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The operation of the trailer reversing automation

Driving with a trailer is a challenge for many drivers, even when towing on a non-slip, straight road. Sooner or later, however, the situation will get worse, as parking and changing directions will require some reversing. So comes the tricky part, the reverse. The trailer braking systems manufactured by Autóflex-Knott Ltd. are mostly mechanical and equipped with automatic reverse dive to facilitate your backward manoeuvring. Spare parts for trailer reversing automation can be purchased at the webshop, on +3676502058 or at

The trailer reversing automation is part of the wheel braking system

According to the regulations currently adopted in the European Union, it is not possible for the driver to get out of the car and practically disconnect the brake before reversing. They used to make such trailers and you can still see some on the roads, but no new trailer may be manufactured with this solution. The main reason for this is that many forget to reset it after reversing. It is also important to know that the trailer reversing automation is part of the wheel braking system, therefore it is not in the coupling head, not „on the road”. In fact, its components are not visible, since the complete brake is covered by the brake drum.

You should take pictures before assembly

Anybody who has not seen it before must make sure to photograph the location of the trailer brake parts after removing the drum. Because of the many small parts, it is also important how the different springs are positioned (for example, if they are suspended from the inside or outside). You can immediately see that there are two kinds of brake shoes. One normal and one automatic. The automatic brake pad has a shiny belt plate that is spring-loaded to the “regular” pad and does not match the other pair without the belt plate. The belt plate also has the direction of rotation of the wheel in case of normal forward motion. The parts are the same on the left and right, so you should pay particular attention to the assembly. Only one brake shoe is attached to the brake base plate with a transverse short compression spring.

How the trailer reversing automation works

When moving forward, the brake works just like a conventional braking system. The tricky part comes when reversing. That is when the drawbar in the coupling head goes back completely – it is not a fault – therefore pulls the cables that spread the shoes. The car wants the trailer to move backwards, so the wheels are tensioned backwards. Then the slider moves against the springs on the belt plate and the brake shoe moves away from the brake drum. That is enough for the car to overcome the power of the brake shoe and move the trailer backwards.

It is important to note that the reversing automation cannot suddenly “revive” or malfunction as you move forward, since this is not physically possible. However, you should ensure that the brakes are properly assembled, as they can be installed in reverse, but then they will not work and the brakes will not even be on the vehicle. Adjusting the brake is therefore very important as it also affects the proper functioning of the reversing automation. Click here for an 8-point checklist to adjust your trailer brake.

If you need any Autóflex-KNOTT trailer parts, you can buy it in our webshop or order it at or at domestic sales at +3676502058.


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