The success of Performance Based Standards depends on local governments giving innovative vehicles access to the road network, Diesel News went to see a demonstration day where new technology was on show to road managers in real life conditions.
Bundaberg got a chance to see top performing PBS trucks in a real world demo on a real world road, courtesy of a group of local councils in Queensland. The day was designed to allow PBS approved truck owners to show the road managers just how benign they actually are and get an opportunity to engage directly with those making the big road access decisions.
The event saw the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator bring together a selection of the latest innovative truck and trailer combinations designed to enhance productivity and safety using PBS. A difficult winding demonstration course showed off the capabilities of the PBS trucks with a tight roundabout being the centre of attention. The representatives of a number of local authorities responsible for roads in Queensland saw the trucks manoeuvre around the course with ease, little off tracking and no road damage.
So far, 3,200 trucks have been approved under the PBS regulations. On show were a selection of the types of truck which have developed using the PBS principles. There were truck and dog combinations using the extra length available for stability and extra axles to increase GCM. B-doubles used dimensions and axle positioning to improve overall performance and productivity. The A-doubles on show gave the road authorities insight into their capabilities.
Someone in an office can read documentation, watch computer simulations and still not get it, but show them a smart vehicle in the metal and they will soon get exactly what it is capable of. This is the theory behind the day organised by the NHVR.
This has been ongoing issue for trucking operators wanting to get permission to run PBS approved vehicles on the routes they need to use in order to get value from the extra productivity the new combinations can deliver. Road managers, especially those in local councils have been sceptical about the claims made by operators and unaware of the capabilities of new technology in reducing road damage from bigger combinations.