Truck and dog combination doesn’t need PBS approval: Advantia

By: Brad Gardner

Proposal from transport consultancy would end need for some trucking operators to use PBS certification process.

Truck and dog combination doesn’t need PBS approval: Advantia
Truck and dog configurations make up most of PBS approvals.


Popular 7-axle truck and dog configurations currently required to gain Performance Based Standards (PBS) approval are capable of becoming as-of-right vehicles, according to new research.

In a paper prepared for the upcoming Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology Symposium (HVTT), Advantia Transport Consulting details how the 7-axle combination can be dealt with under mainstream regulations without compromising safety.   

If introduced, the proposal would save operators time and money because they would no longer need to go through the PBS certification process to get the vehicles on the road.

"Emerging patterns in the design of this combination indicate that simple prescriptive rules may be sufficient to continue regulating it outside of the PBS Scheme while maintaining the acceptable safety outcomes that are presently controlled by the PBS Scheme safety standards," report author and Advantia director Rob Di Cristoforo says writes.

"This approach would do away with the costly and time-consuming PBS Assessment and PBS Certification process that some say have become unduly burdensome for this otherwise rather ordinary and predictable vehicle type."

Di Cristoforo’s paper outlines rules to regulate the combination, covering minimum and maximum requirements for length, height, gross mass and engine horsepower, along with other areas.

"In developing these rules it is necessary to make some assumptions about the vehicle specification (such as the suspensions and tyres) and to simplify some of the calculations (as was done for driveline performance)," he writes.

Introduced in 2007, PBS permits operators to use innovative truck and trailer combinations as long they meet a stringent set of safety and performance criteria.

Di Cristoforo says 65 per cent of PBS approvals are for truck and dog configurations and that the most popular combination (71 per cent) is the 7-axle variety, made up of a 3-axle truck and 4-axle dog.

"The reason for the immense popularity of the PBS 7-axle truck and dog is its unrestricted road access up to a certain mass (more than a conventional semi-trailer configuration), and it substantial increase in mass when operating on a restricted road network," he writes.

PBS certification allows truck and dog configurations to haul up to 7.5 tonnes more than those not approved under the scheme.

The HVTT is a gathering of academics, bureaucrats, manufacturers, consultants and operators from the transport industry.

This year’s event, which will be held in Argentina in late October, will include sessions on innovations in technology and design, high productivity vehicles, alternative fuels and intelligent transport systems.

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