Tas, ACT adopt new heavy vehicle inspection standards

Unified standards beckon as the adoption of THVIM 2 grows to three

Tas, ACT adopt new heavy vehicle inspection standards
The NHVR has announced the adoption of the manual in Tasmania and the ACT.


Trucking operators in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have a new set of heavy vehicle inspection standards to follow after the regions adopted the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual Version 2.

While the standard will be implemented across Australia’s other state and territories on July 1, Tasmania and the ACT have joined South Australia in updating a few months earlier.

Tasmania is moving from the Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (THVIM), while the ACT is updating from NHVIM Version 1.

According to a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) document, "most of the differences are minor in nature and are based around ensuring inspection criteria are clear and to reflect advances in vehicle design and construction."

Operators "should not see any dramatic changes in the inspection process or the failure criteria," the national body says, who has supplied a link to the full 98-page manual here.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the new manual is the beginning of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program, which aims to increase safety across the country’s heavy vehicle fleet.

"The manual provides authorised officers, vehicle examiners and operators a nationally consistent set of criteria used to conduct heavy vehicle inspections and sets a foundation for improving heavy vehicle roadworthiness," Petroccitto says.

"With a single set of national inspection criteria, we can work with operators to introduce a proactive approach to roadworthiness that includes preventative maintenance enhancing the safety of their vehicles."

Welcoming the adoption of a national standard, ACT territory and municipal services minister Shane Rattenbury MLA says it will aid operators.

"Due to the hard work of Access Canberra, the NHVR and other stakeholders, operators can start benefitting now from the improved safety outcomes that a national manual will bring," Rattenbury says.

Echoing the sentiment, Tasmanian infrastructure minister Rene Hidding says it is a step towards a consistent approach.

"Tasmania led the way when it adopted the National Inspection Manual in 2006, which was used as the basis for the NHVR's National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual Version 2," Hidding says.

"This means that as well as delivering the safety and efficiency benefits of the national system, the transition to the national manual will be fairly straightforward and involve little change for operators, or for our Heavy Vehicle inspection stations.

"The Department of State Growth continues to work closely with industry and the NHVR to support operators to transition to the national arrangements."

Under the changes, Tasmania does retain its additional requirements for buses, motor homes, caravans, and campervans, detailed in a new supplement document found here.

The document focuses on school bus warning systems, bus entrances and exits, emergency exits, seating, and aisle width for buses.

For the others, it looks at living quarters.

Applauding the manual's launch in December, ATA CEO Christopher Melham says the NHVR must initiate a training and awareness program to ensure heavy vehicle inspectors "interpret and apply the standards in a uniform and nationally consistent manner". 

"With a single set of uniform standards to work from, trucking operators can avoid the frustration of enforcement officers applying different standards in different states and territories," Melham says.

The manual applies to vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) greater than 4.5 tonnes.


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