Brake controllers are electric devices that you can put on semi-trucks to control the braking system of the trailers and reduce collision chances. These are located near the driver’s seat so they can efficiently control the brakes.
How To Install Electric Brake Controller on a Semi-Truck? You can install the electric brake controller on a semi-truck by disconnecting the battery’s negative terminal to turn off the power supply. Select the suitable place on the dashboard and drill the holes to mount brackets. Position the device, fasten the screws tightly, and attach it with wiring harnesses.
Depending on their different functionalities, two types of electric brake controllers are available in the market. However, a proportional brake controller is best for semi-trucks because these are designed for heavy hauls. The proportional type is comparatively costly but more efficient than time-delayed brake controllers.
How do you install an electric brake controller on a semi-truck?
Electric brake controller installation is a difficult procedure, and you cannot perform it correctly if you are doing this the first time. It is better to get help from an expert mechanic because incorrect wiring connections cause electric issues.
You have to disconnect the power supply to install these electric devices in your semi-trucks. Power supply disconnection is necessary to reduce the risk of electric shocks.
Disconnect the power supply from the battery so you can deal with electric wires for a secure connection. The battery of the commercial vehicle is located inside the hood.
Open the hood and use the wrench to disconnect the battery’s negative terminal. You have to select the location to mount these devices inside your truck.
It is better to mount these near the driver’s seat so they can control the trailer’s brakes effectively. You can locate these near the steering wheel or on the dashboard.
Installation on the dashboard is more effective because drilling holes on it is easy. Use the drill machine and mark the points where you want to drill the holes.
In addition, drill the holes according to the size of brackets and screws that come with these accessories.
Carefully drill the holes by keeping the drill machine straight and upright because the dashboard is equipped with various sensors and systems.
Position the brackets near these holes and fasten the screws. Install the brake controller in these brackets and ensure their fastening.
You have to plug in these devices with wiring harnesses. However, you have to splice the wire to connect these if their wires are not installed in your truck. You have to re-route the complete electric system under the dashboard to install their wire.
Connect their wires with the metal frame of the vehicle for ground connection. Attach the other one with the trailer braking system and the last one with the 12V battery.
Many people connect their electric wire with another 12V system to get power, but I always prefer to attach it with batteries for direct power sources.
You do not have to connect the wires of the proportional brake controllers with a battery because these contain a sensor system to apply force to the trailer braking system.
The proportional type is more reliable for commercial and heavy vehicles because of their gradual functioning, which makes them safe for trucks and trailers.
Why would you install an electric brake controller on a semi-truck?
Many people add electric brake controllers to control the braking of the trailers in their semi-trucks. You can mount these under the dash and connect them with trailer brakes. You require 40 to 60 minutes to add these devices to your vehicle, depending on your experience.
Better trailer monitoring
It provides better monitoring and control over the trailer braking system. These are connected directly to the 12 V battery of your vehicle.
They transfer the low-voltage power to the trailer braking system when you activate the braking system. In addition, it also provides better control over the trailer during brake application and reduces their swaying chances.
Swaying is common in these trailers because of their heavy hauling and insufficient brake application. These devices are also helpful to decrease the braking distance.
It increases the stability of commercial vehicles by enhancing the braking system performance. I used this in my semi-truck to reduce the collision chances.
It controls the dynamics of the trailer braking system. It ensures a smoother and more efficient braking system for heavy vehicles.
Decrease wear and tear on the braking system
The brake system of your semi-truck is more vulnerable to wear and tear because of heavy hauling. Larger trailers attached to these semis are specifically designed for hauling heavy cargo.
Heavy hauling decreases the braking system’s efficiency and increases its collision chances. Overall stress on braking components increases because of heavy cargo.
Brakes have to work harder and need more force to stop heavy vehicles. It is responsible for increasing the premature wear and tear in their components.
Moreover, the longevity of braking parts also decreases because of the extra stress.
Sync braking speed
Electric brake controllers are small devices mounted under the dash or near the steering wheel. Their primary function is to synchronize the braking speed of the trailer with the towing vehicle.
It increases the braking system’s effectiveness by matching the truck’s braking speed with a trailer. These are connected with batteries or circuit breakers to send electric signals.
They send electric signals to the trailer braking system for brake application. These electric signals generally regulate the braking power of the trailer.
Improve road safety
They provide safe driving conditions and reduce wear and tear. Swaying of trailers on the road also affects the safety of other drivers and passengers.
In addition, these devices also reduce the braking distance of heavy vehicles and ensure the safety of other vehicles.
It reduces the wear and tear of the towing vehicle by decreasing their collapsing chances.
How much does it cost to install electric brake controllers on semi-trucks?
They are excellent devices to monitor the braking system of a towing vehicle. These devices are typically less costly than the repairs after severe accidents.
Depending on their type, you will need around $150 to $200 for their installation. You need more than $200 to install a proportional electric brake controller.
However, time-delayed are comparatively less efficient but affordable. You can mount these for $150 to $180 without service charges.
You have to spend $100 to $200 more when hiring a professional to mount these. Service cost also increases when you have to splice the pre-existing wires for their mounting.
Things to consider while installing an electric brake controller
Many truckers make mistakes while installing the brake controllers because of their negligence or insufficient knowledge. They can also make blunders because they are doing this procedure for the first time.
You have to connect their wires carefully according to the designated points. To ensure safety, I read the manual instructions while installing new devices as an aftermarket addition in my semi-truck.
Moreover, secure mounting of these devices is also necessary. Fasten the screws to decrease the wobbling issue. In addition, it is better to connect their wires directly to the battery instead of circuit breakers.
You can apply the brakes when the ignition is suddenly cut off. Connecting wires with voltage provides more safety benefits and increases their overall performance.
The dashboard is thick, so you should drill holes carefully. Select the locations that are less thick and contain no sensors or devices.
The airbag sensor system is also inside; you can damage it while drilling holes in the wrong places.