Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles will soon be able to use a broader range of tyres, which the regulator hopes will encourage the take-up of safer, more-productive vehicles in the Australian heavy vehicle fleet.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the recent Infrastructure Transport Ministers’ Meeting supported the regulator’s leadership in reforming the PBS scheme to enable a new standardised tyre approach using a set of tyre properties and data for PBS assessments.
“This decision will allow us to streamline the current approach, which requires vehicles in the PBS scheme to have their on-road performance assessed using specific tyre types and brands,” Petroccitto said.
“Industry has told us this approach is complicated, creates unnecessary costs, has operational limitations and discourages participation in the PBS scheme.
Petroccitto added that under the new approach, any brand of tyre can be used on a PBS vehicle, as long as an assessment shows the design passes the relevant standards.
“This will provide operators with greater flexibility, increase productivity, and reduce costs without impacting safety or performance.
“We’re keen to roll this out as soon as possible, so industry can start to reap the benefits.”
The NHVR has developed the data for different tyre sizes and will consult with customers from September about implementation arrangements.
The standardised tyre approach will use specifications based on the Michelin XZA tyre, which was used to develop the current PBS standards.
“This approach will enable the PBS scheme to better support the next generation of smarter, safer and more-productive vehicles,” Petroccitto said.
Acting Chairman of the Australian Tyre Industry Council Silvio de Denaro welcomed the introduction of the standardised trye approach.
“Finally. For tyres, at least, this reform of the PBS system will mark the end of what had become an aberrating set of rules,” he said.
“While most of our members were inconvenienced by this outdated standard, the real beneficiaries will be productivity, as well as freight operators and truck and trailer manufacturers.
“We appreciate the efforts of the NHVR in addressing this challenge and look forward to working with regulators to address other challenges.”