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do i need to equip my truck w/ trailer braking system?

Truitt Lawn Maintenance

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Virginia beach
i am getting ready to buy a 16" open landscape trailer and i was wondering if it is essencial to buy and install a breaking system for the truck. i am going to pull it with my 04 dodge ram 1500, the trailer already is equiped with a braking system on its side. unfortunantly my truck has zero wireing for this and a whole system will have to be installed on the truck side. any comments or suggestions?:usflag:
 

cush

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
boise idaho
All you should need is a wire harness and a brake controller. If the trailer has brakes then you must have them hooked up with the truck.
 

MikeKle

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Northern KY
I too use a 2004 Ram and I pull a 16ft open trailer with usually 3 WBs on it, and I have never had brakes on my trailer, the truck seems to do OK stopping everything as is, but the next trailer I get I may get brakes on it. If you are just hauling WBs or fairly light ZTRs, you should be OK with only the trucks brakes, but if you see your truck going thru pads quicker, you may need trailer brakes.
 

Schuley

LawnSite Member
Location
South Central WI
Does your truck have a trailer tow package? like even a light hookup? It should have wires up underneath the dash below the steering wheel. I had a similar truck, just buy a brake controller from an auto store and the harness thats made for your truck, should cost only about $100-$150 total. Just connect the wires and mount the controller.
I'd highly recommend doing it. I pulled a trailer about the same as your describing. Its fine empty or with 1 mower, but if you've got it full of stuff it can get pretty heavy, and i was pushed through a redlight on a rainy day.....scared me a little! So now if a trailer has brakes.....i have to believe its for a reason! Its also A LOT easier on your vehicles brakes, if you do a lot of traffic stop and go driving, without the brakes on the trailer you will be smoking your trucks brakes a lot faster.
 

Schuley

LawnSite Member
Location
South Central WI
I too use a 2004 Ram and I pull a 16ft open trailer with usually 3 WBs on it, and I have never had brakes on my trailer, the truck seems to do OK stopping everything as is, but the next trailer I get I may get brakes on it. If you are just hauling WBs or fairly light ZTRs, you should be OK with only the trucks brakes, but if you see your truck going thru pads quicker, you may need trailer brakes.
lol I guess I don't type fast enough.... beat me too it!
 
OP
Truitt Lawn Maintenance

Truitt Lawn Maintenance

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Virginia beach
my trailer didnt have a tow package when i bought it. dumb of me, i know. but i talked to the trailer people around my house and they told me that it needed to have a whole wireing kit from the front of the truck to the rear where the hookup is. i will end up getting one sooner rather than later but i should be ok just picking it up and taking it acouple miles to my house right?
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
If you're just trying to save a few bucks, it might be worth it to let the guys who are going
to install the Class-III hitch on your truck do the wiring as well.

Because you can't pull anything but small home made trailers with the bumper, any trailer that's a bit
more substantial requires at least a Class-III and that hitch alone's going to run a couple of hundred...

A bit of labor over top of that, forget the wiring, that's an afternoon but drilling through 1/4" thick steel
is definitely not something I can recommend for the DIY'er, not seeing how it's more than a few holes
have to be made.

They'll charge for the labor, but that could be one of those things probably best left to the experts.
Because that hitch has to be installed underneath the back, and something like 8 bolts that hold it to the frame,
you'll need special titanium super heavy duty drill bits that run like $20 a piece just to try and bore that crap out...
Takes them an hour or two labor, to install the hitch.

Probably run you more than a few hundred, hitch, wiring, controller, labor, the whole nine yards.
But for the wiring that shouldn't be much over what you're already looking at spending.
 
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Schuley

LawnSite Member
Location
South Central WI
if the $225 includes the controller, thats a pretty good price. You can haul the trailer....but if you don't have any lights I wouldn't touch it till its all hooked up. Thats a ticket waiting to happen....
 

mowerbrad

LawnSite Fanatic
I don't have a break controller on my truck nor do I have breaks on my 14' trailer. I actually have never had a problem with it. But I only haul 1 ztr and some grass/leaves and thats it. So my 2500 handles it quite well and I've never had a problem (knock on wood). But my new truck will have the break controller on it and my next trailer will have breaks on it. Having breaks on the trailer will help keep your breaks on your truck last longer.
 
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