This week has seen more information on roller brake testing has been released, at a time when the issues surrounding the criteria for testing truck brakes in New South Wales continue and may not be cleared up for some time.
Nationally consistent results in roller brake testing for compliance to the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual is described as ‘still evolving’. NHVR is currently reviewing all facets and, with agreement from Roads and Maritime Service in NSW, has extended, for a second time, the transition period to the new brake performance requirements until June 30 2017.
The Australian Trucking Association’s Industry Technical Council has released a Technical Advisory Procedure (TAP) in an attempt to assist with understanding roller brake testing and NHVIM compliance. With work underway or to be undertaken by both the NHVR and industry, the recommendations in the TAP may vary when the ultimate document is finally released, but the ITC reckon the information contained in it provides the best available guidance at present.
The TAP has been published to assist both the road transport industry and state/territory road authority inspectors to achieve consistent and repeatable results from roller brake testing equipment used for compliance to the NHVIM. The ATA stress, it is not, nor is it intended to be, complete or without exceptions.
Until June 30, the RMS has implemented a transition and education period with the following process being temporarily put into place:
A heavy vehicle inspected either at a Heavy Vehicle Safety Station (HVSS) or roadside and the brakes are tested using a roller brake tester and the inspection reveals that the overall brake performance is between 3 kN/tonne and 4.5 kN/tonne, an official warning is issued.
On a heavy vehicle inspected as part of an NSW Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS) (annual registration inspections), the 4.5 kN/tonne brake performance is required to be met. If the vehicle fails, the brake performance test an appropriate category of defect notice is issued based on the safety risk the vehicle poses.