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Brake controller question

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How do these things work?  I have no experience with them and was just curious.  Some that I've seen look like they have some type of dial or slider for making adjustments.

Also, why wouldn't the trucks come from the factory with them already installed?  Especially the HD's?

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In a nutshell:  There are many types of controllers and everybody has an opinion on which kind is "best". There used to only be hand activated controllers. Then came hydraulic ones that were connected to the truck's braking system. Then electronic ones were developed that are not connected to the truck's brakes at all. Those break down into two basic types: Intertia and time control. The inertia types have some sort of movable pendulum inside the box that senses the truck slowing down when you apply the brakes. The controller then reads the amount of movement of the pendulum and puts the corresponding amount of electric to the trailer brakes. There are a lot of this style on the market. Tekonsha is a major manuf. The time style send power to the trailer brakes strictly on a time calculation. As soon as the controller senses power in the brake light system, it begins to slowly apply power to the trailer brakes over a fixed period of a few seconds until it reaches a maximum setting that you can adjust. The proponents of each kind will have a list of drawbacks for the other kind. . For the inertia types the usual drawbacks are the need to level the device and some devices will activate the brakes on bumpy backwoods roads. The time types don't have the ability follow the actual braking of the truck. They ramp up to full output whether the truck is slowing down hard.. or just putting to a stop. Draw-tite is one brand that makes a time type controller.

Interestingly, the old-style hydraulic types were very good at keepin the trailer brakes synchronized with the truck. But the advent of ABS braking systems killed the hydraulic style.

Other than the inertia and time devices, the only other style I am aware of is the Jordan Ultima. It uses a small cable connected to the brake pedal arm and people who have tried them really like them. At least it is physically synchronized with the truck.  IMHO, the inertia types are inherently "better" than the time types, but, as I said, all types have people that like them.

Hope this helps,


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