Trailer BRAKES! - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maui
Posts: 909
• Horses: 0
Trailer BRAKES!

Okay, so we FINALLY were able to get a trailer, and then we got the truck to pull it-- a Ford 150 8-cylinder. NO problem pulling, even with both my horses loaded. That was about a year and a half ago.

Last week, I paid over $700 for a brake job on the truck! It burned up in the middle of a haul---very scary! Our mechanic said, "You know this truck isn't big enough, don't you?" Not because of the pulling power, but the braking power. Because the trailer probably wasn't equipped with brakes, he said. "Don't use your brakes to slow down, down-shift." We never had an automatic before, we thought it was, well, automatic.

So after googling etc. I tried to find a place who could check/fix my trailer, since if it had brakes, the truck would we fine. No place on the island. Was in the feed store (most excellent source of information) and discovered that our trailer DOES have brakes, that our truck even has the gadget for connecting to them, and all we need to get now is the brake controller, under $200, available locally.

WHY did no one tell us this? WHY isn't the brake law enforced? We get our trailer safety-checked, but no one ever checked for brakes, just the lights. How come I have to ask a cowboy to please check our trailer to see if we finally get it all connected right? I feel so stupid, but it's IGNORANCE.

Live and learn. . .and find a mechanic who knows something about trailers.
Beling is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,385
• Horses: 3
Wait, nobody, from the trailer seller on down to a mechanic TOLD you that you needed an electronic brake controller?

Yes, trailers have brakes, but in order to access them you must have a brake controller. When I totaled my truck in February and had to buy another one, the first thing I did was go out and get another brake controller. I refuse to haul a trailer without one.

This is Trailering 101, and I'm surprised not one person even ASKED you about it.

There is no 'brake law' of which I'm aware, because not all trailers are heavy enough to require a controller. Horse trailers now, yes, they require a controller.

I know Maui's an island, but c'mon, you're not the only horse person there!

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!

Last edited by Speed Racer; 06-19-2012 at 02:12 PM.
Speed Racer is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:10 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
Posts: 4,712
• Horses: 0
Oh and dont downshift. Or use the idiot mechanic you went to anymore. Granted probably very few truck/ trailer people on Maui. Gears are designed to make a car go, brakes are designed to make a car stop. And as you found out trailer brakes make a trailer stop. Maybe on a long down grade down shifting may be benificial but thats about it. I would assume a boat trailer shop would be a better place ot go. Pretty much any dual wheel heavier boat trailer will have brakes. A larger marina should have experienced trailer brake techs.
Joe4d is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maui
Posts: 909
• Horses: 0
I read that there's a law, every tire that touches the road needs to be equipped with brakes. Could be wrong, though.

Can't wait to get the controller. It's a weird feeling to learn something that's "common knowlege". Of course, after all this time, the brakes could be frozen. But we know someone who will check for us.

The general opinion is that there are a lot of non-braking trailers on the road, especially when you consider how many boats are hauled around.
Beling is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,385
• Horses: 3
It's just one of those things you don't know about that everyone assumes you do.

I had a friend help me out when I was looking for my first rig. He not only told me the engine and liter size I needed, but all about brake controllers, lifts, and how to maintain my trailer properly.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,332
• Horses: 1
Not surprised no one said anything.

When I bought my truck they told me all I had to do to get it into 4 wheel drive was to shift the lever in the cab.

......they didn't mention that I had to lock the hubs too!
Posted via Mobile Device
DancingArabian is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 03:05 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: south of nowhere, north of nothing
Posts: 4,643
• Horses: 6
wow. thats just wrong. i dont know how you made it to that point without a single person telling you that you needed a brake controller??? i definitely would NOT go back to them. thankfully its an easy fix and you caught it before someone got hurt.

i personally stick with standards for my trucks.
a while back i was riding with my trainer pulling her 4 horse slant w/ camper (with a ram 3500 auto) and we were up in the mountains in colorado. while we were coming down the mountain, her brakes literally caught on fire! we had to pull over to the side and put it out. then had our friend with a standard come get the trailer while we had the truck towed back....needless to say she sold it and got a standard.

*Insert something witty*
Roperchick is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,482
• Horses: 2
Shifting down on steep grades is a good idea, it helps keep your speed down using engine compression. Downshifting with an automatic just to stop at a light or sign isn't a real good idea as it could lead to premature failure of your transmission. Same can be said of a manual but it wont happen as fast due to differences in how the transmission is constructed. Anyway, as I was once told, brakes are cheaper than transmissions.
Darrin is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:26 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE TN
Posts: 4,630
• Horses: 3
Okay, don't let anyone tell you brake controllers are created equal.

Do your research and get a good one.

I have a hays and it's a very good controller, but were I to do it again I'd get a max brake.

MaxBrake™ - Hydraulic over Electric Variable Brake Controller

My second choice would be a prodogy P3

Brake Controllers - Tekonsha

Stay away from a draw tite.

A good controller brakes smooth.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
gunslinger is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
I have the prodogy P3. So far, very good, two seasons in.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
No brakes in bitless Sheepdog Horse Tack and Equipment 6 04-13-2012 10:57 AM
Aaaaaaah! No brakes! No brakes! SammyAnn Horse Training 27 03-06-2012 08:02 PM
Good brakes help Reallyyy Horse Training 12 07-17-2010 12:30 AM
Re-installing Brakes wild_spot Horse Training 24 09-29-2009 07:03 PM
We have no brakes!!!!! jumping' jimmie Horse Training 15 08-08-2008 07:47 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome