Transport engineering consultants, Smedley’s Engineers, has announced that PBS specialist Chris Nisbet has joined the company, to ‘further broaden the knowledge and experience available to its customers’, as the company expands its service offerings to greater numbers of truck and trailer builders and operators.

Nisbet joins Smedley’s Engineers after more than seven years at Byford Equipment as national sales and compliance manager, following two decades in the dairy equipment sector.

The company says Nisbet has been an active campaigner for improved access for PBS combinations for operators, interacting with local councils and road managers.

“I have been lucky to be at the cutting edge of PBS development and pushing for more access for smarter vehicles for some time, lobbying and negotiating with all levels of government from local councils up to the Federal Transport Minister, and I will continue this work with Smedley’s Engineers,” Chris Nisbet said.

“I have been involved in a south-western Victorian working group in conjunction with VicRoads aiming to improve access and looking at transport corridor requirements for the region out to 2045. I also worked to secure the volumetric network access program just released that will allow bulk tankers to carry up to 74.5-tonnes on 3000 km of roads using compliant combinations,” he said.

“I am passionate about improving access for operators, educating councils to understand the complexities and benefits of smart combinations and the payload, productivity and efficiency benefits they bring to the whole community, not just operators.

‘We can see that while the larger fleets have embraced PBS, now is the time for smaller fleets to also enjoy the improved access for compliant vehicles combinations. I will work as part of the Smedley’s Engineers team to guide truck and trailer suppliers through these sometimes complex requirements and regulations, to deliver smaller operators the right specification for their needs.

“The NHVR anticipated there being 10,000 PBS-approved combinations on the road by 2030, but this well exceeded that already. With the new 30 m network now live, and future developments pending, there will be plenty of scope for innovative and imaginative engineering solutions to be deployed into the market,” Chris Nisbet said.

“I am delighted to be able to welcome Chris Nisbet to the Smedley’s Engineers team and look forward to working with him very closely,” said Robert Smedley, managing director.

Chris has a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, the perfect combination to help drive our business forward. His tireless efforts with councils, road mangers and operators to encourage a greater understanding of the benefits of PBS smart truck and trailer design will continue to be leveraged by us, as we assist the transport industry with productivity gains.

“The unstoppable growth of the freight task and the continued scarcity of drivers are compelling operators to seek new solutions, which we can provide within the current and future PBS regulations,” Robert Smedley said.

“As trucks become more sophisticated across the market, loading up with intelligent safety and driver assistance systems, as well as low level autonomous and connected systems, the road space will become a more complex, but ultimately safer environment. And with innovative load sharing systems in place, greater payloads in longer vehicles can be transported more efficiently without harming the infrastructure,” he said.

“Our view is that the future of road transport will rely on a combination of elements working together with a common goal. Enlightened road designers will accommodate truck and trailer combinations that offer the greatest productivity and safety at the lowest environmental cost.”