As of today, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is publishing information on upcoming heavy vehicle law changes. These changes will becoming through as amendments to the National Heavy Vehicle Law and regulations. They will take effect as of July 1.
In an important change for semi operators the rules on the Gross Carrying Mass for combinations with a twin steer prime mover and a triaxle trailer will rise to 46.5 tonnes from the standard 42.5 tonnes.
Stakeholders have long called for this amendment. The semi only gains four tonnes in its mass allowance for fitting a fourth axle on the prime mover, but this will help with utilisation of prime movers in mixed fleets which twin steer prime movers in some applications.
These changes may have the effect of making the twin steer prime mover a more attractive proposition for operations looking at Performance Based Standards semi applications. Studies in the past have demonstrated how the twin steer prime mover is inherently more stable, especially in B-double applications.
The rules around the requirements for tag trailers are also being changed. To bring the rules in line with those which already apply to dog and pig trailers, tag trailers will be required to operate under a maximum towed mass ratio of 1:1 as well. The new regulations can be found here.
Truck registration rule changes are also going to be coming into effect on July 1. We will start to see the introduction of a new national heavy vehicle plate and nationally consistent plate fees in states and territories, which are participating with the NHVR.
A change which is likely to reduce the headaches of fleet managers will be the ability to set a common registration expiry date across a number of vehicles. More state and territory authorities are due to end the use of truck rego labels on the vehicle. Information on the rego changes can be found here.