The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has appointed independent road safety expert, Dr John de Pont, to lead a review of Performance-Based Standards (PBS) tyre standards and operations.
NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the review will examine the marketplace to identify the best practice approach for the management of tyres within the PBS scheme.
“Almost one-in-five new heavy vehicles built in Australia this year will be approved under the PBS scheme,” said Petroccitto.
“We are committed to a wider review of PBS standards and rules, to ensure PBS remains a world-leading program for innovation and safety design, however a review of tyre standards is a priority.
“We will look at the available testing methods utilised by tyre manufacturers and suppliers, considering that these methods can produce differing results.”
The review will also look at the effects of tyre characteristics on safety performance, key tyre performance parameters, the performance of truck tyres currently available in Australia and the effects of tyre designs, tread patterns, case types, sizes, materials and operating conditions.
A report into Australia’s PBS fleet released in May showed there were 16,000 separate PBS registered trucks, trailers and buses, making up 7,500 PBS combinations currently operating.
Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) CEO, Todd Hacking, said the organisation had been strong advocates for a review into PBS tyres.
“PBS is an innovative world leading scheme designed to improve safety and productivity but industry feedback is that the treatment of tyres could be better. HVIA and its members support the review and look forward to working cooperatively with NHVR once the report is finalised,” he said.
“Given the growing use of PBS-approved vehicles it’s important that we are incorporating the latest tyre information and technology into the scheme.”
Dr de Pont will provide a report for the NHVR’s Technical Working Group, which is made up of NHVR and industry experts in early 2019. He is a distinguished professional engineer who is currently the Director of Engineering Research at Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ).
Dr de Pont holds a PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University and is the current President of the International Forum for Road Transport Technology. His current research and professional focus is on transport logistics, optimisation, vehicle dynamics, suspension performance, vehicle stability, vehicle-pavement interaction, pavement performance and vehicle safety. He also has extensive experience in working with innovative heavy vehicles, having previously been a PBS Assessor under the Australian PBS scheme and having provided significant input to the development of the Australian PBS scheme and equivalent innovative vehicle schemes in New Zealand.
De de Pont developed the SRT Calculator software which is a web-based tool for determining the rollover stability of heavy vehicles. This tool is the primary basis for assessing compliance with the New Zealand rollover stability requirements for heavy vehicles.
Currently he is working with the NZTA on formalising the New Zealand PBS system.
The NHVR will host a PBS forum for local government engineers on October 22-23.