Trailer Brakes

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by kreich, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. kreich

    kreich Member

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    What states require them on a trailer. Is there a weight requirement that is set before brakes are needed.
     
  2. cruising usa

    cruising usa New Member

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    The requirement vary by state. Check with Dept of Motor Vehicles in your state. To the best of my knowledge if you do not need brakes in your home state then you are ok in any state
    Happy Camping
    Ken
     
  3. kreich

    kreich Member

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    Found this to answer my own question but wanted to share.





    State By State Braking Laws
    From the Digest of Motor Laws / AAA / Edition 73
    State State DOT or DMV Phone Number State DOT or DMV Web Address Width Height Max Total Length Max Trailer Length Trailer Braking System Requirements
    Alabama 334-242-6358 www.dot.state.al.us 102" 13' 6" N/A 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Alaska 907-465-3900 www.dot.state.ak.us 102" 14' 75' 40' Required over 5000 lbs. GVW
    Arizona 602-712-7227 www.azdot.gov 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Arkansas 501-569-2612 www.ahtd.state.ar.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 53.5' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW / all trailers weighing 1500 lbs or more shall have brakes on all wheels
    California 916-654-5266 www.dot.ca.gov 102" 14' 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW / on at least 2 wheels
    Colorado 800-999-4997 www.dot.state.co.us 102" 14' 6" 70' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Connecticut 860-594-3000 www.dot.state.ct.us 102" 13' 6" 60' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels. All trailers over 8000 lbs. GVW, shall be capable of braking by foot or hand.
    Delaware 302-760-2080 www.deldot.net 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Every motor vehicle when operated on a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movemant, and to stop and hold such vehicle and any trailer attached thereto, including 2 separate means of applying the brakes.
    Dist. Columbia 202-673-6813 www.ddot.dc.gov/main.shtm N/A 13' 6" 85' 60' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels
    Florida 850-414-4100 www.dot.state.fl.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels.
    Georgia 404-656-5267 www.dot.state.ga.us 102" 13' 6" 60' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels.
    Hawaii 808-587-2150 www.state.hi.us/dot/ 108" 14' 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Idaho 208-334-8000 www.itd.idaho.gov 102" 14' 75' 48' Trailers with a unladen weight of 1500 lbs. Must have independent braking system
    Illinois 217-782-7820 www.dot.state.il.us/ 102" 13' 6" 65' 60' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Indiana 317-232-5533 www.in.gov/dot/ 102" 13' 6" 65' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Iowa 515-239-1101 www.dot.state.ia.us 102" 13' 6" 70' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Kansas 785-296-3566 www.ksdot.org 102" 14' 65' N/A Every combination of vehicles shall have a service breaking system, which will stop such combination within 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 mph.
    Kentucky 502-564-4890 www.kytc.state.ky.us 96" 13' 6" 63' N/A Kentucky law does not specifically require brakes on trailers, however, vehicles singular or in combination must be able to stop within distance specified by statute.
    Louisiana 225-379-1100 www.dotd.state.la.us 96" 13' 6" 70' 40' Required over 3000 lbs., GVW On all wheels.
    Maine 207-624-3000 www.maine.gov/mdot 102" 13' 6" 65' 48' Required over 3000 lbs., GVW On all wheels.
    Maryland 410-865-1142 www.mdot.state.md.us/ 102" 13' 6" 55' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW. Not required on all wheels if trailer does not exceed 40% of the GVW of the towing vehicle. Over 10,000 lbs required on all wheels
    Massachusetts 617-973-7800 www.state.ma.us/mhd/ 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Every trailer having an unladed weight of more than 10,000 lbs shall be equipped with air or electric brakes.
    Michigan 517-373-2090 www.michigan.gov/mdot 102" 12' 6" 65' 45' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Minnesota 651-296-3000 www.dot.state.mn.us/ 102" 13' 6" 60' 45' A trailer with a gross weight of 3000 lbs, GVW or more, or a gross weight that exceeds the empty weight of the towing vehicle, must be equipped with brakes that can adequately control the movement of and stop and hold the trailer.
    Mississippi 601-359-7001 www.mdot.state.ms.us 102" 13' 6" 53' 40' Required over 2000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels.
    Missouri 888-275-6636 www.modot.state.mo.us/ 102" 13' 6" 55' / 65' N/A Independent breaking system not required except on trailers coupled by a 5th wheel & kingpin.
    Montana 406-444-6200 www.mdt.state.mt.us 102" 14' 65' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels. Less than 3000 lbs GVW not required if the total weight of the trailer does not exceed 40% of the GVW of the towing vehicle.
    Nebraska 402-471-2281 www.dmv.state.ne.us 102" 14' 6" 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW Over 6500 lbs GVW require brakes on all wheels.
    Nevada 775-888-7000 www.nevadadot.com 102" 14' 70' N/A Required over 1500 lbs. GVW, On all wheels.
    New Hampshire 603-271-3734 www.state.nh.us/dot 102" 13' 6" N/A 48' Every trailer shall at a speed of 20 mph be capable of stopping within a distance of 30 feet.
    New Jersey 609-530-3536 www.state.nj.us/transportation/ 102" 13' 6" 50' 40' Every trailer must be equipped with brakes and be synchronized with towed vehicle.
    New Mexico 505-827-5100 www.nmshtd.state.nm.us 102" 14' 75' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    New York 518-457-6195 www.dot.state.ny.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 48' Required on trailers that weigh over 1000 lbs. / adequate brakes requires over 3000 lb GVW
    North Carolina 919-733-2522 www.ncdot.org 96" 13' 6" 60' 35' Required over 4000 lbs. GVW
    North Dakota 701-328-2500 www.nd.gov/dot 102" 14' 75' 53' Every trailer must be equipped with adequate brakes.
    Ohio 614-466-2335 www.dot.state.oh.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Brakes required if the trailer has an empty weight of over 2000 lbs
    Oklahoma 405-522-8000 www.okladot.state.ok.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Oregon 888-ASK-ODOT www.odot.state.or.us/home 102" 14' 65' 45' Independent braking system not required but combination of vehicles must stop within legal limits.
    Pennsylvania 717-787-2838 www.dot.state.pa.us/ 102" 13' 6" 60' N/A Every trailer must be equipped with adequate brakes.
    Rhode Island 401-222-2481 www.dot.state.ri.us 102" 13' 6" 60' N/A Required over 4000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels.
    South Carolina 803-737-2314 www.dot.state.sc.us/ 102" 13' 6" N/A 48' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW, On all wheels. Under 3001 lbs brakes not required unless trailer exceeds 40% of the towing vehicle gross weight.
    South Dakota 605-773-3265 www.sddot.com N/A 14' N/A N/A Required on all trailers.
    Tennessee 615-741-2848 www.tdot.state.tn.us/ 102" 13' 6" N/A N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Texas 512-463-8588 www.dot.state.tx.us/txdot.htm 102" 13' 6" 65' N/A Required over 4500 lbs. GVW
    Utah 801-965-4559 www.dot.state.ut.us 102" 14' 65' 40' Every combination of vehicle shall at a speed of 20 mph be capable of stopping within a distance of 40 feet.
    Vermont 802-828-2657 www.aot.state.vt.us 102" 13' 6" 65' 45' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW on at least 1 axle. Over 6000 lbs GVW required on all wheels
    Virginia 804-786-2801 http://virginiadot.org/ 102" 13' 6" 65' 45' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Washington 360-705-7000 www.wsdot.wa.gov 102" 14' 60' N/A Required on all trailers on all wheels. Under 3000 lbs not required unless trailer exceeds 40% of the towing vehicle gross weight.
    West Virginia 800-642-9066 www.wvdot.com 102" 13' 6" 75' 40' Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Wisconsin 608-266-1466 www.dot.wisconsin.gov/ 102" 13' 6" 60' N/A Required over 3000 lbs. GVW
    Wyoming 307-777-4714 http://wydotweb.state.wy.us 102" 14' 65' 45' Every combination of vehicle shall at a speed of 20 mph be capable of stopping within a distance of 40 feet.

    NOTE: ROAD KING TRAILERS ASSUMES NO LIABILITY IN THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ABOVE.
    WE SUGGEST IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC INFORMATION OR TO VERIFY THE INFORMATION PROVIDED AS STATE LAWS CHANGE OFTEN, USE THE SUPPLIED PHONE NUMBERS OR WEB SITES FOR THE SPECIFIC STATE IN QUESTION.

    INFORMATION PROVIDED FROM THE AAA DIGEST OF MOTOR LAWS EDITION #73
     
  4. dgeddes

    dgeddes Member

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    I go by a rule of thumb instead of State Law. Texas for example only requires them for trailers 4500 lbs GVW or more, but I would want them on any trailer starting at about 2000 lbs. You will notice that the manufacturers of both the trailer and the TV will likely also recommend them at about 2000 lbs, irrespective of State law. A lot of PuPs at 2000 lbs or more are likley to already have brakes on them, but it's not guaranteed.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I couldn't care less what any state says about needing trailer brakes or being able to go without them in some cases. I say that you should ALWAYS have brakes on any trailer you pull at any time for any reason, regardless of how far you are going. You never know what combination of conditions will develop (weather, goofy drivers, etc.) where having brakes will make the difference between a close call and death.
     
  6. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    True That_Tripod [RTM]
     
  7. dgeddes

    dgeddes Member

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    Having trailer brakes is only going to help, but keep in mind that weather and goofy drivers can kill you even if you're not towing a trailer. The way you make it sound UT, some guy towing a 200 lb trailer is going to die if he doesn't have trailer brakes, which is a little unneccessary if you ask me.
     
  8. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    dgeddes, I did not say that "...some guy towing a 200 lb trailer is going to die if he doesn't have trailer brakes, ..." I said that you never know when having brakes will make the difference between a close call and death. Taking all safety precautions (in any endeavor) and then acting prudently and responsibly is NOT a "little unnecessary."
     
  9. 14erfam

    14erfam Member

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    In Colorado, there are some BIG passes and I wouldn't go without brakes even with a light trailer. 2000lbs pushing me down a 7% grade is no longer a mere 2000lbs!

    Re: weather and goofy drivers- they're always a factor. So why not have all the control of your rig you can possibly have to respond quickly to these things?
     
  10. dgeddes

    dgeddes Member

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    I agree UT but there is such a thing as overkill. You can give people good advice without having to resort to FUD is all that I am saying. Just about any PuP when loaded will be heavy enough that trailer brakes will help, and some are heavy enough that they absolutely must have brakes (and they do), but saying that any trailer pulled at anytime with any TV needs them is overkill. You shold definitely go by the GVW and not the trailer's actual weight, so yes a trailer that is at 2000lbs would need trailer brakes.

    I guess I'm picking nits here, but I've always thought it was better to give someone advice and let them make a decision instead of try to scare them into making one decision over all others.
     
  11. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    I have two vehicles I use to tow with, with the Colorade the Pup needs brakes, but with the SD 350 it does not need brakes, you don't know its behind you.
    There are execptions to every rule
     
  12. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I'm not trying to scare anyone and I do not believe there are ever any exceptions to rules that involve safety.

    I think that we all have a responsibility to operate on the roadways with the safest possible equipment. My previous post looked at the issue from the towing driver's point of view but this time I'll be selfish and look at it from another driver's POV. I don't want to be the one who gets hit by a brakeless rig when brakes would have stopped it 20 feet from me. What reason could there possibly be to not have brakes? It's only a few hundred dollars. Personal injury or death aside, a fender bender would cost more than that.
     
  13. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Tripod,
    What are you supposed to do when the rig meets FMVSS's for stopping distance. ?????
    Just like when I taught driver training,,,if a car is coming at you in your lane, try to stop and hang on,,,but at all cost stay in your lane.. do not switch lanes to advoid a collision. It eliminates any questions of liability.
     
  14. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Stopping distance.

    I doubt folks purchase TVs based on stopping distance.

    Those high performance vehicles are looking even better as TVs.

    I'm far more likely to be hit from the rear than hit something.
     
  15. campfreak

    campfreak Active Member

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    I will always try to make the running condition as good as I can make it, within reason. I don't care what the regulations are, if I can make it better for a couple hundred bucks, I will. That one avoided accident, regardless of who is at fault, makes it all worth it.

    Greg
     

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