Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

NHVR COVID-19 Support Map: service centres and roadhouses

NHVR COVID-19 Support Map

The NHVR has launched a new online tool that maps service centres, truck stops and roadhouses that remain open for heavy vehicle drivers.

This information has been provided to the NHVR by retailers and heavy vehicle operators and may not be comprehensive. If you have been out on the roads and have seen a business that isn’t listed on the map please get in touch with us via email at digital@nhvr.gov.au

As of Thursday 4 June 2020, the NHVR is maintaining full service levels.

Temporary change to the delivery of face to face training for NHVAS fatigue management modules

A temporary amendment is currently in place to allow NHVAS fatigue management training modules by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to be delivered via video conferencing, due to the requirement of social distancing and restriction related to coronavirus. This applies for NHVR registered RTOs that have approval to deliver NHVAS fatigue management modules TLIF0005 and TLIF0006.

Here is the list of NHVAS approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

The list will be regularly updated to include RTOs that have also been endorsed to deliver training by virtual means where required. This temporary change will remain until 30 September 2020 and will be reassessed as the social distancing and isolation restrictions change.

The NHVR has undertaken a number of recent changes to assist drivers and operators during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the key changes which have involved us, include protocols for driver facilities to remain open, mapping of service centres with driver facilities, a new Daily Safety Checklist, waiving amenity restriction on curfew permits, extending supplementary work diary time limits and temporary changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme medical and face-to-face audit requirements.

Like all businesses we are continuing a process of on-going assessment of our capabilities and how we can deliver services. However we will ensure we balance the needs of supporting a safe heavy vehicle industry with the need to conduct your operations and businesses during a time of great uncertainty.

The NHVR will provide further updates to this page as they come to hand.

Content on this page

Safe Work Australia Information on COVID-19 and work health and safety

Safe Work Australia has information on National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles and work health and safety for various industry sectors which can be found at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Service centres to continue supporting truck drivers

The decision by the National Cabinet to allow service centres and truck stops to remain open for heavy vehicle drivers has been welcomed by the NHVR and industry.

The following applies to businesses operating a truck driver lounge, truck driver room or similar facility at a roadside service centre or service stations:

  • These facilities will be authorised to continue providing services to heavy vehicle drivers in need of food, showers, restrooms and a place to break from driving to manage their fatigue.
  • This exemption is subject to the service station, service centre, road house or similar facility implementing additional protocols provide appropriate social distancing and hygiene arrangements for these facilities. 
  • The facility will remain closed to all other patrons who are not part of the heavy vehicle supply chain.

For the full list of protocols read the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications' Exemption for heavy vehicle drivers to safely manage fatigue from closures of non-essential services.

Am I able to use the NHVR Portal?

The NHVR is maintaining current service levels for Accreditation, Vehicle Standards, Registration services and Access Permits through the NHVR Portal

During this time please be patient when using these services as our staff, service providers or road managers may be impacted.

You can use the NHVR Portal to prepare, lodge and track your applications or requests and there is an Information Request feature to ask questions or raise issues with us.

Like all businesses, the NHVR has planned for disruptions, but we are committed to processing applications and requests as quickly as possible.

Curfew restrictions lifted

Restrictions lifted on curfew permits in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria - The NHVR has agreed to waive restrictions on all curfew permits, except those related to safety and access, to move general freight and grocery deliveries. For the transport of freight during curfew hours in Victoria, travel must adhere to requirements specified in this Victorian Ministerial order.

Western Australia confirms they have no curfew restriction in place as per their Public Authorities (Delivery of Goods and Collection of Rubbish and Refuse) Directions.

Northern Territory has lifted all restrictions that limit the hours of operation or times of delivery for food and retail businesses imposed through conditions of Development Permits. For more information see NT Planning response to COVID-19 (PDF, 604KB) and COVID-19 quarantine effect on freight and logistics into the Northern Territory (PDF, 571KB).

Officers have also been advised to apply discretion to heavy vehicles which may be parked near distribution centres and supermarkets, unless the heavy vehicle is posing a safety risk.

NHVAS changes to medical requirements, face-to-face audit requirements and face to face training for fatigue management modules

The NHVR is providing temporary changes to National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) medical requirements,face-to-face audit requirements and delivery of face- to-face training for fatigue management modules to reduce the accreditation burden on industry:

These changes are:

Temporary change to the delivery of face to face training for NHVAS fatigue management modules

A temporary amendment is currently in place to allow NHVAS fatigue management training modules by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to be delivered via video conferencing, due to the requirement of social distancing and restriction related to coronavirus. This applies for NHVR registered RTOs that have approval to deliver NHVAS fatigue management modules TLIF0005 and TLIF0006.

Here is the list of NHVAS approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

The list will be regularly updated to include RTOs that have also been endorsed to deliver training by virtual means where required. This temporary change will remain until 30 September 2020 and will be reassessed as the social distancing and isolation restrictions change.

Re-registering a NHVAS vehicle in Queensland

Transport and Main Roads Queensland has released temporary measures for individuals and businesses that have cancelled their heavy vehicle registration due to financial impacts of COVID-19.

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/registration/register/vehicle

The change will allow operators who have de-registered a Queensland-plated vehicle after 29 January 2020, to re-register the vehicle without a Certificate of Inspection (COI).

This temporary measure will be in place for up to six months after the public health emergency declaration is revoked to support operators looking to re-register vehicles as operations return to normal.

This change also applies to vehicles nominated in the NHVAS maintenance management module if the vehicle has been de-registered after 29 January 2020. The unregistered vehicle will be able to remain under the operator’s accreditation, allowing the operator to re-register the vehicle without requiring a COI.

A nominated unregistered vehicle under these changes will:

  • need to be captured under the operator’s vehicle register
  • meet all the relevant requirements regards maintenance and servicing
  • undergo a pre-start inspection or check by the operator prior to returning to service to ensure it is in a safe and serviceable condition.

Note: If a new vehicle is being added to the maintenance management module, a current COI is required.

Supplementary work diary records

The NHVR has extended the time limit drivers may use a supplementary work diary record to 30 days in case there is a reduction in the number of existing outlets in any state to purchase a new diary.

If your work diary is filled up, lost, stolen or destroyed you can:

A) Purchase a replacement work diary

Work diaries are available for purchase at over 500 locations, Australia wide. Find a location to purchase a work diary.

B) Use a supplementary work diary record

Notify the NHVR if you can’t purchase a replacement work diary

You must notify the NHVR within two business days if you can’t purchase a replacement work diary.  To do so:

  • Go to the contact us section of the NHVR website
  • Select the Supplementary work diary option enquiry type (click/press circle)
  • Complete the details in all of the boxes (mandatory)
  • Press Submit

Make supplementary records

If your work diary is filled up, lost, stolen or destroyed you must use supplementary records to record your work and rest hours. Supplementary records must record all the information you would normally record in your work diary.

Carry the NHVR’s acknowledgement email and supplementary records when you work

When you notify the NHVR that you can’t purchase a replacement work diary, we will send you an acknowledgement email. You must carry this email with you when you work. You must also carry all supplementary records for the past 28 days.

Stop using supplementary records

You must stop using supplementary records when the first of the following happens:

  • you buy a replacement work diary; or
  • after 30 business days (even if this means you must stop working).

Temporary arrangements to Queensland heavy vehicle escort requirements

The NHVR has put in place temporary variations to some heavy vehicle escort requirements while Queensland Police Service (QPS) resources are redirected to coronavirus activities. 

From 1 April 2020, Operators of Class 1 Oversize and Overmass (OSOM) loads, not exceeding 5.5 metres in width and 35 metres in length, may use the following temporary escorting arrangements:

  Existing arrangements Variation arrangements
No traffic control required One QPS escort and two level two escorts Two level two escorts and two level one pilots
Some traffic control required One QPS escort and two level two escorts Four level two escorts

Loads exceeding 5.5 metres in width and 35 metres in length will continue to require QPS escorts. Please note that QPS availability to escort will be limited.

Operators are not required to update their permit to use the temporary arrangements, however they must keep a copy of the COVID-19 Letter of Authority - Approved temporary variation to escorting arrangements (PDF, 683KB) with their valid permit.

The temporary variation is not valid for wide loads travelling in convoy, any overheight movement, or wide load movements involving contra-traffic flows, reverse direction of travel, traffic control and other manoeuvres contrary to Queensland road rules. 

For more information read the COVID-19 QPS Temporary variation to escorting arrangements info sheet (PDF, 593KB)

PBS Vehicle Certification and COVID-19

Vehicle Certification Rules allow, in some instances, certifiers to engage a third party to conduct the physical inspection on their behalf. Where a third party is used as part of the certification process, the certifier remains responsible for certifications and must be in control of each certification.

The NHVR considers physical inspections carried out by the certifier to be best practice, and acknowledges that there may be some risk in engaging a third party to perform these tasks. Where a third party is engaged to perform the inspection, the certifier must understand that they remain responsible for the certification, just as they would had they carried out the inspection themselves. 

Please note: Some insurers require the certifier to be at every certification. Certifiers are encouraged to contact their insurer to ensure they remain covered in the event of a third party inspection.

For more information see Information for PBS Assessors and Certifiers - Vehicle Certification and COVID-19 (PDF188KB).

Roller-brake testing (RBT) calibration relaxed

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

The NHVR has updated VSG21 - National roller brake testing procedure (PDF, 229KB) to ensure that ongoing testing is reliable while travel restrictions are in place.

Queensland heavy vehicle practical driving tests and free online training

Heavy vehicle practical driving tests resumed in Queensland on Monday 25 May. Bookings will be prioritised for emergency service drivers and those who had tests cancelled due to COVID-19. For more information go to www.qld.gov.au/transport/covid-19-transport/heavy-vehicle-tests

The Queensland Trucking Association is also offering free online training for COVID-19 Hygiene Awareness for Truck & Delivery Drivers. The free course is a valuable training resource to demonstrate you are taking every precaution to implement COVID-19 hygiene protocols to keep your drivers, delivery sites and the community safe. For more information go to www.qta.com.au/COVID19-Training/

Border Restrictions

What border restrictions are in place?

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

Despite these restrictions, all freight movements are continuing.

Additional information is available at:

Am I required to fill out a form when crossing a border?

Entry forms are required for travel into Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia.

  • Northern Territory - Anyone entering NT is required to fill out an NT Border Arrival Form. This is available at the border crossing or can be filled out online.
  • Queensland - Queensland Police have confirmed that freight vehicles will be let through without paperwork.
  • South Australia - In South Australia, transport and freight services are considered 'essential', however your details may be recorded at a border checking point. Essential travellers (includes truck drivers) are required to keep records of close contacts for a 14 day period on the date of their arrival in South Australia. For more information see FAQs - Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 4) (COVID-19) Direction 2020 and Ministerial notice - Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel No 4) (COVID-19) Direction 2020.
  • Tasmania - Those arriving in Tasmania must complete a Tasmanian Arrivals Form. This can be completed before arriving in Tasmania or upon arrival.
  • Western Australia - For freight vehicle drivers a Request for Approval as an Exempt Traveller form must be completed and approved by the WA Police Force prior to travel. You must carry a copy of the completed form and the auto-reply email acknowledging receipt of your WA Entry Request, and produce these if asked by an authorised officer. You should submit your form well prior to your departure from your point of origin.

Can we still drive two-up?

Two-up driving teams are provided for under the NT, QLD, SA, TAS and WA border restriction exemptions, if they fit in the following exemption category and the two-up operations were in place prior to the commencement of the border restrictions:

  • Any person involved in the transport or freight of goods and logistics for goods, into, within and out of states/ territories and practise social distancing wherever possible.  

Some states have advised drivers not to carry passengers who aren’t involved in the freight task.

Does this include coming back with no load and are pilots exempt on return?

Heavy vehicle movements are currently exempt from restrictions if you are involved in the transport or freight of goods and logistics for goods (pilot), into, within and out of the state/territory. 

Do border restriction exemptions apply for FIFO workers?

To be classed an essential traveller and exempt from the border restrictions, you must meet the below categories:

Queensland - FIFO workers in commercial construction, fishing, mining, energy or agribusiness industries are still allowed to enter Queensland to work without having to undertake self-quarantine. However, they will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for, and that they are entering Queensland to go directly to work. The companies they work for will also have to provide a health plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer that ensures adequate hygiene and safety requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

South Australia - Interstate travel for persons who ordinarily live and work in South Australia and travel for work purposes for regular periods according to established work schedules (for example, FIFO workers).

Are NHVR Safety and Compliance Officers still pulling people over?

We are currently maintaining our full service levels including our on-road services.

Our on-road team have been provided with disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitiser to be used when conducting road-side activities to reduce any contact or spread of the virus.

Are service stations closing their showers and amenities?

The NHVR has spoken to major fuel companies and they are currently providing additional cleaning for their facilities and remain operational. Drivers should be aware that most have closed their in-store seating areas.

Drivers should call ahead to ensure other roadhouses and their facilities are open.

Some clear advice from BP Australia in regards to health and safety measures, fuel supply and amenities - https://www.bp.com/en_au/australia/home/media/press-releases/monitor-respond-covid19.html

Operating a truck driver lounge, truck driver room or similar facility at a roadside service centre or service stations

The National Cabinet agreed to provide a national exemption from the general closure of nonessential services for businesses operating a truck driver lounge, truck driver room or similar facility at a roadside service centre or service stations.

These facilities are authorised to continue providing services to heavy vehicle drivers in need of food, showers, restrooms and a place to break from driving to manage their fatigue under the Heavy Vehicle National Law as per the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications' Exemption for heavy vehicle drivers to safely manage fatigue from closures of non-essential services.

The following links provide further information on how this is applied in the relevant state or territory and any variations to the national exemption (list to be expanded as we receive advice from jurisdictions):

Simple steps to avoid coronavirus?

The NHVR is urging heavy vehicle drivers and operators to take steps to maintain their health and wellbeing while health authorities continually update advice on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your staff and colleagues is to practice good hygiene, including:

  • washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitiser
  • keeping work areas, eating surfaces and benches clean
  • covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms

Operators and drivers should carry additional hand sanitiser.

If you become unwell or suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus, please seek medical assistance regardless of whether you believe you may have come into contact with someone with the illness. 

If you are unwell, regardless of the cause, please stay home.