Personal use of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle

The NHVR recognises that heavy vehicle drivers in Australia may need to use their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons from time to time as they cannot reasonably access alternative means of transport.

As any activity involving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle is counted as work and limited by the Heavy Vehicle National Law, the NHVR has granted two exemptions to provide drivers with additional work time, - if it is needed, to undertake permitted personal activities.

National work and rest hours exemption notices

Permitted personal activity refers to any work done by a driver for personal, non-commercial purposes and includes:

  • stowing or retrieving personal effects from a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
  • cleaning a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
  • refuelling a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
  • driving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons (eg visiting a bank or a post office).

The exemptions allow drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities in specific circumstances:

  1. during the driver's 24 continuous hour stationary rest break (Standard Hours, BFM and AFM); and
  2. at any time where all conditions of the exemption are met (Standard Hours).

The exemptions provide flexibility for non-commercial purposes only as the NHVR wants to protect drivers from commercial pressures leading to longer work time. Because of this, it can't be used, for example, to drive the vehicle to a mechanic for repairs or to get home at the end of a journey. If additional work time flexibility is needed for commercial purposes, drivers and operators should apply for BFM or AFM accreditation.

The Heavy Vehicle Advisory Publication – Personal use of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles (PDF, 179KB) and Heavy Vehicle Advisory Publication – Personal use of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles BFM and AFM (PDF, 476KB) contain further information on the exemptions, including:

  • when and when not to use the exemptions
  • what constitutes a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
  • how to safely manage this time
  • what to do after having used the exemption.

Consultation

The Notice of Final Rule Making – Personal use of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles (PDF, 214KB) contains a summary of responses received to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making and the NHVR’s disposition following the feedback received during the consultation period. It:

  • provides a background of the regulatory change proposed and consultation undertaken
  • discusses the submissions made in response to NPRM1701
  • provides an analysis of the responses and gives an NHVR response and disposition
  • discusses the impact and gives an explanation of the changes
  • provides the final changes and associated advisory materials.