Answers to some recent PBS FAQs

Q: Is there such a thing as a PBS-approved tyre?

A: It is a common misconception that a tyre may be ‘PBS-approved’, and therefore be allowed to be used on any heavy vehicle combinations that are approved under the PBS Scheme. When specific tyres are listed on a PBS Design Approval, they are applicable to that approval only. A tyre may be suitable in one PBS Design Approval and not in another. When Advantia assesses the suitability of tyres for a new PBS Design Approval application, where possible we allow ‘non-specific’ tyres on every position (steer, drive and all trailing units). In the case where non- specific tyres on all positions are deemed unsuitable for the combination, tyre options are determined based on the performance of each individual tyre. Specific tyres are most likely to be required on combinations that have drawbars, due to their greater dynamic movement.

Q: Can I use my PBS-approved truck or trailer with a truck or trailer from another PBS Design Approval?

A: When a combination undergoes PBS assessment, it is assessed as a combination. Ultimately, if all units (i.e. VINs) are not listed on the PBS Vehicle Approval then that combination is not a valid PBS combination and cannot be used. To add VINs to a PBS Vehicle Approval, the vehicle units need to be compliant with the corresponding PBS Design Approval. An amendment to the DA will be required if they are not.

Q: What is QML?

A: A new term has been introduced for quad axle groups in PBS Design Approvals. Quad axle Mass Limits (QML) refers to the mass limits allowed by units with quad axle groups. Other mass limits include General Mass Limits (GML), Concessional Mass Limits (CML) and Higher Mass Limits (HML). Definitions of all mass limits are as follows:

GML – General Mass Limits

GML applies to every heavy vehicle as a minimum. If higher mass is required, then the operator must comply with requirements of other mass limits schemes. Click here for more information on GML.

CML – Concessional Mass Limits

CML allows mass limits higher than those of GML. The operator requires accreditation under the Mass Management Module of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS). Click here for more information on CML.

HML – Higher Mass Limits

HML allows mass limits higher than those of GML and potentially CML. To operate at HML, the operator must comply with the following:

  • The vehicle may only use HML road networks.
  • If the vehicle has one or more triaxle group(s), accreditation under the Mass Management Module of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) is required.
  • Road-friendly suspensions must be fitted. Most air suspensions are considered road-friendly. Click here for a complete list of road-friendly suspensions.
  • If the vehicle is operating in NSW or QLD then the operator must enrol in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP). IAP uses GPS to monitor the location, mass and speed of the vehicles.

Click here for more information on HML.

QML – Quad-axle Mass Limits

QML applies to vehicles that have a quad-axle group. CML and HML do not apply to quad-axle groups. To operate higher than 20 tonnes and up to 27 tonnes on the quad-axle group the operator must comply with the following:

Q: Once Advantia lodges a Design Approval application with the NHVR, how long will it take before I get the Design Approval?

A: With the exception of ‘pre-advised’ truck and dog combinations, a recent report published by the National Transport Commission (Assessing the effectiveness of the PBS marketplace and identifying barriers to vehicle design innovation) noted the following:

“… the average time taken for the PBS Review Panel (PRP) to respond to PBS design applications is about 25 business days.”

This is consistent with Advantia’s experience. Truck and dogs that are categorised as pre-advised can bypass the PBS Review Panel and therefore take only a matter of days to process. In some cases, Advantia has seen the approval processed within one day.