Under the bonnet: ATL Brake Testers 02: Is having internet connectivity really an advantage?

A question raised itself last week over lunch with a customer….

“What do you think about these new brake testers that can connect to the internet for service back-up?”

“You don’t need it. If you build a product that works you don’t need that capability. Also, from experience, if you allow a PC into a garage with an internet connection, before you know where you are the damn things full of all sorts of “items” that weren’t originally installed on the machine”

But was that actually correct?

  • A problem during a calibration is an unlikely reason for this kind of remote usage requirement – engineer training and experience coupled with, if necessary, telephone contact to a colleague/manager should suffice…
  • A problem during an MoT? – This would be a “distraction to testing”. Of course in reality you would probably move to a decelerometer test for the brake analysis rather than “abort the (overall) MoT test” and establish communication remotely with the manufacturer to resolve the issue before re-starting the test on the vehicles brakes.

Is that the purpose? Simply to be able to maintain a roller brake tester throughout an entire day where possible without on-site assistance? 

This is a good reason of course. A roller brake tester is capable of a far more accurate and repeatable analysis than a decelerometer, so it must always be considered the “ultimate measurement device” for a vehicles braking system available to a UK garage. But that reason aside, and with a telephone offering the same immediate contact between site and manufacturer; and with the appropriate individuals involved in the conversation, it should be fairly easy to come to a swift conclusion as to if the problem is “resolved” or if site attendance is actually necessary.

So all in all a fairly straightforward conclusion. The original question was “is there an advantage. The answer is no. An appropriately staffed and trained service department able to attend site promptly where necessary following immediate telephone assistance will suffice.

But to leave you with one thought. Is there actually potentially something more to this. Maybe a Disadvantage? If remote access is possible through a PC connection, are you actually ever “in control” of the unit, or  is there another default setting?

Perhaps then; a non-PC driven brake tester (with industrial processors) coupled with a modern LED display and, if necessary, an auxiliary display for “actual” rather than “trained interpreted” data, backed up with a knowledgeable service department, always on call to support their customers, might be a better solution… Oh, and I forget to mention that these solutions all come with a 5 year warranty…

MoT Test Bay Packages can be viewed here

Roller Brake Testers can be viewed here

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