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Tips for loading managers on meeting an all reasonable steps defence

July 14, 2016

How can a loading manager demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply their Chain of Responsibility (CoR) obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)?

Rather than say, “well, that depends …”, the heavy vehicle regulator has provided a few examples of some reasonable steps that could be taken and used in a defence of any possible breach.

While recognising that two loads are rarely the same, the regulator has a number of suggestions. Following is a small list of tips.

Begin by using a loading diagram for different types of loads to ensure axle weight limits are not exceeded.

Verify the weight at a later stage

Another method that the regulator recommends for transport companies that can’t accurately verify the weight of the load at time of loading is to deliberately under-load the vehicle for the first trip (to be certain of not breaching weight limits) and verifying the weight at some later stage of the journey.

Or try fitting measuring scales to loading equipment and then keep a running total of the weight of the load for each trip.

The regulator also suggests that loading managers can use a pre-printed form that requires the person in control of packing or loading the goods to verify the accuracy of any records.

After all, everyone in the supply chain is responsible for ensuring transport vehicles are not overloaded under their CoR obligations.

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