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Heavy vehicle safety

Here you will find safety guidance material and standards related to heavy vehicles in Western Australia, including safe load restraints, speed limiting, safe use of semi-trailers, compliance inspections, and where to obtain a National Driver Work Diary.

  Permits, accreditation, notices and standards

The Department of Transport administers heavy vehicle legislation in Western Australia and manages driver and vehicle licensing.

When heavy vehicles or single-trailer combinations are operated within the standards for dimensions and mass prescribed by the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014, the vehicle licence issued by the Department of Transport's Driver and Vehicle Services, allows general (as of right) access to Western Australia's state road network.

Main Roads Western Australia (WA) is responsible for managing heavy vehicle access to the State's road network.

Heavy vehicles or combinations which do not meet these prescribed standards, plus all combinations with more than one trailer, are called Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs). In addition to the vehicle licence, these vehicles require a permit from Main Roads Western Australia, which grants access to certain parts of the Western Australia road network under specific operating conditions.

When vehicles are operating under a permit, a copy of the current permit must always be carried in the vehicle.

Visit the Main Roads WA website for the following information:

  • Accreditation.
  • Compliance and enforcement.
  • Forms.
  • Heavy vehicle operator updates and information for new truck owners.
  • Performance based standards.
  • Permits.
  • Pilots.
  • Policies.
  • RAV classes.
  • Road curfews.
External Link Main Roads WA
Opens in a new window Department of Industry, Innovation and Science: Public weighbridge list
Opens in a new window National Transport Commission (NTC): Load restraint guide

  National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

The rules and regulations established under the Heavy Vehicle National Law in each participating jurisdiction are administered by an independent body known as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

The range of services offered by the NHVR expands as the Heavy Vehicle National Law becomes established in participating states and territories. Ultimately, the NHVR is intended to become a one-stop-shop across Australia (except WA) for all heavy vehicle road transport business with government.

  National Driver Work Diary

For interstate bus and truck drivers only

Do you travel outside of Western Australia or the Northern Territory?

In 2014, the Heavy Vehicle National Law introduced new nationally consistent heavy vehicle driver fatigue laws in all Australian Jurisdictions (except for WA and the NT where the Heavy Vehicle National Law has not been adopted).

If you drive a heavy vehicle or heavy vehicle combination with a gross vehicle mass over 12,000 kg or a bus with more than 12 adult seats including the driver's, and drive to or though South Australia or any Australian jurisdiction (excluding WA and NT) these laws apply to you.

The Heavy Vehicle (Fatigue Management) National Regulation sets work limits and rest limits for heavy vehicle drivers and requires better management of driver fatigue.

Unless your journey is within a radius of 100 kilometres from the place of business from which your vehicle normally operates, you must record your work/rest details in a National Driver Work Diary.

Note: If the driver base is not recorded, the driver base will be taken to be the garaged address of the regulated heavy vehicle.

To assist drivers travelling outside of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, an arrangement has been made for the work diaries to be issued at several Western Australian Driver and Vehicle Services Centres.

Where to obtain a National Driver Work Diary

You can obtain the National Driver Work Diary, upon personal attendance, with your valid driver's licence and payment of the required fee, from:

National driver work diary fee

Fee type Fee
National driver work diary $25.00
Service Type Suburb Business Name Phone number Phone number (secondary) Fax Pre-booking required Business Hours Email Street address Postal address Business Type Vehicle type Comments
DoT licensing services location Albany Department of Transport Centre Albany (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 178 Stirling Terrace, Albany WA 6330 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Broome Department of Transport Centre Broome (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 9 Old Kennedy Store, Napier Terrace, Broome WA 6725 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Bunbury Department of Transport Centre Bunbury (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. Note: from October 2020, this centre will be part of the ServiceWA trial. 24 Wellington Street, Bunbury WA 6230 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Cannington Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Cannington (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 1480 Albany Highway (entrance via William Street), Cannington WA 6107 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Geraldton Department of Transport Centre Geraldton (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 65 Chapman Road, Geraldton WA 6530 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Joondalup Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Joondalup (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 65 Boas Avenue, Joondalup WA 6027 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Kalgoorlie Department of Transport Centre Kalgoorlie (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 35 Brookman Street, Kalgoorlie WA 6430 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Karratha Department of Transport Centre Karratha (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 20 Sharpe Avenue, Karratha WA 6714 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Kununurra Department of Transport Centre Kununurra (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 9:00am until 3:30pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 2:45pm. Driving assessments by appointment only. (excludes public holidays) Messmate Way, Kununurra WA 6743 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Mandurah Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Mandurah (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) Corner Ranceby Avenue and Pinjarra Road, Mandurah WA 6210 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Midland Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Midland (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) Unit 4, 5 Clayton Street (corner Cowie Close), Midland WA 6056 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Mirrabooka Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Mirrabooka (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) Unit 13, 1 Chesterfield Road (corner of Mirrabooka Avenue and Yirrigan Drive), Mirrabooka WA 6061 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location Rockingham Driver and Vehicle Services Centre Rockingham (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) 37 McNicholl Street, Rockingham WA 6168 Department of Transport Corner McNicholl and Chalgrove.
DoT licensing services location Success Department of Transport Service Centre Success (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) Unit 3, 660 Beeliar Drive, Success WA 6164 Department of Transport
DoT licensing services location West Perth Driver and Vehicle Services Centre City West Perth (Licensing services) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:15 am until 4:30 pm. CTT and HPT must commence before 3:45 pm. (excludes public holidays) Troode Street and Plaistowe Mews, West Perth WA 6005 Department of Transport

  Compliance inspections and notices

Compliance with heavy vehicle regulations is assessed by roadside inspections that are carried out by the Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Road Transport Compliance Unit and the WA Police Service.

Vehicles that are not roadworthy are issued with a defect notice, and the vehicle must be submitted for inspection at an Authorised Inspection Station.

For more information refer to our web page on defect notices

  Heavy vehicle modifications

Information on heavy vehicle modifications is provided in the modify and construct vehicles section of this website.

Go to Modify a heavy vehicle.

  How to nominate a change in heavy vehicle use

The vehicle owner must inform the Department of Transport (DoT) of the configuration in which they intend to use the vehicle by nominating a National Heavy Vehicle Category (NHVC).

Vehicle owners or their representatives may change the NHVC of the vehicle as often as they wish. Changes to the NHVC are valid from the date (and time) recorded for notification of each new nomination.

Where advising of an increase in NHVC for a portion of a day, the whole of the nominated day will be charged at the higher rate.

A NHVC can be changed through your DoTDirect account or via the Change in heavy vehicle use (Form VL184).

DoTDirect online

Heavy vehicle use can be changed quickly and easily through your DoTDirect account.

Note: Heavy vehicle use for vehicles with a body type code of 'MULTI' cannot be updated using the DoTDirect self-service facility.

Change in heavy vehicle use (Form VL184)

You may also complete the Change in heavy vehicle use (Form VL184)  below. The NHVC must be changed prior to the journey. Penalties will apply if a heavy vehicle uses more trailers than the towing vehicle is registered to haul.

Certificate of variation

Every time a change in NHVC has been actioned by DoT, a certificate of variation is sent to the licence holder.

LBU_F_VL_184_HeavyVehicleUse.pdf icon Change in heavy vehicle use (Form VL184) Kb

Lodge the completed change in heavy vehicle use form as follows;

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email
At your nearest Driver and Vehicle Services centre, regional DoT office or agent     1300 223 239 Email

  Rear marking plates

All vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) over 12,000 kg and trailers with a gross trailer mass (GTM) over 10,000 kg, must be fitted with retro-reflective rear marking plates.

Buses fitted with hand grips or similar equipment for standing passengers to hold are exempt from these requirements.

More information is available in the following Commonwealth Vehicle Standards Bulletin:

  • VSB 12 - Rear marking plates

You can download the Vehicle Standards Bulletin from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

The bulletin explains all the different types of marking plates and how to install them.

External Link Department of Infrastructure,Transport, Regional Development and Communications: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)

  Safe use of long semi-trailers

The Department, in conjunction with Main Roads WA, has agreed to allow the conditional licensing and use of long semi-trailers in Western Australia, subject to several conditions. Read the industry circular below for information on:

  • General operating conditions.
  • Nationally accepted dimensions for prime movers and trailers.
  • Mass limits.
  • Total mass and load distribution.
lbu_vs_ci_111.pdf icon CI-111D: 14.63m Long semi-trailers (Circular to Industry) Kb

  Safely restraining your load

The proper restraint of loads is a vital aspect of heavy vehicle operations. Load restraining devices must be capable of withstanding a multiple of the mass load specific to a direction.

For example, the restraints must be able to withstand 0.8 times the mass of the load in the forward direction and the user or operator is free to use any type of restraining system that meets this restraining load specification.

The Load Restraint Guide (available on the National Transport Commission's website) provides basic safety principles which should be followed for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles.

Opens in a new window National Transport Commission (NTC)
Opens in a new window National Transport Commission (NTC): Load restraint guide

  Speed limiting for heavy trucks and buses

You can find information about speed limiting for heavy vehicles in the following Commonwealth Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB):

  • VSB 2 - Maximum road speed limiting for heavy trucks and buses.

You can download the Vehicle Standards Bulletin from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

This bulletin covers:

  • General information about speed limiting for heavy vehicles.
  • Details about speed limiting by gearing and road speed governors.
  • Maximum road speed capability.
  • Testing and alternative standards.
External Link Department of Infrastructure,Transport, Regional Development and Communications: Vehicle Standards Bulletins (VSB)

  Tilt trays

Following a number of serious crashes involving tilt tray vehicles, a range of regulations are now in place for tilt trays to address the need for greater awareness by road users of the chisel point at the rear of tilt trays.

This has been achieved by requiring the rear of a tilt tray vehicle to be made more conspicuous and by providing measures to reduce the risk of serious injury should a collision occur.

You can find out more about the rules and regulations regarding tilt trays in the industry circular below, which includes details about under run protection bars, wheel lifts and making your tilt tray more conspicuous.

lbu_vs_ci_117.pdf icon CI-117B: Tilt tray vehicles (Circular to Industry) Kb

  Multi Combination (MC class) vehicle with air suspension systems

For many years both heavy vehicle operators and drivers have raised concerns about the performance of heavily loaded, air suspended long combination vehicles. These concerns have included problems with vehicle handling and in some extreme cases, vehicle roll-overs.

A project was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the undesirable behaviours of certain road train combinations to provide practical solutions to either reduce or eliminate the cause of these behaviours.

The reports from the project are provided below to further advance knowledge of the performance of heavily laden, high centre of gravity Multi Combination vehicles.

LBU_R_AirSuspension.pdf icon Operational stability and performance of air suspension on various vehicle configurations Kb
LBU_R_AirSuspensionMCVehicles.pdf icon Stability and on-road performance: MC vehicles with air suspension - Overarching report Kb
LBU_R_AirSuspensionMCVehiclesSt1.pdf icon Stability and on-road performance: MC vehicles with air suspension - Stage 1 Kb
LBU_R_AirSuspensionMCVehiclesSt2.pdf icon Stability and on-road performance: MC vehicles with air suspension - Stage 2 Kb

 

Page last updated: Wed Sep 2 2020 3:26:31 PM