NHVR updates vehicle inspection guide as RBT rules relaxed

Vehicle standards guide updated to aid inspections during travel restrictions

NHVR updates vehicle inspection guide as RBT rules relaxed
Peter Austin


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR's) next step in its Covid-19 response is to grant temporary relaxation of calibration requirements for roller-brake testing (RBT) equipment.

The NHVR’s National Roller Brake Test Procedure required that machines used to conduct tests are calibrated in accordance with the manufacturers’ standards every 12 or 24 months.

Manufacturers reported difficulty in achieving some of the calibration requirements because of the current travel restrictions, the regulator notes.

While it says roller brake testing is an important maintenance process, physical inspections are key to identifying many causes of low performance like worn linings, incorrect adjustment, seized shoe bearings, defective brake chambers or contamination of lining surfaces.

The NHVR has therefore updated Vehicle Standards Guides 21 – National Roller Brake Testing Procedure to ensure ongoing testing is reliable while travel restrictions are in place.

"We want to support industry and recognise this relaxation will only affect a small number of testing units," NHVR vehicle safety and performance manager Peter Austin says.

"Not having a machine calibrated can have minor impacts on the machine and accuracy of tests, so we have provided some practice guidance, including using additional visual inspections that can be conducted to validate the test results."

NHVR recently released a truck-stop accessibility online map

The move had the backing of Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chief engineer Bob Woodward said the relaxation was a sensible step in managing compliance.

"The ATA was a strong advocate for the transition of roller brake testing from state vehicle standards to a national standard, based on dynamic RBT," Woodward says

"I’m pleased that there’s been a quick response to the current domestic travel restrictions to give industry and regulators clear guidelines for ongoing testing.

"It’s important that vehicles are safe and that operators continue to have confidence in the testing system."

The updated document is available here.


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