HDT Electric Brake Controllers
For an alternative solution to a brake contoller by using the HDT trailer air brake lines to the trailer, see BluDot System.
Electric Brake Controllers:
The most common type of electric brake controller used in pickup trucks is the proportional design like Prodigy and Genesis. These same controllers have not performed well in HDT trucks.
The analysis appears that the mass of a HDT in a braking situation does not generate enough deceleration movement (nose dipping) to cause the Prodigy or the Genesis controller to function as expected. Often this is exaggerated by the placement of the pin behind the axles on an HDT. The surge of the trailer mass upon the truck forces the pin down thus causing upward movement of the truck front, cancelling the normal nose dipping.>
A better solution is a brake controller that activates the trailer brakes because the truck brakes are being applied, not because an inertia sensor senses the truck is stopping. The BrakeSmart, and the MaxBrake Controller fit this description because they used hydraulic or air pressure to activate the trailer brakes. Even if the truck is accelerating, like downhill, the BrakeSmart/MaxBrake controllers will applied trailer brakes when the truck brakes are applied.
The BrakeSmart and MaxBrake controllers are no longer available. Information on the BrakeSmart and MaxBrake controllers and installations can be found at BrakeSmart/MaxBrake Controlers.
The current offering is the Hayes Air Actuated Electric Brake controller and the Tuson DirecLink controller.
Hayes Air Actuated Electric Brake Controller.
The Air Actuated electric trailer brake controller provides smooth brake actuation. The electric brakes on the trailer operate off the air brake system of the tow vehicle. When the brake pedal is depressed, the application of the electric trailer brakes is proportional to the vehicles brake pedal pressure.
The Hayes Air Actuated Electric Brake Controller uses an air tap in the air brake system to activate the trailer brakes. The tap should be made in the same places as in the BrakeSmart/MaxBrake Controlers. The ideal place being in the air circuit to the Stop Light Switch so that any application of the air brake system, Service or Trailer, will activate the electric trailer brakes.
Tuson DirecLink Controller
Tuson DirecLink was designed to connect to the OBD-II data ports of standard pickups.
The DirecLink communicates with the ECM and knows when the truck brakes are being applied and applies the trailer brakes.
An adapter cable has been created to fit the data ports of HDTs. However DirecLink-ECM has not worked on every truck. DirecLink has worked well with Volvos. Consider DirecLink a Beta product for other HDTs.
With a Tuson DirecLink NE controller, you can add a Tuson AcuLink electric-hydraulic brake actuator.
The AcuLink actuator is different from traditional electric/hydraulic actuators in that instead of pretending to be a set of brake magnets, the AcuLink uses digital signals over current wiring to the DirecLink NE controller. The signal connection allows for bidirectional data transfer.
This means that the AcuLink can indicate failures like fluid loss to the DirecLink.
With a Tuson DirecLink controller and AcuLink actuator, you can add a Tuson AcuLink ABS module which provides for Anti-Skid braking,
Anti-skid braking for a trailer can be very effective in a paanic stop situation where yourare heading for the shoulder. Often the shoulder has a different braking surface for the rights wheels compared to the pavement surface for the left wheels.
There are four independent channels to which wheel cylinders are connected providing independent wheel braking.
For triple axle trailers, two axles are paired together.