PBS approval no longer required for some truck and dog combinations

A new notice released today will allow certain truck and dog combinations to operate on approved networks without having to go through the Performance Based Standards (PBS) approval process.

The National Class 3 20m Long 3-axle Truck and 4-axle Dog Trailer Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) will effectively take these combinations out of the PBS scheme and into the ‘normal’ regulatory framework.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says this will help get safer and more productive vehicles on the road. “With over 15 years knowledge and experience of hundreds of 3-axle truck and 4-axle dog combination designs, we are confident we can remove the need for them to go through the PBS assessment process,” he said.

“Rigorous, tried-and-tested templates for these combinations have been developed through the PBS scheme, and the combinations operating under this notice will use these templates and adhere to the same strict safety standards.

The NHVR says that by taking these common and well-understood truck and dog trailer combinations out of the PBS scheme, it can reduce the regulatory and cost burden for industry, as well as allow PBS to focus on new vehicle innovation.

“As part of ongoing reform of the PBS scheme to ensure it remains fit for purpose, the NHVR will continue to work with industry to identify other combinations that can also be transitioned out of the scheme.”

Petroccitto said operators can still choose to operate these truck and dog combinations under the existing PBS arrangements if preferred or they can opt to use the new notice arrangements.

“The change does not affect the current access available to PBS operators of 3-axle truck and 4-axle dog combinations,” he said.

HVIA chief executive Todd Hacking congratulated the NHVR for working with industry on this important initiative, adding that the reform reflects the maturation of the PBS scheme. “This is an excellent example of the PBS scheme’s ability to enable the introduction of innovative new combinations,” he said.

“Australian design, engineering and manufacture of benchmark-setting, high-productivity combinations are the envy of the heavy vehicle industry worldwide,” Hacking continued.

“This move allows the scheme to get back to focusing on the next iteration of innovative vehicles, further enhancing productivity and safety.

“Firstly, it will increase the level of productivity within the truck and dog fleet, while simultaneously removing the burden for both industry and the NHVR during the PBS assessment process of these combinations.”

Eligible vehicles under National Class 3 20m Long 3-axle Truck and 4-axle Dog Trailer Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2022 (No.1) will operate on Level 1 (up to mass 50.5t) and Level 2 (up to mass 57.5t) networks.

It is however noted that not all councils have provided access consent. A list of non-participating councils can be found under the network and mapping tool here.

Further information on eligible vehicles and the approved networks for the notice can be found in the Operator’s Guide.

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