Bad braking dominates top reasons for MOT failures

Chris Tindall
November 1, 2019

Brake failures continue to dominate the top 10 reasons for MOT failures, with potentially serious road safety issues not being picked up by vehicle technicians.

Figures provided by the traffic commissioners in their latest annual report show that CV brake testing has improved significantly since 2013, but more is needed to be done.

The TCs said that in 2017/18 there were 10,000 fewer failures for service brake performance at annual tests than in 2013/14.

The biggest improvement has been for trailers, with an extra 5,500 passing their brake performance test first time.

However, the TCs said there were still 22,000 failures for service brake performance during the period.

Common issues include vehicles and trailers being brake tested unladen with wheels locking at very low brake efforts; printouts saying ‘pass’ when one or more brakes are not working properly and a lack of understanding that the standard to be applied at PMI inspection must be above the minimum MOT requirement.

The TCs also admitted that its target under a new measure of ‘average processing times’ for O-licence applications had been “ambitious”, with an average of just over eight weeks to determine applications for HGV licences against a target of seven weeks.

But it added that for operators using digital services and providing complete applications, it took less than 32 days on average to process applications.

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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