Tractor brakes are designed to safely control the tractor and a mounted implement in any traffic or off-road situation. They are certainly not meant to control a heavy tractor-trailer combination. Heavy trailers especially need to have good brakes to not only assist with, but take over the main braking effort. This protects the tractor brakes from overuse and overheating. Since most tractor brakes operate inside the transmission and are cooled by the gear/hydraulic oil, overheating often destroys the brake friction material.
This causes metal contamination of the oil which overloads the filtration system. The consequences are usually costly repairs on gearbox and hydraulic systems. To protect your investment and avoid downtime it is a good idea to operate the trailer brakes with our hydraulic trailer brake valve system. We have installation kits for most of the tractors available. Make sure that the trailer brakes are kept in a good and well adjusted condition. As an added protection, some tractor hydraulic systems allow retro fitment of a back-up filter kit (incl. Service Gauge) to protect hydraulic components. We supply back up filter kits which clean the oil through a much finer 10 micron filter as opposed to a 17 or 25 or 35 micron filter most tractors are equipped with. A final thought. Imagine a tractor- trailer combination pulls up a hill at 10 km/h. The engine needs to generate 70 KW to do it. If the same combination comes down the same hill in neutral and the brakes of the rig keep the speed at 20 km/h (twice the speed), the friction in the brakes will generate about 140 KW of heat. It is imperative that the tractor brakes need to be protected from overuse and overheating.