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Car & Truck Trailer Brakes

Car and Truck Trailer Brakes

Sometimes, the best way to keep moving forward is to stop, and never is that truer than with road-based vehicles, especially trailers. This extensive selection of brake parts, trailer brakes, wiring panels, brake controllers, and more includes everything you need to stay safe behind the wheel when life takes you places. Whether its electric brakes, hydraulic accumulators, or just new pads for your vehicle, youll find it here.

What types of brakes are there?

There are two categories of road-based vehicle pads that are broken down into additional types based on function. The first category is used in standard commercial cars, vans, and trucks, and they can be broken down as follows:

  • Disc: a frictional rotary disc design thats used on contemporary models
  • Drum: an older brake design that uses "brake shoes" to cause friction inside a rotating drum, which is used on older models and sometimes on more economical contemporary models
  • Pump: utilizes the absence of acceleration to support stopping the vehicle through pumping losses
  • Electromagnetic: creates resistance through electromagnetic induction thats generated through an electric motor

The second category is used in trailers, which need a more powerful brake system for their weight:

  • Electric brakes: powered by electricity from the tow vehicle to offer flexible braking control for either the tow vehicle, the trailer, or both
  • Surge: rely on hydraulic actuation thats powered by the trailers own weight "surging" against the tow vehicle when the primary braking system is applied
What are emergency braking systems?

These are different from the standard, primary systems that are engaged when the pedal is applied. There are two types that are most commonly used:

  • Emergency: also known as the "e-brake" and is used for parking securely
  • Anti-lock: electric secondary mechanism that serves to stop the wheels from locking up when the primary pads are applied suddenly or when the vehicle is coasting across a slick surface
How long do brakes normally last?

Its difficult to tell since it depends on the vehicle, where its used, and how the operator uses it. For standard commercial cars and trucks, the life expectancy is said to be 50,000 miles on average for frictional systems, ranging from 25,000 on the low end up to 75,000 on the high end. On trailers, it can last anywhere from 1,500 to well over 10,000 miles depending on the freight and the conditions under which the trailer is operated.

Generally speaking, gentle and steady braking habits will preserve the pads for longer. Habits that tear up the pads include "riding" them downhill, sharp or last-second pedaling, and general city travel where lots of stop-and-go driving tends to occur.

What happens if you dont change the brakes?

On most systems, this will result in the calipers, the vices that hold the pads behind the wheel, grinding down and requiring expensive replacement. This is characterized by a loud grinding while braking, which is also felt in the pedal. If you suspect that your brake parts need replacement, its important to get them checked as soon as possible.