The National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM) provides authorised officers and industry with consistent criteria for heavy vehicle inspections. The use of the NHVIM will ensure a nationally consistent approach to improve vehicle standards compliance and help reduce vehicle downtime.
Publication of the NHVIM provides inspectors and operators access to the same standards and criteria for which vehicles will be inspected nationally. Developed with extensive industry consultation, all participating states and territories have adopted the NHVIM into their inspection regimes.
Individual sections of the manual can also be downloaded below:
- Introduction (PDF, 689KB)
- Heavy Vehicle Inspection Checklist (PDF, 146 KB)
- Heavy Trailer Inspection Checklist (PDF, 114KB)
- Section 1 Vehicle Identification (PDF, 210KB)
- Section 2 Brakes (PDF, 556KB)
- Section 3 Couplings (PDF, 807KB)
- Section 4 Steering and Suspension (PDF, 448KB)
- Section 5 Wheels, Tyres and Hubs (PDF, 294KB)
- Section 6 Structure and Body Condition (PDF, 360KB)
- Section 7 Seats and Seatbelts (PDF, 275KB)
- Section 8 Lights and Reflectors (PDF, 360KB)
- Section 9 Mirrors (PDF, 430KB)
- Section 10 Windscreens and Windows (PDF, 506KB)
- Section 11 Engine, Driveline and Exhaust (PDF, 303KB)
- Section 12 LPG and NG Vehicles (PDF, 486KB)
- Section 13 Buses (PDF, 435KB)
- Section 14 Trailers (PDF, 745KB)
- Section 15 Motorhomes, Caravans and Campervans (PDF, 316KB)
- Section 16 Vehicle Dimensions (PDF, 836KB)
- Appendix A – Vehicle Category Codes and ADR Applicability Tables (PDF, 173KB)
- Appendix B – Vehicle Modifications (PDF, 351KB)
In South Australia and Tasmania, there are additional inspection criteria for certain vehicles due to legislation outside of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
South Australia - Every bus registered in South Australia must also comply with the Code of Practice for Buses which can be downloaded from www.sa.gov.au/topics/transport-travel-and-motoring/motoring/vehicles-and-registration/vehicle-types-and-specifications/code-of-practice-for-buses
Tasmania - There are additional vehicle requirements for buses, motorhomes, caravans and campervans used on Tasmanian roads as detailed in the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual - Tasmanian Supplement which can be downloaded from www.transport.tas.gov.au/vehicles/vehicle_inspections/ais_inspection_manuals
NHVIM Fact Sheet – Brake testing (PDF, 344KB) - Clarifies some of the brake testing requirements in Section 2 Brakes of the NHVIM.
Daily Safety Check guide (PDF, 373KB) - A daily check is a quick visual inspection that can be undertaken on a heavy vehicle prior to leaving the yard, depot or rest area. This guide lists some of the items and areas that may be covered in a daily check of a heavy vehicle and can be expanded on and tailored to suit an operator's business.
As the NHVIM is revised and updated, the NHVR publishes a change log of any amendments to identify which sections have been changed.
- NHVIM amendment summary Version 2.1 - 6 February 2016 (PDF, 289KB) - Outlines the changes that occurred from Version 2.0 to Version 2.1.
Sections 9, 10 and 11 were updated to reflect recent changes to heavy vehicle safety standards. Minor amendments were also made to Sections 6, 8, 13, 14 and 16. For more information please view VSG 2 – Changes to heavy vehicle safety standards (PDF, 209KB)
- NHVIM amendment summary Version 2.0 - 30 November 2015 (PDF, 329KB) - Outlines the changes that occurred from Version 1.0 to Version 2.0.
Heavy vehicle standards and the NHVIM
The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) requires that all heavy vehicles used on a road must comply with heavy vehicle standards (s60). Use of a heavy vehicle on a road that does not comply with the standards can result either in the issue of an infringement or the issue of a defect notice.
The heavy vehicle standards, which include both the requirements of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation, are detailed technical standards that set out the minimum safety, emissions and anti-theft requirements that apply to heavy vehicles. While quite detailed and comprehensive, these standards are technical documents and are often not easily read or applied by inspectors, operators or drivers. To assist industry understand the heavy vehicle standards and understand when a vehicle may not comply, the NHVR publishes the NHVIM. The NHVIM also details practical information about wear, damage or change to important systems as a result of their in-service use.
While the NHVIM is not referenced in the HVNL, each of the reasons for rejection included is linked to a heavy vehicle standard. For example, the reasons for rejection outlined in Section 3 Couplings of the NHVIM can be directly related back to a requirement of either the national regulation or ADRs 62 or 63.
Furthermore, while the NHVIM comprehensively summarises the requirements of the heavy vehicle standards, it is not exhaustive and must be read in conjunction with both vehicle and component manufacturer’s specifications.
The criteria set out in the NHVIM reflect current consultation with road user groups, road transport authorities, police agencies, manufacturers and suppliers.
A consistent national standard for heavy vehicle roadworthiness
The development and implementation of the NHVIM as the national standard for vehicle inspections is the first part of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program. The program is a national initiative that seeks to improve the roadworthiness of the heavy vehicle fleet by taking a risk-based approach for auditing, monitoring and inspecting heavy vehicles. For more information about the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program, please visit www.nhvr.gov.au/roadworthiness