Online version utilises video and animations

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) have today (13th Nov) published an updated edition of the Look Behind You guide to tractor-trailer braking.

The Association says the guide is aimed at farmers, tractor drivers, mechanics and technicians - indeed 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 also to 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.

The first edition of Look Behind You was initially published by the AEA ten years ago, prompted by a spate of premature tractor brake failures linked to inadequate trailer brakes.

Since then, say the AEA, 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.

Stephen Howarth, agricultural economist at the AEA said, "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 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 the AEA to build new features into the guide. The online version 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 can be downloaded here.

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