3.1 Parking Brake

Information Method of Inspection Reason for rejection

Types of parking brake mechanism

In this sub-section, it is assumed that the parking brake is applied by a hand lever.

For vehicles with foot-operated parking brakes the “Method of Inspection” detailed will need to be varied for the particular mechanism.

1. Check that the vehicle has a parking brake designed to prevent at least two wheels from turning, or with a three-wheeled  vehicle, at least one wheel from turning

1. The vehicle does not have a parking brake designed to prevent at least two wheels from turning with a three-wheeled vehicle, at least one wheel from turning
2. Check the method of operation 2. For vehicles first used on or after 1 January 1968 the parking brake is not capable of being maintained in operation by direct mechanical action only.
Pre 1906 vehicles
Vehicles certified by the London Science Museum as being designed before 1 January 1905 and constructed before 31 December 1905 do not require a parking brake.   3. Examine the condition of the brake lever and its location. 3. The brake lever is defective or so located that it cannot be operated satisfactorily.
  4. With the brake lever in the “off” position

a. note the amount of side play in the lever pivot by moving the lever from side to side

Note: Some vehicles have sideways movement of the parking brake lever when new.  Movement is a reason for rejection only when the pawl is moved clear of the ratchet, and the brake does not hold in the ‘on’ position

a. side play in the brake lever pivot to the extent that the pawl may inadvertently disengage

b. check the security of the lever and pawl mechanism pivots, their associated mountings and the presence and effectiveness of retaining and locking devices

Note: Items not possible to check fully from the driver’s seat should be checked from beneath the vehicle

Opening the bonnet to inspect fully the parking brake mechanism might also be necessary.

b. the lever or pawl mechanism pivots and their associated mountings are insecure or a locking or retaining device is insecure or missing
  5. Without operating the pawl mechanism, apply the parking brake slowly and check the effective operation of the pawl mechanism by listening for definite and regular clicks as the pawl moves over the ratchet teeth. 5. The pawl spring is not pushing the pawl positively into the ratchet teeth or the ratchet has broken, or excessively worn, teeth.
  6. When the brake is fully applied
a. knock the top and each side of the lever and check that the lever stays in the “on” position a. when knocked, the lever is not held in the “on” position
b. check that the lever is not at the end of its working travel and that there is no fouling of adjacent parts b. when the brake is fully applied there is not possibility of further travel of the lever because the lever is at the end of its working travel on the ratchet, or fouling adjacent parts of the vehicle
c. check that the lever is not impeded in its travel c. the lever is impeded in its travel
  7. Check the vehicle structure around the mounting of the parking brake for fractures, cracks, corrosion and distortion.

Note: It may be necessary to check the parking brake lever mounting ‘prescribed area’ from the vehicle underside when it cannot be checked from the inside.
7. Deliberate modification which significantly reduces the original strength, excessive corrosion, sever distortion, a fracture or an inadequate repair of a load bearing member or its supporting structure or panelling within 30cm of a parking brake mounting, that is, within a ‘prescribed area’, see Appendix C.
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