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The imminent release of the revised VSB6 Modifications Code by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has prompted the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) to hold a two-day Modifications and Innovation Conference in Melbourne to allow interested parties an opportunity to contribute to the milestone document.
To be held from 2 to 3 March, the industry-driven event has been officially endorsed by the NHVR, who will use it as a platform to outline the key elements of the new Modifications Code and take on feedback by industry professionals.
The Conference will feature eight breakout sessions to facilitate a discussion on this once-in-a-generation situation, as ARTSA CEO, Robert Perkins, pointed out.
According to Perkins, some key focus areas will be:
A farewell to State-based AVEs
“Modifications are the tip of a very big iceberg,” Perkins told CRT News. “The way in which modifications are signed off by Approved Vehicle Examiners (AVEs) is about to undergo significant change. The NHVR will table plans at the Conference for the national shake up of the AVE system. These plans will be put in place for implementation in 2018. It will affect every AVE in Australia.”
New CoR ruling
Perkins: “The National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL) has recently been amended to include maintenance (and modifications) as one of the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations. What this means for in-house versus professional modifiers and AVEs needs to be understood. The National Transport Commission (NTC) will do just that on the first day of the event.”
A sneak peek at the new Modifications Code
“The NHVR will be putting all parts on the table and both explain and then discuss the proposed changes in eight facilitated workshops over two days,” Perkins said. “This is a unique chance to influence the outcome. Changes do not happen often and this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have your say in this sector.”
Responsibilities when a vehicle is modified
“The NHVL makes it an offence to modify or operate a heavy vehicle that have undergone prescribed modifications. Learn how vehicle operators, professional modifiers and workshops can stay out of trouble.”
VicRoads pilot fifth wheel fitment program
“VicRoads is currently running a pilot program to allow OEMs to sign off on aftermarket fitment of their products,” Prekins explained. “The pilot program covers fifth wheels. Hear how this is operating and the plans for the future.”
Innovation in action
“Innovative braking systems, Performance Based Standards (PBS), best practice AVE systems as well as new technologies on the horizon will be featured in four of the sessions,” Perkins said. “The challenges for maintenance and modification staff will be highlighted. The future is about to change how we go about our business.”