Steering Gear Testing

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Within 12 hours before departure, the ships steering gear is checked and tested by the ship’s crew.

The test procedures include the operation of the following:

The Main steering Gear

The auxiliary steering gear

The remote steering gear control systems

The steering positions located on the navigation bridge.

The emergency power supply

The rudder angle indicators in relation to the actual position of the rudder.

The remotes steering gear control system power failure alarms

The steering gear power unit failure alarms

Automatic isolating arrangements and other automatic equipment.

The checks and tests include

The full movement of the rudder according to the required capabilities of the steering gear

A visual inspection for the steering gear and its connecting linkage

The operation of the means of communication (telephone) between the navigation bridge and steering gear compartment.


All ships officers concerned with the operation and/or maintenance of steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering gear fitted on the ship and with the procedures for:

  • Running with one pump
  • Running with two pumps
  • Emergency steering from steering compartment

Emergency steering procedures

In addition to the routine checks and tests prescribed in paragraphs 1 and 2, emergency steering drills take place at least once every three months in order to practice emergency steering procedures.

These drills include:

  • Direct control within the steering gear compartment
  • Communications procedure with the navigation bridge
  • Operation of alternative power supplies

Single Failure

          Test cocks are provide to isolate and drain the alarm float chamber.

As the float chamber is drained slowly , level switch L1-L2-L3  are triggered in sequence.

The operation of isolation, by-pass and starting of standby pump can be confirmed, without actually draining the main tank.

After the test, make sure system valves are correctly secured and operational.

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