Q Recently a trailer sales representative
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called to try to sell me trailers. He told me that the automatic coupling, mechanically braked semi-trailers we are using with a KGA Bedford tractive unit would not be legal in 1972 unless three-line air braking is fitted. Could you advise us if this is correct? I have no recollection of reading anything about this in CM.
AThere is no specific legal requirement for
the trailers you are using to be fitted with three-line air brakes. The legal requirements relate to braking efficiencies which must be 50 per cent for the service brake and 25 per cent for the secondary brake on post-1968 vehicles, and by January 1 1973 these figures will need to be achieved with pre-1968 vehicles.
Provided that 25 per cent efficiency can be obtained using the tractive unit handbrake, three-line brakes will not be required. But many outfits may not achieve this handbrake figure, and some conversion will then be needed.