Around three quarters of trailers that have hydraulic brakes fail tests by dealers while a quarter do not have any stopping power at all.
Sometimes viewed as the solution to our brake issues air-activated anchors are an equally bad track performance – the majority of it due to poor maintenance and adjustments.
A few easy steps can be done to identify the issue and adjust brakes on trailers to get them up and running.
We received some tips on the subject from Dave White, service manager at Lincolnshire trailer hire and sales expert Ireland’s Farm Machinery.
He explains the best way check your brakes and how to do it, test the upgrade parts and costs.
According to Mr. White’s experience, the brakes of many brands fail to conform with safety standards.
He states: “When we started out using Bagma’s brake testing kit, we discovered that the majority of trailers that were running on standard ag-spec eight-stud axles could not reach the minimum brake efficiency.
“And with air brakes , it’s usually worse since they have to achieve an efficiency of 45. As with many farm trailers our fleet of hire vehicles sits still for the majority of the year , so drums will eventually rust due to lack of use.
Click here for Alko brake cable.
“We must be certain that our trailers are ready prior to putting them out, that’s why we’ve developed a easy process that we follow to make sure they’re ready to go out on the road.”
Preparation for testing
Before anything is put through Bagma testing at Ireland’s testing facility, the brakes are inspected for adjustment, and slack-adjusters are turned up or splined levers twisted around and then repositioned to their shafts.
Before you test, tighten the slack-adjusters tight, and then lower them by a quarter-turn or more if your brakes aren’t yet binding.
Bagma and Turnkey together have developed an electronic brake tester that does not require any special equipment to operate , other than the standard BrakeSafe box, which is situated on the bottom of the tractor cabin.
It is actually a decelerometer that analyzes the forces that come to play when anchors are pressed.
When you connect the trailer’s brake line to an spool valve, it is possible to gauge the effectiveness of braking on that trailer, without affecting the tractor.
The oil that comes through the spool valve typically significantly higher in pressure than that which flows through the lines for brakes, so restrictor valves as well as a pressure gauge can be utilized to give an accurate braking force.
After having plugged the brake line into a spool valve, it is then possible to determine the efficiency of the brakes on the trailer.
Once the brakes are plowed into the tester box installed in the cabin, it’s simple to set off at a moderate speed (target speed of around 30 kph) and using the throttle on the hand to ensure that the engine’s revs remain at a constant 1,800rpm, thereby ensuring an even pressure in the oil.
When the tractor is up and running The driver will then pull his clutch, and then pulls on the lever for the spool, which brings the entire rig to a complete stop. It’s noticeable slower than normal without the help by the tractor’s brakes.
In the footwell through the form of whirrrs and bleeps, your BrakeSafe box runs its maths and finally determines a number for the efficiency of braking and pours an image of a grocery receipt to demonstrate that it.
In order to get an accurate estimate of the trailer’s stopping power , a bit of math is required to consider to consideration. In this way, even if the trailer’s not loaded to its maximum it’s still feasible to create a clear figure of the speed at which it could stop if it were.
A percentage number for braking efficiency is determined trailers equipped with anchors activated with oil have to be at or above 25%, whereas air-braked trailers should be able to reach the 45% mark.
Anchors with uprated ratings
Farmers Weekly trialled various ways of improving trailer brakes for hydraulics and examined the impact they had on the effectiveness of braking.
In addition to replacing whole axles by using larger brakes, the most significant improvement resulted from the increased size of rams.
When you change from the 20mm diameter ram to a 30mm diameter ram the stopping power was increased by over 100 percent. Switching from quarter-inch to half-inch hoses made the difference by another 30 percent.
In light of this, Farm Machinery of Ireland Farm Machinery now regularly upgrades trailer brakes for its customers to bigger rams as well as changing the hoses that connect the five-way manifold , to the rams.
To accomplish this, a the three-eighth inch hose has proven to be sufficient to not only increase the hydraulic power of braking, but also increasing the flow of return oil when brakes are released.
5 ways to boost your stopping power
As the Bagma statistics suggest, the majority fail and require more than a gentle adjustments. Here’s how the team from Ireland’s boost stop power.
1. Hubs off
Unbolts the bolts holding the hub cab. Remove the hub cab. The hub’s main nut to take care to remove the wheel bearing.
With a little gentle pressure and the use of a trolley jack underneath the drum, it will be capable of sliding the drum out to expose the brake shoes and the associated accessories.
2. Shoes off
From now on, it’s all about cleaning and de-rusting the moving parts as well as friction surfaces.
With a pry-bar set to help absorb spring’s pressure, lightly push out the pins on which the shafts of the actuators rotate around, and squeeze their clips that hold them to release the pins.
The other side of the brake shoe, once more lift the spring and then try tapping the hinge pins.
Every component that comprise the assembly of brakes must be inspected for wear that is excessive.
If they don’t move take them off by bending the shoes to the side and then take them off.
You can then use some pressure to convince them to join you for free.
3. Clean up
With plenty of elbow grease as well as emery cloth go around each drum in order to get rid of any rust and give it an attractive metallic finish. In the event of any sharp ridges the drums must be thrown into the trash bin.
Utilizing the shoes, rub the surface until it is clear friction material. Then, remove any glare.
Make sure the pins get a jolt on the wire wheel , and take care to clean any areas in which movement is occurring around the shafts, cams and pins.
Reassemble everything in the same way it was before by applying ample copper grease to the cams and pins.
Once the pins for hinges are in position and the spring that holds the two shoes then slide them back onto the cam. Be cautious to make sure the clips that hold them sit correctly.
Take the trailer to it again to pass the BrakeSafe test. Most of the time, Ireland’s team has found that the brakes typically be able to pass following a thorough clean-up. If it’s near the threshold, hydraulic brakes are usually given an upgrade.