Who’s Running the Show?

Just to keep the trucking industry aware of its reputation, NSW’s Roads and Maritime Services has done it again. In a direct contradiction of its previous advice, the RMS has now informed heavy haulage operators traveling from interstate they will be required to hold an MC license if using a dolly between prime mover and trailer.

“Drivers who operate a low loader trailer, connected to a low loader dolly attached to a prime mover must ensure they hold the appropriate licence class or risk serious fines if caught,” said an MC Class License Bulletin, released by RMS this week. “It is vital that truck drivers hold the correct licence for the vehicle they are operating to ensure they have the right skills to manage the vehicle combination for the safety of all road users.

“Drivers and operators who are on the road without an appropriate licence may also risk voiding insurance should there be an incident.”

This is followed by the real kicker:

“This requirement also applies to interstate licenced drivers who are driving these multi combinations on NSW roads. They must have an MC class licence to avoid enforcement action.”

Back on October 2, Diesel News reported the RMS policy outlined by the authorities at the time and while NSW licensed drivers were to be forced to use an MC licence when using a dolly, this rule would not apply to those with interstate licences.

Unsurprisingly, the notice referred to, at the time, an RMS fact sheet posted at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/business-industry/heavy-vehicles/multi-combination-licence-2015-09.pdf, is no longer to found on the RMS website.

“Roads and Maritime consulted with the heavy vehicle industry earlier this year,” said the notice issued this week by RMS. “Concerns about the licence status of heavy haulage drivers were raised. Industry agreed a six-month transition period was required during which formal warnings were issued by Roads and Maritime inspectors instead of penalty notices. This notice period ended on 30 September 2015.

“Roads and Maritime and NSW Police enforce this regulatory requirement. Drivers are considered unlicensed if they do not hold an MC class licence and the vehicle will be grounded. Roads and Maritime will assist the driver in contacting the operator and making arrangements for the vehicle and load to continue on the journey.

“A penalty notice fine of $637 applies for a first offence and $1,275 applies for a second or subsequent offence for anyone caught with an inappropriate class of licence. The fine system is designed to influence behaviour by making sure individuals take responsibility for actions which break the law.”