National survey launched

By: Steve Skinner

NHVR launches the first national survey of heavy vehicle roadworthiness at Comvec

National survey launched
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto

About 9,000 heavy vehicles will be randomly inspected during August and September for the first national survey to check the mechanical state of the nation’s fleet.

From August 1, thousands of trucks will be pulled into inspection sites as part of the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey. Buses will be checked in depots.

Vehicles will be visually inspected by 50 specially-trained state compliance officers – most of them mechanics by trade - in 9 teams, working in both metro and regional areas.

Vehicles will also be put over brake roller testers and suspension shakers. Inspections are expected to take 20-45 minutes.

The survey has been officially launched by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator at the Heavy Vehicle Engineering and Technical Conference (ComVec) in Melbourne.

 NHVR says the survey will help the regulator to understand the health and roadworthiness of the more than half a million heavy vehicles in Australia.

Currently, the states and territories each have different inspection and data regimes, which means the condition of heavy vehicles nationally is unclear.

 NHVR says this is a "fundamental roadblock" to achieving national consistency.

The survey inspections in August and September will test against criteria in the new, consistent National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual which came into effect on July 1 (except in WA and the NT).

"Each vehicle will have a comprehensive visual inspection and depending on the condition of the vehicle some may take on average 45 minutes," says NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto.

"We are encouraging operators to be aware of the survey when scheduling to allow appropriate time for inspections," Petroccitto says.

 "We understand the importance of the supply chain and where possible will ensure minimal disruption occurs."

NHVR says there will be no queuing at inspection sites.

"Theres been a little bit of noise from some sectors of the associations saying we’re going to be holding up the supply chain," Petroccitto says.

"I think that’s just rubbish. I think this is a really important initiative and if the supply chain can’t find 20 to 30 minutes to actually get an understanding of the condition of the fleet, then we’ve all really got to go back and look at what we’re doing as an industry.

"Wherever possible we will endeavor to ensure that we don’t delay tasks, but I suppose I’m concerned if you have operators that are tracking right down to the minute, are they really scheduling properly in terms of issues that might be occurring on the road, because there’s roadworks and other stuff like that."

Comvec is organized by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia, which represents manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of heavy vehicles and their equipment and technology. HVIA was formed last year from Queensland’s CVIAQ.

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