PBS reaches 1000 vehicle milestone

George Konstandakos

Performance Based Standards (PBS), a scheme to encourage the take-up of safe higher-productivity heavy vehicles, has reached a significant milestone with the approval of over 1000 heavy vehicle combinations since its inception in 2007.

PBS vehicles are designed to perform their tasks as productively, safely and as sustainably as possible. These trucks and buses are tested against 16 stringent safety standards and four infrastructure standards to ensure they can start, stop, turn and travel safely.

According to George Konstandakos, National Transport Commission (NTC) chief officer projects, the PBS scheme has experienced a surge in applications over the last 12 months.

“In 2013, PBS becomes part of the new Heavy Vehicle National Law. This means that, for the first time, industry will have certainty of access to a defined network under the scheme,” Konstandakos said. “PBS applications have nearly doubled in the last 12 months and we expect to see even greater demand once the changes to the scheme announced in March are fully implemented.”

He added that the continuing success of the scheme is vital to boosting not only the performance of Australia’s road freight transport, but of the entire transport system.

“Encouraging the use of higher productivity vehicles on designated roads means less heavy vehicles are required to service the freight task, resulting in fewer vehicle emissions and reduced traffic congestion on our roads.

“Importantly, PBS vehicles are assessed against some of the most stringent road safety performance standards in the world.”

Changes to the PBS scheme include moving to a system of national vehicle assessment and access decisions, a system of modular assessment for PBS combinations and the option for manufacturer self-certification. The changes will come into effect when the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator becomes operational in 2013.