Trailer Brakes: Stock Trailers


There are many questions when it comes to the brakes on stock trailers. Whether it be for steel stock trailers, aluminum stock trailers or ground load livestock trailers, we have you covered! Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

 Does My Trailer Need Brakes?

Yes, if you are towing horses or any livestock, your trailer have its own bakes, as opposed to trailer relying solely on the truck’s brakes to stop.

Many states require brakes on any trailer weighing 3,000 pounds or more.

What are the Most Common Types of Braking Systems?

The most common type of brakes are the electric brakes up to 16,000 pounds. Livestock trailers use electric over hydraulic brakes and surge brakes.

Electric brake systems are the foundation of the light trailer industry. It is necessary to have a brake control unit to activate and control braking when the tow vehicle brake pedal is depressed sending an electronic signal to brake the wheels on the trailer.

Surge brakes are similar to hydraulic brakes used in cars and light trucks. They use hydraulic pressure to push a piston inside the wheel cylinder which pushes out the brake linings into the wheel drum, stopping the trailer. This self-contained system can be activated by any tow vehicle.

What is a “Breakaway” System?

A breakaway system is a batter which is wired through a switch into the electric brake system. The switch is pulled if the trailer comes unhitched, which engages the system and slows or stops the trailer.

A breakaway system must be installed in all new trailers. Some states require this system in older model trailers, but states that don’t require this do not have to retrofit their trailers for this system.

Why Do Livestock Trailer Brakes Matter?

While pulling a trailer may be easy, stopping isn’t always a graceful maneuver, especially if your trailer is weighed down with livestock, tack, hay and feed. Having additional brakes on the axles of your trailer will help bring your trailer to a gently stop instead of risking a possible injury to your livestock and their gear. The breakaway brake is even more beneficial because it also protects other drives should your horse trailer break loose from your truck.

Sudden, slamming on the brakes is not only hard on your horses and livestock, but also on your equipment. Tall trailers have an increased risk of twisting or toppling with hard braking, especially if they are depending solely on your truck’s brakes. Properly designed brakes are important to ensure that your trailer stops when it needs to without causing any wrecks or accidents. Although, you might rarely think about them, brakes are one of the most significant features on your livestock trailer.

Safety is the number one priority here at Gooseneck Trailers. When you buy your next livestock trailer from us, you can rest assured that it will come fully equipped with responsive brakes and adequate safety systems to protect your valuable cargo.

One thought on “Trailer Brakes: Stock Trailers”

  1. It’s interesting to read that all livestock trailers will have breaks, but not necessarily other trailers. I am looking to buy a utility trailer for various duties, mostly transporting small, light machinery. I think that having brakes on the trailer would be very beneficial, as I wouldn’t want to be involved in an accident due to too much weight and not enough braking power. I’ll definitely have to remember to look at the brakes, if it has them, and what sort of load they can stop. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *