10th January 2023

Mandatory Laden Brake Testing – NOW LIVE!

NOW LIVE: The government introduces mandatory laden brake testing.

In an attempt to improve road safety, the DVSA previously announced that as of the 1st of January 2023, goods vehicles and trailers attending their annual MOT tests should be appropriately laden with weight, or risk losing their money!

Let’s dive into what this means for you…

What’s changing?

Any goods vehicles which are not laden (unless exempt) will be refused a test at their annual MOT by the DVSA’s Vehicle Standards Assessors (VSAs). You will lose the test fee and will need to re-present the vehicle or trailer correctly laden and pay for a new test.

Why have the DVSA introduced mandatory laden brake testing?

The DVSA have introduced this new rule in order to improve the accuracies of these tests, whilst also increasing road safety.

By having an appropriate amount of weight on the vehicle and/or trailer during the test – the VSA is able to determine a more meaningful assessment of the vehicle’s overall braking efficiency. When the vehicle is laden, the grip between the tyre and rollers will be at its maximum, which allows the vehicle’s wheels to keep turning for longer and avoid premature lock-ups. The brake actuation pressure will also be at its most effective.

How should I laden my vehicle appropriately?

In order for VSA’s to gain more meaningful data from these annual tests, vehicles should typically be loaded to at least 65% of their design axle weights with cargo – or, loaded with ballast. If a vehicle is inappropriately loaded, it may also be turned away from an examination, as per The Goods Vehicle Playing and Testing Regulations, 1998. In special circumstances where this may be difficult to achieve, it may be possible for vehicles to successfully partake in their MOT tests loaded to less than 65%, but never less than 50%.

How can I prepare for an upcoming brake test?

You should prepare for an upcoming brake test by ensuring that your vehicle is properly loaded before the MOT begins. You can do this by:

  • Arranging to load the vehicle or your trailer yourself
  • Asking the Authorised Test Facilities (ATF) to provide a load simulation – a loading fee may apply
  • In the case of a tractor unit, using ballasted trailers – ask your local ATF if they have one for hire

What should I consider when preparing a vehicle for a mandatory laden brake test?

  • Ensure you’re placing loads close to the rear axles
  • Aim to apply at least 65% – and not less than 50 of the design axle weight to each axle
  • If it’s possible, use similar loads to add weight to the vehicle – this will help achieve consistency between tests
  • Where load simulators cannot be placed above the axles, the vehicle or trailer should be presented laden.

Are any vehicles exempt?

There are a small number of vehicles that are exempt from these new mandatory laden brake testing guidelines. Whilst exempt vehicles will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, the Heavy Vehicle Testing Best Practice Guidance (Section 2.1) does provide a list of some examples that may be exempt.

Got any questions surrounding these new changes to regulations? Feel free to get in touch with our team here at CheckedSafe for more information! 






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