1998-11-16

Understanding the Portable Roller Brake Dynamometer 982829

Of the several types of performance-based brake testers (PBBTs), roller dynamometers (RDs) have been used for more than 20 years in Europe to judge the braking capabilities of commercial vehicles and for enforcement of minimum brake performance requirements. These RDs, however, have been exclusively of the in-ground design. In recent years, both in Australia as well as in the United States, the use of portable RDs for assessing commercial vehicle braking performance has been increasing. This paper describes some of the differences between the two types of RDs. Analyses of the effect of the roll geometry and coefficient of friction on maximum brake force measurements are made. It is concluded that careful considerations must be taken with the use of such measurements for predicting stopping distance and braking stability using the results from both in-ground as well as portable RDs. Recommendations are made based on the results of the analyses.

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