In addition to the existing vehicle management functionality, including service scheduling, fault reporting, repairs, inspections, tyre & brake replacement tracking, and the automated reminders for upcoming or overdue tasks related to these, TigerFleet has just added Defect Notice management to its platform.

Australia has around 600,000 heavy vehicles registered nationwide, with around 200,000 of these in New South Wales.

During the June 2019 quarter 88,421 vehicles units were inspected for fatigue management compliance, valid registration and driver licences, outstanding defects, permit compliance, mass management and load restraints, and mechanical, steering and suspension condition. Of these 10,136 vehicles were issued a total of 12,749 defect notices. Around 72% of these were minor defects, 17.5% were formal warning defects, 10% were major defects and .5% resulted in vehicles being grounded (see Table 1).

Vehicles were also inspected as part of the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS), which inspects for roadworthiness and vehicle standards for registration renewal. Of the 24,237 vehicles inspected 11,419 defect notices were issued, with a compliance rate of just 55.1% (See Table 2).

Table 1. Breakdown of vehicles inspected, notices issued and compliance rates for the past 5 quarters. (Data courtesy of NSW Roads and Maritime Service)

Table 2. Comparison of enforcement programs. The compliance rate of vehicles inspected at Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS) is lower compared to other enforcement programs because the vehicle inspection for roadworthiness and registration is more comprehensive than inspection at a Heavy Vehicle Safety Station. . (Data courtesy of NSW Roads and Maritime Service)

What are your obligations?

In summary, under Chain of Responsibility (CoR), the maintenance obligations of all parties include:

  • Parties must not use, or permit another person to use a heavy vehicle on the road that is unsafe.
  • Parties must not use, or permit another person to use a heavy vehicle that does not conform to an applicable heavy vehicle standard. Heavy vehicle standards arise under the Australian Design Rules and the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation, which set out various vehicle standards, including general safety requirements such as those relating to steering, tyres and vehicle configuration.

An operator’s responsibilities include:

  • Having an effective Maintenance Management Systems.
  • Ensuring that heavy vehicles are regularly maintained to manufacturer’s standards and inspected in accordance with the applicable heavy vehicle standards (further information can be found at https://www.nhvr.gov.au/safety-accreditation-compliance/vehicle-standards-and-modifications/national-heavy-vehicle-inspection-manual)
  • If a roadworthiness defect is detected, prohibiting the defective vehicle to be used until the defect is rectified and the vehicle is roadworthy.
  • As a minimum, daily checks should include:
  • brakes,
  • lights and reflectors,
  • windows,
  • mirrors and wipers,
  • structure and bodywork,
  • engine,
  • driveline and
  • exhaust

A driver’s responsibilities include:

  • Performing daily checks of the vehicles they are operating.
  • Notifying the operator of any heavy vehicle defect
  • Not driving a heavy vehicle with a current defect that affects safety and roadworthiness.

What penalties are involved?

Under the HVNL, the maximum penalty for a business that permits an unsafe vehicle to be used is $30,000. Jail terms have been imposed on company owners that send drivers out in vehicles that are not roadworthy, including a recent (2017) in South Australia where a 12 year sentence was handed down for offences including endangering life and manslaughter.

Are you compliant?

Check out the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

Find out More

Follow these links to find out more about TigerFleet’s Management and Tracking software and request your FREE 14 day trial at any time.

You can also take a deeper look at the TigerFleet Management software functionality on YouTube

Disclaimer: TigerFleet has taken due care and diligence in researching the information contained above, using only reliable sources, however cannot be responsible for inaccuracies contained within source data.