Company seeks exemption for trailer-mounted electric brake controllers

Updated Feb 10, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for public comment on an application for exemption from Innovative Electronics regarding the use of trailer-mounted electric brake controllers, which monitor and actuate trailer brakes based on inertial forces developed in response to the braking action of the towing vehicle.

While trailer-mounted electric brake controllers function like an electric surge brake, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define a surge brake as a “self-contained, permanently closed hydraulic brake system” As such, the use of trailer-mounted electric brake controllers on commercial motor vehicles currently is prohibited.

Innovative Electronics is requesting a temporary exemption in advance of petitioning FMCSA for rulemaking to modify the current definition of a surge brake. Comments may be submitted at; the docket number is FMCSA–2010–0022.