Performance Based Standards (PBS) Scheme Review

As a result of the 2017 PBS Marketplace Report produced by the National Transport Commission (NTC), the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced a review of the PBS scheme.

The first element of the review is a review of tyre management practices in the PBS Scheme.

The NHVR has also commenced a review of the PBS standards.

The NHVR has implemented changes to the frontal swing standard and is in the process of finalising proposed changes to the Directional Stability Under Braking and Pavement Horizontal Loading standards.

A significant amount of work has been undertaken on developing a new approach to the treatment of tyres in PBS designs and Ministers have agreed to move to a generic tyre approach. NHVR is in the process of finalising the details of the policy and the transition plan and is expecting to implement the new approach in late 2022.

The PBS scheme has been in operation since 2007 and is designed to allow safer and more productive vehicles which would otherwise be denied access or have restricted access to access more of the Australian road system.

In 2017 the NTC commenced a review of the PBS scheme which resulted in the PBS marketplace report which was published in August 2017.

This report contained a number of recommendations including a review of the PBS standards. These recommendations were agreed to be Ministers in May 2018.

HVIA had been critical of a couple of aspects of the PBS scheme for some time including concerns over the antiquated deemed to comply provisions in the Braking Standard and the Treatment of Tyres under the PBS scheme.

This resulted in HVIA releasing a PBS braking Policy in August 2016 (link) and a discussion on the PBS tyre issue at the 2018 Comvec Conference.

In November 2018 the NHVR appointed Dr John de Pont to lead a review of PBS tyre standards and operations. Due to illness the report by Dr Dupont was delayed and was not finished until late 2019.

NHVR has completed reviews into the following standards:

  • Directional Stability Under Braking
  • Pavement Horizontal Loading
  • Frontal Swing

The frontal swing standard has been updated and the Directional Stability Under Braking and Pavement Horizontal loading standards are expected to be updated in late 2022

Dr Dupont has also recommended a review of the use of tyres in PBS assessments and has recommended a move to a generic tyre approach as had been advocated for by HVIA. The final details of this approach are being finalised by the NHVR and the new approach is also expected to be implemented in late 2022.

NHVR has also commenced a review of the remaining PBS Standards and is also examining options for revisions to the PBS scheme.

Since early 2020 HVIA has also been advocating for changes to PBS design approval processes and access permit processes to reduce costly delays for Industry.

NHVR is expected to consult with industry on the details of changes to PBS tyres and the proposed implementation timetable in mid 2022.

Please Contact HVIA’s National Manager Policy and Government Relations, Greg Forbes g.forbes@hvia.asn.au or 0437923755 for further information.


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