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Hayes Air Actuated Trailer Brake Controller Issues


BPepper
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I have a VNL 660 with the Hayes air actuated trailer brake controller. The unit was installed in the truck when I bought it. I have a triple axle fifth wheel with electric over hydraulic brakes. The trailer brakes activate well after I depress the brake pedal and when they do apply they engage very hard. I have tried adjusting the gain on the controller and it makes no difference. I also pull other trailer that are just electric brakes and notice the same issue with them just not as noticable due to being electric brakes on light trailers. Today I pulled a Redwood with electric over hydraulic brakes and as soon as I touched the brakes the the trailer brakes would completely lock up. Just a light tap on the truck brakes would lock up all 4 wheels.  Adjusting the brake controller did nothing. Is there anything else I can do or should I just replace it. If I replace it, should I buy the same one or is there something better? I would love to be able to make a smooth stop without the harsh engagement of the trailer brakes. 

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The Hayes is not made for electric over hydraulic.  I had to get rid of mine as it did the same.  The Hayes does not have a very effective gain control.   The knob just moves the pickup point on the rheostat to act sooner or later with brake air pressure.  

Do you have the old type or the new?  If there is no white ground wire as part of the controller, it is the old type. The old have been problematic.  On either type, you may need to clean the rheostat.  One the old, it is a long wire wound resistor and the unit has no active electronic components.  The new has a very small rheostat and a lot of electronics.

I did manage to use the new type by taping a wood block onto the manual slider knob so that it would only slide so far, no matter how much air pressure was on it.

The problem is the amount of current it takes to lock up brakes with magnets vs. hydraulic discs.  I have a current monitor on the blue wire of the brake controller.  With magnets, it took 12.8 amps to lock up the brakes.  With the electric over hydraulic, it takes .8 amps (yes, 8 tenths) of an amp to lock up the brakes.  

Fortunately for me I found a new MaxBrake controller and installed it.  They are not made anymore.

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10 minutes ago, geodog said:

install a Blu-Dot system on the  trailer and your problems will be history

Not a lot more money than a new electric controller.

 

ShortyO

What is a blue dot system? How would it benefit me? You said it installs on the trailer? 

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1 hour ago, NeverEasy said:

The Hayes is not made for electric over hydraulic.  I had to get rid of mine as it did the same.  The Hayes does not have a very effective gain control.   The knob just moves the pickup point on the rheostat to act sooner or later with brake air pressure.  

Do you have the old type or the new?  If there is no white ground wire as part of the controller, it is the old type. The old have been problematic.  On either type, you may need to clean the rheostat.  One the old, it is a long wire wound resistor and the unit has no active electronic components.  The new has a very small rheostat and a lot of electronics.

I did manage to use the new type by taping a wood block onto the manual slider knob so that it would only slide so far, no matter how much air pressure was on it.

The problem is the amount of current it takes to lock up brakes with magnets vs. hydraulic discs.  I have a current monitor on the blue wire of the brake controller.  With magnets, it took 12.8 amps to lock up the brakes.  With the electric over hydraulic, it takes .8 amps (yes, 8 tenths) of an amp to lock up the brakes.  

Fortunately for me I found a new MaxBrake controller and installed it.  They are not made anymore.

I only have 3 wires on the back of the controller. They are red, blue, and black. Lucky me I have the old problematic one. Lol. 

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I have been reading about a direct link system. Would this be a good controller and does anyone know if it will work on a 2001 VNL660? Also, if I use the direct link will I still be able to manually operate the trailer brakes off of the lever to the right of the steering wheel? Currently it works in conjunction with my hayes controller. 

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43 minutes ago, BPepper said:

I have been reading about a direct link system. Would this be a good controller and does anyone know if it will work on a 2001 VNL660? Also, if I use the direct link will I still be able to manually operate the trailer brakes off of the lever to the right of the steering wheel? Currently it works in conjunction with my hayes controller. 

Yes it should work fine. I don't think my trailer brake lever works with this controller but it did with the Max Brake and the hayes controllers that I had previously.

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If the Blu-dot is installed on the trailer, an electronic brake controller will still need to be on the truck to control other trailers.  Direct Link will work on all.

Everyone that I have talked to that has Blu-dot has been very happy with them.  You can even get them with ABS for the trailer.  

 

 

 

Edited by NeverEasy
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