Truck modifier harmonisation project to start this year

By: Rob McKay

HVIA query sees Queensland authorities wary about expansion of state scheme


Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) will have to wait on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) for harmonisation of truck modifiers’ accreditation after a Queensland rebuff.

Following an HVIA effort in May to find a way around state bureaucracies, the state Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) cited a burden it could not handle for not allowing Queensland accreditation of interstate ‘approved persons’.

HVIA says many members experience "extensive delays, red tape and unnecessary costs involved in maintaining accreditation in numerous state schemes which do not meet the needs of industry" and  highlights that many companies "have branches across Australia and the cost and burden of managing accreditation for their employees in multiple jurisdictions is high and onerous".

HVIA has called on the NHVR to fast-track a national scheme to resolve the issues that still remain with the state based vehicle modification schemes "two and half years after the HVNL came into effect".

It appears that the organisation will get some action.

"As part of our ongoing work to complete the transition to truly national vehicle standards, the NHVR will commence the National Approved Vehicle Examiners (AVE) Project in late 2016," productivity and safety executive director Geoff Casey tells Owner//Driver.

"We are aiming to develop a single national accreditation scheme for heavy vehicle modifiers, with consistent requirements for aspects such as qualifications, equipment and insurance."

The National AVE Project will also develop and implement a national heavy vehicle modification plate and certificate.

Work underway with the review of the National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications (VSB6) and the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program will also feed into the National AVE Project.

"While there are aspects of the Queensland accreditation scheme that are appealing, such as the two-tiered approach which allows qualified trades persons to assess and certify some modifications, we will not be adopting one particular scheme currently in place in any Australian jurisdiction," Casey says.

"Our approach will be to work closely with the states and territories and consult widely with industry to review current Australian schemes and those overseas.

"We are aiming for a national scheme that boosts the safety of the heavy vehicle fleet, while being cost-effective and practical."



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