Opinion

Let’s clear the air, together

Covid-19 improved the perception many Australians have of our industry, reaffirming that the movement of trucks, the supply chain and the ability to access warehouses is critical to the nation’s development and continued success.

Currently, there are more than 40,000 owners and approximately half a million heavy vehicles on our roads, with those numbers only increasing. With a geographically dispersed population, the requirement for trucks to deliver to more locations and travel further distances is inevitable.

The NHVR, and the majority of industry, prioritises safety in everything we do. With safety comes compliance but, like any industry, there will be some that attempt to bend the rules.

One area of concern for the NHVR is the practice of illegal engine remapping. While there may be a temptation to cut corners, engine remapping is illegal under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) – and for good reason, one of which is the pollutant harm remapping can cause.

Research has shown that engine remapping can release up to 60 x more pollutants into the atmosphere (Australian Bureau of Statistics January 2017 Motor Vehicle Census), which can cause damage to the environment and the communities our families and friends live and work in.

To combat this, the NHVR has embarked on an education campaign, reminding the industry about the risks they take if they choose to illegally remap an engine. It’s clear to us – and I’m sure to many of you – that there are more than just financial penalties at stake.

Over the coming months, information will be released that will aid all of us in re-committing to the correct use of trucks and the safety of those that operate them.

For many, this will come as simply a reminder message, with all new trucks sold in Australia since 2010 required to meet Euro V Vehicle Emission Standards. These standards will no doubt strengthen over the coming years in a move that is welcomed by the NHVR and positive for the sustainability of the heavy vehicle industry. In the meantime, we all have a responsibility to play our part in ensuring a safe future for our environment and those that live as part of it.

In addition to visual messaging, the NHVR compliance and prosecution teams will continue to monitor illegal engine remapping and we will pursue action as required.

For now though, I thank you for your support of this important initiative, as together, we clear the air over engine remapping.

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