Emergency Brake Cable Trailer : Issues And Solution

When towing a trailer, safety should always be your top priority. One essential safety feature of any trailer is the emergency brake cable. This cable plays a crucial role in preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of both the driver and other road users.

Imagine cruising down the highway, trailer in tow, enjoying the open road. Suddenly, a jolt. The trailer disconnects, careening wildly behind you like a runaway bulldozer.

But wait! In the midst of this catastrophe, a silent hero emerges from the emergency brake cable trailer. This champion, often coiled out of sight like a slumbering metal serpent, springs into action with the force of a thousand brake pads. With a satisfying clunk, the trailer’s brakes lock, bringing it to a controlled stop before any damage is done.

In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the world of emergency brake cables.

What is an Emergency Brake Cable trailer?

An emergency trailer brake cable is a vital component of a trailer’s braking system. It is designed to engage the trailer’s brakes automatically if it becomes detached from the towing vehicle.

This can prevent the trailer from rolling away uncontrollably in the event of a hitch failure, ensuring that it comes to a controlled stop rather than posing a danger to others.

The Importance Of An Emergency Brake Cable Trailer

Trailers can become disconnected from towing vehicles due to various reasons, such as improper hitching, worn-out components, or even accidents. In these situations, the emergency brake cable steps in to protect everyone on the road.

It helps prevent the trailer from becoming a hazard by applying the brakes and stopping it from rolling away uncontrollably. Without this safety feature, a rogue trailer could potentially cause significant damage and put lives at risk.

How Does an Emergency Brake Cable Work?

The emergency brake cable is connected to the towing vehicle’s braking system and the trailer’s braking system. In the event of a hitch failure or disconnection, the cable is activated and pulls a lever that engages the trailer’s brakes.

This activation happens automatically, ensuring a quick response time. The cable is usually coiled up and attached to the trailer’s chassis, remaining taut under normal towing conditions to keep the brakes disengaged. However, if the trailer becomes detached, the tension on the cable is released, causing it to activate the brakes.

Choosing the Right Emergency Brake Cable

When it comes to selecting a breakaway trailer cable for your trailer, there are a few essential factors to consider:

  • Know Your Trailer: Before diving into the cable aisle, understand your trailer’s specific needs. Key factors include Trailer weight, Brake type, and Mounting points.
  • Length: Ensure that the emergency brake cable is long enough to allow proper maneuvering of the trailer without applying undue tension on the cable.
  • Strength: The cable should be strong enough to withstand the forces exerted during emergency braking situations.
  • Quality: Invest in a high-quality cable from a reputable manufacturer to ensure reliability and durability.
  • Hardware: Check if the cable comes with necessary mounting hardware like brackets and clevises.
  • Breakaway switch compatibility: Choose a cable compatible with your breakaway switch brand and activation mechanism.

Maintaining Your Emergency Brake Cable

Regular maintenance of your trailer’s emergency brake cable is essential to ensure its proper functioning. Some maintenance tips include:

  • Every month, visually inspect the cable for any signs of wear or damage, such as fraying, rust, or corrosion. Pay particular attention to the ends where the cable attaches to the trailer and towing vehicle.
  • Apply a light coat of cable lubricant, such as silicone spray or lithium grease, to the inner cable every 6 months. Avoid over-lubricating, as this can attract dirt and grime.
  • Inspect the mounting hardware, including brackets and clevises, for any signs of rust, looseness, or damage. Tighten any loose bolts or nuts.
  • Keep the cable clean and free from debris or corrosion.
  • Periodically test the emergency brake system to ensure it engages and disengages smoothly.
  • If you notice any significant damage, such as severe fraying, broken strands, or excessive rust, replace the cable immediately. Don’t wait for the next inspection.

What Is An Emergency Brake Cable For A Trailer?

 An emergency brake cable for a trailer is a safety feature that activates the brakes if the trailer becomes disconnected from the towing vehicle.

How Does The Emergency Brake Cable Work?

The emergency brake cable is attached to the trailer’s brake system. If the trailer becomes disconnected, the cable pulls a lever, engaging the brakes and helping prevent accidents.

 Why Is It Important To Have A Functioning Emergency Brake Cable?

A functioning emergency brake cable is crucial for trailer safety. It ensures that the brakes are applied if the trailer becomes disconnected, preventing it from rolling freely and causing accidents.

How Often Should The Emergency Brake Cable Be Checked?

The emergency brake cable should be checked regularly, ideally with each use of the trailer. It is important to ensure it is properly connected and free from any damage or wear.

Can I Replace The Emergency Brake Cable Myself?

Yes, you can replace the emergency brake cable yourself if you have the necessary tools and knowledge. However, it is recommended to consult a professional if you are unsure of the process to ensure proper installation and safety.


An emergency brake cable trailer is a critical safety feature. It provides an additional layer of protection and peace of mind while towing. By investing in a high-quality emergency trailer brake and properly maintaining it, you can ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users.

Don’t overlook the importance of this component – it could be the difference between a minor incident and a major accident.

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