August 26, 2014

Trailer Tip Tuesday – Electric Brakes

Electric Brakes – some people love ‘em – some people hate ‘em. They are actually a pretty good system for the average application. Electric brakes operate in a similar manner to the drum brakes on your vehicle, except they are actuated by an electromagnet that draws itself to the inside face of the drum – pulling an actuating arm. The actuating arm causes the cam block at the end of the shoes to push the primary shoe out against the inside surface of the brake drum. The force generated by the primary shoe – acting through the adjuster moves the secondary shoe out into contact with the inside surface of the brake drum as well.

Electric brakes have the advantage of very little lag time from actuation to the time the brakes are activated.

You can manually adjust the current flow to the electromagnet through your brake controller to provide a firmer or lighter grip of the magnet – increasing or decreasing the braking to the desired level. Another nice feature is the ability to provide emergency braking independent of the tow vehicle.

Optional features are available on some sizes of brakes such as a Self Adjust Feature, and a Park Brake Feature.

Electric trailer brakes are designed to be used in conjunction with your vehicles brakes. Never attempt to stop a combined load using only the trailer brakes or only the vehicle brakes. Proper synchronization of your trailer and your tow vehicle can only be attained by road testing – and then fine tuning as conditions or your load changes.

For most applications – electric brakes – if properly set up and properly maintained – will provide safe and effective braking.

Categories: Trailer Tip

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