Frequently Asked Questions - Performance-Based Standards (PBS) Scheme

The questions and responses on this page have been identified through stakeholder engagement with industry, local government agencies and representatives throughout all states and territories, and reflected the agreed position at the time of writing. For further advice and information please contact us.

Performance-Based Standards vehicles are designed to perform their tasks as productively, safely and sustainably as possible. These vehicles are tested against 16 stringent safety standards and four infrastructure standards to ensure that they can stop, turn and travel safely.

PBS vehicles fall into one of four levels, and have corresponding levels of road networks to which they have access.

 

As a first step, it is important to consider what productivity and safety benefits you could achieve through PBS. You should assess those benefits against the likely costs and risks of submitting a PBS application. We encourage you to seek advice from an accredited PBS vehicle assessor when considering design options.

You should investigate road network access at the design development stage. Understanding the level of road network access likely to be granted by road authorities is crucial step when assessing the benefits before submitting an application, you can use the interactive NHVR Journey Planner to assist with this, or contact the relevant state or territory road transport authority if you need more information about road network access.

See PBS application process and forms and PBS approvals flowchart for more information.

Yes, PBS vehicles can only operate under a permit. You will need to apply for an access permit through our Access applications and forms page. Before you can apply for an access permit you need to obtain PBS Vehicle Approval.

There is a number of PBS Blueprints for Quad-axle group vehicle combinations and well as a 20m prime mover and semi-trailer blueprint. See the PBS blueprints and resources page for vehicle designs that have been pre-approved and can be used by industry.

If you have built a combination based on an approved blueprint design, the combination has to be certified by an approved PBS Certifier. After the vehicle is certified a PBS Vehicle Approval will be issued by the NHVR. You can then apply for PBS Access Permit.

 

There is no charge for applying to have a PBS vehicle approved by us, however, third party PBS assessors and certifiers will charge for their services. See contact details for PBS assossors and certifiers.

Please note: There is a fee when applying for an access permit for a PBS vehicle.