Pre-2005 semi-trailers exempt from painted bumper requirement

Semi-trailers manufactured since July 1, 1988 no longer need rear bumpers painted white.


The agency regulating heavy vehicles throughout most of Australia has delivered a financial fillip to trucking operators with the removal of paint requirements for semi-trailers currently in use.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) announced today it had issued a vehicle standards exemption removing the paint rule for in-service semi-trailers.

The announcement follows the Federal Government’s decision to remove the requirement from the Australian Design Rules (ADR) for semi-trailers being manufactured after January 1, 2005.

The exemption means the rear bumper bars of trucks will no longer need to be painted white.

"The NHVR has taken further steps to ensure in-service semi-trailers manufactured since July 1, 1988 also benefit from the change to drive productivity benefits for the sector," NHVR executive director of productivity and safety Geoff Casey says.

"It is estimated that the total savings for in-service vehicles will double the $12.5 million savings identified by the Commonwealth."

The NHVR says individual trucking operators should notice about $275 in savings per vehicle for a complete refurbishment and $125 for maintaining semi-trailers damaged during normal road use.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which welcomed the change to the ADR, has backed the NHVR for issuing the exemption.

"This is a simple exemption that will provide savings for transport businesses and operators, as well as ensuring that operators do not receive defect notices for an issue where there is no safety risk," ATA CEO Chris Melham says.

"I applaud the commonsense approach the NHVR has taken to remove red tape from the industry and trailer manufacturers."

Melham says the aim of the white bumper rule — to improve a truck’s visibility — was not really effective and that rear marker plates provided better visibility.

The Federal Government made the decision to remove the paint rule to align Australia’s heavy vehicle regulations with international jurisdictions.

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