Brake testing - a Public Inquiry perspective
The % of MOT failures due to inadequate brake performance is going down, slowly, because the message is getting across. However, brake performance remains a 'top ten' of MOT failure reasons.
Many operators, and their transport managers, still don't 'get it' when it comes to what's required on an ongoing basis. They simply think that what they see as the bare minimum will see them through.
Chiefly among the factors is the failure of transport managers to fully understand the values on a break test sheet. They fixate on the word 'Pass' at the bottom and fail to understand the devil's in the detail!
Do we see pass with suitable efficiency values achieved? Pass on locks? Was the vehicle/trailer laden? If not, is this a true pass, or just another meaningless piece of paper to collect? Is the fitter just going through the motions for the sake of an extra £30 or so, or are they identifying serious issues when conducting these tests?
Many operators have fallen foul of what the regulators expect in terms of brake testing, end up at public inquiry and (if they keep their O-Licence) have an undertaking attached to get a roller test done with each maintenance inspection.
Many out there are still 'winging it' as they haven't been caught out yet. If you think this might be you, take the initiative now....