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Old 06-28-2012, 08:53 AM
Slidellkid Slidellkid is offline
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Default Trailer Brake Requirement

In Louisiana, is there a requirement for a boat trailer to have brakes? If so, is there a weight limit where that requirement starts?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:36 AM
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bigheadboo bigheadboo is offline
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Default 3,000lbs
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:46 AM
MrWhite MrWhite is offline
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Location: Metairie, La
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Default I just looked these up work and myself

This link is from the Revised Statutes of state law

This link is from the laws for La. inspection stations.

Laws are written a little retroactively.
They basically state, any trailer over 3000# must have brakes on all wheels. But, trailers from 3000# to 5000# need only have brakes on one axle.

In summation:
less than 3000# no brakes req'd
3000# to 5000# must have brakes on at least one axle
greater than 5000# brakes on all wheels req'd

We're gonna upgrade some work trailers after I found the law. It's not that you think you're safe on the road or not. It's all about the lawyers. If you get in an accident a lawyer is gonna claim you should have never even been on the road in the first place.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:42 AM
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MathGeek MathGeek is offline
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I recommend following the state law as a minimum requirement, but in many cases, it makes sense to be overly conservative.

A lot of trailering safety is about stopping distances. Your stopping distance will be significantly greater with a trailer with no brakes once the weight of the trailer is more than half the weight of the tow vehicle.

My usual tow vehicle is a Honda Pilot with a curb weight of 4400 lbs, so I would probably put brakes on a trailer if the weight was over 2200 lbs. In situations where I end up towing vehicles heavier than about half the curb weight, I always leave a lot of stopping distance in front of me, as my experience is that trailer brake systems are not the most reliable things in the world. Even with towing a light boat, I still tend to leave lots of stopping distance as I prefer the rods and stuff in the boat not get thrown around with sudden stops.

The other reason I like a lot of stopping distance in front of me is that I am often concerned with whether the vehicle behind me will be able to stop before hitting the back of my boat. Keeping all my stops slow and gradual are great insurance against being rear ended. Being rear ended when towing a boat is ... ... ... sub-optimal ... ... ... and very expensive to repair. And whether or not your trailer lights are working, the fellow that hits you is likely to claim that your brake lights were not working.
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