavier-duty axles and conventional electric drum brakes. The brakes should only come out of adjustment as the shoes wear down--if you are maxing out your axles, the brakes may be wearing quickly. Otherwise, some of your brake hardware maybe damaged, allowing the brakes to un-adjust themselves.

    Brake controllers can need continual adjustment. The "smart" ones (like the Prodigy) seem to need less attention.
  7. Mini man

    Mini man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    I did the elec over hyd disc brakes on all 4 wheels.
    Un believable difference....would not have a trailer without now...using 5500 GMC hauling a 16K capacity trailer.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The disk brakes are the way to go.

    It is all about how much do you want to spend. In my mind brakes and safe stopping is worth the money.
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I'm in the same boat... Damn trailer brakes drive me to drink. This spring I couldn't get them to work 100% no matter what I tried, and it wasn't that long ago I replaced all 4 drums and brake assemblys! I have a nice prodigy controler, and all the wiring is good, they just wear out too fast. Usually the magnet wears the inside of the drum to the point it won't make good contact before anything else is worn out. I've also wondered what other options are... My trailer is loaded to the max most of the time as well, with two 3,500 lb. axles, that's not a lot of load capacity. Just don't want to think about replacing the axles completly, because then I'd need new wheels and tires, and the trailer would have to sit higher, unless I used low profile tires... (maybe not, I don't know)
    I'm just waiting for the place I buy from online to have a good sale on the brake assemblys in the size I need and I'll buy 4 more again.
  10. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    Another idea: check your wiring. If you have a bad connection or a partly corroded plug; it can make your electric brakes behave badly.

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