Changes to the HVNL and its as­so­ci­ated reg­u­la­tions will see the max­i­mum weight of some com­bi­na­tions lift to 46.5 tonnes

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

CHANGES TO THE Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law (HVNL) and its as­so­ci­ated reg­u­la­tions will see the max­i­mum weight of some heavy ve­hi­cle com­bi­na­tions lift to 46.5 tonnes from July 1, up four tonnes from the cur­rent mass limit.

The Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor (NVHR) has re­leased a se­ries of fact sheets about what the law changes in a bid to help heavy ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tors pre­pare for the start of the new sys­tem.

NVHR CEO Sal Petroc­citto says the changes will help pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity for op­er­a­tors of twin steer tri-axle semi­trailer com­bi­na­tions.

Un­der the new laws, the sum of all axle groups on such a truck must not ex­ceed the new 46.5 tonne limit, with a trailer tri-axle group lim­ited to 20t, a tan­dem drive axle group to 16.5t and a twin-steer axle group lim­ited to 11t when fit­ted with a load-shar­ing sus­pen­sion sys­tem. How­ever, the NHVR notes, some com­bi­na­tions with a twin-steer prime mover and tri-axle group semi-trailer may be el­i­gi­ble for in­creased mass lim­its un­der mass ex­cep­tions pro­vided by con­ces­sional mass lim­its or higher mass lim­its ap­pli­ca­ble in dif­fer­ent states.

An­other change will re­quire heavy ve­hi­cles to op­er­ate un­der a max­i­mum towed mass ra­tio of 1:1 when us­ing tag trail­ers, a type of semi­trailer which is con­nected to the tow­ing ve­hi­cle by a rigid draw­bar and which has a sin­gle axle or axle group to­wards the end of its load car­ry­ing sur­face.

This means that when in com­bi­na­tion, the op­er­at­ing axle mass of a tag trailer must not be more than the to­tal axle mass of the tow­ing ve­hi­cle or the low­est rated com­po­nent in the com­bi­na­tion.

These re­quire­ments also ap­ply to dog and pig trail­ers, but not to other types of semi-trailer. An­other fact sheet sum­marises some of the mi­nor changes to the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Safety Stan­dards which will come into ef­fect from July 1.

The NHVR says the changes are “rel­a­tively mi­nor”, mainly align­ing new and in-ser­vice safety stan­dards in­clud­ing al­low­ing warn­ing signs on long ve­hi­cles and road trains to be made from flex­i­ble ma­te­rial and re­quir­ing a man­ual con­den­sate drain valve be fit­ted along­side au­to­matic con­den­sate drain valves.

They will all be in­tro­duced along­side a new na­tional heavy ve­hi­cle plate to be is­sued in New South Wales, Queens­land, South Aus­tralia, Tas­ma­nia and the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory from July 1 – with Victoria to join the scheme in Oc­to­ber.

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