Changes to bus limits and twin-steer tri-axles start July 1


A national mass increase for two-axle buses and twin steer tri-axle semitrailer combinations will be among a number of changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law and regulations starting July 1.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the changes would provide nationally consistent mass limits for the two classes of heavy vehicles.

“Two-axle buses equipped with dual tyres on the rear axle can operate up to 18 tonnes, conditional on the bus being equipped with some additional safety features,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“This means buses in South Australia, ACT and Tasmania can operate at the increased mass limit, similar to buses that are currently operated in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

“Mass limits for twin steer tri-axle heavy vehicle combinations will also increase from 42.5 tonnes to 46.5 tonnes, providing more flexibility for operators.”

More information on changes to the mass limits of the semitrailer combinations and the bus changes can be found at

Among other changes, heavy vehicle operators using tag trailers will be required to operate under 1:1 towing mass ratio, similar to pig trailers and dog trailers.

More information on the requirements for tag trailers can be found in VSG22 - Requirements for tag trailers at

All penalties will increase by CPI and access charges will increase from $72 to $73, also in line with CPI. An access fee will also be applied to all Higher Mass Limit permit applications from July 1.

More information on changes to penalties can be found at, while information on NHVR fees for 2018-19 can be found at

The NHVR has also provided a summary of some minor changes to the Vehicle Standards, including warning sign requirements for long vehicles and road trains, rear marking plate requirements, condensate drain valve requirements and number plate markings for hydrogen and electric powered vehicles.

The changes are available in VSG 2 - Changes to heavy vehicle safety standards, at

The first round of changes to national heavy vehicle registration agreed to by state and Federal governments will also begin, including:

  • a new national heavy vehicle plate and nationally consistent plate fee in participating states and territories (jurisdictions)
  • more jurisdictions removing heavy vehicle registration labels
  • the option for fleet operators across all jurisdictions to set common registration expiry dates.

Further changes to the registration system, including free read-only access to fleet registration details on a digital platform will be available later this year.

More information on the changes to the registration scheme can be found at


Contact: Andrew Berkman | 0429 128 637