If you plan to tow with your truck, you need to consider adding a new set of brakes. There are several factors to consider when looking for the best brakes for towing. You’ll want to have maximum stopping power with your truck brakes plus you need to evaluate the price and brake dust produced. That’s why we’ve put together a list of criteria to help you find the right towing brakes for your truck.
Types of Brake Pads
Before you can make any decision, you need to understand the different types of brake pads that are currently on the market.
Organic Brake Pads
These are also known as NAO or non-asbestos organic brake pads. It contains various fibers that are mixed with binding resins to hold it together. Sometimes, the organic material is carbon, Kevlar, rubber, fiber of glass. It’s the least expensive option which is why more than half of modern cars come with them from the factory.
Pros of Organic Brake Pads:
- Handles heat well
- Generate friction
- Produce less dust
- Low cost
Cons of Organic Brake Pads:
- Only operate in a limited temperature range
- Wear out quickly
- Creates a mushy pedal
Semi-Metallic Brake Pads
Semi-metallic brake pads contain anywhere from 30 to 65 percent metal which consists of copper, iron, steel or other components. The rest of the pad is manufactured from filler plus a graphite lubricant. While they are the most versatile type, they do produce more dust and noise.
Pros of Semi-Metallic Brake Pads:
- Increased braking performance
- Low compressibility which creates a firm brake pedal
- Versatile for many driving styles
Cons of Semi-Metallic Brake Pads:
- Produce brake dust
- Wear brake rotors quickly
- More expensive than organic pads
Ceramic Brake Pads
The newest option available is the ceramic brake pad. They are composed of ceramic material that’s dense and embedded with copper fibers.
Pros of Ceramic Brake Pads:
- Produces fine brake dust that doesn’t stick to wheels
- Long lifespan
- Consistent performance
Cons of Ceramic Brake Pads:
- Most expensive
- Not ideal in cold climates
- Don’t absorb heat well
- Not designed for racing or heavy-duty work
Best Brakes for Towing: Things to Consider
Here are some things we’ll want to consider as we search for the best brakes for towing.
Noise and Vibration
You want to measure how much noise and vibration comes from your pads. While there will always be some noise when towing a trailer, you want to keep it to a minimum. However, if you must choose performance versus noise – performance should always win.
The more dust that is produced, the more that clings to your truck wheels making it appear darker than normal. Again, the dust level should be a fair trade-off if you prefer performance.
You need to evaluate how the brake pad performs in various climates and conditions. If you plan to tow in dry, muddy or cold environments, you will want to consider that.
The friction profile tells you how the pad responds to changes in relation to temperature. It measures how much force you need to apply to the pedal to maintain friction and stopping power. Your brake pad should have a predictable friction profile. You want a stable profile out of your performance brakes for high-speed stopping and hill descents.
MOT or Maximum Operating Temperature
This tells you the highest temperature you can use the brake pad at before it becomes unsafe and starts to degrade. Obviously, you need a larger MOT when you plan to tow.
Examining the lifetime of the pad tells you how long it should last before you need to replace it.
4 Best Brake Systems for Towing
Whether you are towing with your 2018 Ram 2500 or the Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD, we’ve got the best brakes for your truck. Remember to find the one that fits your pickup as we are just giving examples.
Power Stop Front & Rear Z36 Truck and Tow Brake Kit
- Superior construction
- Minimal noise
- Minimal dust
- Comes with everything you need
Hawk Performance LTS Brake Pad
- Reduced noise and dust
- Long life
- Reasonable price
- Superior stopping power
- Doesn’t come with clips
Wagner Severe Duty Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set
- Low price
- Ideal for heavy-duty functions
- Exceptional pad strength
- Brake dust
- Reliable performance
- Optimal stopping power
- Low price
- Reputable company
- Creates some noise and dust
Before you head out on the road in your truck to do some towing, you want to ensure you are equipped with the best brakes. Towing requires additional stopping power so you want to move beyond your factory equipment if you plan to stay safe. Evaluate your needs and then pick from the four best brakes for towing we’ve outlined above.