Transport Industry News

HVIA and TIC welcome heavy vehicle width announcement

Transport bodies across Australia are welcoming in an important government announcement

In a landmark day for the trucking industry, federal assistant transport minister Carol Brown has announced the government’s decision to increase the overall width limit for trucks in Australia to 2.55 metres.

This will see the overall width limit raised from 2.50m to 2.55m for new trucks

These include devices to reduce blind spots, electronic stability control, advanced emergency braking, a lane departure warning system, better reflective markings and side guards to stop pedestrians and cyclists from being caught up under the rear wheels of trucks.

Additionally, several safety devices and sensors will be able to be fitted to trucks without counting towards width and length measurements. These include front and kerb view mirrors, external parts of camera monitor systems, blind spot sensors, and cross-view mirrors.

The overall width limit for buses and trailers won’t change, however, they will also benefit from more safety devices being excluded from width and length measurements.

The government estimates the changes will provide a net benefit of more than $500 million to the Australian economy by reducing the number of road freight trips businesses will need to take, saving them money and lowering their environmental impact.

HVIA CEO Todd Hacking says the historic announcement is a huge step forward for the industry and HVIA’s many members who will benefit.

“HVIA has listened to its members and advocated tirelessly for this change,” he says.

“Removing unnecessary roadblocks and impediments to truck safety and productivity underpins what we do, and we thank Minister Brown’s office for recognising the importance of this reform.”

The change harmonises Australia’s truck width limits with many overseas markets and allows manufacturers to introduce the next generation of safer, cleaner and more productive trucks, without needing costly re-design or re-engineering.

Brown says the package responds to direct calls from industry to increase the width limit of trucks and follows extensive public consultation and feedback.

“These changes will be a real game changer for industry, businesses and other road users, as they will save lives by adopting technology to reduce the likelihood of crashes, while also lowering freight costs and supporting better environmental outcomes,” she says.

Crucially, the change does not affect width limits for trailers, an issue which Hacking says is a key part of HVIA’s policy, intended to protect Australia’s local trailer manufacturing industry from bearing unnecessary re-tooling costs.

“To see that the announcement is perfectly aligned with HVIA’s policy, as guided by members, is a testament to how effective advocacy can be when it is backed by a solid safety and economic case,” he says.

The Trucking Industry Council (TIC) has also thrown its support behind the announcement.

One of the bodies petitioning the government to increase truck width, the council and its members are thankful for the changes.

“Allowing 2.55m width vehicles on Australian roads meant that these vehicles could be fitted with the latest safety technologies and importantly will result in the faster deployment of zero emission vehicles in Australia,” TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.

“As the industry technical experts, TIC has drawn upon its members’ world-wide technological and practical knowledge to advocate for the introduction of advanced safety features, that are core elements of this Safer Freight Vehicles Package, well before they are mandated, with the result being that road users will be safer on Australian roads.

“All safer freight vehicles will now be equipped with lane departure warning, autonomous emergency brake systems, side underrun protection, conspicuity markings and stability control.”

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