National Heavy Vehicle Regulator launches innovative Pavement Impact Comparison Calculator to help improve productivity and road longevity
The NHVR has launched the interactive Pavement Impact Comparison Calculator to enable road managers to understand the long-term pavement effects of freight activity on roads.
This release follows the successful introduction of its first tool, the Freight PASS last month, and represents NHVR’s continued commitment to empowering better decision making in the road transport industry.
Local governments, who are responsible for approximately 77 per cent of total road length in Australia, equating to 678,000 kilometres, face significant challenges in maintaining these roads.
The Pavement Calculator is a state-of-the-art tool designed to estimate the vertical pavement loading impacts of heavy vehicles. It considers various factors like different pavement types, axle configurations, axle masses, tyre sizes, and road-friendly suspension, offering a wide-ranging analysis.
This innovative resource is especially useful for road managers without pavement engineering expertise, allowing them to assess the impacts of freight vehicles on their infrastructure accurately.
The Pavement Calculator will assist road managers in making more efficient and favourable access decisions for higher mass vehicles, potentially leading to larger trucks being allowed on roads without compromising infrastructure sustainability.
The tool’s development involved the use of trusted sources already used by road managers in road design and assessments, such as Austroads pavement research and transport agency pavement guidelines.
NHVR CEO Sal says the tool will help users understand that more productivity vehicles can actually expand the lifespan of the roads, because fewer vehicles are needed to transport the same freight task.
“The Pavement Calculator indicates that larger and heavy vehicles are not necessarily worse for roads than smaller vehicles, especially if they meet the requirements of the NHVR’s Performance Based Standards scheme,” he says.
“This information helps facilitate discussions between road managers and industry to achieve the best outcome.
“For example, a PBS A-Double at higher mass limits and fitted with road-friendly suspensions can cause 38 per cent less pavement wear than a B-double at general mass limits.”
HVIA Chief Technical Officer Adam Ritzinger says giving tools like this to road managers will drive productivity upwards.
“HVIA strongly supports the NHVR’s efforts to simplify pavement impact calculations and remove barriers to higher vehicle freight vehicles,” he says.
Consultation on the Pavement Calculator closes on April 5, 2024.
For more information and to access the tool, click here.
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