When it comes to equipping your garage with tools capable of performing a thorough and accurate MOT test, the technology you use to check a vehicle’s braking systems plays a pivotal role.
So, what exactly should you be looking for from your brake testing equipment and what are the legal requirements your garage is expected to comply with?
What does a brake tester do?
The latest generation of automated brake testing equipment is designed to automatically calculate and record the brake effort and efficiency for cars, vans, commercial vehicles and motorcycles, including four-wheel drives. Using an integrated weighing system, the Crypton brake tester for example, can be operated by a user-friendly remote control for added ease of use.
Those looking to invest in a new brake tester should consider one with a dimpled roller surface, which allows for maximum tyre protection and a coefficient similar to the road surface for accurate results. For garages eager to be versatile, adapter kits for both four-wheel drives and motorcycles are also available.
What are the new MOT brake testing requirements?
As part of its drive towards connected MOT equipment, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) introduced new requirements for anyone buying a roller brake tester – a change that came into effect on 1 October 2019. This mandatory requirement means that the data measured and logged by the brake tester will be automatically recorded with the MOT Testing Service (MTS). Any garage looking to invest in new equipment should therefore check for confirmation that their connected brake tester is approved under this scheme.
In simple terms, anyone buying a roller brake tester now has to make sure it can be connected to the MOT testing service. This means that, as an MOT testing garage, you need to make sure any future tester you buy can connect to the DVSA’s MOT testing service. The ruling applies whether equipment is acquired for a new MOT bay, a new MOT site name or as a replacement for an old or broken model.
The good news is, the DVSA has worked very closely with the manufacturers of brake testers to ensure that their centrally-managed software will enable connection with approved products. With these measures now in place, it should be very simple to source compatible equipment and make connected brake testing the norm.
What are the benefits of the new brake testing requirements?
The ultimate aim of the DVSA is to make sure brake testing is made quicker and more accurate. At the same time, it is hoped that motorists will feel more confident in the quality of the tests they are required to pay for.
Firstly, automating the way in which car brake test data is reported removes the possibility of human error. Like any industry relying on manual data input, there have been instances in the past where miskeying of information has resulted in incorrect data being logged with the DVSA. By logging data automatically, this risk is taken out of the equation.
Secondly, the accuracy and speed at which test results can be recorded will ultimately free up time for test garages. This, in turn, gives garages the opportunity to improve their performance and increase the number of tests they can complete in a typical day.
What next for my other MOT testing equipment?
The DVSA has invested heavily in making it much easier for garages to record MOT test results. As such, it comes as no surprise that the use of connected MOT equipment is starting to be viewed as best practice. It almost goes without saying that the more connected MOT equipment we see in a typical test bay, the lesser the risk of human error creeping into the process.
This will be seen as a win-win for motorists and garages alike by speeding up the testing process and recording the results much more accurately.
While there is no formal deadline in place for its introduction, the MOT emissions test is set to be the next that will need connecting to the MOT testing service with Crypton’s already passing the DVSA testing stage. From there, other practices such as headlight alignment and wheel play detection will almost certainly follow. The fully-connected test lane could be just around the corner.
If you would like to know more about Connected Equipment, please call Crypton on 0121 725 1400.
Crypton – A Brand of the Continental Corporation