Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes has recently completed the installation of a roller brake tester from VL Test Systems. CVW finds out more.
Established in 1946, the family business of Bernard Hunter quickly became a recognised name in crane hire throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians and Central Scotland. With forthcoming industry regulations requiring mobile crane operators to provide certificates of maintenance and regular brake testing, the company decided to invest in the installation of heavy-duty roller brake testing equipment, with VL Test Systems providing the solution.
“Multi-axle mobile cranes are currently exempt for annual MOT testing as they are classed as plant equipment,” reports Mark Rafferty, Managing Director at Bernard Hunter. “We have always deployed rigorous repair and maintenance schedules for our entire vehicle fleet and the new roller brake tester takes compliance and professional operating standards to a new level.”
The new VL Test Systems roller brake tester has a 20-tonne axle testing capacity and a 24-tonne maximum drive over weight. Equivalent to a VL Test Systems 20733 model, the new equipment has bi- directional brake testing capacity with twin source remote control, permitting complete ‘one-man’ operation. Combined in-ground scissors fitted to the roller brake testers can also provide a 13-tonne axle weight to simulate load for applied brake testing, up to a height of 180mm.
The recently installed equipment can also weigh axles accurately and efficiently to ensure that each mobile crane, and indeed every LGV in this Edinburgh based operation, does not incur any overloading.
“Our bigger mobile cranes can be set up in a wide variety of lifting specifications to suit each individual job. This situation requires careful monitoring of each axle load,” notes Mark. “Our largest mobile crane at present is a Liebherr 500 tonner. We can now check weigh the entire eight axle rigid in just over 10 minutes.”
The potential offered by this new equipment is substantial, says the company. “Standard roller brake test equipment within DVSA approved Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs) do not have the capacity to cater for large multi- axle mobile cranes. With that in mind, we have decided to offer a roller brake testing and axle weighing service to third party customers,” Mark informs.
In addition to the new roller brake testers, Bernard Hunter is currently progressing with installation of VL Test Systems’ 9152 shaker plates. Their specification includes eight-way operation with 100mm travel in all directions to test steering linkages on vehicles with individual axle weights of up to 16-tonnes. Once again, safe operation is through an IR remote control.
“The new equipment means we will be able to present our customers with up to the minute certificates of brake testing, axle weighing and maintenance, to provide proof of industry leading compliance and operating standards,” declares Mark.
Bernard Hunter Mobile Cranes’ latest VL Test Systems equipment is installed within the company’s main workshop building in Edinburgh. Located just a few hundred yards from the nearby Edinburgh City Bypass, the company hopes that the convenience of this location will encourage use by third party customers who regularly pass by. “The new roller brake tester equipment has also been inspected and approved by DVSA and we are also exploring the possibilities to offer that organisation use, if required, when conducting roadside checks in the area.”