Platform container exemption for NSW

Class 3 Platform Container Exemption Notice to increase efficiency

Platform container exemption for NSW
Image from NHVR's exemption guide


Road Freight NSW (RfNSW) reports that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), following consultation, have identified that a notice allowing an exemption to carry platform containers such as flat racks and open top containers will increase efficiency through flexibility of fleet management, increased competition opportunities and reducing the need for applicants to apply for permits.

On- and off-road safety of platform container movements will also improve through reduced loading and unloading of indivisible loads and utilising optimum load securing techniques.

An eligible combination under is a tandem drive prime mover towing a: low loader; low loader dolly and low loader; or skel trailer or semi-trailer (for loads not exceeding 4.6m high and general mass limits).

The exemption allows access to eligible combinations carrying platform containers (flat racks and open top containers). The mass of a low loader eligible combination must not be more than: 77.5 tonnes, if the vehicle is fitted with any axle group with four tyres on each axle; or 100.0 tonnes if the vehicle is fitted with any axle group with eight tyres on each axle.

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 "The purpose of the exemptions in this Notice is to allow heavy vehicle combination carrying loads on platform containers to travel to and from port facilities while carrying imported or goods for export without having to unload and reload in order to comply with prescribed mass and dimension requirements," the notice says.

It adds the following note: "Carrying a load on a platform container is a standard method of transporting goods for import and export. By their nature, platform containers add to the mass and dimension of any load carried. This would normally require the unloading and reloading of a load (without a container) at a container freight station. Carrying loads on a platform container also provides load restraint and safety advantages that offset the mass and dimension exemptions provided in this Notice."

NHVR comments: "We are constantly working with road managers to ensure the best network coverage, and encourage you to also contact relevant road managers to discuss the specific access you need for your combination."


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