Proportional vs Time Delayed Brake Controllers-Which one is Better?

Proportional vs Time Delayed Brake Controllers-Which one is Better?

Proportional and Time Delayed Brake controllers-both have its functionalities and features.We have explained this in detail in another article.In case you missed it,you can read it here.

Where there is always comparison among reviewers Proportional vs Time Delayed Brake Controllers-which one is good,we will explain what are the similarities and difference between Propotional and Time Delayed Brake Controllers.

How Brake Controller Works?

But before that,take a look in details How does a Brake Controllers work?

Let's start with the Proportional Brake Controller.

Proportional Brake Controller

Proportional Brake Controllers use inertial sensors to detect the motion of a vehicle,how much pressure you are giving while hitting the brakes to determine the trailer brake force.If you don't have a clue what inertial sensor is,these are sensor based on inertia and mainly used to calcutate position, orientation, and velocity (direction and speed of movement) of a moving object.

Braking is almost effortless and smoother in case of proportional brake controllers.And it has the capability to adjust into any braking conditions from a light stop and go to heavy emergency braking.There will almost no or less jerking motion as both the trailer and vehicle brakes will match the speed.Because of this the wear of the Brake is also very less.

Proportinal Electric Brake Controllers Performance Graph

Image Courtsey:Truckspring Times

The above graph will show how the proportional brake controller works.The red line shows what happens when you brake in your tow vehicle, and the blue line shows about the brakes in your trailer (blue line) when a proportional controller is installed.


Image Courtsey:Truckspring Times

As you can see,Proportional brake controls calculates the tow vehicle’s rate of deceleration and applies the same pressure to the trailer brakes to make it a match without the need for any extra adjustment.

Time Delayed Brake Controller

Time delayed brake controllers,on the other hand,use a preset amount of braking powers every time brake is applied.Whether it is normal condition or and emergency the braking power will be same every time and there is always a delay between the tow vehicle and trailer braking time.In other words,both will not happen at the same time.

Take a look at the above graph.It describes how Time Delay Brake controllers work.Based on the weight of your trailer a braking power is preset beforehand.There is a delay from when it begins slowing down (red line) to when the power levels build up in the trailer to compensate (blue line) the braking pressure of the trailer.

Time-Delayed Brake Controller Performance Graph

Time activated brake controllers apply braking power at a fixed rate every time which is not proportional to the pressure you apply to your brake pedal. They provide a voltage output that increases to achieve the same braking force gradually (typically 3 seconds).

Proportional and Time Delayed Brake Controllers-Similarities and Difference


  • Both the brake controllers have the same wiring configuration for installation.
  • Both the controllers allow users to configure the maximum braking power to match the weight of the trailer with the tow vehicle.
  • Both have a manual override trigger which can be used to apply only the trailer brakes and not the vehicle.


  • Because of the much more advanced equipment like inertia sensors,proportional brake controllers are costlier than time delayed controllers.
  • Time delayed brake controllers have more wear on both the brakes compared to the proportional brake controllers,because either of the brakes will take maximum pressure.In case of proportional brake controllers the braking force will distributed to both the brakes.So wear and tear will be much less.
  • Time delayed brake controllers always send same braking pressure to the trailer vehicle irrespective of the braking condition normal or emergency.Proportional brake controllers are much smarter in this aspect and can determine how much brake pressure is required depending on the situation.
  • Proportional brake controllers are considered as safer because they provide an additional level of safety in case of emergency by applying the braking pressure to its maximum level.
  • Time delayed controllers are smaller and compact in size compared to proportional brake controls.However, the new size proportional controllers are being launched in the market which is smaller than the size it used to be.
  • Time-delayed brake controls can be mounted in any position and at any angle. Proportional controls must be mounted within a certain range to work properly.
  • Some models of Proportional brake controllers need to be calibrated before they can be used.However, new models have the self-calibrating or have a very simple calibration,which makes the set up process an easy job.

We hope, by now you have understood how a brake a controller works and what are the basic difference in both the controller.Jump out to our article to find out Which Brake Controller you should buy for your Vehicle.


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