Hunter: B400T heavy-duty Brake Tester meets FMCSA regulations

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New enforcement regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allow Hunter’s B400T Brake Tester to be used to test brake compliance without a follow-up physical inspection to take non-complying vehicles out of service, the company announced Wednesday, July 23. In a mere 30 seconds, the B400T determines whether a vehicle can continue to its destination or be taken out of service for further inspection and repair, according to the company.

The B400T utilizes a PC-based system with Hunter’s proprietary 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 and buses; and two-axle vehicles such as passenger cars and light trucks, the company says. 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, according to Hunter; the precision load cells within the plates automatically measure a variety of brake performance conditions, which then are digitally transferred to the computer, analyzed and displayed on the monitor in color-coded charts.

Hunter says the B400T identifies many conditions that affect brake performance:

  • Axle-to-axle imbalance: Tests unequal brake performance by 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 by 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; and
  • Parking or emergency brake: A test for both mechanical brakes on straight trucks and spring brakes on air-brake systems.
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