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Administered by: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Published Date 10 Mar 2020

HEAVY VEHICLE NATIONAL LAW

National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2020 (No.1)

1.       Purpose

 

1)      This notice exempts eligible agricultural vehicles and combinations from certain mass and dimension requirements of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation (MDL Regulation), and other certain requirements of the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation (VS Regulation), and places conditions on their operation in designated Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zones.

 

2)      This Notice revokes and replaces the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2019 (No.2)

Note:             This Notice replaces the previous version. It makes a minor amendment to the definition of rubber tracked tractor to specify the status of ‘half-tracked tractors”.

 

This Notice only applies to agricultural vehicles and agricultural combinations which include a heavy vehicle. A vehicle is a heavy vehicle if it has a GVM or ATM of more than 4.5t.

 

This Notice operates in conjunction with the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice Operator’s Guide (Guide) and the Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Map (Map) that are maintained and published by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. The Guide and Map contains important specified information under this Notice, such as approved networks and access conditions.

2.       Authorising Provision

 

This notice is made under section 117 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law as in force in participating jurisdictions.

 

3.       Commencement

 

This notice commences on 13 March 2020.

 

 

4.       Expiry

 

This Notice expires on 30 April 2024

 

5.       Title

 

This Notice may be cited as the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2019.

 

6.       Definitions

 

3)      Unless otherwise stated, words and expressions used in this Notice have the same meanings as those defined in the HVNL.

 

4)      In this Notice;

 

Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zone (Zone) means an area designated as such on the Map.

Note:     Zones are areas where specific mass, dimension and other conditions apply as specified in this Notice. Zones are numbered 1 to 5.

Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Road means a road for which Zone 1 dimension provisions apply regardless of the Zone the road passes through.

Note:     Agricultural heavy vehicle restricted roads are specified on the Map.

Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zone Map (Map) means the map of that name published by the NHVR that displays:

a)      Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zones; and

b)      Any road and travel conditions that may apply on roads or areas within a Zone.

Note:     the Map is maintained by the NHVR and published on its website.

Agricultural Vehicle Route Assessment means a route assessment completed in the prescribed form as for travel in New South Whiles, subject to s22 of this Notice and the Guide.

 

Approved Cotton Harvester Road means a road so designated on the Map for the purposes of section 20 of this Notice.

 

Approved Sugarcane Harvester Road means a road designated as such on the Zone Map for the purposes of section 11 of this Notice.

 

Eligible cotton harvester means a vehicle that meets the requirements of section 20 and that complies with the conditions of this Notice.

 

Eligible vehicle means a vehicle that complies with section 7 of this Notice.

 

Guide means the National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Notice Operator’s Guide, published by the NHVR.

Note:     This Notice refers to and adopts certain information published in the Guide, and the Guide operates in conjunction with this Notice.

Major Road means a State controlled road.

 

Map means the Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Map, published by the NHVR.

Note:     This Map refers to and adopts certain information published in the Guide and this Notice, and the Map operates in conjunction with this Notice.

Pair of tracks means a set of connected tracks on a rubber tracked tractor with one track on each side of the vehicle.

 

Participating jurisdiction means the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania or Victoria.

 

Rubber tracked tractor means an agricultural machine designed to tow and provide power for agricultural implements, which has at least one pair of rubber tracks instead of conventional wheeled axles in one of the following configurations:

a)      one pair of tracks and one conventional wheeled axle (half tracked tractor);

b)      one pair of tracks and no conventional wheeled axle (dual tracked tractor); or

c)       two pairs of tracks, (quad tracked tractor).

 

Sugarcane harvester means a harvester used for the harvest of sugar cane.

 

Tow Mass Ratio means the ratio of the mass of the towing vehicle to the combined mass of the towed implements and/or trailers, when all vehicles are connected as part of an agricultural combination.

 

Note:     To be clear, the tow mass ratio is not based on the independent mass of the towing vehicle to the mass of the towed implements and/or trailers as if they were not connected as part of an agricultural combination.

 

 

 

 

7.       Application

 

1)      This Notice applies to an agricultural vehicle, agricultural machine, agricultural implement or agricultural trailer, or a combination including at least one of these,  that:

 

a)      does not comply with HVNL mass or dimension requirements and to which the exemptions in s8 or s10 apply; and

b)      complies with the provisions of this Notice; and

c)       at least one component is a heavy vehicle.

 

2)      This Notice applies in all participating jurisdictions.

 

3)      A vehicle that complies with this section is an eligible vehicle.

 

8.       Exemption – Mass

 

1)      Vehicles operating under this notice are exempt from the following mass requirements in Schedule 1 of the MDL Regulation:

 

a)      Section 2(1)(b) (Mass limits for a single vehicle or combination);

b)      Section 4 and Table 1 (Axle mass limits table); and

c)       Section 5(1) and Table 2 (Axle spacing mass limits general table).

 

2)      The exemption in section 8(1)(c) only applies to an agricultural combination that meets conditions relating to tow mass ratio in section 17 of this Notice.

 

9.       Conditions – Mass (All Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zones)

 

1)      The mass of an eligible vehicle must not exceed the following limits:

 

a)      45.0 tonnes GCM; and

b)      The mass on an axle that has the number and width of tyres specified in Column 1 of Table 1 must not be more than the mass limit set out in Column 2 opposite the description of that axle; and

c)       The mass of an axle group must not be more than the axle group mass limits set out in Column 3 of Table 1; and the mass of the axles in that axle group must not be more than the mass specified in section (b).

 

 

 

Table 1 – Conditional mass limits

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Number and width of tyres on an axle

Maximum axle mass limit (tonnes)

Maximum axle group mass limit (tonnes)

Axle fitted with 2 tyres and a tyre width less than 16 inches (406mm)

10.0

20.0 on tandem axle group

27.0 on tri-axle group

Axle fitted with 2 tyres and a tyre width at least 16 inches (406mm)

12.0

24.0 on tandem axle group

Axle fitted with 4 tyres and a ground contact width less than 2.51m

9.0

N/A

Axle fitted with 4 tyres and a ground contact width at least 2.51m but not more than 3.5m

10.5

N/A

Axle fitted with 4 tyres and a ground contact width more than 3.5m

12.0

N/A

 

2)      Despite section 9(1)(c) and Table 1, agricultural machine and cane bin combinations with tri-axle groups may operate at an axle group mass of up to 28.0 tonnes in Queensland.

 

3)      Manufacturer’s ratings must not be exceeded for any vehicle or combination or component of that vehicle or combination.

 

Note:     As an example, a component of a vehicle or combination can include a tow bar or tyres.

 

10.   Exemptions – Dimensions

 

1)      Vehicles operating under this notice are exempt from the following dimension requirements in Schedule 6 of the MDL Regulation:

 

a)      Section 3 – Length

b)      Section 4 – Length (Trailers)

c)       Section 5 – Rear overhang

d)      Section 6 – Draw bar length

e)      Section 7 – Width

f)       Section 8 – Height

g)      Section 9 – Ground clearance

 

 

 

 

 

11.   Conditions – Dimensions (Limited by Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zone)

 

1)      Conditional dimensions limits that apply in each Zone are set out in Table 2.

 

2)      For an exempted dimension requirement set out in Column 1, the conditional dimension limits in columns 2 to 6 apply in the relevant Zone.

 

3)      The conditional dimension limits specified for a given Zone apply to all roads within that Zone except for Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Roads identified in the Map.

Table 2 – Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zone conditional dimension limits

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Column 5

Column 6

Exempted dimension requirement

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 4

Zone 5

Single vehicle length (metres)

12.5

15.0

15.0

15.0

15.0

Articulated vehicle length (metres)

19.0

19.0

19.0

19.0

19.0

Combination length (metres)

25.0

25.0

25.0

35.0

35.0

Agricultural implement length (metres)

12.5

15.0

20.0

25.0

25.0

Height (metres)

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

Width (metres)

3.0

3.7

5.0

6.5

7.5

Single vehicle rear overhang (metres)

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Auger and conveyor rear overhang (metres)

5.5

8.0

9.0

10.0

10.0

Implement rear overhang (metres)

5.5

5.5

5.5

6.5

6.5

Harvester rear overhang (metres)

5.5

5.5

5.5

6.5

6.5

 

4)      In Victoria, the following conditions apply instead of those in Table 2:

 

a)      in Zone 1, the maximum width for agricultural vehicles and combinations is 2.5m.

b)      in Zone 1, auger and conveyor rear overhang may be up to 8.0m.

c)       in Zone 2, Zone 3 and Zone 4, the maximum width of an agricultural implement, that is operating as an agricultural trailer, is 3.0m.

 

Note:             To be clear, section s11(4)(c) only applies to agricultural implements, that are acting as an agricultural trailer, and does not apply to agricultural machines.

5)      In Victoria and South Australia instead of the conditions in Zone 1 of Table 2 single vehicles may be up to 15.0m in length.

 

6)      In Victoria and New South Wales, instead of the conditions in Zone 1 and Zone 2 of Table 2 agricultural implement may be up to 16.0m in length.

 

7)      In New South Wales, instead of the conditions in Zone 1 of Table 2 auger and conveyor rear overhang may be up to 7.0m if the agricultural combination is accompanied by a pilot vehicle positioned to the rear.

 

8)      In South Australia, instead of the conditions in Zone 1 of Table 2, combination lengths may be up to 19.0m.

 

9)      In Queensland, instead of the conditions in Table 2 the rear overhang of a sugarcane harvester may be up to 7.8m subject to travel being in accordance with conditions relating to approved roads, pilot vehicles, requirements relating to day time and night time travel, and excluded areas that are prescribed in the Guide.

 

12.   Conditions – Stated Areas and Routes (Zones and Map)

 

1)      The Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zone Map (Map) designates certain areas to be in one of five designated Zones.

Note:     The Map is maintained by the NHVR and is published on its website.

2)      As well as setting out Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Zones, the Map specifies certain road and travel conditions that apply to given roads, structures or areas.

 

3)      An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice may access all roads in a participating jurisdiction on condition that they comply with the following requirements:

 

a)      any road and travel conditions specified in the Map; and

b)      any road and travel conditions specified in the Guide; and

c)       conditional mass limits specified in s9; and

d)      conditional dimension limits relevant to the Zone and the participating jurisdiction that the vehicle is operating in as specified in s11; and

e)      Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Road restrictions as specified in s13; and

f)       it follows prohibited structure conditions restrictions under s14; and

g)      all other conditions relevant to the eligible vehicle under this Notice.

 

 

 

13.   Conditions – Stated Areas and Routes (Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Road)

 

1)      The Map designates certain roads to be Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Roads.

 

2)      Regardless of the Zone, an eligible vehicle travelling on an Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Road is restricted to the dimension provision that would normally apply in Zone 1 for that vehicle and in the relevant participating jurisdiction.

 

3)      An eligible vehicle travelling on an Agricultural Heavy Vehicle Restricted Road must  also comply with any road and travel conditions stated on the Map or in the Guide that apply to that road.

 

14.   Conditions – Stated Areas and Routes (Prohibited Structures)

 

1)      An agricultural vehicle or combination that has a mass more than any one of the following mass limits must not be used on a prohibited structure identified in the Guide or Map:

 

a)      Mass on an axle fitted with 2 tyres – 6.0 tonnes;

b)      Mass on an axle fitted with 4 tyres – 10.0 tonnes; and

c)       Mass of the vehicle or combination – 42.5 tonnes.

 

2)      In addition to the limits in section 14(1), the following limits apply in Queensland:

 

a)      Mass on a tandem axle group – 16.5 tonnes; and

b)      Mass on a tri-axle group – 20.0 tonnes.

 

Note:             The limits in 1) and 2) are the same as regulation mass requirements under Schedule 1 of the MDL Regulation. The purpose of this section is to partially lift the application of mass exemptions for vehicles crossing specific prohibited infrastructure.

 

3)      An agricultural vehicle or combination must not be used on a structure with a signed load limit, if the mass of the vehicle or combination exceeds the mass indicated on the signed load limit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.   Conditions —Pilot and escort requirements (Day travel)

 

1)      Eligible vehicles operating under this Notice must comply with the requirements for pilot and escorts set out in the Guide.

 

Note:     Daytime is defined in s5 of the HVNL.

 

The Guide provides all conditions for operating pilots and escorts under this Notice. These requirements replace the pilot and escort requirements for agricultural vehicles and combinations under s21 of Schedule 8 of the MDL Regulation.

 

2)      Pilot and escort vehicles must comply with Schedule 8 Division 5 requirements of the MDL Regulation, to the extent that they are a pilot vehicle.

 

16.   Conditions - Pilot and escort requirements (Night travel)

 

1)      Eligible vehicles operating under this Notice must comply with the requirements for pilot and escorts set out in the Guide.

 

Note:     Night is defined in s5 of the HVNL.

 

The piloting conditions under the night travel conditions section of the Guide differ from those that apply during the day. These requirements replace the pilot and escort requirements for agricultural vehicles and combinations under s21 of Schedule 8 of the MDL Regulation.

 

2)      Pilot and escort vehicles must comply with Schedule 8 Division 5 requirements of the MDL Regulation, to the extent that they are a pilot vehicle.

 

17.   Conditions - Tow mass ratio restrictions for agricultural combinations

 

1)      An agricultural combination operating under this Notice may only include a maximum of two implements and/or trailers being towed.

 

2)      If all of the implements or trailers are equipped with brakes that are compliant with Australian Design Rule 38/00 – Trailer Brake Systems, the towed mass ratio of the combination may be up to 1:3.

 

Note:     To be clear, a tow mass ratio of 1:3 means the combined mass of the towed implements and/or trailers must not exceed more than three times the mass of the towing vehicle.

 

 

3)      If an implement or trailer is not equipped with brakes compliant with (2):

 

a)      The towed mass ratio of the combination must not exceed 1:1.5.

b)      If the towed mass ratio of the combination is greater than 1:1.2 but does not exceed 1:1.5, the combination must not exceed a speed of 25km/h in any zone.

 

4)      As an exception to (1), an eligible combination operating in South Australia may include any number of towed implements or trailers, so long as all relevant conditional dimensional limits are not exceeded.

 

18.   Conditions – Speed restrictions for agricultural combinations

 

An eligible agricultural combination operating under this Notice that includes a towed implement or trailer up to 25m in length must not exceed a speed of 50km/h in any Zone.

 

Note:     To be clear, this section applies where the implement or trailer itself is up to 25m in length, not the overall combination length.

 

19.   Conditions — Travel in an 80km/h or higher speed zone

 

Where the towed mass ratio of an agricultural combination operating under this Notice is greater than 1:1.2 and travel is in an 80km/h or higher speed zone, the combination must be accompanied by at least one pilot positioned to the rear.

 

Note:     Section 17(3)(b) imposes an absolute speed limit on certain eligible vehicles.

 

20.   Conditions —Special Conditions for eligible cotton harvesters

 

1)      The following special conditional mass and dimension requirements apply to eligible cotton harvesters.

 

2)      In this section, eligible cotton harvester means a cotton harvester that has two axles that meet the following requirements:

 

a)      The front axle mass does not exceed 18t; and

b)      The rear axle mass does not exceed 13t; and

c)       The height does not exceed 5.3m.

 

Note:     A list of eligible Cotton Harvester makes and models that comply with this requirement can be found in the Guide.

 

3)      The following conditional mass and dimension limits applied in this Notice do not apply to an eligible cotton harvester:

a)      Section 9(1)(b) and table 1, Conditional mass limit on an axle; and

b)      Section 11 and Table 2, Conditional height limits.

 

4)      This section only applies to eligible cotton harvesters operating on roads indicated in the Map as an Approved Cotton Harvester Road.

 

5)      An eligible cotton harvester operating under this section must comply with all other provisions of this Notice

 

21.   Conditions — Special Conditions for rubber tracked tractors

 

1)      Rubber tracked tractors that comply with the conditions of this Notice are eligible vehicles in all participating jurisdictions.

 

2)      The following conditional mass and dimension limits applied in this Notice do not apply to rubber tracked tractors:

a)      Section 9(1)(a), overall mass of a vehicle; and

b)      Section 9(1)(b) and Table 1, conditional mass limit on an axle.

 

3)      The mass of a rubber tracked tractor must not exceed 24.0t.

 

4)      In addition to Section 21(3), the following requirements apply in Queensland for dual track rubber tracked tractors:

a)      A track must have a width of at least 16 inches (406mm) per track; and

b)      A mass not exceeding 12.0t per track, or 24.0 per pair of tracks.

 

5)      In addition to Section 21(3), the following requirements apply in Queensland for quad track rubber tracked tractors:

a)      A track must have a width of at least 16 inches (406mm) per track;

b)      A track must have a length of at least 1.2m between the centrelines of the foremost and rearmost axles of each track;

c)       A mass not exceeding 7.0t per track, or 14.0t per pair of tracks; and

d)      The mass of a quad track rubber tracked tractor must not exceed 28.0t.

 

6)      In addition to Section 21(3), the following requirements apply in Queensland for  half tracked track rubber tracked tractors:

a)      Despite (2)(b) of this section, the conventional wheeled axle must comply with Section 9(1)(b) and Table 1, conditional mass limits on an axle.

b)      A track must have a width of at least 16 inches (406mm) per track;

c)       A track must have a length of at least 1.2m between the centrelines of the foremost and rearmost axles of each track;

d)      A mass not exceeding 7.0t per track, or 14t per pair of tracks.

Title: Figure 1: Rubber tracked tractor minimum track length requirements in Queensland - Description: Diagrams showing tractor configurations.

Figure 1: Quad track rubber tracked tractor minimum track length requirements in Queensland

 

22.   Conditions – Agricultural Vehicle Route Assessment (New South Wales)

 

1)      The operator or driver, of an agricultural vehicle or combination operating under this Notice that exceeds 6.5m in width, must complete an Agricultural Vehicle Route Assessment in accordance with the requirements specified and prescribed in the Guide.

 

2)      The driver must keep a completed copy of the Agricultural Vehicle Route Assessment in the compartment of the vehicle when travelling under the Notice.

 

23.   Conditions – Bridge formula mass restrictions for travel  in Queensland

 

1)      This section applies for all travel in Queensland, regardless of the Zone of travel.

 

2)      The driver of an agricultural vehicle or combination must not drive over a bridge in Queensland, if the total mass of the vehicle exceeds the Gross Mass Limit Formula, as follows:

Mass in tonnes = (3 x L) + 12.5

where "L"    =      the distance in metres between the centrelines of the extreme axles

of any axle group.

24.   Conditions – Travel on freeways

 

1)      An agricultural vehicle or combination operating under this Notice may travel on a freeway, only if access is specifically granted to a freeway, and only in accordance with any conditions of access that may apply.

 

2)      To comply with section 24 (1) of this Notice, freeways where access is granted, and conditions of access to that freeway are prescribed in the Map or the Guide.

25.   Disapplication of Schedule 8 of the MDL Regulation

 

1)      The following provisions of Schedule 8 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass Dimension and Loading) National Regulation do not apply to eligible vehicles operating under this Notice:

 

a)      Section 7 – Travel restrictions at night

Note:             Restrictions and conditions for night travel are set on in section 16 of this Notice and in the Guide.

b)      Section 21 - Pilot and escort vehicle requirements for agricultural vehicles or combinations

Note:             Pilot and escort requirements are provided in sections 15 and 16 of this Notice and in the Guide.

c)       Section 22 – Agricultural vehicles or combinations not to be used on a freeway

Note:             Exemptions relating to travel on freeways, specific to a jurisdiction, are provided in section 24 of this Notice and in the Guide.

d)      Section 24 - Speed limits for agricultural implements without brakes.

Note:             Braking and speed requirements for trailers, including agricultural implements, operating under this Notice are set out in sections 17 and 19.

 

Peter Caprioli

Executive Director (Freight and Supply Chain Productivity)

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator