which axle should be the brake axle

Richard Fleming

New member
I am building my new rig.....about to swap an idle axle for one with brakes.....which axle would need to be the brake axle on a tandem axle 16 ft trailer? The front axle or the back axle? I have heard front and also back....anyone have any useful info to help me?
 
I've only got a single axle Richard with no brakes. If I had to guess though I would have to go with the front axle. I'm sure someone with duel axles who knows for sure will chime in.
 

Richard Fleming

New member
60 % weight to the front,,,,so put the brakes on the front axle.....this is what i am thinking....got til 6 am to get it done but want to get it done correctly
 

Richard Fleming

New member
Thanks for the input guys.....I am going to put it on the front, If it doesnt work I will put it on the back......if that still doesnt work....Ill order me another axle and have brakes on both.....LOL

Have a great night. I am going to get dirty!
 

Christopher

Moderator
Richard, you don't have to move the axles, just take the hubs off with the bearings and seals. It just depends on you, it might be faster swapping out axles but in the future if you want to add brakes, take the wheel to the trailer store to get brake hubs and bearings and seals. Tie into the wires for the existing brakes and you are set. Brief but to the point.

I changed out my hubs last year and the brakes only last me about a year and needs to be done again but I will add brakes to the other axle, only about $110.00 per axle to add the brakes.

Hope this helps.
 

Christopher

Moderator
Jim, how heavy is your trailer usually (will change with how much water is in the tank but typically what do you think it weighs?).

How long are your brakes lasting you?

With brakes on one axle, they are only lasting about a year. My trailer without water is right at 3800 pounds.

I am thinking that adding brakes to the other axle, maybe I would get 2 or more years from the brakes.
 

welder

New member
Any trailer that weighs 3001 lbs needs brakes and a break away switch. US DOT (don't ask how I know) Typically, dual axle trailers have the brakes on the rear axle if the trailer has one axle with brakes. This way you have the rear most point of ground contact with the braking action. Also, assuming the trailer is loaded somewhat correctly, both axles should read just about the same weight going over a scale. That is why the suspension is set up the way it is.
 

El Flojo

New member
Only run brakes on the rear axle of the trailer, my other trailer doesnt have any brakes at all. but that one is stationary at a job site.
 

El Flojo

New member
Hey Mark, on the brake-away switch. Does it have to be mounted to the hitch or the truck. mine is still ziptied from factory.
 

Christopher

Moderator
Here is a good link: http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cg...docID=125771336684+13+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve


I have been told that the weight was 4000 pound capacity but the regs are over 3000 pounds the trailer has to have brakes and any trailer that has brakes has to have the breakaway brake controller.

I have that on 3 of the 4 trailers, the last one is a small single axle trailer with a less than 3000 pound rating.

I forgot how much those systems are but I think around $80.00.

The new ones will keep charging the battery and have an indicator and warning light on the outside of the battery box so when plugged into the truck, the lights are lit up so you can see the status.

Great info here.
 

Christopher

Moderator
Joe, the switch and battery needs to be mounted onto the trailer.

If the trailer comes loose, the wire that is connected to the truck will pull the switch and engage the breakaway system and that battery will apply the brakes to stop the trailer. It has to be on the trailer or it will not work.


Just another FYI here, if you have a logo'd or lettered vehicle and pulling a tandem axle trailer, that is considered commercial use and you not only have to have the brakes and controller (if the capacity is over 3000 pounds) but you have to have an inspection sticker on the trailer also (don't ask me how I know and what happens if you don't have it). hahaha
 

welder

New member
Just another FYI here, if you have a logo'd or lettered vehicle and pulling a tandem axle trailer, that is considered commercial use and you not only have to have the brakes and controller (if the capacity is over 3000 pounds) but you have to have an inspection sticker on the trailer also (don't ask me how I know and what happens if you don't have it). hahaha

Correct, and if your truck and trailer combined weigh over 10,000 lbs you need a dot number. It was changed after 9 / 11. The brake controller in the cab of the truck should not be confused with the break away on the trailer. 2 separate entities.
The one in the truck is for every day driving and operates trailer brakes in conjunction with tow vehicle. If you adjust the current so the trailer brakes work the same as or a touch more than the tow vehicle, every thing should be fine. If you feel the trailer grabbing when you hit the brakes, your trailer is adjusted to high. It is a little dial on the side of brake controller. Also make sure it is leveled to the vehicle as this will affect the operation.

The brake away system on the trailer has a stainless steel cable that attaches to the tow vehicle. You want to keep this a little shorter than your safety chains. but to the center of your hitch up. So it doesn't get pulled out during a sharp turn. They sell cheap ones that don't recharge, but they are not worth it. You constantly have to change the battery, yearly or so. Get the better one. If you ever do get inspected on the side of the road. It will have paid for itself immediately. Good luck.
 

Grime Busters LLC

New member
Jim, how heavy is your trailer usually (will change with how much water is in the tank but typically what do you think it weighs?).

How long are your brakes lasting you?

With brakes on one axle, they are only lasting about a year. My trailer without water is right at 3800 pounds.

I am thinking that adding brakes to the other axle, maybe I would get 2 or more years from the brakes.

I try not to haul any water, maybe keep 50 gallons in the bottom of the tank. 1 trailer weighs about 4400lbs, without water, and the brakes are still at 50% after 2 1/2 years.

The second trailer I'm still having built, but will weigh close to 4500lbs. Brakes on both axles also.

I figure for what it costs to add brakes to the second axle, you'll save in brake pads on single axle application in just a matter of a few years. Plus, the more (controlled) braking power you have on the trailer, the less brake wear you will experience on your tow vehicle.
 

Richard Fleming

New member
Richard, you don't have to move the axles, just take the hubs off with the bearings and seals. It just depends on you, it might be faster swapping out axles but in the future if you want to add brakes, take the wheel to the trailer store to get brake hubs and bearings and seals. Tie into the wires for the existing brakes and you are set. Brief but to the point.

I changed out my hubs last year and the brakes only last me about a year and needs to be done again but I will add brakes to the other axle, only about $110.00 per axle to add the brakes.

Hope this helps.

I didnt move the axles.....I replace an idle axle with an axle with brakes.....I put the brake axle in front ,,,,figured would be better since more weight will be on the front than the rear,,,,,,,will run for a bit to see how it works....if it doesnt work well will move it to the rear.
 

IndyExterior

New member
I'm not sure how it equates to a trailer but on a car the front brakes provide 70% of the braking power that's why they wear out faster. In theory it would seem brakes on the front axle would stop better.
 
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