1. Ask the Expert: Fertilization Strategies for Success: Dec. 12, 2017
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental: Dec. 12, 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

converting surge brakes to electric???

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by CURBAPPEAL NC, Mar 2, 2006.


    CURBAPPEAL NC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Can you? A trailer i am building has surge brakes but the tongue is rusted and bent (doesnt work). Electric seem to be the way to go for backing purposes so i was wondering if there is a way to just convert it over to electric? thanks!

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yea it can be done,seems more trouble than what it worth you will have to cut off your coupler and rewire it.

    CURBAPPEAL NC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Well I have already cut the coupler off and welded a regular one on thinking I didnt need brakes but now would like to have some so i was thinking to just convert it at this point might be easier. Everything else is still there!
  4. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    well you will have to change the hubs hydraulic brakes are disc most of the time and electric are drums, i personally like surge brakes. the backing thing only bothers me every once and a while. my hitch kind of sticks when it sits for a while so when you really need brakes the work but when backing slowly they don't bother me
  5. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    The last thing I would ever want to do is convert from surge to electric. Surge are proportional and are so much smoother. Not to mention that you can pull with any vehicle and still have brakes. You can buy surge couplers that have a solenoid that connects to your reverse lamps and will keep the brakes from applying while backing if you are really concerned about it. I don't have that on any of mine, but I rarely have an issue with them when backing up. It's really only an issue if you are backing up hill and then you can just get out and latch the backup lever.

    CURBAPPEAL NC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    There is drumm brakes on it now. The electric are proportionate arent they? with the controller in the truck the harder you hit the brakes the more it works. Anyways just thought it might be able to be done fairly easily. maybe ill just get another surge actuator!
  7. stroker51

    stroker51 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    No, don't get another surge actuator. I think, not for sure, but i think that depending where you are it is illegal to use surge brakes. Think about it, you are loaded going up a hill or somthing, or backing down one, so if you dont make it all the way up, which does happen, you have no brakes backing back down. This is when you REALLY NEED brakes. The conversion isnt that hard, i just finished my trailer up. What I did was since the front axle was bent, i just ordered a new electric brake axle from my local trailer builder, bolted it right in, 2 wires and it was ready to go. I also rewired the entire trailer with a pre-made wiring harness from my dealer, it had all the leads to hook up to break away battery, actuator, and to the brake wires coming out of the backing plate on the drum. It really isnt that hard to do, even if you convert on the same axle, there was another post on here somewhere where somebody had to add brakes to the second axle, and just bought all the parts, they should bolt right onto the axle pretty easy. In any event, I would never go back to surge brakes, i really dont think they work as good as electric, and as i said, i think electric might be required by law. I know a new trailer can't be made in the state of Kansas with surge brakes, dunno about everywhere else.
  8. Vinny

    Vinny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have always had electric brakes, works well for me and you can adjust them easy or hard according to your load. Hell, I save the brakes on my truck because the electric brakes have a lot of stopping power. Plus I would hate to stop backing down a hill.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    surge is what we run on 3 trailers we like em to each his own.
  10. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    I see you are from Fayetteville...
    Take a lil trip to Lumberton, go to Agri-Supply, its off of 211going towards Red Springs. They have complete set ups, everything you need.

Share This Page