Trailer Maintenance: Replacing electric trailer brakes the simple way
Husky Towing Products’ complete backing plate kit makes for fast brake repair/upgrade
by Bruce W. Smith
Equipment trailers are a vital tool in the construction and landscaping trade.So having them working properly and being well-maintained is a critical part of business success.
One area of trailers that dictates their usefulness and efficiency is brakes. Brakes are the biggest wear item by far, and if they aren’t maintained, some serious safety issues arise.
Electric brakes are the most common and they are remarkably simple in their operation:
- Step on the brake pedal and a12-volt current is sent to a small electromagnet inside the brake assembly that then actuates the brake shoes.
- When the magnet is energized it grabs hold of the face of the brake drum.
- That motion causes the metal arm, to which the magnet is attached, to pivot outward, forcing the brake shoes against the brake drum.
Such simplicity makes doing a brake job on electrics easier than dealing with hydraulic or surge-type brakes.
The service can be sped up even more by utilizing a complete electric brake backing plate assembly like those offered by Husky Towing Products.
Husky’s bolt-on trailer brake kits are available for 7”, 10” and 12” electric brake systems.
What makes these nice for commercial landscapers and construction companies that do their own maintenance is they already have the brake shoes and all related parts installed in the backing plate.
This save both time and money as mechanics don;t have to futz with removing and re-installing brake shoes, springs and the magnet arm assembly.
We used the Husky kits while replacing the worn-out brakes on a 12,000-pound-capacity tandem-axle Big Tex 12LX dump trailer running 12-inch drums.
The old brake shoes were worn down and one of the brake’s electromagnets had quite working.
So the owner jacked the trailer up and pulled the tires, drums and backing plates, replacing the latter with the Husky electric brake kits.
A couple hours later the trailer was back on the road making him money.
The photos in our gallery below shows the steps — and highlights some key areas of the install.