Route assess tool to expedite access
The NHVR, in collaboration with the ARRB, has released the new Restricted Access Vehicle Route Assessment Tool for local governments
IN A JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT on September 12, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the Australian Road Research Board (AARB) have released what they say is a cutting edge route assessment tool for participating jurisdictions through the NHVR portal.
The upgraded restricted Access Vehicle Route Assessment Tool (RAVRAT) will be provided free to local governments.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto describes RAVRAT as being a piece of functionality that the regulator has been working collaboratively on with the AARB, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and local governments.
He admits that RAVRAT has gone through certain cycles in terms of its value and worth to local governments.
“But I’m really pleased to say that the joint collaboration and that strong working relationship that we’re now building with AARB, and not to forget my local government colleagues, has meant that we now have functionality for local government which has been integrated into the NHVR portal.”
Petroccitto says the new RAVRAT will help over 400 road managers understand how they do route assessments.
“We dealt with nearly 40,000 permits last year as an organisation. That’s pushing to almost 60 odd percent of what all permits that are being dealt with through the country at the moment.
“Anything we can do that can support, streamline and inform local government and state agencies to make a quicker, faster decision … is a positive outcome.”
ARRB’s state technical leader Matthew Bereni says RAVRAT version 2.0 includes a new interface for the website and integration into the NHVR portal – Road Manager Module.
“There have been a number of improvements to RAVRAT which will ensure a reduction in assessment times, improved user experience and enhanced training material,” Bereni says.
“RAVRAT currently incorporates three main route assessment modules with the aim to develop more modules in the future.
“We are moving forward to a more streamlined and better understanding of our roads. And it means we will need to rely less and less on permits.”
ARRB engineer Kieran Hay explains that RAVRAT is a user-friendly program.
“It goes through a simple question, answer format; pretty much anyone is able to use it,” Hay says.
“Some of the criteria require measurements, such as lane width where eventually it will ask you how wide is your road.
“So that is the only time you really need to go out and measure anything.
“One of the key things with RAVRAT is it will actually ask you how you got that value so you can actually do a reliability of your route.
“It also has some key reporting functions so you can export a lot of this data into a spreadsheet and then you can analyse that data later.
“So you can find what we call ‘pinch points’ in a network, so if your entire network is PBS 4B compatible and then you’re got two roads that aren’t, and they’re key factors, you can actually go and see that and then you spend some money to upgrade those,” Hay says.
However, Petroccitto has not ruled out fleet operators having access to RAVRAT in the future.
“At the moment it is predominantly used for local governments and their interface between what comes in through our portal and then goes to them to help do their assessment.
“But there’s no reason why we couldn’t consider opening this up more in the early planning stages
At the RAVRAT launch: From left, Robert Chow, LGAQ project manager heavy vehicle access; NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto; ARRB state technical leader Matthew Bereni; ARRB engineer Kieran Hay; and Scott Britton, LGAQ principal advisor – roads, transport and infrastructure