Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan

Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan

Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan 2020–2025 (PDF, 4.5MB)

This Plan outlines our intent to deliver safe, efficient and productive heavy vehicle movements supporting a strong and prosperous Australia.

 

Objectives

We intend to deliver safe, efficient and productive heavy vehicle movements supporting a strong and prosperous Australia through this Plan’s three objectives:

  1. Provide access certainty and consistency.
  2. Partner with local government to build capability.
  3. Promote safer and more-productive vehicles that are better for the environment and communities.

Consultation and strategic alignment

We worked with governments and industry to develop the Plan, to make sure it aligned with their heavy vehicle and road freight objectives.

This involved:

  • pre-submission consultation with 55 stakeholders
  • a webinar with 178 registered participants
  • 9 workshops with the Commonwealth Government, all state and territory transport agencies, and all local government associations in the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria
  • 23 formal submissions. 

The Plan also takes into account the Commonwealth Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, Review of Oversize Overmass Access Arrangements (OSOM Review), state and territory government freight plans and strategies, and work by the National Transport Commission and Austroads.

Actions and delivery

The Plan doesn’t include our full work program; instead it sets out actions over a five-year period based on priorities requested by our stakeholders.

We have already made significant progress in delivering these actions, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, state and territory transport agencies, local governments and customers, specifically:

  • nine were delivered in 2020–21
  • 10 are in progress 
  • 11 have been incorporated into the NHVR’s core business 
  • One – to evaluate and develop digital tools that enable analysis and visualisation of de-identified movement data collected for access purposes – is scheduled to commence after 2023.

Key highlights for industry and road managers in 2020-2021

Achievement Benefit

Delivered 13 national notices and 16 state and territory notices in 2021–22, in partnership with state and territory transport agencies and road managers.

Notices create permit-free networks and maximise the use of roads, thereby delivering significant productivity benefits for industry, and eliminating the need for road managers to undertake repeat route assessments for vehicles and movements they consider to be safe.

Partnered with the Commonwealth Government and local government road managers to deliver the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP).

By 30 June 2021, we had completed engineering assessments for 299 local-government-owned assets across 74 council areas.

The assessment results give road managers the information they need to improve access and productivity, and give industry the ability to choose the best route for their heavy vehicle movements.

Developed a Digital Asset Management tool (DAM). The DAM currently:

  • identifies assets, displays basic data and provides links to asset assessments (if available)
  • provides asset report for more than 100 vehicle configurations.

The DAM provides industry with important asset information to improve their route planning, and supports road managers to make efficient, consistent and transparent decisions to improve access and productivity.

Delivered customised access permit reporting and mapping tools to road managers through the NHVR Portal.

Easily accessible information and analytics on historic access permit decisions, which can be visualised on a map, provides road managers with the evidence and insights to expand gazetted and pre-approved networks.

Delivered a suite of online technical training programs for road managers.

The online ‘Approved Guidelines for Granting Access’ and technical training sessions delivered by the NHVR’s engineers will improve local government knowledge and understanding of heavy vehicle mass and dimension, vehicle performance, and best-practice approaches to route assessment.

Key focus areas for 2021-22

  • In partnership with state and territory transport agencies, we have developed a PBS Notice for Tier 1 PBS Vehicles (PBS Level 1 – 4). This Notice will enable lower-risk PBS vehicles that meet the PBS Tier 1 bridge formulae to access approved networks without a permit. The consent process commenced in May 2021 and we will publish the Notice in 2021 – 2022.
  • We have started the National Spatial Program, which will deliver a nationally consistent mapping solution and intelligent route planning platform for road managers and industry, using consistently sourced data.
  • Finalising Round 1 of the SLGAAP, and planning for the next phase, which will see up to 1,000 additional assets assessed for local government. We will also continue to enhance the DAM to provide road managers with a progressively more sophisticated facility to store, manage and assess asset information; and to automate assessment for low-risk access requests (subject to the quality and currency of data provided by local government.
  • To further support road managers and to improve their knowledge and capability, the NHVR will be running a series of webinars specifically on undertaking heavy vehicle assessments of bridges and culverts.

Annual Scorecard

The following tables show our progress as at 30 June 2021.

Objective 1: Provide access certainty and consistency

Goal 1: Provide value to government and industry through the targeted elimination of access permits

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020-2021
Encourage road managers to expand gazetted and pre-approved networks through enhanced data sharing solutions for historic access permit approvals. Delivered (with ongoing improvements)

We have delivered customised reporting and mapping tools to road managers through the NHVR Portal.

The Road access volume report provides road managers with an analytical view of access permit data in the form of tables and heat maps. Access permit data can be filtered by various vehicle and permit attributes (e.g. vehicle type, requested route, approved/refused, date).

This information provides road managers with the evidence and insights to expand gazetted and pre-approved networks.

We will continue to enhance the Road access volume report to provide road managers with more sophisticated analytical capabilities.

Continue to deliver and maintain national, state and territory notices prioritised by safety and productivity benefits to government and industry. Core business

In 2020–21, we delivered 13 national notices and 16 state and territory notices, in partnership with state and territory transport agencies and road managers.

Creating end-to-end permit-free networks and maximising the use of roads is critical to delivering significant productivity benefits for industry, and eliminating the need for road managers to undertake repeat route assessments for vehicles and movements they deem to be safe.

We will continue to partner with our government and industry partners to improve access and productivity through the targeted elimination of access permits through notices.

See Notices and permit-based schemes for more information.

Publish and maintain a prioritised notice development and maintenance program on the NHVR website with key milestones and status updates. In progress We are working with government and industry stakeholders on three new priority national notices for the livestock, grain and transport of baled commodities sectors.
Establish a national working group to guide notice prioritisation, development and maintenance. Delivered We have established the National Notice Advisory Group, which provides a forum for us to discuss and progress the development of notices with state and territory transport agencies. This ensures national outcomes are supported with consideration of localised needs.

Goal 2: Provide greater access and certainty for PBS vehicles

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Continue to exempt a greater range of PBS vehicles from access permit requirements on existing equivalent prescriptive gazetted networks or PBS-specific networks. In progress

We have partnered with state and territory transport agencies to develop a PBS Notice for Tier 1 PBS Vehicles (PBS Level 1-4). This will enable lower-risk PBS vehicles that meet the PBS Tier 1 bridge formulae to access approved networks without a permit.

The road manager consent process began in May 2021.

We have also started work on an enhanced PBS Tier 3 Notice and PBS Truck and Dog Notice, to provide access under notice for a more diverse range of PBS vehicles. 

Encourage road managers to expand gazetted and pre-approved PBS networks through enhanced data-sharing solutions for historic PBS access permit approvals and PBS vehicle designs. Delivered (with ongoing improvements)

We have delivered customised PBS access permit reporting and mapping tools to road managers through the NHVR Portal.

The Road access volume report provides road managers with an analytical view of access permit data for PBS vehicles in the form of tables and heat maps. PBS access permit data can be filtered by various vehicle and permit attributes related to PBS vehicles (e.g. PBS vehicle level, PBS vehicle class, requested route, approved/refused, date).

This information provides road managers with the evidence and insights to expand gazetted and pre-approved networks for PBS vehicles of all levels and classes.

The Road access volume report will continue to be enhanced to provide road managers with more sophisticated analytical capabilities relating to PBS access permits.

Enable tailored access to parts of the road network that would otherwise have been deemed unsuitable through data-sharing of PBS vehicle technical assessment results. Delivered

We have partnered with PBS Assessors and the PBS Review Panel to deliver PBS technical performance results to road managers through the NHVR Portal.

The PBS Technical Results Sheet provides information to road managers on the vehicle performance values for each of the standards, supplied by PBS Assessors as part of the PBS Design Approval application.

It also provides road managers with an explanation of the standards for different PBS levels, so they can better understand the performance of PBS vehicles, as well as the rigorous assessment undertaken by the NHVR, PBS Assessors and industry when designing and approving PBS vehicles.

This information is designed to help road managers understand the benefits of PBS vehicles and make informed access decisions regarding the specific PBS vehicle seeking access.

Goal 3: Facilitate access and productivity through understanding the capacity and capability of key freight roads and structures

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Develop and deliver the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project. In progress

We are partnering with the Commonwealth Government and local government road managers to deliver the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project.

The Project assists local government road managers across Australia to undertake Tier 1 and Tier 2 assessments of on-road assets, such as bridges and culverts, so that they can improve access and productivity.

The assessment results give road managers the information they need to make informed, efficient, safe and productive access decisions, and give industry the ability to choose the best route for their heavy vehicle movements.

100 assets were assessed in 12 council areas in the Pilot Phase, and 231 assessments are underway for 69 councils for Round 1. The information is available through the Assets layer in the NHVR Portal. Registered government and industry users can access this information through their NHVR Portal accounts.

See Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project for more information. Register for project updates at https://nhvr.engagementhub.com.au

Build a national map of key freight roads and structures that provides a central platform to consistently store, manage and view asset information. In progress

We are developing a Digital Asset Management tool (DAM) through the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project.

Industry and road managers can access it through the NHVR Portal. It currently:

  • identifies assets, displays basic data and provides links to asset assessments (if available) 
  • supports route planning for industry
  • provides asset report for more than 100 vehicle configurations.

We will make more data available through the DAM as assets are assessed and we receive the information.

We will continue to enhance the DAM to provide road managers with a progressively more sophisticated facility to store, manage and assess asset information, and to automate assessment for low-risk access requests (subject to the quality and currency of data provided by local government).

See Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project for more information.

Advocate for dedicated annual funding to continue the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project beyond the initial funded program. Delivered

The Commonwealth Government has allocated a further $12.1m over three years (2021–2024) to continue the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project.

We are currently planning for the next phase, to be delivered over three years.

Goal 4: Facilitate greater access and productivity through movement data

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Work with road managers to understand how to use movement data and to develop policies enabling greater access and productivity through technology. In progress

We are partnering with state and territory transport agencies to progress a consistent approach to the use of technology to improve access and productivity.

Our position on technology and data is that their application as a condition for access should be related to genuine safety or infrastructure protection reasons and, in return, industry benefits from productivity gains and access certainty that would have otherwise not have been provided.

Forums such as the National Heavy Vehicle Access Policy Working Group, National Telematics Framework Working Group and National Notice Advisory Group will help develop policies, information and solutions that provide road managers with a better understanding of access-related technologies and best-practice approaches to the application of telematics for access and productivity improvement reasons.

Progressively adopt a range of technology solutions, with assurance levels appropriate to the safety and infrastructure risk of vehicle. Core business

We are partnering with state and territory transport agencies to progress a consistent approach to the use of technology to provide more flexible solutions that increase access and productivity.

We will continue to work with our government stakeholders to ensure that, if telematics technology is required for safety and infrastructure protection reasons by a road manager, appropriate access and productivity incentives are offered back to industry.

Evaluate and develop digital tools that enable analysis and visualisation of de-identified movement data collected for access purposes. Scheduled To be scheduled.

Objective 2: Partner with local government to build capability

Goal 1: Develop an education and support program on heavy vehicle performance and route assessments

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Continue to deliver and expand the range of education and training material available to road managers. Core business

Through the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project, we are developing a Local Government Asset Assessment Toolkit. This will support road managers and provide a standard approach to heavy vehicle assessments.

We have also partnered with the Commonwealth Government, state and territory transport agencies and Austroads to provide road managers with information and guidelines to improve understanding of heavy vehicles and road freight.

Continue to facilitate forums, workshops and online training for council engineers. Core business

We have delivered a program of online technical training sessions to improve local government knowledge and understanding of heavy vehicle mass and dimension, performance, and route assessment.

Our engineers have provided training to road managers on the following topics:

  • Overview of the NHVR and HVNL
  • Application of bridge formulae and HVNL exceptions
  • Overview of PBS vehicles
  • Overview of Class 1 OSOM/SPV vehicles
  • Overview of Class 1 Agricultural vehicles
  • Route assessments
  • Structural assessments.

We will continue to develop and deliver technical information and training sessions to road managers to improve their knowledge and capabilities.

Continue to facilitate engagement opportunities between road managers and industry to build relationships and to enable collaboration leading to mutually beneficial outcomes. Core business

We have partnered with governments and industry to deliver significant safety and productivity outcomes across Australia.

Grain Producers South Australia and farmers on the Eyre Peninsula assisted us to identify improvements to the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2019 and to develop a solution that is now benefiting farmers across Australia. A new performance measure was developed for tow mass ratio and speed, enabling industry to tow more than previously allowed. This innovative method, which can be tested using everyday equipment, was accepted by state and territory transport agencies as a safe alternative to previous prescriptive requirements.

In conjunction with the Crane Industry Council of Australia, Concrete Pumping Association of Australia and Australian Drilling Industry Association, we partnered with Transport and Main Roads, Transurban and Brisbane City Council to improve access for SPVs in South East Queensland. Under the renewed National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice 2021, SPVs can now access the Clem 7, Airport Link and Legacy Way tunnels, provided they meet all the requirements of the Notice and specified dimension limits.

We established an engagement hub as part of the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project. The hub includes a comprehensive interactive mapping tool that allows road managers and industry across Australia to identify bridges and culverts with restricted heavy vehicle access. This collaborative process assisted us to prioritise assessment of assets of value to governments and industry.

We will continue to work together with government and industry stakeholders to develop collaborative solutions that improve safety, access and productivity.

Continue to encourage the implementation of Heavy Vehicle Access Liaison Officer in participating jurisdictions. Delivered

A Heavy Vehicle Access Liaison Officer has been implemented in South Australia, following the successful Queensland example.

In consultation with other state and territory transport agencies, it has been decided that Heavy Vehicle Access Liaison Officers are not required in their jurisdictions at this time.

Goal 2: Equip road managers with route assessment products

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Develop an on-demand and self-paced eLearning program on the revised Approved Guidelines for Granting Access. Delivered

We have developed an online training program for the Approved Guidelines for Granting Access.

This interactive training program provides road managers with key information about the Heavy Vehicle National Law, NHVR and best-practice approaches to route assessment.

Centralise availability of route assessment tools and guidelines with the NHVR Core business

We continue to partner with the Australian Road Research Board to provide the Restricted Access Vehicle Route Assessment Tool (RAVRAT) to road managers for free. The RAVRAT is embedded in the NHVR Portal.

Through the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project, we are developing and will embed a Rapid Assessment Tool (RAT) for Tier 1 structural assessments in the NHVR Portal. The intent of the RAT is to help road managers efficiently and consistently undertake Tier 1 bridge assessments for a range of reference vehicles. The RAT will also be accessible by industry, so it can better plan journeys.

We have partnered with the Commonwealth Government, state and territory transport agencies and Austroads to develop Options for a National Heavy Vehicle Access Assessment System (NHVAAS). The purpose of this project is to define and evaluate options for a central NHVAAS that supports road managers to make efficient, informed, and consistent access decisions. 

At the request of Transport for New South Wales, our engineers completed testing and a report on PBS acceleration capability to assist in access decisions over rail level crossings. Other jurisdictions have expressed support for this tool, as it will help them make better access decisions and negotiate access over rail lines with third parties.

Develop nationally consistent route assessment and network classification guidelines Core Business
Continue the provision and enhancement of route assessment products Core Business

Goal 3: Deliver digital and data solutions to enable improved government and industry decision-making

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Develop an access permit data hub that analyses and visualises historic access permit outcomes by road for different vehicle types Delivered (with ongoing improvements)

We have delivered customised reporting and mapping tools to road managers through the NHVR Portal.

In addition to the Road access volume report, the Permits and Permit Finder functions provide road managers with additional filtering capabilities and more granular information to better understand and manage heavy vehicle access and road freight operations (e.g. maximum and average dimensions and mass, customer name, permit ID).

This information supports timely, consistent and transparent access decisions, and also provides road managers with the complementary information and tools to preserve valuable administrative and operational knowledge (e.g. eliminate loss of knowledge through staff turnover).

The Road access volume report will continue to be enhanced to provide road managers with more sophisticated analytical capabilities.

Develop a national mapping solution for heavy vehicle access related services In progress

We have started a National Spatial Program, which will deliver a nationally consistent mapping solution and intelligent route planning platform for road managers and industry, using consistently sourced data.

The first phase will be delivered incrementally, beginning in late 2021.

See National Spatial Program for more information.

Objective 3: Promote safer and more productive heavy vehicles that are better for the environment and communities

Goal 1: Incentivise the uptake of modern vehicles with the latest safety and environmental technologies

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Develop a Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Uptake Plan to accelerate and incentivise the uptake of safety and environmental technology in the heavy vehicle fleet Delivered

We have released the Vehicle Safety and Environmental Uptake Plan (Vehicle SETUP), which contains five work packages to encourage operators to incorporate newer, more technologically advanced vehicles into their fleets by:

  • removing regulatory barriers that limit the adoption of advanced technologies
  • offering productivity gains as an incentive for the adoption of advanced technologies
  • providing education to industry on the safety, productivity and environmental benefits of new vehicle technology.
Implement the Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Uptake Plan In progress

The Vehicle SETUP program of work is designed to incorporate multiple phases over several years that will deliver the work packages. It will be delivered in consultation with government and industry.

As work is further progresses, information will be made available on our website.

Develop policies enabling greater access and productivity for vehicles fitted with modern safety and environmental technologies In progress

This action is being delivered as part of the Vehicle SETUP program of work.

Support the increased harmonisation of Australian vehicle standards with international standards to allow for the latest designs from origin markets and the fitment of safety and environmental technology from those major market designs In progress

This action is being delivered as part of the Vehicle SETUP program or work.

Goal 2: Deliver PBS 2.0 – a modern approach to the PBS scheme

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Complete the review of the standards in the PBS scheme under the PBS marketplace review In progress

We are implementing Phase 1 of the review of the PBS scheme standards.

The revised Frontal Swing (FS) standard was implemented in April 2020. The update increases the frontal swing limit of rigid trucks and prime movers from 0.7m to 0.85m. This reduces the time and cost for PBS operators to obtain exemptions from the FS standard.

The revised Directional Stability Under Braking standard was endorsed by Infrastructure and Transport Ministers in May 2021. The updated standard improves safety and productivity through the adoption of advanced technologies. Implementation will commence from 2021–22 and will include a transition period.

We will commence the review of further PBS Scheme standards while the above activities occur.

Continue to implement improved systems and processes that incentivise industry uptake and accelerate growth in the PBS scheme Core business

In May 2021, the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting approved the Generic Tyre Data Approach within the PBS Scheme. This approach moves away from the prescriptive nomination of tyres on PBS Vehicle Approvals, to an approach that enables industry to use any tyre, subject to passing the relevant modelling and tests.

The Generic Tyre Data Approach provides industry with greater flexibility and cost savings while maintaining safety and productivity outcomes. We will be engaging with stakeholders in 2021–22 to determine implementation and transition arrangements, to allow stakeholders time to prepare for the change.

We will continue to review the administrative, regulatory, procedural and policy aspects of the PBS scheme to determine how we can ensure the scheme is best positioned to support the next generation of innovative vehicles and further promote industry uptake.

Goal 3: Promote awareness of planning and design for modern and safer vehicles

Action Project status Key achievements and progress in 2020–2021
Support and encourage governments to update planning and design standards to support modern heavy vehicles Core business

We have provided advice to the Commonwealth Government for its National Urban Freight Planning Principles, which was endorsed by Ministers in May 2021. The Principles will guide land use decision-making across all levels of government to improve planning for freight in Australia’s metropolitan areas.

Funding is being provided through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative for the Road Design for Heavy Vehicles – Technical Training proposal. The intent is to develop and deliver a pilot training program that provides road designers, engineers and road safety experts with practical heavy vehicle advice.