Australia, Roadworks, Transport News

NHVR launches innovative Pavement Calculator

The NHVR has launched another interactive tool to assist road managers

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has announced the launch of its interactive Pavement Impact Comparison Calculator. 

It says the calculator will enable road managers to understand the long-term pavement effects of freight activity on roads. 

Threlease follows the successful introduction of the interactive Freight PASS tool last month. The NHVR says the tool also represents its continued commitment to empowering better decision-making in the road transport industry. 

The Pavement Calculator is a state-of-the-art tool designed to estimate the vertical pavement loading impacts of heavy vehicles. 

It considers various factors such as different pavement types, axle configurations and masses, tyre sizes and road-friendly suspensions. 

The NHVR says it is especially useful for road managers without pavement engineering expertise, allowing them to assess the impacts of freight vehicles on its infrastructure accurately. 

Road managers will also be able to make more efficient and favourable access decisions for higher mass vehicles, potentially leading to larger trucks being allowed on roads without compromising infrastructure sustainability. 

The NHVR says trusted sources such as Austroads pavement research and transport agency pavement guidelines were all used throughout the tool’s development process. 

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says the tool will help users understand that more productive vehicles can actually expand the lifespan of roads. 

“The Pavement Calculator indicates that larger and heavy vehicles are not necessarily worse for roads than smaller vehicles, especially if they meet the requirements of the NHVR’s Performance Based Standards scheme,” Petroccitto says.  

“This information helps facilitate discussions between road managers and industry to achieve the best outcome. 

“For example, a PBS A-Double at higher mass limits and fitted with road-friendly suspensions can cause 38 per cent less pavement wear than a B-double at general mass limits.” 

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) chief technical officer Adam Ritzinger says giving tools such as this to road managers will drive productivity upwards. 

“HVIA strongly supports the NHVR’s efforts to simplify pavement impact calculations and remove barriers to higher vehicle freight vehicles,” Ritzinger says. 

Local governments, who the NHVR says are responsible for 77 per cent of total road length in Australia, face significant challenges in maintaining these roads. 

IPWEA NSW & ACT chief engineer Josh Devitt says the Pavement Calculator is a valuable resource for road managers with limited funding as it reduces the complexity of managing road assets, making the task of road maintenance and rehabilitation more manageable. 

“This tool will assist local government road managers in making more informed decisions about the impact of heavy vehicle movements on their network, and lead to an overall improvement in road asset management activities,” Devitt says. 

“The tool is based on best practice engineering guidelines and will help streamline design and assessment processes.  

“By making these guidelines user-friendly and digital, the Pavement Calculator not only makes information more accessible but also ensures decisions are grounded in reliable, trusted sources.” 

The NHVR says thatit’scommitted to continue supporting the industry and local governments in improving road quality and ensuring efficient transport of goods and services across Australia. 

It says the Pavement Calculator is a testament to this commitment, paving the way for smarter, more sustainable road management practices. 

Consultation on the Pavement Calculator close on April 5, 2024. 

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