Mandatory laden brake testing

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Published: 6 December 2022
Categories: News Article

Operators face mandatory laden brake testing from next January, DVSA warns

The majority of trucks and trailers will have to be fully laden for their annual brake testing from January 2023 onwards to ensure the vehicle’s braking performance can be properly tested, the DVSA warned on 1st December.

As part of the annual test, DVSA will be carrying out brake tests using the ISO brake testing standard (21069). According to this standard, goods vehicles and trailers presented for test must be fully loaded, barring a few exceptions.

DVSA is warning that any goods vehicles and trailers presented for test unladen, unless exempt, will be refused a test.

This will mean the vehicle operator will lose the test fee and will need to re-present the goods vehicle or trailer correctly laden and pay for a new test.

DVSA said Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) should be able to assist operators by providing load simulation for a fee, if they’re unable to bring their goods vehicle or trailer to test properly laden.


Vehicles that are exempt include those carrying food, animal or human waste or livestock; vehicles carrying perishable liquids or goods vulnerable to contamination; certain bin lorries; and some furniture removal vehicles. However DVSA is warning operators to check on its website, and emphasises that “only in exceptional circumstances will we check the performance of the brakes when the vehicle is unladen.”

“Laden brake testing ensures that brakes are tested under real world conditions. DVSA and the Traffic Commissioners have placed a far stronger emphasis on brake safety since the 2014 Bath tipper tragedy.

“Thanks to the support of the industry bodies, this is paying off. In 2014, 3.3% of heavy goods motor vehicles failed their annual test on service brake performance. In the last quarter of 2021, that had reduced to 1.88%.”

Operators and ATFs can find more information on how to prepare for a brake test here.

Written by Carol Millett for Motor Transport © 1 December, 2022.

Image by Motor Transport

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