Performance specifications for specialised vehicles

Specialised vehicles are heavy vehicles which deviate from the norms of the trucks and buses having general, or "as-of-right" use of the road system. They are needed to provide earthmoving, construction, mining or agricultural services and to transport large indivisible industrial components. They include cranes, concrete pumps, drilling rigs, agricultural machinery, low loaders carrying equipment and multi-axle load platforms carrying a single manufactured item. Such vehicles are not covered by Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and must be assessed for conditional registration prior to operation on the road system. AUSTROADS is developing a national framework for the management of road movements of specialised vehicles that are designed outside of legal dimensions and/or mass limits. This framework will relate industry needs for access and efficiency to safety of the road system and management of community assets. It is also essential that this specialised vehicle management framework provides for effective enforcement techniques and recovery of costs. There is a growing need to allow industry room for innovation, and to overcome the problems of non-uniformity between States. This raises the opportunity for performance-based specifications for specialised vehicles, including the definition of areas of vehicle performance which need to be controlled, and the definition of acceptable performance envelopes in each of these areas. Performance-based standards directly focus regulations on desired outcomes and provide a rationale for assessing the implications of design modifications and vehicle innovations. They also involve defining the capacity of the road system, and provide a firm set of criteria against which industry proposals may be assessed. There are, however, some difficulties with this approach, both in industry understanding of what is acceptable and in enforcement of performance standards. This position paper defines what is meant by performance standards and discusses the feasibility of performance requirements for safe and effective operation of specialised vehicles in the road system and the management of such vehicles' use of the road infrastructure. The range of performance requirements discussed is necessarily large and yet it was essential to provide sufficient detail of possible standards as to allow practical recommendations. The paper is therefore not intended to be totally comprehensive, but relies to some extent on judgement and experience. It also takes account of the practicalities of the current specialised vehicle regulatory scene throughout Australia and major current issues as seen by both regulatory authorities and industry.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to AUSTROADS
  • Authors:
    • Sweatman, P
  • Publication Date: 1992-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 33p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 91-92-04

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01432745
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 5:11PM