Weight Limits For Trucks
Why Are Truck Weights Important?
Truck weight limits are in place to protect the driver as well as the surrounding road users. It’s important to note, Truck axle weight is usually within a range, but every truck is different and each may be permitted to carry a slightly different load. Overloading trucks can result in accidents that could injure or seriously harm other drivers on the road. For this reason, it’s important you are aware of your truck’s weight limits. Not only are truck weight limits extremely important for safety, but both drivers and businesses could also risk huge fines for overweight loads. Plus, there is also a risk of damage to the surrounding infrastructure.
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
In Australia, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulation (NHVR) was introduced to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries involving heavy vehicles on the road. The NHVR helps to set national standards for all roads throughout Australia, including how to report changes of gross mass (weight) and the requirements surrounding the load of the truck. Federal laws apply this standard to all states and territories around Australia, ensuring trucks are safe. Not only does this regulation define the requirements around trucking in Australia, but it also ensures that all heavy vehicles are safe and that companies adhere to these requirements.
Classes of Heavy Vehicles
According to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) there are three classes of heavy vehicles. It’s important to be aware of the different vehicle classes as they each have different requirements.
Class 1 Heavy Vehicles
Class 1 refers to special purpose vehicles that are built for a purpose other than carrying goods. Examples include vehicles carrying mobile cranes or fire trucks. Agricultural vehicles can also be considered class 1 if they do not comply with a prescribed mass or dimension requirement.
Class 2 Heavy Vehicles
Class 2 refers to freight carrying vehicles that are longer than 19m and require specific networks to handle these larger vehicles. Examples include livestock vehicles and buses longer than 12.5m but smaller than 14.5.
Class 3 Heavy Vehicles
Class 3 refers to a heavy vehicle that, combined with its load, doesn’t comply with mass or dimension requirements and is not a class 1 heavy vehicle. An example is a truck and dog trailer combination weighing over 42.5t.
Truck Dimension Limits
According to the NHVR, the maximum width of a truck is 2.5 metres, with a maximum height of 4.3 metres. It’s important to note, the maximum length can vary depending on the different axle groups. There are also special limits depending on the type of trailer type, vehicle class and what loads you are carrying. For example, vehicles built to carry livestock have a higher height limit than vehicles built with two decks for transporting vehicles.
Maximum Truck Weight
To determine truck weight limits, there are a number of factors to consider such as the class of truck, axle spacings and the type of freight being transported. You may have heard of a term known as General Mass Limits (GML). GML states the allowable weight limit for trucks. It states the maximum mass for all types of heavy vehicle axle groups unless the vehicle in question is operating under an exemption. GML ranges depend on the axle group configuration. There are some variations. Therefore, if you’re ever unsure it’s best to refer to the NHVR.
What is Truck Axle Weight?
To determine the maximum truck weight limit, you first need to refer to the truck axle weights. The truck axle weight is the total load that may be carried by a group of two or more wheels. Truck axles come in a variety of different axle groups and configurations. They are usually spaced out to keep weight distribution equal. You can refer to this document from the NHVR to view truck axle weight limits.
Axle spacing refers to the distance between the centre of each axle group. Axle spacing is important when determining truck weight limits because different mass limits apply to different axle groups. The minimum distance between axle groups varies depending on the number of axle groups.
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