Guidelines and rules

Standards and vehicle assessment rules

To be approved by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), a vehicle must satisfy the safety and infrastructure standards. This document sets out the standards, as well as the rules assessors must follow when assessing vehicles against the standards.

Assessor accreditation rules

Assessors must be accredited in order to undertake assessments for the purpose of the PBS Scheme. This document sets out the qualifications assessors must have, and the accreditation process for assessors. Please note that assessors are required to carry at least $10 million public liability insurance and $5 million professional liability insurance.

Vehicle certification rules

Vehicles must be certified as meeting the specifications for which their design approval was granted. This document sets out how the certification process is to be carried out.  It also sets out the qualifications certifiers need and the accreditation process for certifiers. Please note that certifiers are required to carry at least $10 million public liability insurance and $5 million professional liability insurance.

Network classification guidelines

Network Classification Guidelines have been developed for four levels of road network. The basic principle is that PBS vehicles seeking wider access to the road network must meet tougher safety standards. For example, a Level 2 PBS vehicle must be assessed and approved to safety standards (turning, stability, road space) consistent with road characteristics (lane width, traffic volume, etc) appropriate for Level 2 vehicles. A Level 2 vehicle can also access Level 3 and 4 roads, but not Level 1. This avoids the problem of ‘one size fits all’. By classifying roads in a consistent manner, the ‘weak’ links can be identified, and systematic roadwork priorities set. A uniform, national road classification system also improves connectivity of freight routes within and across state/territory borders.

Operating conditions

In granting final approval for a vehicle, the NHVR may impose national operating conditions on the operation of the vehicle under the PBS Scheme. The conditions may comprise either or both:

  1. operating requirements, being requirements in relation to the way a vehicle is managed, used or maintained to ensure that it continues to comply with PBS once it begins operating
  2. compliance assurance mechanisms, being requirements intended to ensure that there is continued compliance with particular operating requirements.

PBS vehicle application guideline

This guideline outlines the steps that must be completed for applications for PBS vehicles. Applicants are required to fill in ALL required details on the application form.

PBS approval exemptions

Under s9 of the Heavy Vehicle (General) National Regulation the NHVR is able to approve PBS designs that do not comply with 1 or more standards under the Standards and Vehicle Assessment Rules. This is done very rarely and only when the NHVR has conducted an assessment to ensure the vehicle does not pose any additional risk to safety or infrastructure. This approval may also require special conditions being placed on the vehicle.

The following is a list of PBS applications that have been approved under s9 of the Heavy Vehicle (General) National Regulation: