A joint release by the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has revealed that 17 per cent of all new heavy vehicles sold in Australia last year were PBS approved showing  the increasing appetite for the transport industry to embrace new technology and matching trucks to specific tasks to deliver productivity gains.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the joint report by ARTSA and the NHVR into the PBS scheme showed the significant penetration of PBS-approved vehicles into the Australian market.

“The PBS scheme has developed into a world-leading program for which the entire Australian heavy vehicle industry can be very proud,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“It’s led to improved safety outcomes such as 46 per cent fewer crashes than conventional vehicles, per kilometres travelled and major productivity gains – saving more than 320 million truck kilometres travelled on Australian roads between 2014 and 2017.”

The joint ARTSA-NHVR report titled Performance Base Standards – Australia’s PBS Fleet showed that:

  • 60 trailer manufacturers and 22 truck manufacturers have built a PBS-approved unit in the past decade
  • 17 per cent of new heavy vehicles manufactured in 2017 were PBS approved
  • 55 per cent of all PBS approved combinations are truck and dogs
  • The median age of the PBS fleet is 3.6 years, compared to average age of the heavy vehicle fleet at 12.2 years

ARTSA Chairman Dr Peter Hart said the data showed what can be achieved when manufacturers, government and operators work closely together.

“The fact that almost one-in-six heavy vehicles manufactured in 2017 is PBS approved is a credit to our industry’s willingness to embrace new technology and designs,” Dr Hart said.

The design, manufacture and operation of a PBS vehicle involves a considerable investment, but more and more operators are choosing that path because the benefits that PBS vehicles deliver to their business warrants that additional investment.

“PBS is a good example of regulators setting clear parameters for industry to follow and allowing industry to do the rest. There are clear winners all round from this process including safety and environmental benefits for the community and performance benefits for industry,” Mr Petroccitto said.