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Safety Checks - Brakes and Calipers

Braking systems are the most important vehicle components. Knowledge of operational maintenance requirements is essential to ensure the safe and cost effective operation of your fleet.

This ‘how to’ guide covers the essential basics of inspection
and renewal. If in doubt, we are happy to help with advice on the parts you will require for your specific vehicle.

In addition to your scheduled preventative maintenance
inspection (PMI), the Driver and Vehicle Services Agency (DVSA) also recommends testing. In its Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness it says: “It is strongly advised that a calibrated roller brake tester is used at each safety inspection to measure individual brake performance and overall braking efficiencies.” You can download the guide, which was updated in April, at

Parts quality

Poorly maintained or inferior quality parts can be counterproductive, needing frequent replacement or even causing consequential wear and tear. Regularly renewing or
replacing the element in the vehicle’s air processing unit and
regular draining of the air tanks will ensure the system operates
at the correct effort, and reduce the need for early replacement of components.

Mismatched, poorly fitted, or inferior quality friction material
can lead to early replacement of discs, calipers and air braking


Always ensure when replacing pads that the disc is in good condition, free from distortion, heat damage and cracks or ridges outside the manufacturers’ specification.

When replacing the pads check for free movement of the floating or sliding components within the caliper. A sticking or binding brake will shorten the disc and pad life, create unnecessary heat and possibly brake fade, not to mention increased fuel consumption.

There is a misconception that complete calipers are a substantial expense. It is often more cost effective to purchase a complete part than a repair kit.

Good knowledge and sound maintenance of the overall
system, from air generation through to the friction material
will allow a cost effective braking system, and above all peace of mind that your fleet is running safely.

For further information about the service packages we offer please call 01274 681144 or email