NHVR Heavy Vehicle Safety Programs to look into livestock loading and unloading.
NHVR Heavy Vehicle Safety Programs to look into livestock loading and unloading.

What is important to the NHVR in 2019?

WELCOME to 2019. I'm expecting another busy year, and our heavy vehicle access team looks forward to engaging with all operators as we continue to work with you to grow productivity.

Providing safe and efficient access to the public road network remains one of the NHVR's most important roles.

In fact, it's a joint effort between the NHVR, operators and road managers, who work closely together to get the right balance between safe access and protecting public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, from damage.

The NHVR is not a road owner or road manager, but co-ordinates a range of access applications from start to finish, liaising directly with more than 400 road managers, including state, territory and local government road authorities, to manage applications and issue permits.

A permit or an exemption through a gazette notice is required for all Restricted Access Vehicles to use the public road network.

You can see the list of Class 1, 2 and 3 Restricted Access Vehicles in the attached box.

Over the past five years we've been working to reduce the need for permits - from more than 115,000 permits required in 2013 to around 65,000 over the past year.

This reduction is a good start, but more work needs to be done. Over the past three years we've seen an increase in the number of pre-approved routes, from 844 to more than 2000.

At the same time the expansion of state and national notices has also been important.

Often these notices are small but significant wins, focusing on a specific part of the heavy vehicle industry.

For example, just prior to Christmas the NHVR released a notice covering the movement of platform containers transporting freight to and from NSW ports. It will remove the need for about 800 permits a year from the system.

This notice provides an exemption to carry platform containers, such as flat rack and open top containers, on a public network without a permit. It means operators who may normally be required to unload and reload without the container at a container freight station - a complex and costly process - can move freight to its destination without this inconvenience.

In another example, last year we worked with state and local road managers to increase the load size of heavy vehicles carrying hay and fodder from Western Australia and Tasmania into drought-declared regions of NSW and Queensland.

On a national scale, work is also well progressed on national notices for the movement of agricultural vehicles and combinations and the B-double network.

In order to support the heavy vehicle access system, the ongoing investment in the NHVR Portal has been significant.

The NHVR Portal now includes the Customer Module, the Road Manager Module and the Registration Services Module.

It is providing greater information about the access system and transparency in the permit process.

So if you're applying for a new or renewed permit in 2019, please allow enough time, contact our case officers if you need assistance or information, and track your application through the NHVR Portal.

What are the different classes of Restricted Access Vehicles?

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

  • Class 1 heavy vehicles include vehicles such as oversize and/or over mass (OSOM) vehicles, agricultural vehicles and agricultural combinations, vehicles with the ability to carry a large indivisible item and special purpose vehicles (SPV).
  • Class 2 heavy vehicles include B-doubles, road trains, long buses, Performance Based Standard (PBS) vehicles, and some livestock and vehicle carriers that exceed prescribed heights by construction.
  • Class 3 heavy vehicles include vehicles that exceed prescribed limits within the Heavy Vehicle Mass, Dimension and Loading National Regulation requirements and are not Class 1 heavy vehicles.
  • Vehicles that operate under higher mass limits (HML) or concessional mass limits (CML) are, under the HVNL, operating within prescribed mass requirements. For example, a B-double operating under HML is a Class 2 heavy vehicle unless it exceeds another prescribed mass requirement or dimension requirement
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