In December, the NHVR published two new Vehicle Standards Guides covering vehicle mounted lifting systems and rear coupling on road trains.
VSG-30 – Vehicle Mounted Lifting Systems Width Requirements
This VSG-30 (Vehicle Mounted Lifting Systems Width Requirements) Vehicle Standards Guide outlines a simplified PBS Level 1 assessment where vehicles are fitted with a VMLS that makes the vehicle over width.
HVIA has been advocating for some time that some flexibility be given for some VLMS, given the nature of the market.
Australia is one of the few developed countries that still has a general vehicle width limit of 2.5m, the other being Japan.
The Australian market prefers knuckle boom type VMLS, while Japan prefers single boom types.
Given that Australia is a small market, VLMS equipment manufacturers have not been designing equipment specifically suited to the Australian market.
This has left local distributors in a position where significant modification cost must be incurred locally in many cases or has limited the range of VLMS available to the Australian market.
Additionally, some optional equipment to improve safety and productivity has not been available in Australia, as this would push the width of the VMLS such that it would make the vehicle over width.
While the NHVR considered HVIA representations at the time, it was indicated that significant negotiations with State road asset managers were required before a solution could be proposed.
After much negotiation between the NHVR and the States, the option of simplifying PBS Level 1 assessment was agreed upon, given the various concerns of the asset managers.
While a less onerous method than applying for a PBS Level 1 is preferred by HVIA, it is nevertheless a step in the right direction.
VSG31 – Road Trains – Trailer Coupling Requirements
This VSG31 (Road Trains – Trailer Coupling Requirements) Vehicle Standards Guide is a follow up by the NHVR on a recent interpretation issued by the Department of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Development on the need to fit a rear coupling on the last trailer of a road train under ADR 63.
The VSG essentially aligns VSB 6 Section with the latest ruling from DITRDC.
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