Trailer Brake Testing – A Guide to Interim Brake Testing

office_of_the_traffic_commisionerThe Traffic Commissioners Office have warned operators on many occasions that brake testing must be carried out to a higher standard and more regularly – ideally as a part of routine safety inspection. They say that far too often, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) enforcement officers are finding that testing of brake performance is far too often carried out in a less than rigorous way — and often not carried out at all.

dvsaenforcementThe brake testing of HGV’s should be one of the most crucial components in your preventative maintenance systems. EVERY safety inspection must assess the braking performance of the vehicle or trailer. It is strongly advised that a calibrated roller brake tester is used at each safety inspection to measure individual brake performance and overall braking efficiencies however it is also acceptable to use an approved and calibrated decelerometer to test vehicles without trailers to measure overall brake efficiency values during interim services.

bowmonk_brake_tester
The portable brake meter for motorcycle, car, light commercial, HGV and Bus & Coach testing

These road tests with a decelerometer are permitted – however if this is the only method of brake testing, it will be deemed inadequate as it is normally expected that a vehicle should complete at least three successful brake efficiency tests spread throughout the year in addition to the annual MOT test.

That said, the decelerometer (or braking meter or decelerometer as it is sometimes called) offers a repeatable and inexpensive way of bringing some of these more frequent checks in house.

To enable conformance, a number of suppliers produce brake testing kits for specific vehicles and GETECH Garage Equipment are no exception. Our HGV testing kit contains a decelerometer with 3 memory slots (for service, secondary and parking brake) and the unit can also be used to test trailer brakes as an indicator that a fair share of the braking load is being shared between tractor and trailer.

getech-garage-equipment-logoGETECH also supply a kit for vehicles with a single service brake (such as minibuses, cars or even for motorcycles when used with the additional motorcycle mounting bracket.

Also included within any kit is an infra-red printer which enables all the test results to be immediately printed out as evidence and attached to the service record of the vehicle in question. Although a PC based system is also available to download and maintain the data this is at an additional cost and also means that either a laptop needs to be issued to the tester or he will need to return to his desk to download and maintain the data – this takes additional time and also introduces the risk of data cross contamination if the data is not secured against the correct vehicle registration number.

Do you want to find out more information on HGV or brake testing in general? Call GETECH Garage Equipment during normal office hours and we can advise accordingly as to the correct equipment solution to put into place a rigid and repeatable method of brake efficiency testing for your fleet.


getech-garage-equipment-logoGETECH supply MOT bays & equipment for all vehicle classes. As a manufacturer within the MOT scheme we are perfectly positioned to remain abridged of current and future known legislation. With a design ethos for total modularity, our equipment is some of the most flexible currently available in the UK.

For more information on GETECH call during office hours, visit http://getech.org.uk or mail info@getech.org.uk.

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