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Do I need trailer brakes?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by vencops, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    Guys...I am NOT a LCO....lol. Full disclosure. Lawn care/maintenance is a small part of my business. I can do all of mine in 1day/wk.. My business is still somewhat new, also. And, I haven't trailered a "lot" of things through the years (mostly ATV's here and there....and very little of that).

    I have a new 6.5'X10.5' trailer with an equipment basket. I'll be hauling a 52" Bobcat ZTR; push mower and some power hand tools (the usual assortment). I have safety chains (of course). But, I'm a little concerned with what happens (what's the likelihood?) if it were to somehow come un-hitched.

    Do I need brakes on the trailer? How hard (cost?) would it be to add them to this trailer? Is it necessary? Advisable?

    Thanks. My truck's wired for brakes. Just curious.
  2. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    No, you'll be fine. Brakes are only needed for heavy loads, you don't have to worry about it.
  3. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    You didn't mention what type of vehicle you are towing with, which makes a big difference in the answer to your question. If you have a small SUV, minivan or compact pickup, then you definitely need brakes. If you have a 1/2 ton (150/1500 series) pickup you should be fine without brakes but use caution and expect to burn through brake pads more quickly, and if you have a 3/4 ton (250/2500 series) pickup or larger you'll be good to go without brakes.
  4. mow4cash

    mow4cash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    You don't need brakes until its a tandem. You won't be able to carry enough weight on a single.
  5. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    I'm pulling it with a 2003 Tundra (new brakes, last Nov.).

    Thanks, guys.
  6. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Your fine without them. Just keep your truck brakes in good condition, as you should anyway.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If you're worried about the trailer coming unhitched (not very likely) just make sure to have your safety chains attached correctly and that they are strong enough.

    Otherwise, you'll be good.
  9. cms289

    cms289 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    You do not NEED them. I personally really like brakes. Safer, break away kit stops it if it comes loose. Under heavy braking the trailer stays in line better.

    But in short, I would not bother, if you grow and get something larger, go with brakes...
  10. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    Not true. I have a trailer with a single 3500 lb rated axle. To be street legal in Florida, it has to have brakes as 3000 lb and up requires them single or dual. And if it is a tandem axle, both axles. NY requires them if over 3000 lbs. NC says 4000 which is still in a single axle range of a 5K axle.

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