The NHVR’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme is a key pillar to delivering safe and efficient movement of freight across the country.

This week, we have welcomed two announcements that will reduce complexity around PBS Vehicle Approvals (VAs) and transition common truck and dog trailer combinations out of the scheme, welcoming safer, more productive and innovative vehicles to Australia’s roads.

We released the National Class 3 20m Long 3-axle Truck and 4-axle Dog Trailer Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) that removes the need for operators of 3-axle truck and 4-axle dog combinations to complete the Performance Based Standards (PBS) approval process.

This new notice means approximately 38 per cent of PBS operators don’t need to participate in the PBS scheme to continue to operate on approved networks. By moving this common truck and dog trailer combination out of the scheme, we are removing red tape for industry and encouraging more innovative vehicle combinations to join.

From Monday 14 November, PBS VAs will be simplified through removing the need for an operator’s name to be included on the document and allowing subcontractors to use a VA without having to transfer it into their name.

The changes to VAs will remove duplication and accelerate the approval of PBS combinations, to support safer, cleaner, and more productive heavy vehicles on our roads.

Sal, CEO

New notice to improve efficiencies and remove cost burden of common truck and dog combinations

The National Class 3 20m Long 3-axle Truck and 4-axle Dog Trailer Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) will allow operators to use this combination on approved networks without having to go through the Performance Based Standards (PBS) approval process.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the notice was an important first step in moving ‘mature’ combinations out of the PBS scheme and into the ‘normal’ regulatory framework – helping to get safer and more productive vehicles on the road.

“With over 15 years knowledge and experience of hundreds of 3-axle truck and 4-axle dog combination designs, we are confident we can remove the need for them to go through the PBS assessment process,” Sal said.

“By moving these common, well-understood truck and dog trailer combinations out of the PBS scheme, we can reduce the regulatory and cost burden for industry, as well as allow PBS to focus on new vehicle innovation.”

Operators can still choose to operate these truck and dog combinations under the existing PBS arrangements if preferred or they can opt to use the new notice arrangements.

Find out more about the new notice

PBS applications to be made simpler and faster

The NHVR will introduce changes to the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme Vehicle Approval (VA) document to reduce the administrative burden for industry and provide a better customer experience.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the changes would remove some of the unnecessary complexity in getting a PBS vehicle approved, meaning we can get safer, smarter, more productive vehicles on our roads sooner.

“The new changes will simplify and accelerate the approval of PBS combinations by removing the transfer of PBS vehicle applications when a vehicle is sold and removing duplication, which will reduce the size of a vehicle application by 30 per cent.

“These changes are just the latest improvements in a suite of initiatives we will be delivering over the next year to reform and modernise the PBS scheme.”

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia CEO Todd Hacking has welcomed the changes, saying the more efficient the PBS administrative process is, the quicker the vehicle can be on-road improving the productivity and safety performance for the operator.

“HVIA looks forward to representing our members in the continuous improvement of the PBS scheme, as we work with the NHVR to make the PBS scheme as efficient, enticing and influential as practicable,” Todd said.

The changes will to PBS VAs will be introduced from 14 November 2022, following industry stakeholder consultation earlier this year.

Read more about the PBS VAs changes

Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain Industry Code of Practice Effluent Code

The NHVR is calling for feedback on Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain Industry Code of Practice – a practical guide that assists livestock transporters to comply with their Heavy Vehicle National Law obligations.

The code proposes a range of measures that can be implemented at every stage of a heavy vehicle transport journey, from preparing livestock for transit, to unloading livestock at the destination.

Feedback on the code will ensure it is a comprehensive, useful and up to date resource in managing livestock effluent during road transport and other effluent related safety concerns.

Development of the code was sponsored by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association in consultation with a wide range of representative stakeholders and the NHVR.

Consultation will close at 5pm (AEST) on Friday, 4 November 2022.

Click here to find out more and have your say

Understanding and preventing mental health issues in the heavy vehicle industry

In 2021, Australia’s largest annual workplace mental health survey revealed that transport, logistics, and postal industries are ranked as the worst in Australia for mental health, with the industry score declining year on year.

Other research has shown that truck drivers represent the second highest occupational group, after construction workers, at risk of suicide.

Poor mental health can adversely affect decision-making processes, causing momentary lapses in concentration and even causing drivers to crash.

The importance of developing effective strategies to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of drivers and other workers in the industry cannot be overemphasised.

To align with National Safe Work Month’s second-week theme of ‘mental health’, the NHVR has released regulatory advice providing guidance on mental health and wellbeing in the heavy vehicle road transport industry. This Fitness to Work – Mental Health advice has been developed with input and advice from Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, OzHelp and Beyond Blue.

The advice explains:

  • why it’s important to build a mentally healthy workplace
  • the psychological hazards in the workplace that can lead to mental health concerns and conditions
  • how to recognise the signs that someone might benefit from support
  • how to improve mental health and wellbeing in a workplace.

Read the regulatory advice here to help you understand and support mental health and wellbeing in your workplace and reduce the risk of mental health issues developing.

Find out how to make safety at work your priority

This National Work Safe Month, we are highlighting the importance of committing to building a safe and healthy workplace.

A Safety Management System (SMS) can help the heavy vehicle industry and its supply chain manage safety.

The NHVR has free resources on our website to support the adoption, development and implementation of an SMS into your business.

An SMS can be one of the most effective ways for industry to meet its chain of responsibility obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Click here to follow a step-by-step guide to having an SMS