Tecalemit Garage Equipment has highlighted some of the potential advantages for fleet workshops of bringing brake efficiency testing regimes in-house.
The company, which has been involved in CV brake testing for more than 40 years, says its roller brake testing equipment could be found at many of the former DVSA goods vehicle testing stations.
“Commercial vehicle operators are familiar with the requirement to undertake periodic regular brake efficiency test in order to ensure their HCV fleet is operating in a safe and efficient manner,” said the company.
“Whilst the benefits of regular brake testing are beyond question, the administrative challenge it places upon the commercial vehicle operator can be quite significant.
“Commercial vehicle operators need to keep their wagons rolling in order to get a good return on their fleet asset, and the downtime that can be associated with organising and undertaking brake tests can be significant and disruptive to the day to day operational flow of the business.”
A brake test needs to be arranged around a number of variables, says Tecalemit – including availability of the vehicle between loads, an available slot at the nearest test facility, a suitable load to at least 65 per cent of design axle weight (unless exempt), an available driver to get the vehicle across to the testing workshop, and an account to pay the bill.
“Add in the fuel used and a typical axle test charge of £10 – £15 can see the total cost of testing a tri-axle trailer start to approach the £100 mark,” the company continued.
“Investing in a commercial vehicle brake tester may not be as onerous as it might first seem. With a modest fleet size, a realistic payback could be achieved in approximately 24 months if the use of the equipment is leveraged through the provision of volume third party fleet tests.”
The benefits to the fleet operator can be huge, the firm contends.
Tecalemit’s DE9700 commercial vehicle roller brake tester allows the operator to build their own fleet database, automatically recording vehicle test results and removing all of the administrative activity of creating a manual records system up in the office.
“Add in the ability to test a vehicle within minutes, together with minimal downtime for the trailer, tractor, driver and no third party fees to pay, then the benefits start to multiply dramatically,” said the company.
“It isn’t all about safety checks, though; it is also about preventing system failures and eliminating on-road problems.
“Brake binding and ovality issues can be diagnosed early and preventative maintenance scheduled appropriately. The binding brake that causes overheating and wheel bearing damage can be addressed in good time, reducing the risk of the potential subsequent on-road failure, with expensive callout repairs and delays to the load shipment.”
With advantageous leasing options, spreading the cost of a Tecalemit DE9700 over five years and leveraging the investment through the provision of third party tests could see a roller brake tester paying for itself in as little as two years, says the firm.
“At the end of that period, the provision of brake testing is effectively free, with the ongoing maintenance and calibration of the brake tester easily being covered by continuing to provide a brake testing service to third party operators.
“The Tecalemit DE9700 unit will provide years of efficient service. With powerful 15KW motors and a soft start facility, the roller brake tester has all of the capacity to test the most powerful and efficient of modern commercial vehicle braking systems.
“The DE9700 Commercial Brake Tester has an eight sensor axle weighing system, which is integrated into the roller bed/frame system, allowing for automatic brake efficiency calculation, providing ease of use for the operator.”
The brake tester can be configured for two-man or single-man operation format, the company adds, and features simple intuitive controls and operation via RF touch screen remote control or from PC workstation.
“Users have the option of selecting automatic or manual mode and the capability for operator to construct a vehicle database for the important record keeping accuracy.
“The bi-directional testing capability of the Tecalemit DE9700 provides location flexibility, and the roller lock allows easy exit of driven axles from brake tester. With approval for ATF and ATL MOT testing of Class IV, VL and VII vehicles, an operator can be assured of a testing capability that matches DVSA authorised testing facilities and enables users to perform brake testing to MOT standards.”
The Tecalemit DE9700 can also be equipped with a load simulator and a tachograph testing facility.