The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been called on by the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) fast-track Approved Vehicle Examiner (AVE) Scheme implementation. According to the HVIA, body builders, trailer manufacturers, truck dealers and vehicle modifiers will continue to operate in a state of flux until the modification approval process is brought under a single, national process.
“We must be able to ensure consistent interpretation of standards, and the approval process, across the country,” said Brett Wright, HVIA CEO. “Inconsistencies in the operation of the schemes, from state to state, result in differing approaches to safety standards, substantial costs and loss of productivity to the whole supply chain.
“Inevitably, the ultimate loser when the supply chain can’t deliver cost-effective outcomes, is the consumer.”
The HVIA has held a series of heavy vehicle modification workshops in conjunction with the NHVR in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
“We brought together manufacturers, modifiers and engineers of vehicles, equipment and bodies together from all parts of Australia,” said Wright. “These workshops have been extremely valuable in ensuring the review process considers the real-world experience of industry.
“HVIA acknowledges the substantial progress made by the NHVR revising the National Code of Practice – Heavy Vehicle Modifications (VSB6), now due for implementation in September 2017. “Since the implementation of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in 2014, however, the NHVR has continued to rely on the state based schemes for managing heavy vehicle modifications.”
HVIA is calling for the introduction of a national Approved Vehicle Examiner Scheme to be operational on 1 July 2018.
“HVIA recognises the NHVR’s busy work program,” said Wright. “However we call for the necessary resources to be prioritised to the NHVR’s vehicle standards and safety team, to fast-track this important work to support safety and productivity.”
The key features of the scheme would include:
- A pathway for authorised companies to approve vehicle modifications (in addition to the existing individual approved examiners)
- Recognition of both trade and professionally qualified AVEs
- Training for AVEs to ensure they understand their obligations under the HVNL.
- Robust compliance and auditing systems
- One rule book for the operation of the scheme across the country.
“The NHVR has informed HVIA members at the workshops that that upon conclusion of the VSB6 review, they will commence work on the National Approved Vehicle Examiner’s (AVE) scheme throughout 2017 and 2018,” said Wright. “HVIA will again be fully engaged to assist the NHVR in expediting the review process and ensuring it meets the needs of industry.”