Last week an article was published by the GEA (Garage Equipment Association)
which gave clarification on the use of hand held braking meters for trailer testing for agricultural or goods vehicle trailers.
The article sought to overcome comments that have been made in the public domain in relation to the method of testing of trailer brakes and also the approval status of equipment to perform such tests.
The statement from the GEA reads as follows;
The GEA operates the MOT equipment approval service on behalf of the DVSA.
Recently we’ve received enquiries from workshops & installers, asking which brake test decelerometers are DVSA approved for HGV trailer testing.
Whilst there are numerous approved decelerometers that may be used to complete a brake test during an MOT, we would like to point out that none are approved specifically for HGV trailer testing.
So what does this mean? Can I only use brake rollers to test trailer brakes?
We have received numerous enquiries asking whether our portable brake testers are approved by the DVSA for trailer testing.
Our answer to this has always been that although no decelerometers are approved for trailer testing, despite some within our industry implying the opposite, there are methods available which can allow a portable decelerometer to be used as a diagnostic tool and to be used to assist in determining the brake efficiency of commercial trailers.
How do we use a Brake Meter to diagnose potential braking faults in trailers?
- Run a complete test using the drag / truck / tractor unit. This develops a baseline level for braking efficiency of the vehicle.
- Attach trailer to the drag and repeat the entire test run.
- Compare the data between Run 1 & Run 2: We are looking for an indication that the trailer is doing its fair share of the braking effort to decide if the braking system is operating as it should or if further diagnosis is required on a roller brake tester. i.e If braking efficiency for drag is 85% but the overall performance deteriorates to 40% for the tractor and trailer – then this is a good indication that the trailer is not doing its fair share of the effort and further analysis on a set of brake rollers is required.
What unit should I buy?
There are a few decelerometer brake meters available in the UK but by far the most popular units are the Bowmonk BrakeCheck or Bowmonk TruckStop. Both of these units are approved for use within both the MOT scheme and for Designated Premises – each variant specifically designed to test either vehicles with a parking and single service brake and for those with a secondary braking system.
Almost inevitably when seeking a unit such as this for diagnosis purposes, a hard copy print out becomes desirable evidence to produce and maintain.
Therefore GETECH have a number of different kits available to suit the specific type of testing you wish to conduct – and all of these kits come in a portable hard carry case with an infra red printer to enable immediate evidence of the brake test result to be attached to the service record of the vehicle.
These packages are available on the GETECH website, but our friendly well informed sales team will be able to assist you during normal office hours on 0844 800 9785.