New guidance for PBS access at greater masses

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has issued improved guidance for operators pursuing PBS access at greater masses.

The Performance Based Standards scheme offers applicants several options to operate vehicles at greater masses than normally allowed.

Generally, the limiting factor for applicants is the capacity of the bridges on the chosen route. Hence, these options are usually described in terms of the nature of the bridge assessment conducted – a ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, or ‘Tier 3’ assessment.  

The ‘Tier 1’ bridge assessment is a simple check of the vehicle’s mass and geometry against what is known in PBS as the ‘bridge formula’. Completion of a Tier 1 assessment usually results in the broadest level of access, but may not unlock the greatest mass available to the vehicle on some routes.

Tier 2/3 assessments are more complex, and involve scrutiny of the bridge’s design and characteristics against the expected loads imposed by the operator’s vehicle. They are usually conducted by the managing jurisdiction.

The regulator’s new webpage replaces previously published advice relating to Tier 2 and 3 assessments and guides operators through the process of applying for a PBS permit under the Tier 2/3 bridge assessment option.

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