Trailer Regulations Update

When it comes to slowing and stopping your trailer there are a few options available. Recent legislation changes in NZ have widened the options to include systems that are tried and tested in other countries around the world. So, what are our options?

Sub 2000kg there is no legal requirement for brakes to be fitted to a trailer, the tow vehicle must be capable of stopping safely with 7m from 30km/h with no damage to the trailer or vehicle.

Over 2000kg a braking system is required. Safety chains or a breakaway system must be used, this includes mechanical and electrical breakaway systems. The inclusion of mechanical systems gives Kiwis access to a wealth of European technology. Worth noting in the EU that wiring your trailer braking into your cars braking system is seen as a safety hazard and not allowed.

From 2501kg up to 3500kg. European Mechanical override systems certified to ECER13 do away with the need for an in-cab controller and any associated electrics which can cause problematic faults in the modern electronics of today’s vehicles. This has been a game changer for fleet operators. Our European cousins can hook up their trailers to an appropriate vehicle and not worry about syncing up or splicing in new electrical connections or voiding the warranty on their vehicle. Typically trailers in this weight range have two axles, with both axles being braked to meet the 7m from 30km/h stopping requirements. An independent parking brake must be fitted to at least one axle.

The Light Vehicles Brakes Amendment not only allowed more braking options to trailer manufacturers and owners, but it also allowed new technology to flow into the industry. Mechanical ECE approved override systems no longer require someone to exit the cab and flick the trailer into reverse mode as the auto-reverse is built in. Sealed-for-life bearings bring car tech to trailers for a simpler trailer build with lower overall maintenance requirements.