PBS standard for Directional Stability Under Braking

The NHVR has released a discussion paper on the transition arrangements for implementing the new deemed to comply provisions for the PBS standard related to Directional Stability Under Braking.

The essence of the new deemed to comply provisions is that they will require new vehicles added to the PBS scheme to comply with the latest ADRs which include requirements around ABS and Roll Stability Control.

HVIA has been arguing since 2016 that vehicles entering the PBS scheme should meet these standards.

The NHVR has proposed some transition requirements to deal with older vehicles, vehicles that are exempt from the ADRs, and existing PBS vehicles. These arrangements are designed to mitigate cost for existing PBS vehicles.

The basic principle is that existing PBS vehicles operating under their original Vehicle Approval (VA) will not need to be modified.

The transition arrangements proposed by the NHVR will require all new Design Approvals (DAs) and all modifications to existing DAs to comply with the new requirements by the end of January 2022.

Any vehicles entering the PBS scheme for the first time under a one of these design approvals will be required to comply with the new requirements.

The NHVR has adjusted the design approval modification process to accommodate modifications to DAs without requiring upgrades to PBS vehicles approved prior to the new rules being implemented, provided they stay on the original VA.

From July 2022 all components of a combination that have not previously been in the PBS scheme will need to comply with the new requirements regardless of their manufacture date.

This will not impact on newly manufactured vehicles but may have an impact on older vehicles entering the scheme.

From the end of January 2023 all PBS trailers, regardless of age, which are added to any VA, will be required to comply with the new braking requirements.

However, Hauling Units that are in the PBS scheme as at 1 July 2022 will be permitted to be added to other VA’s without having to retrofit them to meet the new breaking requirements. They will, however, need to be able to provide power for the technology fitted to the trailer.

While the approach proposed by the NHVR seems to strike a reasonable balance between improving stringency and preserving operator’s investment in existing PBS vehicles.

HVIA is concerned that where an existing PBS trailer is substantially modified to fit into another VA (e.g. modifications to drawbars suspensions or axles), that these vehicles should be required to be made compliant from late January 2022 rather than waiting until January 2023 as they would under the NHVR proposal.

Where the trailer can be added to a VA without substantial modification HVIA accepts the NHVR’s proposal.

HVIA has invited a representative from the NHVR to attend the next round of State Committee meetings to answer questions on how the scheme will work in detail and how specific types of changes to design approvals would be handled.

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