Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

can a tow dolly have brakes?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by az-k5, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Posts:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I have been bouncing the idea of a heavy duty dolly or tow bar around (don't have room for a flatbed trailer). I don't like the lack stopping power either design has. Is it possible for the tow dolly to have a smaller electric brake. I don't plan on the dolly being able to hault my 7k truggy completely but just keep it from pushing the rear of my tow rig around. My main concerns are that the rear of the mounted rig will still push the trailer around, and tongue weight is usually needed for the brake to not bounce the tow rig. I can make the wheel pad/pivot on the trailer slightly foward of the trailer axle to create tongue weight. Any ideas on how this will handle, or if it has been done with success?
     
  2. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Posts:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mesa,AZ
    I would think that their wouldn't be enough weight on it to work right. The legnth of the trailer has a lot of the stopping ability due to the ancor effect of the trailer. a tow dolly is so close to the tow vehicle and weight distrabution isn't there to maintain the braking axle on the ground... with the other set of tires (of the towed vehicle) are on the ground and that would make the dolly light and bouncy on braking....along with momentem of the towed vehicle...
     
  3. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Posts:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    That is where I started wondering. The dolly should have half of the mounted rigs weight (or more in my case). I am not looking for 100% braking efficientcy, more around 30-50% of a normal single brake tandem trailer. Not trying to make panic stops, just general stopping easier on the tow rig.
     
  4. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Posts:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mesa,AZ
    Matt the bigest problem I see is adjusting the braking. With a tow dolly the weight isn't always on just the dolly, it bounces due to the set of tires on the ground.. If you have a trailer axle with brakes you may want to try it, but I think that it would be best if you put the engine end on the dolly for weight on it. try it on gravel first to try to set your dolly brakes and then try it on the road. see how it goes and then put the trail rig on it and start over in the gravel. Less likely to bounce around and brake something in the gravel if the brakes lock up.
     
  5. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Posts:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I like that idea. I am trying to find something a tad better than a towbar but may just do that and borrow a trailer for long trips.

    Thanx for the help.
     
  6. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Posts:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    The dollies we use to pull multiple trailers at work have their own brakes (tractor trailor) I think it woud be a good idea if proportioned right.
     
  7. stump_puller

    stump_puller 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Posts:
    871
    Likes Received:
    135
    Location:
    Corbin, Kentucky
    I believe the ones that you can rent from u-haul have brakes on them. You might be able to look at some of those to figure out how you want your brake setup to be. The only problem with theirs is you cannot back up.
     
  8. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Posts:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    All of the tow dollies I have rented had hydraulic brakes. They never worked well, but I believe it was just lack of maintenance. An electric setup would probobly work well, but you need to make sure the vehicle on the dolly can't shift fore and aft, or the handling while braking will be real scary.
     
  9. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Posts:
    15,140
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Iowa
    A place I used to work for made tow dollies or all the major rental places, I.E. Hertz-Penske, Ryder and U-Haul. They had what they called a surge brake on them. Which if memory serves only functioned when you hit the brakes hard enough to actuate it. Basically was a mastercylinder built into the tongue of the tow dolly. Don't remember how it all worked and never used one so can't tell you too much.
     
  10. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Posts:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mesa,AZ
  11. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Posts:
    13,224
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Stevens Pass Highway, WA
    You can get them with surge brakes... they work very well from my experience. And I've used them to tow a lot of crazy stuff :whistle:
     
  12. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Posts:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I hadn't thought about the surge brakes since I am not really a fan of them, but you never back up a dolly so it should work just fine. Now I have to make a super wide axle.
     
  13. gmcman7202

    gmcman7202 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Posts:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The land of FIBS
    ya can back up trailers with surge brakes caus there is a lever ur suposta move on the coupler so it doesnt allow the coupler to push on the master clinder. i have had boat trailers with the surge brakes, and it worked fine, actually better than my flatbed trailers electric ones. only downside to the surge ones, is the total cost is alot more than the electric, but ya are also able to get disk brakes, with alot more protection on components due to salt water applications....
     
  14. gmcjimmy88

    gmcjimmy88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Posts:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fayetteville North Carolina

Share This Page