So says Dexter Axle as they have developed a solution to this problem in their new line-up of trademarked Nev-R-Adjust electric drum brake assemblies. They have used technology already available in heavy-duty truck and trailer brakes and adapted it to the smaller 10 inch and 12 inch electric brakes found on most RVs, utility, horse trailers etc.
Dexter accomplished this self-adjusting feature by adding a 9 piece “Adjuster Kit” to the standard brake assembly backing plate. This allows the brake assembly to constantly adjust the lining position as the brake drum turns during trailer operation. In speaking to Dexter’s Engineering team, the adjustment feature works as the trailer moves in both forward and reverse directions but the increments of adjustment are much higher in reverse. Since there are specific brake assemblies designed for the driver-side and curbside of the trailer, problems will occur if the brake assemblies were installed on the wrong side of the trailer. Brake assemblies mounted on the wrong side will act like they are traveling in reverse. This would cause “over-adjustment” and can cause the brakes to overheat and lock. Therefore, for self-adjusting brakes, it is imperative that the proper brake assemblies are installed on their specified side of the trailer.
Dexter introduced their 12 inch self-adjusting brake assemblies in May of 2008 and their 10 inch unit in May 2009. They performed extensive reliability testing using a dynamometer and also real life testing on their own trailer fleet before they marketed the product. They offer a 2 year limited warranty on these products.
It seems that recreational trailer owners have been the first to embrace this new product offering with more commercial trailer owners loyal to the standard product. The new self-adjusting brake assemblies cost about 20% more than standard brakes.
Trailer Parts Superstore offeres both sizes online at: ELECTRIC TRAILER BRAKES