HVIA Reconnects Trailer Wiring Working Group

HVIA has announced a re-focussed trailer wiring working group in recognition that setting the requirements of the Australian Design Rules to allow safe, sensible, practical and cost-effective compliance options remains a core function of its technical activities.

In the years immediately prior to COVID-19, the heavy vehicle industry association conducted extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders on preferences for trailer wiring connections.

The regulated requirements for those connections feature in ADR 42/04 and ADR 42/05 (General Safety Requirements).

The applicability of the two ADRs and their respective requirements is an important point:

  • ADR 42/05 applies for new vehicle models only, from July 1, 2019, and includes four prescriptive wiring arrangements.
  • ADR 42/04 applies to all existing models prior to July 1, 2019, and includes three prescriptive wiring arrangements.

Crucially, the newer standard, even though it includes an extra wiring arrangement, deleted one that HVIA understands was widely popular – AS 2513, featuring a seven-pin, round-style plug.

HVIA’s earlier consultations identified a strong preference for the ADR to be performance-based, rather than prescriptive-based.

A performance-based standard would not specify a connector type but instead specify core lighting functions, certain mechanical properties and design features, and minimum electrical performance levels.

HVIA raised this issue with the Federal Department at the March 2024 sitting of the Vehicle Standards Consultative Forum in Canberra and received unilateral support from other industry associations to lead a working group to revisit these issues, with the eventual goal of re-setting future requirements for trailer wiring connections.

As such, HVIA is now seeking interest from members for participation in that working group – please contact Adam Ritzinger, Chief Technical Officer (a.ritzinger@hvia.asn.au), to register your interest.

Issues the working group will cover include:

  • Trailer/truck connector incompatibility – is it a significant issue, and for whom? What are the costs?
  • Modern trailer electrical equipment/signal requirements.
  • Options for an industry ‘preferred’ connection type for basic applications (which may feature in a code of practice, but not be mandated by an ADR).
  • The performance-based standard requirements
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