NTC proposes increasing load volume limit

Transport body seeks feedback on six options to increase heavy vehicle volume, but not mass

NTC proposes increasing load volume limit
NTC says increasing the volume of some heavy vehicles can increase their productivity.


The National Transport Commission (NTC) will work with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), road authorities and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve the productivity of volume-constrained freight.

Earlier this year, NTC sought public input to find out whether there is an opportunity to lift freight productivity by increasing the permitted volume a heavy vehicle can carry to better accommodate low density freight movements.

Having examined the submissions, NTC found that operators needed special permits to access certain roads when the load volume increased beyond the permissible standard even though the load mass was below the set limit.

It was found that in such cases businesses incurred increased transport costs and timing, which was particularly bad when the cost of goods was marginal, such as toilet paper.

NTC has now released a new discussion paper Increasing heavy vehicle volumetric load capacity without increasing mass limits that outlines six possible options including considering which heavy vehicle types are best suited to increases in volume limits, practical mechanisms for increasing the load capacity and any implications for road network access. 

Five out of the six options relate to longer heavy vehicles getting access to more roads, while one refers to higher heavy vehicles getting access to more roads.

It is calling for public feedback on these proposals to find out possible ways to increase the volume of some heavy vehicles to increase their productivity.

"We know that many heavy vehicles are operating below their current mass limits because they are carrying light-weight freight," NTC acting chief executive Geoff Allan says.

"These options would help to reduce the number of trucks on Australian roads by allowing trucks to increase their volume and access a wider range of roads."

Submissions can be made via the NTC website before 5pm on February 3.

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