Trailer Emergency Breakaway Cable

The purpose, importance, and how an Emergency Breakaway Cable works

An Emergency breakaway cable is a safety cable that attaches the brake system on trailers to the back of your tow vehicle. The cable is in place in case your trailer unhooks from your tow vehicle. If the trailer unhooks, then the pin pulls out from the box, activating the trailer brakes. Keeping your trailer emergency breakaway cable in good working condition is crucial to ensure the safety of both your trailer and other vehicles on the road.

Here are a few steps to maintain your trailer emergency breakaway cable:

1. Regularly inspect the cable: Before each trip, visually inspect the emergency breakaway cable for any signs of wear or damage. Look for frayed or broken strands, loose or missing connections, or any other issues that could compromise its functionality.

2. Replace damaged cables immediately: If you notice any signs of wear or damage on the cable, replace it right away. A damaged cable may fail to activate the trailer brakes in an emergency situation, putting your safety at risk.

3. Secure the cable properly: Make sure the emergency breakaway cable is securely attached to the trailer hitch. It should be long enough to allow for full turning radius but not dragging on the ground. Use a metal carabiner or a hitch pin clip to attach the cable to the hitch, ensuring a reliable connection.

4. Keep it properly tensioned: The emergency breakaway cable should have enough tension to activate the trailer brakes in case of separation from the tow vehicle. Adjust the length of the cable so that it is slightly tight when connected to the hitch, but still allows free movement of the trailer.

5. Protect the cable from damage: Avoid running the emergency breakaway cable along sharp edges or areas where it might get snagged. Use cable clips or plastic tubing to secure the cable away from potential hazards. This will help prevent wear and tear, ensuring its effectiveness when needed.

6. Test the emergency breakaway system: Regularly test the emergency breakaway system to ensure it is functional. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to activate the system and verify that the trailer brakes engage properly. If any issues are identified, have the system inspected and repaired by a professional. Remember, the emergency breakaway cable is an essential safety feature that helps prevent accidents and damage in the event of a trailer separation. By performing regular maintenance and inspections, you can ensure its reliability and peace of mind while on the road.

Stay Safe on the highway by checking the emergency breakaway cable as part of your regular inspection. The most common issue we run across when inspecting a trailer is a wire or connection issue or in most cases a dead trailer battery. Should your emergency breakaway cable malfunction you endanger yourself and other vehicles on the highway. When inspected by the State or USDOT safety officer and it fails to operate correctly you most likely will be put OUT-OF -SERVICE and you must park the unit right there on the stop.

Learn more at, Our Roads, Our Safety®

Safe Travels, Abbey Icon
DOT Mobile Express®

DOT Mobile Express USDOT Fleet Services 

We offer special services and pricing for Fleet Services, as we are there on your schedule when your fleet is idle.

Getting Ready for your DOT Annual Inspection – Steps to Take – Checklist

Current Operating Area

Boise Metro-Treasure Valley/Southern Idaho        Northern Idaho/Washington Service Area 

Detroit Michigan Metropolitan Area            Portland Oregon Metro/ Southern Washington

Services now throughout Utah             Ventura, CA, and N.W. LA County, CA

1 888 872-4733

Fast Start Form 

Schedule Service or Request Information 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now Button