Trailer Brakes Getting Hot

bambam31

Member

Equipment
L3800HST 4x4,R1,FEL, 6'disc, 5'bush hog,piranhaTB,6'grader,6'rake, 48"forks
Apr 3, 2014
315
26
23
Mobile, AL
How hot do your trailer brakes get? I recently replaced my brake controller in my Tundra. The factory controller is known for its problems. I’ve been trying to find the right setting. Ive been trying to set it so the trailer will stop the truck and fully loaded trailer at about 25 mph. At this setting, the bakes are getting hot enough to push out some grease. The overheating only seems to be a problem with the stop and go in town.
 

Vlach7

Active member

Equipment
L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
290
196
43
Frazier Park Ca
Take it slow and easy, maybe a little less trailer and more truck brake. I have my story of my motorhome in very slow stop and go freeway traffic, where they heated up so much that I lost them till I stopped and cooled them down.
 

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
Unless the controller is super fancy, you need to adjust them for 'full loads' and 'running empty'. Having it set for 'full load' when 'running empty' is a bad thing....
also 'trailer brakes' on ONE axle only or both ???
 

bambam31

Member

Equipment
L3800HST 4x4,R1,FEL, 6'disc, 5'bush hog,piranhaTB,6'grader,6'rake, 48"forks
Apr 3, 2014
315
26
23
Mobile, AL
Unless the controller is super fancy, you need to adjust them for 'full loads' and 'running empty'. Having it set for 'full load' when 'running empty' is a bad thing....
also 'trailer brakes' on ONE axle only or both ???
I’m only running full brakes on a full load. Only one axle brake
 

DustyRusty

Well-known member

Equipment
2020 BX23S, BX2822 Snowblower, Curtis Deluxe Cab,
Nov 8, 2015
5,740
4,329
113
North East CT
Put brakes on both axles. What is the GVW of the trailer that you are pulling? Overheating brakes can be a serious deficit when you need them the most.
 

GrizBota

Well-known member

Equipment
L3830HST/LA724, B2601/LA435/RCK54-32, RCR1872, CDI 66”grapple, pallet forks
Apr 26, 2023
1,154
735
113
Oregon
More brakes. You’re asking one set of brakes to stop better than 12k lbs with your truck and trailer stop from 25 mph. It’s no wonder they are getting hot. Even the truck brakes would protest if only one axle was braking under the same test and they are much larger/better than trailer brakes.
 

GSD-Keegan

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601 with Fel and Bh70 backhoe
Mar 6, 2021
594
787
93
Ontario, Canada
IMHO… First thing that came to mind is trailer brakes are set too heavy. My experience with setting them usually consisted of driving at a slow rate, and manually activating trailer brakes, setting the gain so that I could feel a little braking from the trailer without using truck brakes. I also think there is a lot more to identifying the situation. …how much weight? Having brakes on one axle only has its benefits in slippery, especially icy condition, whereas the non braking tires will help to maintain some traction in hopes of preventing the trailer from coming around to meet you in a sudden stop situation. 😄😄
 
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torch

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Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,599
846
113
Muskoka, Ont.
Having brakes on one axle only has its benefits in slippery, especially icy condition, whereas the non braking tires will help to maintain some traction in hopes of preventing the trailer from coming around to meet you in a sudden stop situation. 😄😄
Interesting observation. I have had a trailer come around under icy conditions and can see where that might be of benefit under those specific circumstances.

But it seems to me that not installing brakes on one of the axles is a bit too permanent. One could install a switch, or even just an SAE connector, to the brakes on one axle for the rare(?) times one is towing under those conditions, ensuring optimal braking is available under normal conditions.
 

bambam31

Member

Equipment
L3800HST 4x4,R1,FEL, 6'disc, 5'bush hog,piranhaTB,6'grader,6'rake, 48"forks
Apr 3, 2014
315
26
23
Mobile, AL
IMHO… First thing that came to mind is trailer brakes are set too heavy. My experience with setting them usually consisted of driving at a slow rate, and manually activating trailer brakes, setting the gain so that I could feel a little braking from the trailer without using truck brakes. I also think there is a lot more to identifying the situation. …how much weight? Having brakes on one axle only has its benefits in slippery, especially icy condition, whereas the non braking tires will help to maintain some traction in hopes of preventing the trailer from coming around to meet you in a sudden stop situation. 😄😄
that’s how I was trying to identify the right setting by driving at 25 mph and having the trailer brakes stop both the truck and fully loaded trailer. I did not make that up I think that method was in my manual. Either way, its obvious the setting is too high and a method not used my others. I will start running them at a setting that I can just feel at low speed. I will also look into a second set of brakes.

I have 2 3,500 lbs axles and my tractor weighs abut 4,000. The trailer weights about 1,800.
 

NCL4701

Well-known member

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L4701, T2290, WC68, grapple, BB1572, Farmi W50R, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen, WG24
Apr 27, 2020
2,652
3,908
113
Central Piedmont, NC
Setting the trailer brake gain to stop both truck and trailer from 25mph in a reasonable distance with zero help from the truck brakes is setting them quite strong; too strong for stop/go traffic, in town with a bunch of stoplights, or anywhere with repetitive stops.

If you like the heavy trailer braking and want to maintain that for “normal” use, you’re going to have to turn it down when you get in stop/go traffic and turn it back up for “normal” use.

BTW, the OEM Tundra brake controller may be trash, IDK. I have a 2017 Tundra that came with a factory trailer brake controller. It isn’t a proportional controller. It’s an old style: set the gain and if you need more for a panic stop, use the manual slider. Maybe because that’s the type I’ve always used, I’ve had no problems with it on my old 9K lb camper, flatbed with loads from 2K (empty) to 9K lb, new 3500 lb camper. Works exactly the same as the add on A/M under the dash non-proportional brake controllers I’ve had on my prior trucks.

Stop/go type traffic, I do turn down the gain a bit and use the slider if I need to panic stop, as well as use the transmission to control speed in that sort of traffic to minimize brake use to necessary only. That’s because I’ve experienced trailer brake heating in stop/go traffic with all the various combinations of my trailers and trucks and brake controllers over the years if I didn’t do the above. Again, maybe you’ll get better performance out of a proportional control, don’t know, never operated one.
 

JasonW

Active member
Jan 29, 2015
253
108
43
Al
Are you having trouble/issues with stopping? Or just troubleshooting the new brake controller?
Are your current trailer brakes adjusted correctly? Adding a set of brakes on the other axle wouldn’t hurt but probably not needed.
I’ve got almost the same setup as you although I’ve never pulled it with a tundra.