4 things you must know before ordering any plant trailer!

4 things you must know before ordering any plant trailer!

Plant Trailer Brakes: What Options Are Available?



As you know, it is impossible to purchase a caravan without brakes and the same holds true for a plant trailer (machinery trailer). The question now is: What machinery trailer brake options are available out there? And which one is right for you?

Mechanical Override Braking System

This “drum style” breaking system depends on a special coupling that gets compressed whenever the trailer pushes hard against the vehicle during the brake process. A cable will then become taught and will begin pulling on a lever which applies the brakes.

The downside some customer may find with this system is that they can neither be switched on or off or adjusted from within the vehicle.  If the vehicle happens to be on a slippery road or rough terrain, the brakes will only function with weight being pushed by the vehicle’s rear. They would typically oscillate between the “on” and “off” which a struggle to keep the trailer in control.

Hydraulic Override Braking System

As opposed to a cable that activates the brakes, this braking system makes use of hydraulic fluid. The coupling comes with a reservoir and is directly linked to the brakes by means of a brake line. Customers note, that it’s important to remember that this system will involve getting fluids checked for impurities and changing the fluid as needed.

Some customers may find this braking system to have the same limitations as that of the mechanical override since they’re typically “on” or “off.”

Electric Brakes

A customer can control their electric brakes by using the controller that’s mounted inside a their vehicle. This translates to the trailer breaking as opposed to pushing the vehicle which is a great advantage for the vehicle driver.  Electric brakes tend to be operate smoothly and are safe for off-roading. The driver can adjust the strength of the breaking operations by means of the vehicle’s controller.

Customers tend to have to factor in two things when considering electric brakes. Cost and time to have the brake controller installed. This can cost a couple hundred dollars or so depending on the unit.

Currently, manufactures use drums as the most known form of electric brakes. Disk brakes are prone to debris during off-road traveling. 

Brake Controller

Brake controller manufacturers design the controllers to set the power or braking-timing severity whenever the brakes are activated. A customer can control the electric brakes through the controller to adjust the strength of the brakes up or down.

Pendulum-style controllers are great options as they can deliver the right braking amount to the trailer. This often depends on the trailer’s weight, road conditions and vehicle stoppage severity.

Which one is right for you i hear you ask? well.. that really depends! A light weight trailer and load my benefit from the mechanical over ride brake system. If the load is heavy and/or the budget allows, having the adjustability in the cab with an electric breaking system is in my option always a better and safer option.

If you have any questions on which braking system is best for you, visit www.mcloughlinloaders.com or call us on 07 3217 0700.




Article written by Adam Wallace