The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has announced that Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles will be able to use a broader range of tyres from 1 December, which it says will enable the PBS scheme to better support and promote the next generation of smarter, safer and more productive vehicles.
The NHVR says the new approach will remove the restrictive and outdated tyre requirements that created unnecessary costs and allow PBS operators to use any brand and model of tyre, as long as it meets relevant PBS Standards.
NSW Minister for regional transport and roads, Sam Farraway said the introduction of the PBS generic tyre approach was a significant development in supporting greater industry productivity and delivering improved economic benefits.
“At all levels of government, we have a responsibility to ensure the heavy vehicle industry can meet the country’s growing freight task,” Farraway said.
“PBS vehicles allow more goods to be delivered with fewer vehicles in a safe and sustainable manner – offering productivity improvements of 15 to 30 per cent compared to their prescriptive counterparts.
“New South Wales is leading the way in delivering greater access to PBS vehicles and welcomes this sensible decision by the NHVR, which will only continue to encourage greater PBS uptake,” Farraway added
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the NHVR is committed to reforming the PBS scheme to break down barriers and make it easier for operators to get on with doing business.
“We listened to industry and provided a solution that will provide operators with greater flexibility, increased productivity and lower costs, without impacting safety or performance.
“Since Ministers endorsed the new tyre approach, we have undertaken extensive testing to ensure the safety of PBS vehicles will not be compromised and that the transition process is as smooth as possible,” Petroccitto said.
Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia CEO Todd Hacking said the introduction of the generic tyre approach was a significant announcement for all PBS operators.
“HVIA members brought this issue to the table with a view to fixing an impediment to what is otherwise a great driver of innovation,” Hacking said.
“The PBS scheme creates the platform for incorporating the very best in design, engineering and manufacturing ingenuity to address the challenges of our ever-increasing freight task in the safest way possible.
“We are grateful that the NHVR and the Australian Government are taking an increasingly collaborative and consultative approach with industry with a view to improving both safety and productivity outcomes.”
Acting c hairman of the Australian Tyre Industry Council Silvio de Denaro said that, as the peak industry body for tyres, ATIC warmly welcomed the expedited implementation of the new system.
“This does not arrive one minute too soon, as countless hours have been spent by industry advocates in the attempt to improve the previous restrictive arrangements,” de Denaro said.
“This step has been years in the making, and hopefully now we can turn this page and engage in other, more useful work with the NHVR in the pursuit of increased safety and productivity for Australian road transport,” de Denaro added.
The amended PBS Standards and Vehicle Assessment Rules will be made available on the NHVR website prior to the commencement date for the generic tyre approach.
From the commencement of the generic tyre approach on 1 December PBS certifiers will no longer be required to confirm that a specific brand/model of tyre is fitted to a PBS vehicle and will just need to confirm that the fitted tyres meet the size, load rating and configuration requirements.
There will also now be a three-month transition period for any applications underway, during which operators can continue to make design approval applications using the existing specific tyre approach or, alternatively, they can use the generic tyre approach.
NHVR has also announced that all existing PBS vehicles will be deemed to comply with the new approach – with no need to be reassessed – and operators will not be required to have their existing vehicle approval amended to reflect this change.
It also said that updates to vehicle approval documents issued before the introduction of the generic tyre approach will only occur when they need to be updated for some other reason.
The NHVR will be holding a series of webinars in the coming weeks to provide an overview of the generic tyre approach. To register for a webinar or learn more about the generic tyre approach, please visit nhvr.gov.au/gta and for more about the PBS scheme you can visit www.nhvr.gov.au/pbs