10,000 PBS vehicles is only the beginning

Australia’s benchmark setting Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme has celebrated its 10,000th vehicle approval recently.

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) Chief Executive Todd Hacking says the milestone reflects safety and productivity outcomes worthy of celebration.

“The PBS scheme is a unique initiative that enables design, engineering and manufacturing innovation that is the envy of the world,” Mr Hacking said.

The PBS Marketplace Report published by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in 2017 demonstrated the safety and productivity benefits of the PBS scheme. At the time there were around 5,000 PBS vehicles on the road.

“Accelerating the uptake of PBS to 10,000 vehicles in the last three years is an admirable milestone, however it is only the beginning of our quest for a safer more productive fleet,” Mr Hacking added.

The 2017 report demonstrated that PBS vehicles allow greater payloads per vehicle, resulting in fewer vehicles movements than would be required with conventional vehicles.

The report noted that the use of PBS vehicles produced around 25% productivity gains, resulted in substantial saving in road maintenance and also generated fuel savings resulting in lower Co2 emissions.

“HVIA applauds the NHVR’s efforts to streamline the approval of common PBS designs over the last few years, however, we need to pick up the pace of reform to the system.

“There are significant benefits to the community if we can unlock further innovation in the vehicle fleet.

“HVIA has advocated for improvements to the “deemed to comply braking” provisions and simplification of the treatment of tyres under the PBS scheme but the pace of change is too slow.

“Vehicle technology is changing very rapidly with massive productivity and safety benefits and Governments across the board need to devote the resources necessary to keep up with the changes in vehicle standards.

“The heavy vehicle industry has demonstrated it has the capacity to innovate and by working with government we can take the shackles off and do more.”

Referring to announcements made by the Prime Minister during an address to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia this week, Mr Hacking highlighted funding being brought forward for a variety of infrastructure projects to ensure safer roads in regional areas.

“A strong infrastructure pipeline gives operators confidence to invest in capital equipment,” Mr Hacking added.

“Through the PBS scheme the investment in innovation and vehicle design has massive productivity gains once the vehicle is in use.

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“It also improves safety. We know from the report a PBS combination is 46% less likely to be involved in an accident.

“We look forward to the continued growth of the PBS scheme and we will work hard during the review of the scheme to ensure that it remains world-leading, efficient and focused on productivity and safety.”

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