Trailer brakes. Electric or hydrolic?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by We do 4 U, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    Wonder which is better on a trailer, electric brakes or hydrolic? it will be a 6'6' x 15 trailer being pulled by a 1990 150.
  2. Brieldo

    Brieldo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    my 16'x6' dovetail trailer has hydraulic surge brakes. I like them because they're much more simplistic vs. electric brakes. No controller to worry about, no corrosion, nothing adverse except stopping power.
  3. E-man

    E-man LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 136

    Hydrolic? Do you mean a braking system that locks up the wheels if the trailer comes off the hitch? If so I would go with electric they work at all times and will also lock up if it should come off the hitch.
  4. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 385

    We prefer the hydraulic surge brakes. One problem that we have with electrical brakes is that the battery will need to be recharge on a regular basis. However most of our operators forget this and have no trailer brakes because they have a dead battery. One solution is to add a charging circut to the battery from the truck via the electrical connector.
  5. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 173


    What are you talking about, "charging the battery"?
    I have used electric brakes on my trailers for years and years and have never had any problems. My electric brakes run off of the truck????????????
  6. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    The electric brakes are the best way to go, in some states there are some restrictions on the use of the hydraulic surge brakes
    The battery sdwally is speaking of is your emergency brake battery, there should be one on your trailer somewhere, if your trailer comes disconnected from your truck and pulls your brake cable, it should lock up your trailer brakes.
  7. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 173

    OK, got it.
    They WILL stop you and check these batteries
  8. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 385

    As mentioned above the battery is for emergency break away conditions. No they will not stop you to check your battery level, however if you have a break-away and a dead battery that causes an accident your insurance company may not cover the accident.
    We are required by DOT to do trailer inspection every 90 days. If a trailer goes without an inspection pass the 90, the driver can be fined. Also DOT has conducted yard and record inspections on us, four times in the last three years. Even with a few minor problems that are corrected right away, they are talking fines of about $5,000 if they find more than one minor problem on about 35 some trailers next time.
  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    If you're pulling a trailer requiring breakaway brakes, you will be spot checked in a number of midwestern states. Trooper will just stop you, tell you to pull the pin, and drive forward two feet. If your trailer brakes don't lock, he takes out his ticket book. LOL - for him, that is, not you.

    My breakaway is wired directly to the marine battery on trailer used to activate trailer dump, so I always know that the breakaway has plenty of juice. Battery is wired to be charged from truck.

    I was told by trailer mfr to go with electric rather than hydraulic surge brakes, because of the greater maintenance time on surge brakes. With electrics, about all you do is replace the magnet if needed when you do a brake reline.

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