HVS Update 24-2023

Heavy Lift Tow Truck - Period Permit Operating Conditions

Main Roads Heavy Vehicle Services (HVS) advises that revised Heavy Lift Tow Truck Period Permit Operating Conditions will come into effect from Monday 3 July 2023. These revised Operating Conditions will replace the existing Heavy Lift Tow Truck Over Mass Period Permit Operating Conditions.

Representatives of the Heavy Lift Tow Truck (HLTT) industry requested that an independent engineering report on the safety performance of HLTTs be commissioned, to guide HVS in the development of an all-encompassing Period Permit to replace existing processes for granting HLTT access approvals.

The revised Heavy Lift Tow Truck Period Permit Operating Conditions are aimed at improving the safety of the HLTT industry. Key aspects of the revised Operating Conditions include:
  • Displaying “Under Tow” warning signage, so other motorists are aware the vehicle in front of them is connected to a HLTT;
  • Ensuring there are adequate loading controls to prevent overloading the HLTT;
  • Ensuring there is sufficient mass on the steer axle of the HLTT, so there are no adverse effects on the steering and braking performance of the HLTT;
  • Ensuring the coupling ratings of the vehicle combination are adequate for the mass being towed;
  • Ensuring heavy vehicles and vehicle combinations are only towed on approved routes;
  • Ensuring vehicle combinations are being towed at a safe speed.
HLTTs operating under the Heavy Lift Tow Truck Period Permit will be monitored via in vehicle telematics and will be required to have a Smart On-Board Mass Management (Smart OBM) system fitted. HLTT operators will be provided a 6-month moratorium for telematics and OBM requirement, providing ample time to have the systems installed and operational.

Transport operators also are reminded that they continue to play a key role in ensuring their heavy vehicles and vehicle combinations are towed in a safe and compliant manner, as the transport operator remains a liable party under the Chain of Responsibility for the mass, dimension and loading requirements.

There are some simple rules that transport operators should follow to assist in ensuring their heavy vehicle or vehicle combination is towed in a safe and compliant manner.

These rules include:

1. Wherever possible, meet the HLTT operator onsite with a replacement prime mover, so the disable prime mover can be replaced, rather than the vehicle combination needing to be towed;

2. Ensure your heavy vehicle or vehicle combination is within allowable mass and dimension limits before it is towed.

3. Ensure all tow couplings in your vehicle combination are adequately rated, noting the D-rating requirements will change when connected to the HLTT. The Main Roads D-rating Calculator can assist in determining the tow coupling requirements.

4. Ensure you provide the HLTT operator with the relevant permit the heavy vehicle or vehicle combination is operating under, as well as the relevant mass and dimension information, to ensure the HLTT operators is aware of any access restrictions.

The revised Operating Conditions are available on the Heavy Lift Tow Trucks page.

For further information, please contact the Heavy Vehicle Help Desk on 138 486 or email hvs@mainroads.wa.gov.au.

Heavy Vehicle Services
20 June 2023

Acknowledgement of country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.

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