New Truck Owner

The operation of heavy vehicles is strictly regulated because of their size and the potential to be dangerous for all road users.

There are steps involved to be legally operating a heavy vehicle in Western Australia.


Steps to operating a Heavy Vehicle

1. Ensure drivers licence is the correct class (LR, MR, HR, HC or MC) (Department of Transport Licensing Services)

2. ABN registration to perform business

3. Update vehicle registration details with Department of Transport (Department of Transport's Owner-Drivers Guide)

4. Know the regulations governing the use of Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs):

5. Ensure vehicle ratings are suitable, including but not limited to the following:

    • GCM (Gross Combination Mass)
    • GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass)
    • GTM (Gross Trailer Mass)
    • Tyre ratings
    • Axle ratings

6. Obtain Heavy Vehicle Accreditation

7. Apply for a permit with Main Roads.


What is a Heavy Vehicle?

  • a vehicle with a GVM exceeding 4.5 tonne;
  • a combination that includes a vehicle with a GVM exceeding 4.5 tonne; and
  • a load being carried on a vehicle and or trailer.


What is a Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV)?

A vehicle is classed as a Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV) if that vehicle alone or together with any load, exceeds one or more of the following limits:

  • mass limit prescribed in Part 3 of the Road Traffic (Vehicle) Regulations 2014; or
  • one of the following dimension limits:
    • a width of 2.5 metres;
    • a height of 4.3 metres;
    • a length of 12.5 metres in the case of a motor vehicle that is not part of a combination; or
    • a length of 19 metres in the case of a combination;
    • any other dimension specified in the:


What is a General Access (as of right) Vehicle?

Any vehicle that is not a Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV), commonly known as "as of right". For example, rigid trucks and semi trailers.

These vehicles generally do not require any permits or exemptions from regulatory requirements.

General access vehicles may operate state-wide provided they are:

  • not a road train or b-double;
  • within regulation axle mass limits;
  • 19 metres or less in combination length (or a maximum 12.5 metres for rigid vehicles);
  • total combination mass less than 42.5 tonnes;
  • width less than 2.5 metres (excluding mirrors and lights); and
  • height less than 4.3 metres.


Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV) Classes

The regulation of heavy vehicles is based on the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 (VSRs).


Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Classes​



All vehicles must abide by regulation mass limits and regulation dimension limits. Vehicles outside these limits must be operated under a valid permit or notice, or in some instances of extra mass, be part of a concessional loading scheme.

To see what the typical regulation mass limits are for some common heavy vehicles, refer to Mass Limits of Typical Heavy Vehicles Poster - December 2012 (1 page PDF 3 MB).


What are permits?

Permits are required to operate certain types of Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs) in WA and are an instrument issued by the Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia to grant access to these vehicles to certain parts of the road network under specific operating conditions.

All RAVs require a permit, unless they are authorised under a class of notice issued by either the Commissioner of Main Roads or the Director General, Transport.


What is a Notice?

A Notice is a different type of administrative mechanism or instrument whereby the Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia can grant Restricted Access Vehicles (RAVs) access, provided for by legislation.


Vehicle Signage

Long vehicle and road train signs:


HVS Updates and Road Information Tables

HVS Updates and Road Information Tables provide industry with notification of temporary or permanent changes to the road network, such as permit conditions, roadworks, changes in road conditions and emergency detours. It is the road user's responsibility to ensure awareness of any changes to the network via these updates and tables.


Subscriptions to our website

As a subscriber, an email is sent to you notifying you of changes to heavy vehicle pages on this website. You can subscribe to this system by using the online registration form.


Modified: 12 Mar 2018