In-house testing a brake through for heavy duty vehicle workshops

in-house testing

The debate around whether to in-house testing or outsource it is one that people in all areas of business find themselves considering from time to time.  Workshops, fleet and bus & coach operators face an interesting decision in relation to brake testing in light of recent changes to DVSA legislation.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness (2014 revision) makes clear that every safety inspection must include a metered assessment of the braking performance of vehicles and trailers.

This means brake testing should be carried out with as part of the regular servicing interval rather than once a year.  And herein lies the conundrum; with this increased regularity is it still cost effective to outsource, or would the purchase of a brake tester yield better value in the medium to long term?

The move to in-house brake testing

Judging by the interest TotalKare has received since announcing the launch of our in-ground and mobile brake testers in March, many are thinking positively about moving their brake testing in-house, and this was reinforced by the number of visitors interested in our live brake tester demonstration at the recent Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.

Garage owners can’t afford the time and cost delays involved in getting customer vehicles in for the brake test, and if there’s significant downtime for any reason, the increased regularity of this task means the likelihood of the client going elsewhere also increases.

Tablet technology simplifying brake tests

While a brake tester is a significant investment for any workshop, many of our clients anticipate the outlay to be recouped in the first year.  The ability to run a brake test from the driver’s seat of the vehicle using a tablet means it only takes one person to carry out the test – gone are the days where one mechanic shouts instructions to a colleague in a vehicle based on what they’re seeing on an analogue display screen.

With the option to customise the brake testers with a variety of add-ons including bi-directional rollers, tachograph testing, and extended approach ramps for tri-axle vehicles and trailers, the advantages of in-house brake testing do stack up, particularly when backed up by quality aftersales service.