Our Answers to Your Top Questions...
From 1st October 2019, MOT stations making a new site application or replacing an old brake tester need to buy connected test equipment.
As one of the biggest changes the industry has seen in a long time, this topic has understandably generated many questions. In order to respond to these, we’ve compiled a list of our answers to the ones most frequently asked.
1. The current method works, so why change it?
There are significant advantages of linking equipment to the MOT test system (MTS): less data entry errors, faster and simpler testing, and reduced fraud. We live in a technology driven world and connected test lanes are already in use in Europe. The DVSA are introducing these changes to ensure the MOT test keeps pace with modern testing standards and vehicles.
2. Do I need to upgrade my existing roller brake tester?
No. If you have an existing MOT station and you're not making any change of entity then you do not need to change it.
3. I’m thinking about opening an MOT station, do I need to buy a connected brake tester?
Any new site applications being made now are unlikely to be approved before 1st October 2019. This means you need to ensure the brake tester you choose is a connected approved model.
4. I’m buying a running MOT station with a working brake tester, do I need to buy a new connected model?
Yes. If there is any change of entity at an existing site a connected model needs to be installed.
5. I’m replacing my brake tester with the exact same model, does it need to be connected?
Yes, if it’s being replaced after 1st October 2019. This applies even if the replacement is like-for-like. Be sure to check that the model you are considering is on the connected equipment approved list.
6. I just need to replace worn rollers, does this mean I need to buy and install a new connected brake tester?
No. If you are just replacing worn parts you do not need to purchase a new connected model.
7. Does connected equipment mean that a brake tester is now going to be significantly more expensive?
No. A connected brake tester from Boston is not going to be much more expensive than our previous models as the update is software-based. There will be a small increase to go towards some of the development costs, and an administrative activation fee as there is additional work to connect each machine but all costs will be kept to the bare minimum.
8. If the DVSA decides to make connected brake testers mandatory for all MOT stations does this mean I will need to replace my existing one?
There is currently no mention of the DVSA making connected brake testers compulsory for all MOT stations. If the DVSA does decide to implement this, it will depend on the model you have installed. See question 9 for compatible Boston models.
Note: If you have an old, non-PC based brake tester, it is unlikely this can be upgraded.
9. I have a Boston brake tester and I’d like to save time on brake tests by not keying in results. Can I connect my existing model?
Yes. If you have a Boston D402, D412, D702 or D712 model controlled using our SW900 software these can be connected. This involves a software update (and possibly an upgraded PC), and an engineer will need to visit your site. It does not require any other hardware to be replaced.
If you have a D402 or D702 running our early Manager Pro software (circa 2012 or before) these models can also be connected by changing the main control unit and upgrading to the new software.
10. What happens if I need to repeat a brake test, for example if the car is ejected prematurely from the rollers and it fails the test?
No problem, the tester can repeat the test as many times as necessary. The software will upload the result from every test but the MTS will only use the last result received. This logic will apply to all connected equipment.
11. I need to buy a connected MOT brake tester, what should I be looking for?
The first thing is to make sure the model you are considering is on the connected equipment approved list. Secondly, you may want to consider how other items of connectable equipment that the DVSA are looking to introduce will be linked to the MTS.
Boston connected equipment (brake tester, emissions equipment, electronic headlight tester and decelerometer) will all be linked using one piece of software and one control station. This means testers will benefit from faster, simpler testing, streamlined service and support, and no messy installation problems which could arise if combining different brands of equipment in one test lane.
In addition, our connected equipment will come with a free customer website where all test data and statistics can be easily seen. The site will also offer other useful MOT features for garage owners or authorised staff members.
12. How is equipment connected to the MTS?
This is a good question which requires answering in a little more detail.
To connect equipment to the MTS an electronic ‘key’ issued by the DVSA is required. This key authenticates the garage computer and connected equipment, and tells the MTS what data to expect. Depending on the equipment setup, one or more keys will be required:
VTS with multiple computer stations
An individual electronic key is required for each computer station controlling connected equipment. If there are 2 PCs, then 2 keys will be required etc.
VTS with a single PC controlling connected equipment from different manufacturers
One computer station is used to operate two items of equipment, e.g. brake tester from supplier A and emissions tester from supplier B. In this instance, even though there is only a single computer station there are two separate pieces of software, so two keys, one for each, will still be required.
VTS with one PC and only Boston connected equipment
In this case only one key is needed as Boston’s single piece of software communicates with all our different items of connected equipment.
This keeps things simple, avoids multiple computer stations on the workshop floor (saving space) and simplifies product support. Furthermore, as mentioned above in point 11, all data from our software, for all items of equipment, is uploaded to a free customer website where test details and statistics can be seen by the garage owner or any other authorised person.
13. When is the DVSA going to introduce more connected equipment?
ARTICLE UPDATE: An email bulletin from the DVSA sent on 01/11/2019 communicated the following timeline for additional connected equipment:
- Decelerometer – 1st February 2020
- Smoke Meters - late spring 2020
- Exhaust Analysers – late spring 2020
- Electronic Headlight Tester – summer 2020
Have another question you'd like to ask us?
If you'd like more information on our Connected MOT Equipment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We have over 35 years’ experience and specialise in complete MOT Bays and MOT software.
You can reach us on 01708 525585 or contact us using our enquiry form. We’ll be only too happy to assist.