What Does a Brake Axle Do and Will a Towing Service Need to Use One?
An axle brake is located on a trailer. It is a braking system which is usually magnetic or electric. This permits a trailer to use its own brakes when helping a towing service in bringing the trailer to a stop. This kind of braking system can be activated using a wire, which will engage the brakes in the event if it becomes unhooked from the towing vehicle.
When pulling a trailer that has no axle brake, the trailer will be difficult to control under any emergency conditions. It will begin to sway and could even jackknife if the towing vehicle is forced to use its brakes. The axle brake will use braking on the trailer in these instances and will prevent the erratic movement of the trailer.
For trailers that have more than one axle, the axle brake is placed in the forward axle. This is because a loaded trailer will have more percentage of weight on the forward axle. An axle brake put in the rear may cause tires to skid under extreme braking conditions, thus making the brakes redundant. Higher end trailers could have all the axles equipped with brakes.
With an electrical braking equipped trailer, the towing service vehicle must have a brake activation switch which is wired into the braking system. This switch will be found under the dashboard of a towing vehicle and have lights to signal when the trailer brakes are getting used. This switch comes with a manual override which allows the operator to use the trailer brakes independently from the towing vehicle’s own braking system.
One extra benefit of an axle brake system on a trailer is its ability to use the brakes and stop the trailer if it come loose from the towing vehicle. A wire, which is hooked between the trailer and the towing vehicle will apply the brakes if the trailer gets loose from its towing hitch. This stops the trailer and prevents it from rolling down the road.