How Do Trailer Brakes Work?

September 28, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the questions we deal with here at United Diesel Power is exactly how electric trailer brakes work. People want to know about RV braking systems, and we deal with all types of them. Today, we will focus specifically on electric brakes on trailers. 

State Requirements

Most states require that trailers using electric brakes have a safety circuit to them that is known as a breakaway unit. This extra layer of security is supposed to provide the trailer with the ability to put the brakes on even if the trailer disconnects from the tow vehicle. In this scary situation, at least the brakes would be applied and could potentially come in handy for reducing the amount of harm that might otherwise be done. 

The Mechanics of These Brakes

There is not as much difference between electric brakes and the drum brakes that you find on cars and trucks. They are simply designed to deal with a larger vehicle and to have more force available to stop the momentum of said vehicle. However, outside of that, the mechanics behind these brakes are very similar to what you would find in the brakes available on your own car or truck. 

An electric current circulates through the braking system to provide it with the proper signals that it needs to help operate just as it is intended to. It is a beautiful system designed to make life a lot easier for those operating these types of vehicles. 

The Brake Controller

A brake controller is necessary to modulate the electric current that flows through the electric trailer brake when the brake pedal has pressure applied to it from inside the vehicle. Thus, it is a necessary component of this whole system. If the electric current was not controlled in some way, it would be completely impossible for the braking system to work the way it is supposed to. 

Proportional controllers are always a big part of the system used in these types of brakes. They are necessary to ensure that the braking is applied evenly throughout the system. This is to help regulate the amount of braking that flows through each component so that it is done in an even-handed way. Otherwise, it would be impossible to get the vehicle to stop as it is supposed to. 

All these parts and components are required via the law to ensure they are installed and working just as intended. You will easily see that this is what you need when it comes to using electric trailer brakes. You may also find that the electric trailer brakes you are looking at can be just as effective at getting the job done as the traditional brake types that you have previously dealt with. 


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