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Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Does Brake HP Mean?

“You know how you see signs on the highway, and don’t really pay close attention to them? We were going onto route 11 and I saw a sign that said ‘no vehicles smaller than 5 brake HP.’ What does 5 brake HP mean?” The first place the Newton Falls Public Library staff looked for the answer was at the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ website, Section 4511.01H of the Ohio Revised Code about motorized bicycles specifies that “the helper motor must . . . Produce no more than one-brake horsepower [pg. 25].” No description of brake horsepower is given.

Neither the glossaries of How to Prepare for the CDL Commercial Driver’s License Truck Driver’s Test by Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. nor Proficient Motorcycling: the ultimate guide to riding well by David L. Hough had the information we needed. Auto Mechanics Fundamentals: how and why of the design, construction, and operation of automotive units by Martin W. Stockel and Martin T. Stockel defines brake horsepower or bhp as “measurement of actual usable horsepower delivered at crankshaft [p. 579].” From the information found, our patron assumed that the sign’s restriction informed driver’s that only vehicles with enough horsepower to maintain safe highway speeds are permitted onto the roadway.

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