Electric Brakes vs Hydraulic Surge Brakes

How Electric Brakes Work

Electric Brakes provide additional ease of use and additional braking control. Electric brakes are more simple than surge brakes, but they require a brake controller in the cabin of the tow vehicle. Electric brakes use electromagnets to actuate the drum brakes, and you control the electricity to the brakes with the brake controller and the brake light circuit on your vehicle. Electric brakes work very well when adjusted properly, and you can also reach over with your hand and use the brake controller to apply a small amount of braking force if the trailer begins swaying. That’s handy when descending hills, in high winds, and when you’re being passed by large 18-wheelers.

How Hydraulic Surge Brakes Work

In contrast, Surge Brakes are hydraulic and use the trailer’s natural momentum to actuate the brakes. When you step on the brake in your tow vehicle and slow down, the trailer pushes against the hitch and presses a hydraulic cylinder. The more you slow down the vehicle, the more pressure on the trailer brakes. When they are adjusted properly, surge brakes are smooth and easy to work with. The downside is that you cannot separately actuate the trailer brakes if the trailer is swaying.

Snapper Trailers now stocks the complete Master Tow Car Dolly Line with models that have no brakes, electric brakes as well as Hydraulic Surge Brakes. Contact one of our 7 locations today for a free quote on your next pull behind car dolly. Thank you!


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