A new  B-double notice  which aims to harmonise requirements for operators nationally has been announced by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) aiming to harmonise requirements for operators nationally  starting on  the 1st February.

The NHVR says the  update on the existing requirements, the  National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle B-double Notice  was implemented with productivity improvements in mind for the 19,000 B-doubles operating across Australia.

“The new notice aligns B-double requirements across states and territories, including general access for 50-tonne, 19-metre vehicles, which are commonly used to transport fuel,” said NHVR freight and supply chain productivity executive director, Peter Caprioli.

“The Notice has reduced the number of conditions imposed by jurisdictions and creates a national B-double network for vehicles which move almost half of all freight,” Caprioli said.

“This means an increase in mass for general access in South Australia from 42.5 tonnes to 50 tonnes, while general access in Tasmania will remain for 21-metre B-doubles.

“The Notice will align B-double access with a three-axle rigid truck towing a four axle trailer, which has had general access at 50 tonnes for several years.

“The new Notice also provides general access bridge formulae for all general access B-double operations.”

The new notice is part of the current round of the NHVR’s National Harmonisation Program which includes the National Class 1 Agricultural Notice and National Class 2 Road Train Notice.

Meantime deputy Prime Minister and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development, Michael McCormack has welcomed  a comprehensive review which is under way into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to consider ways to improve  and boost national road safety and productivity delivery.

Mr McCormack said the Transport and Infrastructure Council of Federal, State and Territory Ministers recently approved the review’s terms of reference, submitted by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

“The NTC’s terms of reference reflect the widely held view that the HVNL, in its current form, falls short of being truly national and is overly prescriptive and complicated,” Mr McCormack said.

“It is now widely accepted that while the first iteration of the HVNL in 2012 was an improvement on the previous multi-jurisdictional situation, it now needs to be comprehensively overhauled.

“Extensive consultations will be held with stakeholders as part of the review including trucking industry representatives and related industries, policy and law enforcement agencies, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, all three tiers of government and members of the Australian community.

“To support and help guide the review, an expert panel chaired by the recently retired chairman of the productivity commission, Peter Harris, and including representatives from the trucking industry and Infrastructure Australia, has also been appointed.”

The expert panel comprises recent Order of Australia winner Sharon Middleton, director of Whiteline Transport and president of the South Australian Road Transport Association, Andrew Ethell,  executive director of Amalgam Strategic and board member of Infrastructure Australia, Gary Mahon CEO of the  Queensland Trucking Association, Gary Liddle,  enterprise professor of transport at Melbourne University and senior strategic adviser for transport at leading International consultancy,  Jacobs and. Louise Bilato,  executive officer of  NT Road Transport Association.

Mr McCormack said the NTC would consider industry feedback and focus its investigation on key priority areas, including safe and efficient access, enhanced fatigue management, accreditation for safer operations and telematics, technology and data.

He said to ensure the views of heavy vehicle operators across the country are taken into account when drafting the replacement legislation, the NTC will undertake consultation with rural and regional stakeholders, as well as those in urban areas.

“The review will complement other Government priorities such as the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and the recently announced National Road Safety Governance review.

“Members of the Transport and Infrastructure Council of Ministers are looking forward to receiving the NTC’s first set of recommendations near the end of this year,” he said.

“This review complements the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $75 billion infrastructure investment plan which aims to help all Australians get home sooner and safer, with road safety improvements a key priority.

“This $75 billion plan delivers major investments in congestion-busting infrastructure for our cities and in ensuring the safety and efficiency of key links to and within regional Australia are improved for all road users, to a standard that supports the demands of our growing national economy.

“Thanks to strong budget and financial management, the Federal Government is able to deliver this $75 billion investment plan through projects big and small, throughout the nation.”

Terms of reference and further details about the review are available at: www.ntc.gov.au/heavy-vehicles/safety/review-of-the-heavy-vehicle-national-law/