History of the M1…

I’m fairly positive that on reading this blog title you might immediately be thinking that I’m referring to a motorway rather than a classification of motor vehicle…Sadly it seems that many “in the trade” would immediately jump to this; rather than the correct conclusion since I have been asked, yet again by a newly qualified tester exactly what an M1 vehicle is…

A familiar a site for UK drivers - M1 roadworksSo what is an M1 and more importantly is it critical to know?

Category M: Motor vehicles with at least four wheels designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers.

  • Category M1: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat.

  • Category M2: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tonnes.

  • Category M3: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, and having a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes.

So an M classification simply means that the vehicle is produced specifically for the carriage of passenger rather than goods. So this makes your normal hatchback an M1 right? WRONG (or at least not necessarily)

In actual fact the classification comes from a European directive specifically aimed at vehicles first used on or after 1st September 2010 – vehicle’s built prior to this are still classified as “Class 4” and this cut off point has a bearing on how the performance of the brakes is assessed as PASS or FAIL.

Image3Class 4 vehicles require a 50% service brake efficiency to pass – M1 vehicles require at least 58% service brake efficiency…

I am an MOT tester and my computer automatically calculates the figures so is this information actually necessary?

In a word YES (despite what the DVSA say, and the lack of non-M1 & M1 training suggests) although the confusion probably only exists for vehicle testing stations using an ATL which operates using the old software version as the test is now completely different to that the product was originally approved against!

Without doubt the potential for a customer to be sat in a viewing area witnessing their MoT test seeing a “PASS” on the brake tester (say 51% on what is actually classified an M1) before being issued a “FAIL” certificate (for not achieving the required 58% efficiency) does exist.

So it is a good idea to understand the differences between a Class 4 (or non-M1 as it should be known) and an M1 vehicle so that you are able to answer the question if it arises.

For us, operating the old system makes no sense therefore we (GETECH) immediately updated our software to bring it line with this change – despite it not being a mandatory change enforced by the DVSA and also despite many other manufacturers not developing and implementing the required software changes.

The message therefore should remain fairly clear – When you buy a GETECH product, not only do you get a 5 year extended parts warranty but you buy into a system of testing completely in line with the published guidelines for testing by the DVSA.

So to come full circle…

Like the displeasure we feel the next time we run into roadworks or delays on the M1 motorway to get to or from our places of work – the investment in a superior, and up-to-date motorway (or MOT braking testing equipment for that mattter) does makes sense. This after all is progress.

To speak to GETECH about our Fully Automated Brake Testers visit our website: http://getech.org.uk

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