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.

Subscribe to On the Road

Got a story or photo you'd like included in On The Road? Email it to us for consideration in our next issue.

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.

NHVR officers lending hand to fire-impacted communities

NHVR officers escorting hay deliveries along damaged roads

NHVR staff across Victoria and South Australia have been doing their part for the bushfire relief effort with officers assisting to get hay to isolated, bushfire-effected areas.

Director Southern Region (Operations) Paul Simionato said that staff in Victoria and South Australia had stepped up to help out wherever they could.

“The NHVR was approached by the Victoria Police to assist with road traffic management, escort activities and traffic control,” Mr Simionato said. 

Heavy vehicle industry reviews should align for better outcome

Heavy Vehicle National Law

The NHVR is calling for two major reviews to be considered together, avoiding duplication and delivering better safety and productivity outcomes for the industry. 

The call was made as part of the NHVR’s response to the Productivity Commission’s draft paper on National Transport Regulatory Reform.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto's response called for the Productivity Commission’s findings to be included as part of the ongoing National Transport Commission (NTC) Review into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). 

Female truck drivers say enough is enough to road toll

WiTA Launch 2020

Fed up with the number of preventable crashes on Australian roads, including 1,188 road fatalities in 2019, female truck drivers are speaking out in a new campaign which aims to reduce risky behaviour.

NHVR Director Southern Region Paul Simionato said that Women in Trucking Australia Ltd (WiTA) - established by female heavy vehicle drivers to encourage and support more women into driving careers – was one of 24 organisations that received funding through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government.

Body worn cameras to be rolled out to NHVR officers

Body Worn Cameras

Body worn cameras (BWCs) have been issued to all NHVR Safety and Compliance Officers (SCOs) following a recent trial in South Australia and Tasmania.

The BWC is a portable camera worn by NHVR officers to capture audio and video recordings of interactions between officers and those involved in heavy vehicle transport activities.

It also provides a number of important safety benefits by encouraging safe and mutually respectful interactions.

Minor regulation amendments for bus and road train mass

Road train

Some minor regulation changes for three-axle bus mass limits and steer axle mass limits for road trains will begin today.

Three-axle bus limits will increase from 20 tonnes to 22 tonne, reflecting increasing average weight of passengers. Previously buses were able to operate in some states at 22 tonne under permit.

The steer axle limit for road trains will increase from 6.7 tonnes to 7.1 tonnes (for tyre widths of at least 375mm). This reflects the increases in modern road trains’ tare weight.

PBS access improved at Port of Brisbane

Shipping containers

The first Port Declared Freight Precinct in Queensland has been declared at the Port of Brisbane, improving access for approved Perfomance-Based Standards (PBS) Level 2 combinations. 

The joint initiative by the NHVR, TMR, Brisbane City Council and the Port of Brisbane will deliver greater efficiencies relating to the importing and exporting of heavier and larger containers that are over current mass and dimension restrictions. 

Victorian transitions escort services and on-road compliance to the NHVR

OSOM escort

All VicRoads on-road services have transitioned to the NHVR, with Victoria joining South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said operators would see distinctive NHVR uniforms and vehicles on Victorian roads. 

“As a national regulator, the NHVR can provide nationally consistent training and enforcement methods and resources, and undertake more complex, cross-border Chain of Responsibility investigations,” Sal said.

National fatigue operation underway

Operation command centre

The NHVR is urging heavy vehicle drivers to take care in the lead up to Christmas while Authorised Officers conduct a multi-agency fatigue compliance operation.

NHVR Chief Operations Officer Paul Salvati said the latest Operation Wake Up, coordinated by the NHVR, was underway across Australia with Authorised Officers checking drivers for compliance with fatigue regulations.

“Making sure that you’re managing your fatigue is one of the most important things you can do as a heavy vehicle operator to keep yourself and other road users safe,” Mr Salvati said. 

Kamili gets OSOM access

Kamili gets OSOM access

Three of the 60,000 access permits processed through the NHVR this year were for giraffes.

The latest was Kamili who last week completed the trip from Perth to Melbourne, transported by Melbourne-based operator L Arthur Transport Services.

The NHVR coordinated the oversize, overmass access arrangements in place to ensure Kamili’s safety on the 3400 km journey.

Kamili stopping for petrol

New permit scheme benefits Queensland crane industry

Crane Permit Scheme

A new permit scheme for crane operations began across Queensland in late November as part of the on-going transition of Class 1 permits.

NHVR Program Director Annette Finch said the new Queensland Class 1 Crane Permit Scheme was the result of work undertaken by the NHVR, Local Government Association Queensland and the Crane Industry Council Australia.

“This scheme will increase productivity and reduce the burden for the crane industry operating across Queensland,” Annette said.

AFM study supports move to flexible and risk-based approach to fatigue

Advanced Fatigue Management

An NHVR survey of close to 40 heavy vehicle operators using Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) has found that those taking advantage of the flexibility offered by AFM had fewer fatigue-related incidents, an improved safety culture and higher productivity than other operators. 

NHVR Principal Safety Assurance Advisor Andreas Blahous said that the study followed calls for the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to allow for increased flexibility when effective fatigue management systems are in place.

Wine Industry Day prepares industry for 2019 harvest

Wine Industry Day

Grapegrowers and wine producers, together with carriers, harvest operators and drivers, must ensure they take all reasonable steps to comply with the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws. 

NHVR Manager Stakeholder Relations and Customer Experience John Gilbert said a recent Wine Industry Day in South Australia was an important opportunity for grape growers to understand their obligations under Chain of Responsibility legislation.

“Grapes spilling off the back of heavy vehicles can make our roads slippery and dangerous for other motorists,” John said.

NHVR and partner agencies investigate Victorian companies

NHVR and partner agencies investigate Victorian companies

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and South Australia Police have commenced an investigation into allegations about the remapping of truck engines throughout Australia.

NHVR Director of Investigations Steve Underwood said that remapping allows emissions controls and speed limiters on heavy vehicles to be modified.

“Remapping engines allows trucks to exceed the speed limit unimpeded, endangering all other road users,” Steve said.

“These are very serious allegations and we are concerned about how widespread this practice may be.

New NHVR Portal service goes live!

New NHVR Portal service goes live!

The NHVR has announced that the Vehicle Standards service will be available in the NHVR Portal from 4pm Wednesday 16 October.

This is another step towards giving industry a single source of business information, streamlining interactions and linking NHVR’s services.

Vehicle Standards applications for In-Principle Support, Exemption Permits and Modifications will be able to be lodged through the NHVR Portal.

You will also be able to attach:

Top access tips for operators

Top access tips for operators

The NHVR has released a top tips guide to the Portal to help operators reduce their application processing times.

NHVR Access Manager Roger Garcia said the short guide was aimed at addressing common errors and questions when applying for access permits.

“Following these simple tips makes it faster and easier for us to process your permit applications,” Roger said.

Interest in EWDs growing

Interest in EWD's growing

The NHVR is currently assessing a number of applications for approval as Electronic Work Diaries.

NHVR Executive Director Safety Standards and Assurance Geoff Casey said the current round of applications were of a varying quality after a number of earlier applications had fallen short of requirements. 

New road rules announced in Tasmania

New road rules announced in Tasmania

From 1 December, 2019 in Tasmania, all motorists must safely slow to 40km/h as they pass any stationary or slow moving emergency vehicle with red, blue or magenta lights flashing. 

The rule includes NHVR vehicles displaying magenta lights.

It applies to traffic travelling in either direction, unless there’s a dividing barrier between the motorist and the emergency vehicle.