Boat trailer braking requirements.

Are you looking forward to spending some time at the river to cruise or fish with the family this Easter? Do you want to know how to check if the brakes on your boat trailer are suitable?

When it comes to boat trailers, a couple of rules with regards to braking systems and their minimum requirements should be followed. It would depend on the kind of trailer that you own as well as its trailer weight and load.

GTM or gross trailer mass is referred to by the national towing regulations as the total mass that is allowed to be imposed to the axle of the trailer. This is when the trailer is entirely loaded to capacity.

So you need to consider the trailer’s combined weight, the boat as well as any gear or equipment that comes with the boat like the  anchor, fuel, eskies, spare clothes, live bait tanks, safety and fishing gear.

Regulations of boat trailer brakes

* For single axle trailers, no brakes are required if the GTM is under 750kg although if you are approaching 750kg it is a good idea to install brakes as an extra safety measure.

* For a trailer that has a GTM of 750kg or greater, you will need override brakes to be installed.

* For a trailer of 2000kg GTM or less, override brakes will be required for each axle, either mechanical or hydraulic override brakes are suitable.

* If the GTM is greater than 2000 kg, there will be a need for the brakes to be operated on all wheels and be operable from the cab of the pilot vehicle.

*A breakaway braking system is required for all trailers over 2000kg gross trailer mass.

How to care for the trailer brakes

Considering that the boat trailers brakes are often exposed to corrosive seawater, it is advisable to purchase and install a breaking system that can be easily cleaned after each launch and loading of your boat to remove any seawater that can cause corrosion issues down the track.

Regardless of the legal requirements, it is always ideal to take into account the unexpected circumstances that can happen in a flash, even if you don't require brakes on your 650kg boat trailer, adding them anyway can make all the difference in an emergency.