Tandem axle trailer brakes

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Jan 5, 2017
Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
Here's a dumb question (I almost hate to ask this), do tandem axle trailers typically have brakes on all four wheels, or just two?

I have a 16' tandem axle, stake bed trailer (my best guess-rated: 7k-lb; 5'x16', w/ 15" wheels), which does not have brakes and I'm planning to install some over the holidays, weather permitting. I can't find any recommendations from the trailer brake manufacturers. Their controller specs do not specify whether they can handle two sets of brakes, or whether it matters.
My tandem boat trailer only had brakes on one axle. Don't know if that's typical or not.
One axle = Very typical. So that locking up one axle (easy to do depending on load) does not cause loss of control.
Some tandems have dual brakes though. Depends on the weight capacity and intended use.
Yes, just depends. Usually std is just one axle. Very easy to check and see if you look under the trailer at them.

Also - for your project it depends on what your are towing and with what. If you are pulling that 16' trailer with a newer 1/2 ton or bigger truck then I'd just do brakes on 1 axle. If it's something else then doing brakes on both axles might be best.

I don't think the cost difference is really that significant...I assume you are just going to purchase new axle(s)?
My car hauler and duel axle flatbed only have brakes on the rear axle...My dump trailer has them on both. any controller should work, as it just sends power to them.
I'm pulling it half loaded with my 80 and fully loaded with my LX570.

I hadn't considered buying new axles. The brake prices I've seen range from $35-$80 a piece. I can't imagine (though I haven't looked) getting two 3500-lb axles for $150.
BTW .... if you do not have a controller yet I recommend a proportional unit .... cost more, but makes for a nice ride. If only installing brakes on one axle the front axle is usually preferred. If you "believe" you will one day send power to both axles, that can draw a fair amount of current so you will want the feed line from the battery to be ~10 gauge. Also a good idea to beef up the trailer-to-tow rig ground connection.
Thanks, that's what concerned me. I couldn't find any specifications on current draw, recommended or maximum.

I don't have a controller picked out, but I was leaning towards an inertial unit, due to the weight.
Last edited:
Thats the controller i run (Tenkosha prodigy p3) Your 570 should be wired under the dash. I needed a pigtail to use on my gx, other than that, plug and play. Multi trailer memory, plus some preprogrammed boost settings, so if you have a trailer that is empty or lightly loaded, it applies x voltage. tow your trailer at y weight all the time, it will apply a certain voltage. fully load up the trailer, boost it to z
The prodigy is a good controller. I used the P2 and enjoyed how flexible it was.


Prodigy brake controllers are the land cruisers of the trailer brake world. I almost bought a p2 but found a smoking amazon deal on a p3
I have the
Tekonsha 90160 Primus IQ

Always been pleased with it, but it doesn't have all the fancy do-dads as the P3 - however, it's almost 1/2 the cost.

Similar threads

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom