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Thread: Legal to NOT have trailer brakes???

  1. #1

    Question Legal to NOT have trailer brakes???

    I was told by a certain company that I was NOT required by law up here to have trailer brakes on my double-axle boat trailer. Could this be true?

  2. #2
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Correct.
    BK

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    But...If your trailer breaks loose from your truck and creams someone your toast correct???

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    13 AAC 04.205. Brakes

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every motor vehicle and every combination of vehicles must have a service braking system which will stop the vehicle or combination of vehicles within 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 miles per hour on a level, dry, smooth, clear, hard surface, except that a passenger car or other single-unit vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less must be able to stop within 25 feet from an initial speed of 20 miles per hour on a similar surface.
    (b) A motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, except a motor-driven cycle or bicycle, must have a parking brake system adequate to hold the vehicle or combination of vehicles on any grade on which driven under all conditions of loading, on a surface free from snow, ice, or loose material.
    (c) A motor vehicle or combination of vehicles must comply with applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation.
    (d) No driver may operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway or other vehicular way, towing a vehicle with a GVWR greater than 5,000 pounds, unless the following conditions are met:
    (1) the towed vehicle must have operating brakes on at least two wheels on each side of a three axle vehicle, or one wheel on each side of a double or single axle vehicle;
    (2) the towed vehicle requiring brakes must be equipped with an operating, breakaway system capable of applying all required brakes in the event of separation from the towing vehicle; and
    (3) the towing vehicle must be of sufficient size and weight to safely control the towed vehicle.
    (e) No person may operate a motor vehicle on the roadway towing more than one vehicle unless the towing vehicle weighs more than 15,000 pounds, has three or more axles, and is equipped with an air brake system for both the towing and towed vehicles.
    (f) In this section, "GVWR" means the gross vehicle weight rating as defined in AS 28.40.100 (a)(9).
    Correct if the GVWR of the trailer is less than 5000#
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    But...If your trailer breaks loose from your truck and creams someone your toast correct???
    Correct. Just because something is legal doesn't make it a good idea.

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info about brakes... I did not know that. I got a broken actuator/wire somewhere (brakes on all time with power, off when battery disconnected.) and just parked the trailer till I could get it fixed. Now I can take it to a shop and have them find the problem.

    Chris

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    I seen both over 5000# as posted above and over 3500#....so.......hard to find a straight answer.

    I seen a truck and trailer take out an SUV....trailer had a load of plywood, suv cut them off with sudden stop all wheels on truck were locked. Stopped to render aid and found that the truck did not have a brake controller installed. Total trailer and plywood load weight could have not been much over 4000#.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My quote is right from the Alaska Statutes. Even with my 7500lb crew cab you can see a noticable reduction in stopping distance when I turn down the brake power on my controller on my 1700# empty trailer. I wouldn't dream of driving it without brakes at 4000#.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    If it's over 5,000lbs then you need aux brakes on the trailer.

    The simple way to read the statutes.

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    Sponsor Exactboats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    If it's over 5,000lbs then you need aux brakes on the trailer.

    The simple way to read the statutes.
    I believe Alaska DOT laws you require brakes on all wheels on a trailer over 1500lbs and aux brake away system over 5000lbs.

    Claude:

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exactboats View Post
    I believe Alaska DOT laws you require brakes on all wheels on a trailer over 1500lbs and aux brake away system over 5000lbs.
    You believe incorrectly. Only trailers over 5000#GVWR need brakes. On such a trailer, the brakes must include a break away system. A single or double axle in that weight rating needs only 1 brake on each side. Three or more axles require 2 brakes on each side. That's all.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Side note: Thanks to being able to pull it "legally" to to a shop to find brake problem. Turned out the disconnect switch was bad. I couldn't find the problem, the guy at the shop found it in less than an hour. Charged $50 for new switch, and he also mounted it and tested it out before I left the parking lot!
    I sure like good customer service.
    He did recommend that I get a new battery next year, that this one was only holding about 90% charge. But, didn't try to sell or push one on me. Hooked up a load testor right in front of me so I could see what he was saying.


    Chris

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