Some of our customers have questioned the designed intent and function of the emergency brake away system on Demco hydraulic surge brake actuators. Demco would like to take this opportunity to provide further information.
Demco has designed its emergency lever and brake away systems to adhere to Federal Code [FMCSR Title 49, Subpart C, Part 393.43 Paragraph D].
(d) Breakaway braking requirements for trailers. Every trailer required to be equipped with brakes shall have brakes which apply automatically and immediately upon breakaway from the towing vehicle. With the exception of trailers having three or more axles, all brakes with which the trailer is required to be equipped must be applied upon breakaway from the towing vehicle. The brakes must remain in the applied position for at least 15 minutes.
The Demco Brake Actuator is designed with an emergency lever that applies the brakes upon a trailer separation from the towing vehicle. This same emergency lever is used on several models of actuators and therefore has 2 different locking positions. It is not necessary for the lever to lock in the second position on all applications. The breakaway cable system attached to the emergency lever is designed with enough breaking strength to effectively activate an emergency stop of the trailer if a trailer separation would occur.
The breakaway (emergency lever) is not designed or intended to be a parking brake feature.
We are aware that in some states or districts, local DOT or law enforcement staff are using the emergency lever to test brakes for effectiveness, which is not the design intent, or requirement of these or related components.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate giving our staff a call at 1-800-54DEMCO. We value your business and look forward to serving your future trailer products and brake system needs.
Dethmers Manufacturing Co.