A National Health Check For Heavy Vehicles

a national health check for heavy vehicles

In the coming two month the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will launch the second National Roadworthiness Survey (NRS), a national health check for heavy vehicles, following on from the inaugural survey in 2016. Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO explains what is happening and how the results will be handled.

Over the next 12 weeks, around 8,000 heavy vehicles will be inspected by the NHVR and our partner agencies in every state and territory in the nation.

The NRS will allow us to assess the mechanical condition of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet and help shape future initiatives to improve the safety and productivity of the industry.

These are important goals, not just for the NHVR, but for the whole transport industry, the broader supply chain and the Australian public.

I appreciate the survey may cause some disruption for the drivers and operators whose vehicles are stopped, so the officers will carry out inspections as efficiently as possible. 

Each vehicle will undergo a detailed visual inspection and some mechanical testing by authorised officers using inspection trailers and brake-testing equipment. 

a national health check for heavy vehicles

We promise that once a vehicle has been inspected, it will not be inspected again in this NRS.

The NHVR is aware of supply chain demands and that drivers work to tight schedules, so I thank all businesses and individuals who will be impacted by the survey for their co-operation with our officers. 

That assistance will give the NHVR important insights into how the heavy vehicle fleet has changed since the first survey, known as the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey, was undertaken in 2016.

That survey inspected 7,130 vehicles across all states and territories apart from Western Australia. This time WA vehicles will be included in the inspections.

The data collected in the baseline survey has already proved its worth.

In March, National Transport Insurance (NTI) released the results of a study that combined data from the National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey and the NTARC Major Accident Investigation Report.

The study confirmed that operators who effectively maintain their vehicles are less likely to be involved in an incident.

The report found there was a 29 per cent increase in the frequency and a 22 per cent increase in the cost of claims for transport companies with poorly maintained couplings. 

For wheel and tyre defects, the frequency of claims was 32 per cent higher than the baseline while the costs were 26 per cent higher.

The findings weren’t a great surprise, but until now there has been little evidence to prove a definite link between vehicle maintenance and major incidents. 

The NTI research is just one way in which the baseline survey is providing us with a greater understanding of the link between a safe vehicle and road safety.

The 2021 National Roadworthiness Survey will take that understanding to the next level.

The results will allow the NHVR to assess the impact of safety initiatives implemented since 2016 and identify the areas that need more focus.

And we won’t be keeping the information to ourselves.

The results from the NRS will be publicly released and made available to jurisdictions and industry bodies with an interest in heavy vehicle safety.

The NHVR knows that we cannot improve heavy vehicle safety by ourselves.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation on this important safety initiative.

Daily Steps To Keep Vehicles Safe

The NHVR is urging heavy vehicle operators to use a Daily Safety Checklist as a regular part of their pre-trip routine.

The checklist is a series of simple steps that every driver should undertake daily that align with the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual.

A daily visual inspection should only take a few minutes and gives drivers peace of mind ahead of their journey.

Each checklist should include checking brakes, couplings, wheels, tyres and hubs, structure and body condition, lights and reflectors, mirrors, windscreens and windows, and the engine, driveline and exhaust.

Lists can be expanded and tailored to suit an operator’s business.

For more information on Daily Safety Checklists visit www.nhvr.gov.au

a national health check for heavy vehicles