Archived Trailer Guys Questions
The Boat Trailering Guys
I have a Magic Tilt tandem aluminum trailer for my 202 Scout Sportfish. The capacity of this trailer is 5,440 lb. based on the 13' tire capacity. The brakes are on the front axle. My son recently purchased an EZ Loader aluminum trailer with essentially the same capacity for his new Hydra Sports. His brakes are on the rear axle. My trailer has 13' bias ply tires with a C load range. His trailer has 14' radials with a B load range. Both have surge drum brakes. Can you explain why his brakes would be on the rear axle when most of the trailers I have seen have front axle brakes? Is there an advantage/disadvantage to this setup, and could it be a weight distribution factor? If it is a weight factor, should the highest bearing axle be braked?
Answered on: 6/2005
GEORGE: I am glad this question has come up because it's an issue I deal with every day. When brakes are applied while towing a boat, the majority of the weight is on the front axle so it makes sense to have brakes on the front axle of the trailer. Now, that said, most states (including Florida where I live) require brakes on all boat trailer axles if the weight exceeds 3,000 pounds. You are in that category and you should have brakes on both axles. You need to ask yourself, and the dealer for that matter, why you would have brakes on one axle when the law requires two sets of brakes? The answer is, the trailer as sold is legal until you actually take it out on a highway with the boat. The dealer isn't doing you or your son a favor other than offering a good trailer at a lower price. That's not good enough.
The Boat Trailering Guys: George