Classes of heavy vehicles

In relation to access to the road network, the two key types of heavy vehicles are General Access Vehicles and Restricted Access Vehicles.

General Access Vehicle

General Access Vehicles (GAV) comply with mass and dimension requirements and do not require a notice or permit to operate on the road network. These vehicles have general access to the road network unless the road is sign-posted otherwise.

Restricted Access Vehicle

Restricted Access Vehicles (RAV) include Class 1, 2 or 3 vehicles that operate under a notice or permit and vehicles operating under higher mass limits (HML) that can generally only access certain parts of the road network (a vehicle that is not a GAV).

Classes of Heavy Vehicles in the HVNL

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) provides for three classes of heavy vehicle as a means of managing access for different types of heavy vehicles.

This chart shows some of the most common heavy vehicle combinations that are part of each vehicle class as defined in the HVNL. It is not a comprehensive representation of the entire Australian heavy vehicle fleet and other heavy vehicle configurations are used which are not represented.

The chart illustrates some common examples from the three different classes of heavy vehicles and is provided for guidance only. Definitions listed within the chart can be found under relevant sections in the HVNL.

Vehicle classes will appear on legal documents such as permits and notices.

The Classes of heavy vehicles fact sheet (PDF, 1.6MB) illustrates some common examples from the 3 different classes of heavy vehicles and is provided for guidance only.

  • Class 1 heavy vehicles: Special purpose vehicles, Agricultural vehicles, Oversize Overmass vehicles
  • Class 2 heavy vehicles: Freight-carrying vehicles (B-doubles, B-triples, Road Trains), Buses, Vehicle carriers, Livestock vehicles, Performance-Based Standards (PBS) vehicles.
  • Class 3 heavy vehicles: Vehicles which, together with their load, do not comply with prescribed mass or dimension requirements.

See also the Compliance bulletin 1 – Restricted access vehicles – Compliance and enforcement bulletin (PDF, 355KB) for information regarding requirements for RAVs.