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Ask a Trooper: Brakes required on trailers over 3,000 pounds

Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle
Minnesota State Patrol trooper's vehicle
Contributed / Minnesota State Patrol

Question: With the warmer weather and snow melting, Iโ€™m getting spring fever and purchased an old trailer to haul my motorcycle around. Are brakes required on it?

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Contributed

Answer: Brakes are required on all trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more. Trailers manufactured after June 30, 1988, with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more require brakes installed on all wheels.

Every trailer with a gross weight of more than 3,000 pounds shall also be equipped with a breakaway brake device which will automatically apply and hold the brakes should the trailer accidentally become detached from the towing unit.

Trailers manufactured prior to July 1, 1988, that are equipped with three or more axles are not required to have brakes on the front axle, provided the brakes on all other wheels meet the performance standards prescribed by law.

The manufacturers of many new vehicles equipped with anti-lock brake systems require any towed unit be equipped with electric brakes and the towing vehicle be equipped with an electronic brake controller.

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Itโ€™s also important to check the brakes on your personal vehicle every three months. Too often, vehicle owners put off simple maintenance until itโ€™s too late.

Deteriorating brakes can create longer stopping distances, ultimately leading to a crash. Do your part to maintain your vehicle to avoid a crash.

You can avoid a ticket โ€” and a crash โ€” if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

More from Sgt. Grabow:
Farm equipment is large and heavy, making it hard for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. Operators need flashing lights and slow-moving vehicle emblems, and other motorists need to be cautious and give them space.
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

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