Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring Systems

Maintaining the brakes on a trailer plays a critical role in ensuring that your trailers remain safe and compliant. In 2016, the DVSA stated that Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring Systems (EBPMS) could further improve trailer safety and subsequently issued guidelines and a specification for EBPMS and its use.

What is EBPMS?

EBPMS is a system that enables fleet managers to monitor the braking performance of the trailers in their fleets. It captures information from a trailer’s electronic braking system and calculates its performance, feeding it back to a platform where it can be monitored and reported on.

EBPMS helps fleets meet safety, compliance and maintenance requirements. The data that EBPMS generates improves trailer management efficiency and minimises trailer downtime, and associated costs, by reducing the number of roller brake tests required throughout the year.

In the event of under-performing brakes, an EBPMS alerts the user, prompting for action to be taken to investigate and remedy any defects. EBPMS can also enable users to monitor braking performance trends over time and produce performance reports for defined periods. Reports can be used as evidence of an operator’s preventative maintenance system.

How does it work?

When the truck’s driver brakes, his braking demand is first processed by the truck's electronic braking system (EBS). The brake pedal position is interpreted as a 'deceleration target'. The truck can use several means to reply to the braking demand. The truck manages these means so as to produce the braking force corresponding to its braking demand.

The truck's EBS computes, from the driver’s braking demand, a braking demand for the truck itself and a braking demand for the trailer. The truck's EBS chooses the demand to the trailer to reach identical wheel speeds for the truck and the trailer, thereby controlling the coupling force between truck and trailer and avoiding wheel slip.

The trailer receives the braking demand and processes it in the trailer's EBS. The trailer's EBS applies a brake pressure according to the demand and the trailer load.

The braking forces created by the truck and the trailer produce a deceleration. The truck's EBS measures the deceleration and compares it to its deceleration target. As long as the deceleration is not as requested, the truck's EBS adjusts its demands to the truck and the trailer.

EBPMS applications may rely on braking forces being correctly distributed between truck and trailer.

Near real-time data

An Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring System will produce near real-time reports on underperforming brakes, which are available via the EBPMS platform, and will also provide notification, for example via email, to the user of any trailers with underperforming brakes. This will prompt the user to investigate the issue further and to take action.

DVSA guidance

In its ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness’ publication, the DVSA had obliged fleet operators to submit four calibrated roller brake tests per year at DVSA-approved vehicle testing stations, an onerous, costly and time-consuming process, requiring trailers to be taken off the road at regular intervals.

But in 2016, the DVSA introduced the concept of EBPMS as a potential alternative to having to perform the ‘additional’ (over and above the annual one) roller brake tests in their guidance here. In the deployment of EBPMS, the DVSA said that EBPMS could be used as “evidence for the operators’ preventative maintenance system,” one which “must be capable of identifying overall vehicle braking performance values” and “alert the operator to underperforming service brakes.”

The DVSA has incorporated EBPMS into its ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness’ publication.

TIP – contributor to industry standards

TIP Trailer Services, together with other industry bodies, worked in liaison with the DVSA to support the development and launch of a new industry standard specification for EBPMS compliance. (source: Transport Engineer). The specification remains unchanged today.

TIP trailer hire & EBPMS?

As a leading provider of trailer rental, leasing, maintenance and repair to customers in the transport and logistics industry and having played a role in the development of the EBPMS specification, we are able to advise on the benefits of having EBPMS for your fleet.

Click here to read about TIP's EBPMS, BrakePlus.

If you would like to know more on whether EBPMS is right for your transport operation, please contact us.