NatRoad has received numerous inquiries regarding publication in the media about a “new 27-metre B-Double length”. We want to confirm with our members that the articles in the media are speculative and are not factually correct.
As part of its engagement process with road managers, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been discussing at various forums, a proposal to provide flexibility for road train operators.
When a road train decouples to a single trailer, the road train steer axle mass exemption no longer applies. Generally, since a lower steer mass is required when decoupled, a different prime mover is used to deliver the single trailer to the final destination to comply with existing MDL regulations for steer mass.
This will provide flexibility for road train operators to complete a freight task with the existing prime mover and therefore increase efficiency. A road train rated prime mover operating in a B-Double combination will therefore be up to 27 metres. It will not be a 27-metre B-Double length as an extension of current rules applying to B-Doubles. As a culmination of this process, an information sheet was provided to road managers for their consideration.
The NHVR has advised NatRoad that once they obtain road manager consent for the policy stated in the information sheet, they will be officially releasing the notice, creating industry documentation, such as industry information sheets, media articles, and other promotional items.
In communications with NatRoad the NHVR has stated:
‘While we are increasing the length for semis and other combinations including B-Doubles, there are some conditions: The prime mover must be REGISTERED and RATED as a road train’.
NatRoad welcomes the increased flexibility, but will continue to lobby for an increase in the length of B-Doubles by a metre to accommodate more sleeping berth space for drivers.
NatRoad members are welcome to contact the Member Services Team if they need further information or support on 1800 272 144.