Updates to Brake Performance Testing

In a recent warning issued by the Office of The Traffic Commissioner and the DVSA; both bodies have warned that operators need to change and improve their approach to brake performance testing.

As outlined in the recent edition of the DVSA’s ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness‘, it is clearly stated that a metered assessment of both vehicle and trailer performance is required during each safety inspection.

The guide further outlines that in order to measure the individual brake performance and overall brake efficiencies, that a calibrated roller brake tester should be used. However, concessions are made for vehicles without a trailer to have their overall brake efficiencies to be tested by an approved and calibrated roller brake test.

The guide outlines the best practice of using a vehicle or trailer in a laden state, in order to achieve the most meaningful and accurate results.

Furthermore, it goes on to state that if these tests cannot be carried out during a safety inspection; then the vehicle’s braking performance must be checked using a road test. Such tests would need to be carried out under safe, controlled conditions; the safety inspection sheet would also need to clearly state that a road test was used.