Some semblance of rationality arrives in vehicle mass measurement with the introduction, this week, of the very clumsily titled ‘1 tonne Mass Transfer Allowance’ (1TMTA). The new rule means a certain amount of leeway is given to operators who may overload one axle group, as long as overall mass allowances are not exceeded.
The floating tonne means a truck may go up to one tonne over the 20 tonne mass limit allowed for a triaxle group as long as another group are under the 20 tonne limit by the same amount. This will ensure difficult to judge loads across triaxle and drive axles will be OK as long as the overload on a group is less than one tonne.
The new rule only applies at GML, the base standard for vehicle loading, and not CML or HML, which already have higher mass allowances. Vehicles running on permits or the Performance Based Standards scheme are also excluded from the new allowance.
So far, the new entitlement is only available in the Eastern half of Australia. It is available on all routes in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, but only on specified routes in Queensland, see the TMR website for specifics.
A straightforward guide to the changes is available from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s website. There are a number of simple diagrams to show just how the new system will work in relation to different axle weights.