How to Find the Perfect Brake Controller for Your Trailer

If you are a tow enthusiast or operate a tow trailer to earn a living, then you must already understand the overwhelming importance of having a proper brake controller to enhance safety during day-to-day towing activities. Safety has become a major concern in towing, with about 5000 accidents involving towing occurring every year.

A proper brake controller is very efficient in ensuring the safety of the trailer’s braking system and greatly reduces the chance of an accident occurrence. If you’re new to trailers, here is a brief explanation of what trailer brakes are.

What is a Trailer Brake Controller?

Trailer brake controllers are special devices that essentially act as a physical link between the truck’s brakes and the brakes of the trailer you are towing. Electric trailer brakes are the most common trailer brakes on the market today. In most countries, electric trailer brakes are a mandatory requirement by law for any towing truck operating in public roads.

How Do You Choose the Ideal Brake Controller for Your Trailer?

Choosing the right electric brake controller for your trailer does not have to be difficult. Once you have a firm understanding of what you want in an electric brake controller, you are well on your way of finding the perfect brake controller to improve safety during your towing activities.

1. Know the Basic Types of Electric Trailer brakes

There are two different types of electric trailer brakes, namely the time-delay variants and the proportional trailer brakes. Each type utilizes different mechanisms to achieve its intended purpose, but the purpose remains to link the truck and trailer’s braking systems. In practice, both types achieve the desired results, but each has unique attributes that may meet your specifications.

Proportional trailer brakes are more attuned for the driver with little experience with trailers. It costs more than the time delay variant. Proportional controllers utilize motion-sensing technology to tell just how fast the trailer is moving towards the truck that is towing it.

In doing so, braking pressure is calibrated to be just the right amount for the motion situation so the trailer can brake appropriately without colliding with the truck. The time-delay controller is less costly than the proportional type, thus it is best suited for the budget-conscious trailer operator.

Unlike a proportional controller, however, a time-delay controller is for the more experienced driver. In time-delay variants, when the brake controller gets the signal from the driver, it gives a short delay, then applies the brakes based on the calculated weight of the trailer.

The delay allows for any adjustment by the driver if need be. For instance, if the driver instantly slams the brakes, he needs to adjust pressure appropriately to prevent the trailer from slamming into the truck, hence why these types of controllers are best for the more experienced driver.

2. Does the Brake Controller Have a Monitor

Always go for an electric brake controller with a monitor. Monitors in trailer brakes are important because they effectively communicate the status braking system to the driver. The monitor houses all the bells and whistles that facilitate the smooth braking process.

The monitor is important because it lets the driver know how much braking pressure is applied to the trailer. Some monitors even inform the driver if there is a malfunction in the system so that they can adapt to the current scenario appropriately without relying heavily on the controller, as the driver does normally. So when it comes to controllers, always look out for electric trailer brakes with monitors. Though a bit costly, they are always worth the extra cash.

You might want to consider the installation of the brake controller as a factor in selecting the best brake controller. Overly complex controllers that may be a headache to install are a deal-breaker for most people. But the most important factor to consider before making your purchase is how effective the brake controller will be in enhancing the safety of the braking process.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A. and In-Stock!


How to Choose the Right Brake Controller for Your Trailer

According to reports released by NHTSA, more than 50,000 accidents related to towing are reported every year. This means that trailers need to be thoroughly checked before hitting the road. One of the factors that should be checked is the brake controllers. This is because trailers are always carrying luggage and moving at high speeds.

The main types of trailer brake controls are proportional and time-frame brake controllers. Time-frame is also referred to as time-delayed brake controls. If you own a trailer, you need to have enough knowledge about how to choose the best brake controllers. This guide helps you make the best decision.

Type of Trailer

It is vital to first know the type of trailer that you have before choosing brake controllers. Various types of trailer brake controllers exist in the market, and therefore, you need to choose one that works for your trailer. A full trailer has been fixed to a tractor, and therefore, you need strong proportional brake controllers to hold the weight.

On the other hand, semi-trailers are detachable, and thus you can get away with time frame brake controls that help the trailer stop in velocity at the same rate as your vehicle. Electronic brake controllers have proved to be effective in all types of trailers. It is vital to note that you cannot tow your trailer with electric brakes if you don’t have a trailer brake controller.

Purpose of Trailers

The purpose of your trailer is a significant determinant when choosing the best brake controllers. If you tow heavy cargo such as cars, livestock, and construction materials, among others, you need to have a proportional brake controller. If you usually tow lightweight cargo such as papers and toys, a time-frame brake will work for your trailer.

Frequency of Your travel

The number of times you travel also helps you choose the best brake controllers. If you move cargo more than four times a week, you need to have proportional brake controllers as they can withstand holding the trailer for that long. If you travel a few times, probably once a week, time-frame brake controllers will work best for you.


The type of road that you frequently use as a trailer driver should also determine the type of brakes that you choose. If you use roads that have many other trailers coming at the same speed as you, you need to have proportional brake controllers as they reduce the velocity of the car fast. Also, it is essential to have electric trailer brakes to offer extra safety.

If you use a safe road that is straight and no other trailers are on the road, you can get away with time-frame brake controllers.

Slippery Road

Other than safety, the slippery level of the road is also a determinant when you are choosing the best brake controllers. If you are using an extra slippery road, it is vital to have trailer sway control in your brake system to avoid slipping, which is dangerous. You are probably asking, what is trailer sway control? It is a control technology in the system that detects any sway and automatically applies brake pressure to the wheels returning them to a straight motion.


The weather experienced on the road that you usually use also causes sways. Driving in an RV with your family going on vacation, and the strong winds move your RV is dangerous. Therefore, if you will be using such a road, ensure that your trailer hitch sway control is set.

No trailer that is towing cargo should be on the road without a trailer sway prevention mechanism. Trailer sway control works hand in hand with the trailer brake system, which means it will work together with your RV trailer brake controllers.

Finding the best brake controllers is vital for all trailers. If you tow cargo using a trailer, you need to have enough knowledge to choose the best brake controllers that will work for you. This guide gives you factors that should be put into consideration before selecting a brake controller. Work with the best company to get quality towing electronics. Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.