On The Road

Welcome to On The Road, our fortnightly newsletter bringing you the latest from the heavy vehicle industry. It includes the latest NHVR news and events, relevant law and policy changes, and resources to help industry members comply with the HVNL. You can subscribe to receive On the Road via email.

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On this page you can read individual news articles from On The Road. Please visit our Newsletter archive if you want to see the actual newsletter that gets sent out.

Tell us about bridges and culverts

Truck on bridge

The Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP) is working with local governments and industry to identify bridges and culverts that need engineering assessments to improve access for OSOM vehicles.

The Phase 1 Pilot is well underway with 100 bridges and culverts across 12 councils now being assessed by engineers. Visit the SLGAAP project site to view the full list of councils and the assets involved in the pilot.

NHVR encourages heavy vehicle industry to get involved

NTC Consultation

The NHVR has welcomed the release of a consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) of the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that considerable work has gone into the development of the consultation RIS during an extensive consultation period.

“Since its introduction in 2014, the HVNL has raised numerous issues for the industry and the regulator and time is right for a new approach,” Sal said.

Opened service centres welcomed by drivers

Map

Thank you to the retailers and heavy vehicle operators that have provided information to update the NHVR Service Centre map.

The map was launched earlier this month to show which service centres, truck stops and roadhouses remain open for heavy vehicle drivers.

Stakeholder Engagement and Customer Experience Manager John Gilbert thanked service centres for their efforts in remaining open to support drivers.

Visual inspections continue as RBT calibration relaxed

Inspections

The NHVR has granted a temporary relaxation of calibration requirements for roller-brake testing (RBT) equipment.

NHVR Vehicle Safety and Performance Manager Peter Austin said the NHVR’s National Roller Brake Test Procedure required that machines used to conduct tests are calibrated in accordance with the manufacturers’ standards every 12 or 24 months.

“We have had manufacturers come to us reporting difficulty in achieving some of the calibration requirements because of the current travel restrictions,” Mr Austin said.

Half tracked rubber tracked tractors now allowed on roads

Tractor

 

Farmers are now able to operate half tracked rubber tracked tractors on public roads without a permit following recent amendments to the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2019.

The NHVR undertook engineering assessments and consultation on the infrastructure impacts of these vehicles, which showed they imposed no greater risk than the vehicles already allowed by the Notice.

Amendments to PBS Frontal Swing Requirements

PBS

Amendments to the PBS Frontal Swing standard will begin from today (April 1 2020).

NHVR’s Chief Engineer, Les Bruzsa said the increase will allow for greater flexibility for PBS vehicle designs.

“The rigid truck and prime mover performance measure of 0.7m has been found to be restrictive for twin-steer and longer wheelbase PBS vehicles, especially when fitted with bull bars,” Les said.

Temporary variations for Class 1 OSOM escort requirements in Queensland

OSOM

Temporary variations to Class 1 Oversize Over Mass (OSOM) escort requirements will commence in Queensland today (1 April 2020) while Queensland Police Service (QPS) resources are redirected to coronavirus activities. 

Operators of Class 1 OSOM loads that don’t exceed 5.5 metres in width and 35 metres in length may use the following temporary escorting arrangements from 1 April:

 

Existing arrangements

Enhanced route planning feature now available

Route Planner

Users of the Route Planner in the NHVR Portal can now translate a visual map into a text-based distance and time description of their route to help them plan and cost their trip.

The new tool will help operators determine the distance travelled against a single route and can be used to calculate fuel consumption costs. This will give operators a stronger understanding of the true costs associated with a given route.

The distance and time information can be found in the new dedicated 'DISTANCE' tab.

Supplementary record use extended to 30 days

Standard Work Diary

The NHVR has announced an extension to the time limit drivers may use a supplementary work diary record, as part of its ongoing efforts to assist industry through the coronavirus pandemic.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that from Wednesday April 1, drivers can use supplementary records for up to 30 driver business days, compared to the current seven day limit.

“Drivers who complete, lose or have their diary stolen or destroyed and can’t get an immediate replacement can use the Diary Daily Sheets for up to 30 days,” Sal said.

NHVR reducing burden on industry accreditation

Accreditation

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has announced temporary changes to National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) medical requirements and face-to-face audit requirements, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the regulator has listened to the industry and the common-sense changes would be implemented from Wednesday 25 March.

“We are making some practical changes that will help to take pressure off the health system and support operators and drivers in a time of unprecedented demand,” Sal said. 

Update on cross-border travel

Queensland Border

Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania have border restrictions in place. There are currently no restrictions in place for travel between Victoria, NSW and the ACT.

Despite these restrictions, all freight movements are continuing. It’s business as usual.

However we ask that you keep abreast of information provided by State, Territory and Federal Government agencies.

Additional information is available at:

Cross border arrangements

Cross border arrangements

Several state governments have placed restrictions on cross-border movements this week as a control measure against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

All governments are committed to ensuring the freight continues, with individual states issuing the below definitions of who is exempt from restrictions at their border:

Queensland

Report puts livestock supply chain safety in focus

Livestock supply chain

The NHVR is calling for feedback on future safety reforms across the livestock supply chain. 

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto told last week’s Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association’s 2020 Conference in Tamworth that the review would target several key areas where Chain of Responsibility laws applied to the movement of sheep and cattle.

“We’ve identified a range of issues including loading practices, understanding of mass management and general understanding of regulatory responsibilities,” Sal said.

NHVR urges caution over spate of grape spills

Wine spills

The NHVR is warning drivers to be aware of spilled grapes on South Australian roads.

NHVR Manager Stakeholder Engagement John Gilbert said that it was critical that operators, vineyards, wineries and others involved in transporting grapes put in place robust safety systems to ensure a safe journey for everyone.

“We want to see these grapes made into great South Australian wine, not left to rot on our highways,” John said.

Fatigue Choices for work and rest hour flexibility

Fatigue Choices

Flexibility for drivers using work and rest hours is within reach for many heavy vehicle operators.

NHVR Fatigue Specialist Andreas Blahous said a new Fatigue Choice customer program would assist operators to ensure their business is making the most of existing fatigue laws.

“Applying for AFM does not have to be a difficult process, but does require a commitment by the business and staff to some additional safety measures,” Andreas said.

Survey seeks insight into industry’s safety management

Safety Survey

The NHVR is conducting its latest survey into how the heavy vehicle industry and supply chain is tackling their safety responsibilities.

NHVR Safety Assurance Director Greg Fill said the online safety survey would assist the NHVR to decide how best to develop future safety information.

“With the introduction of safety duties provisions in October 2018, we want to understand how these changes have impacted everyday safety practices.

“We want to hear from everyone across the industry and supply chain about what they do to manage safety. 

Digital products and data platforms are modernising heavy vehicle safety and productivity

Technology modernising heavy vehicle safety

Technology is allowing the NHVR to modernise the way heavy vehicle safety and productivity services are delivered.

Using the mixture of data and digital platforms, the NHVR is continuing to explore new ways to make it easier to do business for one of the most important industries in Australia.

The most recent leap forward came when the NHVR started integrating heavy vehicle data and information into a secure national database known as the Safety and Compliance Regulatory Platform.

NHVR commences first prosecution under new Chain of Responsibility laws

prosecutions

The NHVR has commenced its first prosecution under new Chain of Responsibility laws, laying charges against a company director for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure the company complied with its safety duty.

NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance Ray Hassall said that NHVR Investigators conducted a safety duties investigation into a Victorian trucking company in relation to fatigue management of its drivers.

“We believe the company failed to comply with conditions of its fatigue management accreditation,” Ray said.