A fast, compact and affordable low platform brake tester that can be installed without digging holes in a workshop floor is about to revolutionise the way New Zealand technicians check for worn or uneven brakes, shock absorbers and also toe-in/toe-out.
The all-new Sherpa six-plate brake tester is available exclusively through Stocks Equipment, and can be up-and-running within a few hours of being delivered.
Just six bolts fix it to the floor, and there is no need to run expensive electric cabling because its power comes from a laptop or PC computer. There is no complex and bulky rolling road mechanism; it’s all governed by state-of-the-art electronics through the high-tech sensors under the slimline pads.
Less than 25mm off the ground, it can be installed anywhere in the workshop, even in the entrance, where vehicles can drive over it without damage or safety issues.
As well as saving on installation and running costs, the Sherpa brake tester, designed and manufactured by AutopStenhoj, and made in Germany, costs much less than traditional 3-in-1 rolling road brake testers, and the price includes delivery and installation by an NZ-based factory-trained installer.
“Franchise dealerships are installing them in the entrance to their service departments so that vehicles can be run across them in a quick test – it takes only a few seconds – and if there is any work needed to the brakes, shock absorbers or alignment, it will come up instantly and can be shown to the customer right there as they check it,” says Risto Koskivuori, from AutopStenhoj, in Auckland from Germany on a training visit at Stocks Equipment.
William Singleton, general manager of Stocks Equipment, says this could provide workshops with an opportunity to bring extra business into the service department.
To conduct a test, the vehicle is driven onto the pair of plates at around 10-12km/h and then braked on the sensor pad. With some similar testers, slippage can happen when the tyres are wet, but the Sherpa has special friction material on the plates to provide excellent traction. The operation is made easy with the help of a remote control from the vehicle.
Information is instantly displayed on the computer monitor which measures four-wheel braking forces left and right as well as front to back simultaneously and realistically, as on the road.
The Sherpa also tests cable-operated handbrakes, measuring left to right imbalance, and it automatically evaluates the condition of the shock absorbers during the brake test, and is equipped with a slip plate to provide for a fast check of toe-in or toe-out, with sensors that show total weight and distribution, which are European MPA standards approved.
“Many workshops do not own their own premises and the landlords do not allow them to dig pits for roller brake testers, so plate testers have become very popular in Europe,” says William.
“The Sherpa models we are bringing to New Zealand have six plates (not four) and are very low, which reduces tripping hazard for Health & Safety conscious workshops.”
A radar device is built into a low-profile crossbeam to measure the speed of the vehicle as it drives over the plates.
The Sherpa can be used with vehicles weighing up to 4 tonnes. It comes complete with a moveable cabinet that houses the PC and the printer. A large flat screen monitor is mounted up high in the lane where the brake tester is placed, together with a monitor on top of the cabinet. All readings are digital.