Comparing The Brake Systems Of Car Tow Dolly

By: Richard Brown


This article is going to evaluate a few things you should consider prior to buying a tow dolly. First, you want to consider the warranty. A lot of makers offer a very restricted 1 year warranty on the "assembly" of the tow dolly. That is very vague. Hardly anything can go wrong with the "assembly" of a tow dolly. The real warranty concern is that of brakes, actuators, bearings, hubs, and seals. These are the essential moving parts and actually the only thing that can fail or go wrong on a tow dolly. When making the purchase look for a company that offers a five year warranty on these parts. That is a good signal for you the high faith they have in their product.

There are no warranties for lights, tires, wheel straps, ratchets. In fact lights and wheel straps are considered to be consumables on a tow dolly. Car Tow Dolly comes in 4 styles. An idler, ( No Brakes ), an Electric Brake System, A Hydraulic Surge Drum Brake System, or a Hydraulic Surge Disc Brake System.

The idler system is most common for around town use, moving small cars from here to there around town. If you are to be traveling it is vital to know that many states need brakes of some kind on a Car Tow Dolly. Everyyear more states are added to the list. Also, if you ever want to re sell the unit you will find that 9 out of ten callers will want a brake dolly.

Electric Brake System is ok. But not the best system. Electric brakes require a Brake Control Box inside your RV. The box has built in sensort technology, and outer adjusting handles. If you are not very knowledgeable in understanding and adjusting these external control knobs then in reality you do not have brakes on your Tow Dolly and just don't realize it. Moreover, if you face any problem with brakes then you will have to troubleshoot starting with the brake control box, the wiring from the brake system back to the trailer plug, then the complete wiring system of the tow dolly. A real burden and quite costly proposition.

The best system is the Hydraulic Surge Brake System. The cost is higher, but it is worth it. Nearly all manufacturers use a Hydraulic Surge "DRUM" Brake System. This is in reality a rather old technology. Drum brakes tend to become much hotter, have a propensity towards chucking or abrupt hard braking. Due to the features of a Tow Dolly, Electric and Hydraulic DRUM Brake Systems are very difficult to adjust. The adjusting port is blocked by a spindle plate and one cannot access the adjuster port to adjust the brakes. A number of dealers will tell you that tow dollies have brake adjusters. This is really a play of words. These are manual adjusters and without any automatic mechanism. There are no trailers of any type with self adjusting brakes. Even after just one long trip tow dolly brakes need to be adjusted or you will be driving without brakes and not even know it. So, the ideal braking system is a Hydraulic Surge "DISC" Brake System. DISC brakes run much cooler, never need adjusting, they do not chuck or hit hard when put into action and they are 4 times more capable than a DRUM system. The brake pads are in clear sight and effortless to replace with pads obtainable at all auto parts stores.

The perfect tow dolly will also come fitted with maintenance free bearings. Bearings that never require lubrication. These are very generally used on very costly high end equipment trailers but are rarely observed on small trailers. These are just a couple of points to consider before you make your purchase decision. Take your time and consider all points carefully. Go to the manufacturer's web site and find out for yourself how much information they provide to you about their product.

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The more disclosure the better. Safe Trailers Save Lives. Acme Trailer specializes in Tow Bars and Tow Dollies

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