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MOT brake test Useless DVSA software not fit for purpose.

The DVSA have recently updated their MOT computer software ready for the roll out of the new procedures in May. I had the job of presenting a vehicle 1st used before 1 January 1968 yesterday. As many will know such vehicles only require to meet a service brake efficiency of 45% of the gross weight. Yesterday's vehicle achieved 48%. The DVSA test standard in another section of the software program clearly states 45% pre 1968. When it came to entering the actual figures the software insisted on issuing a fail. The software recognised the date of 1st use as a date in 1966 but absolutely refused to recognise its own requirements. In the end there was no alternative within a reasonable amount of time but to do the brake test again until the readings totalled 51%

The best bit was that the DVSA software invites to tester to submit feedback about the new procedures... they got some.

If presenting a bus then I strongly advise that a recent weighbridge certificate for the unladen vehicle is available since the recorded weights form the RBT machine cannot be relied upon even though they are supposed to be within a 2% tolerance.

Re: MOT brake test Useless DVSA software not fit for purpose.

I've had similar experiences with the software at my 18 week RBTs done at a local coach firm and at the ATF I use for class VI MOTs. This is before the recent changes. Axle weights usually wrong and pass values set at 50% despite entering yes to the question "Was the vehicle first registered before 1968". Last year this resulted in my first MOT fail, spoiling a 100% record and resulting in an expensive retest. I've also had fails for ovality, with a pass when repeated five minutes later with no adjustments. I'm glad you gave some feedback. I just had to grin and bear it, taking the attitude that it word be unhelpful to argue with the DVSA examiner or complain afterwards.

My bus number (if any): RMs 238, 471 and 2213, GS17

Re: MOT brake test Useless DVSA software not fit for purpose.


I would suggest you to write to the DVSA register your complaint, mention that you are not the only one to suffer from their ineptitude and demand that they adjust your OCRS score to reflect the true position. Hopefully you still have the RBT print out to back up your case.

The whole issue of RBT testing is a complete joke. The methods adopted in other countries are far superior while still using similar equipment. The DVSA are making a meal of it as a result of the Bath tipper case which presented what some considered at the time to be relatively quite questionable evidence relating to brake efficiency. One can obtain pass figures at 11 am and the same vehicle will fail at midday. The axle weights recorded by the RBT are often completely wrong making the vehicle up to two tons heavier than it is. This on their official equipment. Yet I can go to a relatively small Commercial repairer who has his RBT calibrated every six months at considerable expense and the figures are spot on.

The DVSA have made a song and dance about RBT and that it should be carried out in a loaded condition, yet when tri axle trailers were first introduced they found their load simulation equipment incapable of imposing enough weight, so they took the cheap option and allowed these trailers, which can be plated for as much as 40 tonnes, to be tested unladen.

Re: MOT brake test Useless DVSA software not fit for purpose.

I've had fun with RBTs this year, not so much an RM but with my BEA coach MLL738. I use a local haulage company who have a brake test roller. That comes up with different axle weights every time I go there. I had problems with the o/s/r oil seal leaking which has now been partly resolved. when I took the bus for COIF at the DVSA at Gllingham, the weights recorded there were totally different to those recorded locally.

I had a problem not with the o/s/r, but with ovality on the o/s/f brake. However, the certifying officer went away and looked up the regs and said that as the brake locked up, it passed. I haven't noticed any ovality when driving the bus and from a couple of the usual road incidents have found it to stop rather quickly when required.

As for testing abroad, I've taken RMs for test in Germany and Luxembourg; the DEKRA test in Germany seems to just want me to put the brake to maximum front and rear, none of the worry about imbalance or ovality. Much the same in Lux of holding the brake at a certain pressure for so long. i'd suggest that ovality could be caused by the driver's right leg starting to give way like mine does a lot of the time these days! I'd also suggest the testing requirements are not fit for purpose especially when it concerns older vehicles.

Many years ago I had to take a Plymouth or Exeter PD2 for test at Mitcham GVTS. It kept on failing despite all our efforts. It turned out the examiner entered it as a split system which it wasn't, and gave split system test results. Once he entered a non-split, it passed with flying colours. It was one of those with vacuum brakes.

My bus number (if any): RML2532