The ability of performance-based brake testers (PBBTsa) to accurately determine the braking capability of commercial vehicles was investigated through a field study of over 2,800 trucks and buses. Under certain conditions, good agreement was found between the observation of brake-related defects by visual inspection and the measurement of weak brake forces by a PBBT. It was determined that the PBBTs' assessment was an independent measure of a vehicle's as-is braking capability, and should not be expected to correlate well with a visual inspection under any condition. It was also determined that predictions of stopping capability should be possible combining the PBBT results of the brake force and axle load measurements with certain assumptions regarding brake application time and road/tire coefficient of friction. This paper presents a summary of the field test data and introduces a method that can be used with any PBBT for judging a vehicle's braking capability - that of predicted stopping distance compared with that of a minimum “safe” vehicle.