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Old 05-30-2005, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

My son bought about an 18 foot tandem axle flat-bed trailer. 7500 GVW. It came with no brakes. I strongly suggested that if he loaded it with anything and hooked it up to his half ton, he really needed some brakes on it. I bought him one set for his birthday.

The question is: Where would one set of brakes be most beneficial? First I thought on the front because any load should be more biased to the front. Then I thought while braking, the front of the truck might go down - rear move up, transfering load force to the rear axle of the trailer. In other words - I don't have a clue. Any one know for sure?

Thanks for your help

Larry
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Old 05-30-2005, 05:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

On the bench till you can afford the second set. Both axles need the brakes.
I know... That didn't help you at all. Just a guess from me but.. I would put them on the front axle.
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Old 05-30-2005, 07:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Most commercial built trailers that have brakes on one axle usaully pick the rear axle. I would do both axles. You can't have too much brakes. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-30-2005, 09:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Don't forget to add the breakaway kit along with the brakes.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

all of the trailers I've sold in the past that only had one brake axle, had the brakes on the front axle


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Old 05-30-2005, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

In my limited experience I have seen them mounted on both the front or the rear. My gut feeling would be to mount them on the front since hopefully the load will be placed so that the center of gravity is forward of the axles (to get tongue weight) and may slightly load the front axle more than the rear; though I may be completely wrong about axle loading.

For ~$100 plus drums ( http://www.etrailerpart.com/ ) I would just by another set and put them on both axles.

L.J.
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Old 05-30-2005, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Another place to check out is http://www.kmtparts.com/ , they have Dexter electric brake assemblies for the cheapest I could find. I called and they quoted me higher prices and said the Internet hadn't been updated, but if ordered over the Internet they will honor the prices on their web page.

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Old 05-30-2005, 12:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Thanks for the help. Although it seems there is not really a consensus. I think when they sell these trailers with brakes, a lot of times it is one axle although I agree both would be better. I might ask the dealer which axle they install them on.

One thing I noticed about mail-order brake kits is, you really need to check the shipping charges. I think it was going to be around $50 for shipping. The drums are really heavy. I decided to go to the trailer manufacture and buy them direct. That way I was sure I was getting the right kit. I think it was about $225.
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Old 05-30-2005, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

They go on the back if on one axle. Personally I wouldn't own a trailer without brakes on all axles. Anyone with brakes on both axles will tell you, if they've looked, the front always locks up first, thereby telling you the back has more traction.


Added in edit- from championtrailer.com

<font color="red">When only one brake axle is being installed on a tandem axle trailer, the brakes should be on the rear axle for maximum system performance. Rotational torque applied to axles during braking shifts the equalizer and applies more weight to rear axle. If brakes are installed on the front axle, the wheel may skid during braking. Brakes on rear axle are more effective as the equalizers shifts and the rear tires dig in to the pavement. </font>
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Thanks. I think you have nailed it. I will encourage him to get another set of brakes as well as the breakaway kit. But, now he is thinking of selling it. Kids!!!
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

!8 foot. really does not make any difference which axle you put the brakes on. Just make sure that you put brakes on the axle that stays on the ground most of the time. If tounge is up in the air because of the hitch then put them on the rear. level does not really matter.
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Old 05-30-2005, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

[ QUOTE ]
<font color="red">When only one brake axle is being installed on a tandem axle trailer, the brakes should be on the rear axle for maximum system performance. Rotational torque applied to axles during braking shifts the equalizer and applies more weight to rear axle. If brakes are installed on the front axle, the wheel may skid during braking. Brakes on rear axle are more effective as the equalizers shifts and the rear tires dig in to the pavement. </font>

[/ QUOTE ]

Makes intuitive sense to me. Thanks for passing that info along.

L.J.
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Old 05-30-2005, 06:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

If it is that heavy empty it definitely needs brakes on both axles, sounds like it's home built or it would have them. Mine only weighs 4000lbs. and it and others like it come standard with two axle brakes. Single axle brakes were fairly standard on the little two axle two horse bumper pull trailers but most everything bigger has two.
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

It's not that heavy empty. I guess I should have called it 7500 GVWR, thats loaded rating. It's built by Carson trailers. I asked them how they get away selling such a thing because I believe brakes are required on anything over 1500 pounds in California. The guy said something like "we don't know what your going to put on the trailer". Go figure....
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Old 05-31-2005, 02:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Trailer Brakes - Which Axle?

Nope, sorry, my mistake, I didn't read your first post correctly. I agree, I also thought anything over 1500 had to have brakes. I'd especially want them on a flat bed, everybody overloads them like crazy, that's why when I finally bought one I decided I was never going to loan it to any of the sorry guys I run around with.
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