Your duties for compliance under CoR are strict. But if you can establish that you’ve got effective and appropriate safeguards in place to manage your risks, there is some room for flexibility.
Take mass. If you’re a heavy vehicle operator and you can show that you’re implementing systems to load your trucks correctly, then you’ll be able to drive with a higher mass limit (HML).
That’s more goods in one go, travelling to where they need to go.
But there’s been another burden to carry. If you want to travel with a higher mass limit outside the approved road network for heavier loads, you generally need to get a permit from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
And they generally need to go back to local councils and roading agencies.
Eventually, you’ll hear back.
Now, in NSW, the whole process has just been made a lot simpler.
Unprecedented access for HML vehicles
Recently, a new declaration by the NHVR has opened up an unprecedented number of NSW routes and areas up to HML vehicles.
The HML scheme is operated by the NHVR, and allows particular heavy vehicles to access additional mass entitlements which would otherwise be a breach of mass limits.
Eligibility for the scheme requires operators to be accredited under the Mass Management Module of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), to fit their vehicles with certified road friendly suspension to reduce the impact on infrastructure, and to drive only on authorised HML routes.
Ordinarily, the NHVR has been co-ordinating the process with local asset owners on a route-by-route basis.
In practice, this meant co-ordinating a whole lot of different permits, and a greater workload for operators, the regulator, and agencies alike.
However, the NHVR’s new declaration, available on their website, removes the need to seek individual permits on up to 98 percent of the state-owned road network.
Are you getting the benefits of HML?
Even outside of NSW, the advantages of being able to operate on the road with a higher mass limit are obvious.
It’s a lawful, competitive advantage for operators – and a way for the whole supply chain to move more of its goods at once.
But there’s a lot to do to reach the HML accredited standard. And the fact is, there’s a lot for some parties to do to meet their bare minimum obligations.
For more on CoR mass and dimension laws, you should check out next month’s issue of CoR Adviser. It’s got a bevy of legal updates, as well as compliance and accreditation guides.
Until next time,
The CoR Adviser Team