Electric brakes on the front axle are tied into the braking system of the tow vehicle via an electric surge braking device, similar to what you'd find on a pickup truck. Whenever the brake light on the tow machine illuminates, an electric signal is sent to the brake controller mounted on the trailer, which in turn actuates the electric drum brakes mounted on the front axle. These electric brakes help out immensely when the trailer is loaded. Since the brakes are mechanical rather than hydraulic, adjustment requires a screw driver and some patience to get them dialed in. Once set, I didn't have to make any future adjustments and they functioned better than I expected.