18 Nov 2020

Tractor-trailer brake guide is updated for modern machinery

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) has published an updated edition of the Look Behind You guide to tractor-trailer braking.

The guide - published on November 13 - is aimed at farmers, tractor drivers, mechanics and technicians; anyone using, purchasing or maintaining tractors and trailers.

It seeks to raise user awareness of what is needed from tractor-trailer braking systems, in order to obtain good performance and comply with the minimum legal requirements. It will also help users to make informed purchasing decisions and to recognise shortfalls in the braking systems of their current vehicles.

Safety is a perennial issue for farming; it applies as much to the use of farm vehicles on the road as it does on farm. A key concern is the safety of tractor-trailer or tractor-trailed implement combinations. Ten years ago, prompted by a spate of premature tractor brake failures linked to inadequate trailer brakes, the AEA published the first edition of the Look Behind You guide.

Since then, much has changed. Tractors, trailers and trailed implements are bigger, more tractors can now reach 50 km/h (30 mph) and pneumatic (air) trailer braking systems are more common. Certain UK Legislation has changed and new EU Braking Regulations for agricultural vehicles have arrived.

Although tractor-trailer braking in the UK has improved, more still needs to be done - so the AEA Service Managers’ Group has revised and updated the Look Behind You guide.

A comprehensive technical overview, the revised guide still provides the basic information but, importantly, it now also covers the increasingly complex braking systems found on modern tractors and trailers.

The Look Behind You guide provides the right level of information to raise awareness and highlight important features which, if addressed, will improve vehicle operation and enhance overall safety. Readers are also advised what maintenance activities may be performed On-Farm, following appropriate training, and where it is important to seek specialist help.

As well as bringing the content up to date, the advance of media technology since the first edition was published has allowed new features to be built into the new Look Behind You. The online version of the guide includes a number of videos introducing the key topics and animations to help users to get an advanced understanding of some of the most important concepts. This version can be downloaded, so all the features can still be used without an internet connection.

Look Behind You guide is available to download here 

Brake performance testing and trailer inspections: BAGMA launches new training course 

Following the launch of the new Look Behind Brochure, BAGMA will be introducing a new two-day Brake Performance Testing and combined Trailer Inspection training course in the spring of 2021.

This new course will be designed to take in to account the latest legislation and trailer braking requirements as well as new braking systems combined with a trailer inspection course to enable candidates to understand the legislation requirements and safety aspects related to tractor, trailers and trailed implements on the roads and farm.

For more information call BAGMA HQ on 01295 713344.