10. January 2009

Brake test stand

The Tramway Museum's many registered buses are naturally subject to the usual legislation, with inspections every year. This means many trips to the inspectors, and every single time the vehicle is examined in advance by the museum's bus experts and driven to an external workshop to have its brakes tested before the inspection, so that repeat inspections, and thereby even greater costs, can be avoided. These trips to an external workshop solely for the purposes of brake testing occupy many driver resources and involve many "unnecessary" kilometres for these museum vehicles, as well as expenses for diesel, etc.

In recent years, the museum has acquired professional resources for bus repairs, including lifting jacks, specialised tools and enhanced staff skills. Most recently, shortly before Christmas 2008, the museum acquired a complete brake test stand from the certification company Applus+ - formerly the State Motor Vehicle Inspection - as it was moving from its location in Risskov. The roller brake tester (type BM 12200) is only ten years old and fully updated to accord with the latest legal requirements, and had been used for statutory inspections of buses and lorries until shortly before being transferred to us.

The brake test stand with its rollers, control panel, display, calibration equipment and documentation, as well as all the accompanying cables, were collected by the museum's lorry, and the ferry crossings were once again sponsored by the ferry company Mols-Linien.

From BM Autoteknik in Møldrup we have acquired, on extremely favourable terms, a new iron foundation/casting frame for use in the construction of the concrete pit in which the heavy rollers will be mounted. To keep costs as low as possible, the reinstallation of the professional measuring equipment will once again be undertaken by museum staff. Reliable drainage must also be established, to ensure that the electric motors and sensors will not be flooded in heavy rain. A cabinet for the IT equipment must also be installed, as well as all the control equipment and the display for the measurement results, which shows the braking percentages, the ovality of the brake drums and much more data used in the statutory control of the brakes of vehicles used for commercial passenger transport. The equipment also requires a powerful electricity supply which is much larger than that required by an electrically-heated house, so it is lucky that it is situated close to the museum's own transformer station, from where an especially powerful cable can be connected to power the equipment.

When the brake test stand is operating again, it will be possible to test and repair the brakes on our 14 buses immediately, and thereby avoid trips to an external workshop. It will also be possible to test the brakes more frequently in the course of the year than is required by law, so we can be sure the brakes are always satisfactory on our museum buses, which transport a great many guests around Sealand and to and from the Tramway Museum.

Even though the museum is closed now for the winter season, many of the staff are still busy with projects large and small!