Where rubber meets the road

TMA working on harmonisation of agricultural machinery transport laws


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Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania will harmonise laws managing the transport of oversized agricultural machinery, based on the VicRoads guidelines.

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania will harmonise laws managing the transport of oversized agricultural machinery, based on the VicRoads guidelines.

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Agricultural machinery transportation to harmonise across states

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FOURTEEN different state notices for the movement of agricultural machinery is about thirteen too many. 

Different specifications on each, adds to the general disarray and confusion farmers and operators face.

Waiting periods, registration requirements and length limits are just some of the issues making the current situation impractical.

Currently the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is looking to create new regulations to harmonise the laws governing the transportation of oversized agricultural machinery. 

Tractor and Machinery Association, executive director, Gary Northover said the organisation was consulting with the NHVR to ensure there is a thorough and realistic representation of the sector.

“There’s been numerous different standards, permit systems and approval processes in place across the nation,” he said.

The road rules haven’t kept pace with the changing shape, size and capability of agricultural equipment - Garry Northover TMA

“The road rules haven’t kept pace with the changing shape, size and capability of agricultural equipment.

“The TMA has been providing input which has been derived from a number of members.”

The TMA is the peak body for tractor manufacturers, dealers and distributors. 

Mr Northover said the TMA also worked with VicRoads on the development of new guidelines which will form the basis of the national proposal. 

“VicRoads were encouraged to take the lead nationally in developing some regulations in consultation with industry,” he said.

“These regulations could then be put to the other states in the hope they could be adopted nationally.”

The TMA and VicRoads are now consulting with NHVR to finalise these regulations, he said, with the expectation they will be rolled out in March 2018.

These regulations could then be put to the other states in the hope they could be adopted nationally - Garry Northover

The updated regulations will apply to states that have signed the Heavy National Vehicle Law. 

This includes Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, but not Western Australia.

Mr Northover said the guidelines will include an easier approvals and permits process for all owners and operators of agricultural equipment.

“The new regulations will recognise the changes in equipment size and capabilities that has occurred across the industry,” he said.

“We would expect that this simplified approach will lead to a much greater awareness of and compliance with the appropriate road rules.

“We believe the rules will be much clearer and easy to implement which will lead to safer operation on the roads.”

The Victoria Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle Exemption Notice 2017 was issued this month.

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