A quarter of defective vehicles have brake issues, DVSA reveals

Ashleigh Wight
November 7, 2017


Brake defects are the most common maintenance issue among UK HGVs, affecting around quarter of the vehicles found to be defective, according to the DVSA.

The agency claimed that more than one in 10 UK- and overseas-registered trucks stopped by its enforcement staff has a defect serious enough to warrant a prohibition.

According to its fleet compliance check survey for 2016/17, which looks at a random sample of more than 6,000 vehicles, brake defects comprise 28% of the mechanical defects identified in UK-registered HGVs; 44% in domestic trailers; 33% in non UK-registered HGVs and 42% in non-UK registered trailers.

The DVSA and the traffic commissioners urged operators to check their vehicles’ brakes regularly, or face the consequences.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “It’s disappointing that a minority of operators are still not performing effective checks. If we catch you with brakes that don’t work we will take your vehicles off the road to ensure the safety of the travelling public.”

The DVSA checked 2,530 domestic HGVs and 1,360 domestic trailers in 2016/17, increases of 3% and  8% respectively. However, checks of overseas-registered trucks and trailers each fell 1% to 2,439 for trucks and 2,382 for trailers.

Some 279 prohibitions were issued to UK operators for HGV defects, 21% more than in 2015/16. Although the number of prohibitions given to overseas trucks (305) remained higher than those issued to domestic vehicles, this figure was down 10% on the previous year.

Prohibitions for trailer defects in UK fleets rose 27% from 125 in 2015/16 to 159 in 2016/17. However, prohibitions issued to non-UK trailers dropped 10% to 437 from 501.

The prohibition rate for non-UK registered trucks was 12.5%, compared to 11% for UK-registered trucks.

Some 18.3% of non-UK trailers checked attracted a prohibition, compared to 11.7% of trailers operated by domestic hauliers.

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