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  1. #1

    Tandem axle trailer set up

    Im rebuilding my dads trailer for his boat. I bought a tandem axle kit complete from the frame down to the rubber. only 1 axle has brakes. do I put the axle with the brakes toward the front or rear? does it matter? the trailer originally had both axles with hydraulic surge brakes which never worked anyway. any opinions? thanks
    Helmut
    slow boats

  2. #2

    Hey stvhelm

    I'm not sure about that..
    But could you tell us where you got your kit.. Do they have a website..?? And do you mind if i ask how much they cost..
    I would like to redo my trailer some day..

    Thanks, Larry

  3. #3
    Helmut, several of my boat trailers have brakes and they're all under the front axles. Incidentally, they're all surge brakes and when properly adjusted they have worked well except I've never gotten the reverse locks to work without a little aggravation.

    It's always seemed to me that the trailers should have the brakes on the rear axle. All the ones I've owned with leaf springs have a rocker between the front and rear spring to equalize the load between the two axles. The torque applied in the braking action has a tendency to lift the rear of the springs while lowering the front. It seems to me that when the axles work in this manner, that there would be a tendency for the rotation to transfer the weight to the rear axle when the brakes are on the front, causing the front braking axle to have less traction. If the brakes are on the rear, the same force would cause the front of the rear spring to go down with the rocker, while the rear of the front spring pivots up, giving the rear the most traction while braking.



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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Central Florida
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    2,249
    If you can't put brakes on both axles, I would put them on the rear. In rain, the front tires will clean the road and give the rear tires better traction.

  5. #5

    Cool I'm not sure why but most all tandem setups with single brakes are mounted up front

    I do agree with Raceman and Barry, but there is also another option. Add brakes to the other axle. Generally you just need two more drums and the loaded backing plates. I have converted trailers from hydraulic surge to electric brakes a few times, and I always do both axles. My current trailer has hydraulic surge brakes, and it will get dual electric brakes when I get around to it.
    Rickracer

    Sunshine Syndicate Member

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  6. #6
    I have brakes on both axles on both of my car trailers and the trailer under my Pachanga which I built from scratch. I've just never seen a professionally built trailer that had brakes on only one axle where they were mounted anywhere except the front and have always been curious as to why.

    As far as electric brakes, I've always heard that there are numerous problems with the systems that are currently available when they're dunked on a boat trailer. That's why all my boat trailers have surge and all the car trailers have electric.



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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Hermitage,TN
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    Question Just a thought...

    Cars have disc brakes on the front because they do MOST of the braking. The weight of the vehicle puts more weight towards the front as you slow down (inertia). If the brakes are on the rear axle the weight would be lifted off them reducing their effectivness.
    Dave
    Have you ever stopped to think............and forget to start again?

  8. #8

    Due to the equalizers between the front and rear springs....

    ....a front braked axle will tend to lift the front of the rear axle spring, and rear braked axle will tend to lift the rear of the front axle spring.
    Rickracer

    Sunshine Syndicate Member

    There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."


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  9. #9

    STVhelm

    We have built and rebult about 7 trailers and all of ours have the brakes on the front. I know some of the west coast manufacturers have them on the rear axle. A friend of ours has 2 Competitive brand trailers and his are both on the rear axle, and a friend has a Daytona on an Eagle and it's also on the rear. Common sence tells me that it would be better on the front, like a car brakes mostly fromt he front set. UFP out of California is where we get most of our brakes set ups, they have a lot to choose from and are very knowledgeable.
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  10. #10
    ModVP, I'm just thinking outloud here, because I'm not sure of the stuff I've already posted above on this subject, but........ the two scenarios seem different to me. In the case of a vehicle, there's no question that the weight transfers to the front, for several reasons. First the front and rear suspension are spaced substantially apart. Second, there's nothing to support the weight transfered to the front except the front suspension, or to limit the rise on the rear except the rear suspension. In the case of a towed trailer, the weight transfer is largely limited by the tongue being fixed to the tow vehicle. In the case of a trailer, the two suspensions are very close together and have the rocker mechanism connecting the two that equalize weight. Again, the torque on the assemblies produced by the braking action would seem to better load a braked rear than a braked front. I think the dynamics would be altogether different if the front and rear axle were mounted independently of each other without the rocker assembly.



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  11. #11

    Raceman

    Good point, regardless of which axle, it's realyl gonna help stop it, lol. I guess there are reasons for both...I'm not sure but it just seems like the west coast builders put them on the back, and them ore eastern are on the front. Another thing I didnt think of..is when you are backing down a ramp and have to hit the breaks in reverse..I'm thinking rear axle would be a lot better. Any trailer builders here, lol...I'm now confused
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Baton Rouge, La.
    Posts
    522

    Brakes,breaks

    We build all of our trailers with the brakes on the rear axle. It doesn't really matter which axle you put the brakes on. On our heavier weight ratings(7k+), we put brakes on both axles.
    Surge brakes suck. They are expensive,too many moving parts, and a pain in the ass. Electric brakes will work just fine on a boat trailer. You are only using the power to energize an electromagnet. You can put electric brakes on 3 trailers and three controllers in the vehicles for what it cost to put surge brakes on 1 trailer. Surge brakes are Ok if multiple vehicle sare going to be pulling one trailer, but you are gonna have more problem keeping the surge brakes working effectively.
    Go electric.
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  13. #13

    Wheel Hop

    I have been told by a trailer perts dealer where I buy parts, that when the brake axle is on the rear, if the brakes lock during hard braking, that it will wheel hop, makes sense if you think about it

    CHRIS

  14. #14

    OK, I finally took a look at mine..

    C-Hawk out of Bucyrus Ohio builds many (most?) of Checkmate's trailers. I have a 'Pulsare 2100' model trailer with twin axels and surge brakes. They put the braked axel on the REAR on this rig. Leaf springs, tied together like Raceman said.

    As a side note, the C-Hawk is a well designed trailer, custom built to properly support Checkmate's hulls. It tows great, and is basically over built for this load. Trailer itself measured 980 pounds on my local truck scales, and that's just to haul a 2000 boat/motor combo. BUT the paint job on these are second rate. I've looked at a lot of C-Hawk trailers from the early to mid '90's and every one of them is rusting. I'm not talking going down the road all year either. Most of us Michiganders put our boats away before the salt hits the streets and don't get them out until the salt's long washed away into our lakes and streams. It looks to me that they just paint over bare metal with no primer. Pretty sad isn't it?
    Never satisfied...........After 4 Checkmates and 3 Hydrostreams, what's next??
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  15. #15
    SignPro, you're right, that does make a lot of sense. I think in a lock up situation I'd rather have the spring pulling against the bolt in the front than pushing against the one in the rear. That's more logical than all the stuff I was specualtin' on.



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