Hunter brake tester approved by FMCSA

July 28, 2008

New enforcement regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allow the use of Hunter’s B400T Brake Tester to test tractor and trailer brake compliance.

In 30 seconds, the B400T determines whether a vehicle can continue to its destination or be taken out of service for further inspection and repair.

The B400T utilizes a PC-based system with Hunter’s WinSI software to measure brake forces and vehicle weight at each wheel on multi-axle vehicles such as tractors and semi-trailers, tandem-axle tractors, buses and two-axle vehicles, including passenger cars and light trucks. Single-, tandem- and triple-axle vehicles can be tested with full loads.

To perform the test, a technician drives the vehicle onto the tester plates and applies the brakes. The precision load cells within the plates automatically measure a variety of brake performance conditions, which are then digitally transferred to the computer, analyzed and displayed on the monitor in color-coded charts.

The B400T identifies many conditions that affect brake performance, such as:

* Axle-to-axle imbalance: tests unequal brake performance comparing axles to determine if one would lock up first causing a loss of steering control or jackknife.

* Left-to-right imbalance: Tests unequal brake performance comparing each side of the vehicle to find a pull and potential to skid.

* Static weight, dynamic weight and weight shift: A measurement of weight of the vehicle and load at a stop, weight of the vehicle and load when braking and rear-to-front weight shift when braking.

* Rollover propensity: With the various weight measurements, the software can determine the vehicle’s center of gravity and potential of rollover.

* Parking or emergency brake: A test for both mechanical brakes on straight trucks and spring brakes on air-brake systems.