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.

Toowoomba freight routes to be more productive

A national project that aims to make better use of local freight routes is underway, with Toowoomba one of the first communities to benefit.

Visiting Toowoomba last week, NHVR Chief Regulatory Policy and Standards Officer Don Hogben said the Strategic Local Government Assessment Project (SLGAAP) was examining bridges and culverts across the country.

“This project is about working with local governments and industry to identify bridges and culverts that need engineering assessments to improve access for heavy vehicles,” Mr Hogben said.

Victoria work permit update

From 11:59pm 5 August, workers in permitted industries must carry a Worker Permit issued and signed by their employer while within the Melbourne area. This includes the freight industry.

The form requires details of essential work activity on a rolling 7 day schedule. All requirements of fatigue regulations still apply. Drivers must not drive while impaired by fatigue and must continue to comply with work and rest requirements.

Partnership delivers livestock effluent disposal point

Joint Announcement

A new livestock effluent disposal pit at the Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange (HRLE) was opened earlier this month and is now available to all livestock transporters. 

HRLE Manager Paul Christopher said the project was a joint initiative of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and Horsham Rural City Council (Council) and funded under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

COVID-19 special update

COVID-19 special update

Please note: This news article was accurate on 9 July 2020. For the most current information on border restrictions specific to the heavy vehicle industry please go to our dedicated NHVR coronavirus page.

The renewed outbreak of coronavirus in Victoria has prompted significant changes to border requirements across Australia. We are working hard to collate and provide the most accurate, timely information and will endeavour to keep you informed as things evolve.

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