Trailbreaker was portrayed as a light-hearted joker, who often acted a morale booster for his comrades. Deep down, however, he considers himself a liability due to his high fuel consumption. Because of this he has a low sense of self-worth, he often asks to be left out of missions. Despite this, the other Autobots know he is a valuable addition to their ranks.
Trailbreaker accompanied his fellow Autobots on their first mission to stop the Decepticons on Earth—a mission that took him to an off-shore oil rig. The Decepticons plundered the rig for energon and destroyed it, leaving it a flaming wreck that endangered its human crew. Trailbreaker used his force field to contain the fire, while Wheeljack used his built-in fire suppression systems to douse the flames.Trailbreaker was one of the original Autobots aboard the Ark. When it crashed, he was re-activated four million years later and his vehicle was converted to that of a Toyota Hilux. He was a hearty character who would make light of any situation (just as his tech spec portrayed him). His primary feature was his force field which he often used to defend him and his comrades.
Later, Trailbreaker served as a spy despite his stated function as defensive strategist. He, along with the humans Sparkplug and Spike Witwicky, camped out near the Decepticon headquarters and eavesdropped on their plans to raid the ruby mines of Burma.
As the series progressed and more new characters were introduced, Trailbreaker only appeared when his force field was needed. In "Triple Takeover" a plot by Starscream, Astrotrain, and Blitzwing resulted in the flooding of a city. Trailbreaker used his force field to protect himself and a small group of Autobots from a large tidal wave.
His force field later saved all the Autobots from being disintegrated by the Sun in the episode "Megatron's Master Plan Part 2", and it again saved them from a Decepticon ambush in "The Immobilizer". Trailbreaker's last animated appearance was in episode 64, "Masquerade".
Trailbreaker did not appear in The Transformers the Movie or the seasons beyond. However, part of the movie's storyboard depicted that he would be seen dead (much like Windcharger and Wheeljack) during the Decepticons' attack on Autobot City. This was cut from the finished movie, but it is possible that he was killed offscreen or before the events of the movie.
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- Main article: Trailbreaker (IDW Comics)
A version of Trailbreaker was mentioned in the novel Retribution, when Sunstreaker suggested him for the mission of saving Optimus Prime and his team from the Quintessons. Year later, when the War was over, Trailbreaker was among those blacklisted by the corrupt High Council in Robots in Disguise.