The New Rules For The DVSA HGV Brake Tests

Every year, HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) go through an annual brake check to ensure they’re safe and fit for road use. Starting January 1st 2023, all HGVs will have to undergo the brake test laden, ideally to around 65% of its total maximum weight.

To find out more about the rules and regulations, keep reading below!

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Why It’s Important

Having a vehicle laden whilst the brakes are being tested ensures the grip of the wheels is being tested to its max. This then makes sure they’re road safe, leaving no room for error during the testing process. 


Testing the HGV’s brakes whilst the vehicle is laden also allows the wheels to keep turning for longer, avoiding early lockups of the wheels and stopping the brake test early. This method gives a more accurate reading of the pressure the brakes are under on the road.


During this brake test, the actuation pressure will also be at its most efficient, this then determines a more purposeful result of the overall braking ability. Once the test is over, the results will be more accurate and comparable to real-world situations. 

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Rules and Regulations

When going to get the annual brake test done on the customer’s HGV, there are some new rules that came into effect at the start of 2023, it’s important your customers understand these rules. We’re going to give you all the info you need to be able to achieve an accurate result.


The load that’s put into the vehicle doesn’t have to be the load the HGV normally carries, it just needs to match up to 65% of the HGVs total maximum weight. Once this has been loaded up, the brake test can get underway.


If the HGVs load doesn’t match up to 65% of the total maximum weight, or your customer has presented their vehicle unladed, you can cancel the brake test and reject the vehicle. This then means they’ll have to retake the test, losing their initial fee and having to pay again.


Your customer is able to load the HGV themselves if that’s the option they’d like. However, you can supply a ballast for the customer to use. Once the vehicle is loaded, the HGV can be driven onto the brake testers, ready for the brake test to begin. 

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If a customer is sending a HGV to you to have its brakes tested, they’re of course now going to have to load cargo into the vehicle. V-Tech supplies some handy equipment to help your customer get the correct load percentage on the HGV, making the brake test more efficient whilst also ensuring a smooth, simple and fast process. 

V-Tech supplies the BM74000 Chassis Load Simulator, this is a simulator that applies stimulation or pressure onto the roof of the vehicle. This is great for any HGV that has a flatbed roof! 

This Load Simulator can be operated by just one person, making the process even simpler! It can also be easily and quickly released and moved when the vehicle needs to be moved forward or when the test is over. 

This item is fixed to the floor using anchor pins placed into the rails, the rails are then concreted to the floor, keeping the BM74000 firmly in place. This high-quality product can also be used for four weekly inspections too, making every test easier and more efficient!

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If your customer hasn’t correctly ladened the vehicle, there will be an impact on the process that happens as a result. There are a few disadvantages of not having the HGV correctly laden to 65% of the maximum weight.

  • Rejection – The operator of the ATF will be well within their rights to reject the vehicle and cancel the test.
  • Fee – They’ll lose their original free, resulting in a repayment being needed. 
  • Test – They’ll of course need to have the HGV retested, this time at the correct weight. 

Once your customer’s HGV is properly laden, their vehicle will be able to undergo testing to make sure the vehicle is road worthy and fit for use. Only once this test is complete can it be determined if the brakes are working to a satisfactory level. 

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