Originally Posted by Richard B
This accident could have been prevented by the use of the "runaway cable" which attaches the trailer handbrake (on a braked trailer) or just the trailer chassis (on an unbraked trailer) to a strong point on the car's towbar. You must use one of these by law once the trailer is on the road. Unfortunately, this trailer was involved in a fatal accident before it even reached the road.
There but for the grace of god go I !
I had a close one the other week, after using trailers without auto reverse breaks for a number of years this came as a bit of a shock.
The slipway being used was a small one with not a lot of room at the top; there wasn’t enough room to reverse the car round because someone had parked in the way as usual. So I used the same method I have used a number of times. I un-hooked the trailer from the car on the flat at the top, then turned it round so it was ready to lower down the slipway on the hand break. This is where I found auto-reversing breaks don’t work very well in reverse. The boat and trailer then went about 6M down the slip totally out of control until it hit the water (with the hand break full on). Now I don’t know if all trailer manufactures are the same, but on this new Bramber trailer, the breakaway cable is linked to the hand break so if the trailer had come off the back of the car with the cable attached it wouldn’t have made any difference. The breaks work perfectly while going forward but in reverse they are a waste of time, because as soon as the breaks start to bite it reverse the break shoes move backwards off the drums allowing you to reverse.
Luckily it was early in the morning so there was no one hanging around the slipway and no damage was done apart from the dent in my pride.
So please don’t rely just on the trailer breaks or breakaway cable to prevent this type of thing happening.