The brake controllers have a major role to play in activating the trailer’s electric brakes along with tow vehicle’s applied brakes. They help to stop both proportionately to the possible extent. The brake controllers are available in three major styles and they include;

  • Time delayed
  • Inertia activated
  • Proportional

 Time Delayed:

This style of brake controller is user-friendly and operates by reacting to slowing tow vehicle. On applying the pressure to the brake pedal, predetermined amount of braking power is simultaneously applied to the braking system of the trailer.  This will enable safe slowing and stopping of the trailer. However, the user can set the amount of power to be applied, which is in fact based on the vehicle’s weight.Image result for The need for Brake Controllers – Importance and Selection Guide

 Inertia activated

 This style of brake controller is very popular. They feature some similar functions of timing activated controller. This controller will use pendulum sensor to sense the vehicle’s deceleration inertia and apply the brake accordingly.


 This style is considered to be expensive compared to the other two styles. This controller can trigger pressure of brakes at the same ratio as the tow vehicle. One of the main highlights of this type of controller is that it can provide the least amount of wear and tear on both the trailer’s brake and towing vehicle’s brake. This is also considered to the highly responsive system and safe too.

 Guide to Select the Right Bake Controller:

 There are many similarities and differences should be understood between the various types of brake controllers before buying. Here are a few elements to help you understand as a guide to select the right one for your vehicle:

  • Consider the wiring for installation
  • Remember, the trailer brake signal can be overridden manually by the user with both controllers
  • It can be possible with some systems for the user to adjust maximum braking power based on the load weight 
  • Consider the cost of different styles and types of controllers, as it may vary with the features and quality
  • The braking power may vary between the controller’s type. However, proportional controllers serve to be the best option for smoother experience and they have less wear and tear on brakes compared to time delayed controller
  • Time-delayed controllers serve to be the best choice for occasional users, whereas proportional type is best for heavy trailer users and they can also work better under different conditions

 The brake controllers can help safely tow the vehicle without causing any disturbances to other vehicles on road passing by. The above-mentioned brake controllers are specially designed for the electric brakes. However, there are also controllers to suit the towing needs of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Consider wiring harnesses of the controllers before you select. Regardless of the types available, the controller you choose should be compatible with your trailer or any type of vehicle you are going to use it for.  They should be highly durable, sturdy and long lasting.

About The Author

Kenneth Hart