Does NHVR survey report overstate non-conformity?: HVIA


Wright expresses concern over current methodology for roller brake testing

Does NHVR survey report overstate non-conformity?: HVIA
Wright says NRBS results should encourage a rigorous risk assessment.

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR’s) national roadworthiness survey report may have "overstated" the condition of non-conforming braking systems in Australia, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) points out.

NHVR inspected over 7,000 heavy vehicles and 11,000 total units between August and November 2016 as part of Australia’s first national heavy vehicle health check.

The results of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey (NRBS), which targeted every sector of the road transport industry, placed Australia well when compared with countries like the UK and the US, both of which had substantially higher rates of non-conformity amongst their national fleets.

While HVIA has welcomed the publication of the data, it believes the report could overstate non-conforming brake systems, particularly for lightly laden trailers fitted with advanced braking technologies that incorporate a load-sensing function.

"The results of the survey confirm the rising level of non-conformity as vehicles age, the importance of braking performance as a key safety issue, and the importance of good maintenance practices on maintaining the safety of the fleet," HVIA chief executive Brett Wright says.

"Accruing and utilising accurate data is crucial to determining the effectiveness of enforcement strategies and their impact on the safety status of the heavy vehicle fleet."

"HVIA and other industry groups are concerned that the current methodology for roller brake testing has overstated the non-conformances.

"Particularly for lightly laden trailers fitted with advanced braking technologies that incorporate a load sensing function."

Wright says the outcomes of the baseline study should provide the impetus to conduct a rigorous risk assessment.

"We urge the Regulator to continue discussing the roller brake testing methodology with industry to resolve these issues," he says.

Wright highlighted HVIA’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) policy, which calls for minimum braking and safety standards include ABS on all trucks and EBS with roll-over control for all trailers.

"Braking technologies with proven safety benefits should be adopted widely.

"The fact that the survey shows higher non-conformance of older vehicles, built before these technologies were widely available, supports HVIA’s view that adoption of these technologies has proven safety benefits.

"With data like this the case for the NHVR to adopt our policy is compelling."

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