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NHVR reports PBS pre-approval trial changes

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Performance-Based Standards (PBS) pre-approval trial for common truck and dog combinations has significantly simplified the application process.

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said that a six-month trial to reduce the administrative burden on operators and manufacturers developing high-tech heavy vehicles had been successful.

“Since March we have been trialling a simplified design approval process for specifications pre-approved by the expert PBS panel for six- and seven-axle truck and dog combinations,” said Petroccitto.

“During the trial we saw turnaround times for 33 design approvals reduce from an average of five weeks down to three business days, which is a significant benefit for operators and manufacturers.

“These applications account for 30 per cent of all PBS design approval applications and 50 per cent of all new truck and dog applications.

“Based on the success of the truck and dog combination trial we will now look at a more simplified approval process for other popular vehicle types, including semi-trailer combinations and B-doubles.”

The PBS scheme has offered the heavy vehicle industry options to achieve higher productivity and safety through innovative and optimised vehicle design, according to the NHVR. PBS vehicles have been designed to perform as productively, safely and sustainably as possible, by matching the right vehicles to the right tasks.

1403 PBS combinations were reportedly approved in 2016-17, an increase of 23 per cent on the previous year. Petroccitto said the NHVR was committed to delivering a forward work program to mark the first decade of the PBS scheme.

“We believe it is important to give industry and road managers certainty about our plans for the PBS scheme,” he said.

“As part of our continuous improvement process several areas of the scheme would be reviewed including the certification process, technology advances and the transition from the PBS to regulation.

“Over the next decade I envisage a PBS scheme that, while still delivering improved productivity and safety, will operate under a certification and standards framework that has evolved significantly.”

The current PBS scheme was implemented by the National Transport Commission in 2007 and has been operated by the NHVR since 2013.

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