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What are Shaker Plates?

Shaker Plates, also known as Wheel Play Detectors, are hydraulically powered devices that are used during MOT tests to assess a vehicle’s steering and suspension. They are an important tool in maintaining the reliability and safety of vehicles as they detect any excessive movement in the suspension and steering systems.

How do Shaker Plates work?

The vehicle drives onto the testing area with the wheels on the Shaker Plates. Suspension is analysed through lateral movements of the plates, and steering is analysed through rotations of the plates.

Pneumatic vs. hydraulic Shaker Plates

Pneumatic Shaker Plates use compressed air to measure the movement of a vehicle’s wheels. The vehicle drives onto the plates containing airbags, as the wheels pass over the airbags they compress the airbags. This creates a pressure change, which is measured by sensors. An issue with the vehicle’s steering or suspension is highlighted if the pressure exceeds a certain limit. These plates are not as popular today.

Hydraulic Shaker Plates are much more common as many are factory-installed on 4 Post Lifts and Scissor Lifts. They are also much more reliable and robust, which explains their popularity. When talking about Shaker Plates and how they work, Hydraulic Shaker Plates will be what people are explaining.

Types of Shaker Plates

There are 2 popular options for Shaker Plates:

  • Play Detector. This uses a single plate which is placed on one side of the vehicle, which allows for one worker to observe and measure the lateral and rotational movement of a wheel.
  • In-ground Shaker Plate. These are popular for garages that use inspection pits, as the plates are installed on either side of the pit. This gives the workers the under-vehicle access to see the movements in the wheels and the steering joints.

When to use Shaker Plates?

Shaker Plates are used during MOT tests for inspecting the steering and suspension of a vehicle. The wheels are moved in various directions to check for wear and excessive movement in the steering and suspension joints. They are an important part of automated testing.

Converting TPTL into OPTL using Shaker Plates

The use of a shaker plate can also reduce the need for a second person to manoeuvre the wheels for inspection and testing of wheel and suspension components, thus this can be used to turn a Two Person Test Lane into a One Person Test Lane (OPTL) for MOT testing.

Ways to maintain Shaker Plates

Shaker Plates should be regularly checked to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Checking the calibration is one way to maintain your Shaker Plates. This is to ensure that they are accurately measuring the vehicle’s movement. If the Shaker Plates aren’t correctly calibrated then they can produce inaccurate readings, which can be dangerous. By monitoring the calibration, you can ensure that all of the vehicles you test are safe to be on the roads. 

Checking for any damage and wear & tear on the Shaker Plates is another way to maintain your Shaker Plates. Issues such as cracks can affect the accuracy of the readings. Closely inspecting your plates and fixing any issues immediately will help to avoid further damage.

Keeping your Shaker Plates clean is another way to maintain them. Dirt and dust can stick to the sensors, which can affect the readings. Regular cleaning can prevent the buildup of dirt, which allows the plates to produce correct results.

Need help creating your dream MOT Bay setup?

If you are looking to install new equipment to create your dream garage setup, and need information on the best Shaker Plate deals give Concept Garage Equipment a call for some helpful free advice. We would love to help you find the best deals whilst supplying your garage with high-quality garage equipment.

We can offer you advice over the phone at 0113 469 0572, we have helped to advise, supply, and set up hundreds of MOT Bays across the UK, and would love to supply your garage with an MOT Bay next.

Call us today on 0113 469 0572 or use the website contact form today, we are here to help.