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The trucking industry will save time and money under a new common-sense approach to loading heavy vehicles.

Changes to mass loading transfer laws will save truckers time and money

20 June 2014

The trucking industry will save time and money under a new common-sense approach to loading heavy vehicles.

NTC CEO Paul Retter today said the reform to national regulations that allow up to one tonne of a load to be transferred from single or tandem axle groups, to a tri-axle group, on general mass limits heavy vehicles has many productivity-boosting benefits for Australia’s truck industry.

“This will save operators time and money and, importantly, will slightly reduce the wear and tear on our roads,” Mr Retter said.

The original nationally-agreed mass loading laws established in 1993 set the total weight allowed for a heavy vehicle as the sum of the maximum masses allowed on each of the truck’s axle groups.

“This meant that for a truck to be able to carry the maximum legal load, that load must be perfectly distributed across all axle groups,” Mr Retter said.

“The laws are now 20 years old and are out of date. They create unnecessary and unreasonable work for truckers and are well overdue for an update.

“In practical terms the margin of error for container loads was a few millimetres and people transporting mixed loads faced a difficult three-dimensional puzzle to get it right.

“Drivers who were under the total mass limit were still liable for fines if the mass or any of the truck’s axle groups exceeded the prescribed limit, even though their loads did less damage to our roads.”

Under the new amendment the amount of freight each truck can carry will not increase.

“The new rules allow a bit more flexibility, one tonne, in the mass limits on axles to make the law practical and fair,” Mr Retter said.

“While they still need to take care to ensure their vehicles are correctly and safely loaded within the limits, the task is now not as hard.”

When the load moves onto a tri (three axle group), from a dual or single axle (without changing the total load carried) the truck actually creates less wear and tear on our nation’s roads.

The NTC is currently in discussions with the Queensland Government to amend the Heavy Vehicle National Law with a view to these changes coming into effect later this year. Further details about how this will work in practice will also be available later this year.

These changes were endorsed by the recent meeting of transport ministers held last month.

Last Updated: 18/11/2016