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Administered by: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
General Comments: This Notice expires on 31 May 2026.
Published Date 01 Jun 2021

HEAVY VEHICLE NATIONAL LAW

National Class 3 Road Train Prime Mover Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2021 (No.1)

1         Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to provide an exemption from prescribed vehicle length requirements and steer axle mass requirements for prime movers and combinations where the prime mover is registered to operate as a road train. The exemptions granted in this Notice are subject to conditions on mass, length and other requirements. The combinations that may operate under this Notice are limited to an eligible prime mover operating alone, or in a specified combination.

2         Authorising Provision

This Notice is made under section 117 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

3         Title

This Notice may be cited as the National Class 3 Road Train Prime Mover Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2021.

4         Commencement

This Notice commences on 1 June 2021.

5         Expiry

This Notice expires on 31 May 2026.

6         Definitions

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

 

(2)    In this Notice:

 

Compliant semitrailer means a semitrailer that is compliant with section 4(1) to (8) of Schedule 6 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass Dimension and Loading) National Regulation (National Regulation).

 

Note:     the definition of compliant semitrailer in this Notice specifically excludes Schedule 6 section 4 (9) and (10) because these trailers are not eligible to operate as part of a B-Double or road train combination.

 

Guide means the National Class 3 Road Train Prime Mover Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice Operator’s Guide, published by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

 

Road train prime mover means a prime mover that is registered as a multi combination prime mover in a State or Territory pursuant to section 16.

 

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

7         Application

(1)    This Notice applies to a heavy vehicle or heavy combination consisting of:

a)      a road train prime mover; or

b)      a road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly; or

c)       a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer; or

d)      a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and towing an unladen converter dolly; or

e)      a road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination.

 

(2)    A road train prime mover mentioned in 1) must have a tandem drive axle.

 

(3)    This Notice applies in each participating jurisdiction, subject to the conditions of this Notice.

 

(4)    A vehicle or combination to which this section applies is an eligible vehicle.

8         Conditions – Areas and routes

(1)    Pursuant to section 119(1)(a) of the HVNL, an eligible vehicle complying with the conditions of this Notice may only access stated areas or routes set out in the Schedule of the participating jurisdiction in which it is operating.

 

(2)    Access to any areas or routes under this section is subject to all conditions contained in the specified networks, or any conditions in the Guide that apply to those areas or routes at the time of operation.

 

Note:     The areas and routes set out in the Schedules are published by the relevant Road Authority for that jurisdiction or the Regulator. Links and further information on those routes and areas are available in the Guide. The Guide will also specify any Road Manager areas that are not included in the network.

9         Exemption- Mass Requirements (Steer axle limits)

(1)    An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice is exempt from the following mass requirements of Schedule 1 of the National Regulation:

a)      Schedule 1, Part 1 section 2(1)(a)(iv) and (vi) as it relates to mass limits for single vehicles.

b)      Schedule 1, Part 1 section 4, in conjunction with Table 1 of Part 2 as it relates to steer axles.

c)       Schedule 1, Part 1 section 5(2), in conjunction with Table 3 of Part 2 as it relates to axle spacing for B-Doubles.

 


 

(2)    The exemption in this section only applies to the extent of the conditional mass set out in sections 10, 11 and 15, and when other relevant conditions in the Notice are met.

 

Note:     The intention of the steer axle exemption in (1)(a) and (b) is to allow a road train prime mover that does not form part of a road train to operate with a steer axle up to the higher masses allowed for compliant road trains. The intention of the axle mass exemption in (1)(c) is to allow a B-double combination that is not a road train to accommodate the extra mass caused by 7.1t on a steer axle.

10     Conditions – Mass (Steer Axle Limits)

(1)    An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice must not exceed the following mass limits on its steer axle:

a)      for a steer axle with tyres of section width at least 295mm – 6.5t; or

b)      for a steer axle with tyres of section width at least 375mm – 7.1t.

 

11     Conditions – Mass (Axle masses for Semitrailer and B-double combinations)

(1)    An eligible vehicle that is a road train prime mover and semitrailer combination must not exceed 43.6t.

 

(2)    Any additional mass higher than masses prescribed in Schedule 1 of the National Regulation allowed under this section must be as a result of extra mass on the steer axle allowed under section 10 of this Notice.

 

(3)    An eligible vehicle that is a road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination may exceed the mass limits set out in Table 3 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the National Regulation by 1.1t, on condition that the excess is caused by the steer axle mass limits in section 10.

12     Exemption- Dimension Requirements (Length and height)

(1)    An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice is exempt from the following dimension requirements of Schedule 6 of the National Regulation:

a)      section 3(1) – Length

b)      section 8(1)(d) – Height

 

(2)    The exemption in (1)(b) only applies to an eligible vehicle that includes a component designed and built to carry vehicles or livestock.

(3)    The exemption in this section only applies to the extent of the conditional dimensions set out in section 13, 14 and 15, and when other relevant conditions in the Notice are met.

13     Conditions – Dimensions (Length)

(1)    An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice must not exceed the following lengths:

a)      a road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly – 19.0m

b)      a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer – 20.0m

c)       a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly – 26.0m

d)      a road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination – 27.0m

(2)    The distance from the front articulation point of the most forward semitrailer to the rear of the B-double must comply with section 3(3)(a) of Schedule 6 of the National Regulation.

 

Note:  A prime mover operating alone without a trailer or unladen converter dolly must still comply with the prescribed length requirement of 12.5m.

 

             The length exemption from section 3(1) of Schedule 6 of the National Regulation provided in section 12(1)(a) and corresponding conditional length limits in this section apply only to the overall length of the vehicle or combination. There is no exemption for trailer length, and so all trailers of an eligible vehicle must still comply with Schedule 6 Section 3(3) for the lead trailer of a B-double and Section 4 (1) to (8) for compliant semitrailers.

14     Conditions – Dimensions (Height of livestock carriers and vehicle carriers)

An eligible vehicle that includes a component that is designed to carry vehicles or livestock may not exceed 4.6m in height.

15     Conditions – Mass and Dimension (for Higher Mass Limits vehicles)

(1)    An eligible vehicle that qualifies to operate under a Higher Mass Limits Authority specified in a Schedule may operate at Higher Mass Limits on networks in that Schedule that allow access under this section.

 

(2)    For the purposes of operating under this section, an eligible vehicle qualifies to operate under a Higher Mass Limits Authority if it complies with all of its requirements except where the following conditions of this Notice provide a greater permissible mass or length:

a)      Section 10 Conditions – Mass (Steer Axle Limits)

b)      Section 13 Conditions – Dimensions (Length)

 

(3)    The following combinations may operate at the masses specified in 4) while operating under this section:

a)      a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer.

b)      a road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly.

c)       a road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination.

 

(4)    The components of an eligible vehicle operating under this section must not exceed the following masses:

 

a)      a 6-tyred tandem axle group – 14t

b)      a tandem axle group other than a 6-tyred tandem axle group – 17t

c)       a triaxle group on a trailer – 22.5t.

 


 

16     Conditions – Registration as a road train prime mover

(1)    A road train prime mover operating under this Notice must be registered as a multi combination prime mover and have a registration charge code for a multi combination prime mover as set out in (2).

 

(2)    The registration charge codes for each jurisdiction and for each category of road train prime mover are set out in Table 1.

Table 1: Registration Charge Codes for multi combination prime movers according to jurisdiction

Road Train Prime Mover Category

Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria or Western Australia

South Australia

3 axle prime mover

MC3

MU3

4 axle prime mover

MC4

MU4

 

Note:        There is no road train access under Gazette Notice in Tasmania, however Table 1 provides for road train prime movers that may be registered in Tasmania to operate under this Notice.

 

The Northern Territory and Western Australia are non-participating jurisdictions as per s5 of the HVNL. However, multi combination prime movers registered in those jurisdictions may operate under this Notice.

17     Conditions – Schedules

An eligible vehicle operating under this Notice in a participating jurisdiction must comply with any further conditions set out in the Schedule for that jurisdiction.


 

Schedule 1 Australian Capital Territory

1         Application

This Schedule applies in Australian Capital Territory, even if part of the journey includes routes and areas in another state or territory.

2         Higher Mass Limits Authority

 

For the purposes of section 15, the Higher Mass Limits Authority in this jurisdiction is the:

 

Australian Capital Territory Class 3 Mass Management Accreditation Exemption Notice 2019

 

3         Areas and Routes

(1)    A road train prime mover up to 12.5m long with no trailers or an unladen converter dollies may access all roads in the Australian Capital Territory, subject to the road rules.

(2)    A road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length up to 19m, or a compliant semitrailer of a total combination length up to 20.0m, may only access the following networks in the Australian Capital Territory:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory B-double Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory HML Network

(3)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following networks in the Australian Capital Territory:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory B-double Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory HML Network

(4)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a total combination length no more than 27m may only access the following networks in the Australian Capital Territory:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory B-double Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

Australian Capital Territory HML Network

Schedule 2 New South Wales

1         Application

This Schedule applies in New South Wales, even if part of the journey includes routes and areas in another state or territory.

2         Higher Mass Limits Authority

 

For the purposes of section 15, the Higher Mass Limits Authority in this jurisdiction is the:

                New South Wales Higher Mass Limits Declaration 2020

3         Areas and Routes

(1)    A road train prime mover up to 12.5m long with no trailers or an unladen converter dollies may access all roads in New South Wales, subject to the road rules.

(2)    A road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length up to 19m, or a compliant semitrailer of a total combination length up to 20.0m, may only access the following networks in New South Wales:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

New South Wales 23m B-double GML Network

New South Wales 25/26 B-double GML Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

New South Wales 25/26 B-double HML Network

(3)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following networks in New South Wales:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

New South Wales GML Type 1 A-double Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

New South Wales HML Type 1 A-double Network

(4)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a total combination length no more than 27m may only access the following networks in New South Wales:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

New South Wales GML Type 1 A-double Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

New South Wales HML Type 1 A-double Network

 

Schedule 3 Queensland

1         Application

 

This Schedule applies in Queensland, even if part of the journey includes routes and areas in another state or territory.

 

2         Definitions

(1)    In this Schedule:

Inner wheelbase means the distance between the centre of the steer axle and the centre of the drive axle group.

3         Higher Mass Limits Authority

 

For the purposes of section 15, the Higher Mass Limits Authority in this jurisdiction is the:

 

Queensland Higher Mass Limits Declaration 2019

 

4         Areas and Routes

(1)    A road train prime mover up to 12.5m long with no trailers and a road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly, with a total combination length up to 19m, may access all roads in Queensland, subject to the road rules.

(2)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer of a total combination length up to 20.0m may only access the following networks in Queensland:

Queensland 23 metre B-double Network

Queensland 25/26 metre B-double Network

Queensland Type 1 Road Train Network

Queensland Type 2 Road Train Network

(3)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following networks in Queensland

Queensland 25/26 metre B-double Network

Queensland Type 1 Road Train Network

Queensland Type 2 Road Train Network

(4)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination may operate on the following networks at a total combination length up to 26m may only access the following networks in Queensland:

Queensland 25/26 metre B-double Network

Queensland Type 1 Road Train Network

Queensland Type 2 Road Train Network

 

(5)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a total combination length up to 27m may operate at the following networks in Queensland:

Queensland Type 1 Road Train Network

Queensland Type 2 Road Train Network

(6)    An eligible vehicle operating under section 15 may operate at HML on the networks under this Schedule where that network corresponds with the following network in Queensland:

Queensland Higher Mass Limits Network

5         Condition – Eligible vehicle must use the most direct route

(1)    An eligible vehicle accessing a network under section 4 of this Schedule must take the most direct route between:

 

a)        the place at which the vehicle decouples or reconfigures the prime mover and trailers that compose the combination in a such a way that it becomes an eligible vehicle; and

b)       the place where the eligible vehicle’s journey begins or ends.

6         Condition – Eligible vehicles with up to 7.1t mass on the steer axle

 

The prime mover must have an inner wheelbase of at least 5.0m.

 

7         Conditions – 26m B-double combinations with up to 7.1t mass on the steer axle

(1)    In addition to the requirement in section 6 of this Schedule an eligible vehicle that is a 26m B-double combination operating with a steer mass greater than 6.0t and up to 7.1t and that is operating on a route under section 4(4) of this Schedule must comply with the masses in Table 3 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the National Regulation including mass limits in the extended Table 1 below.

 

Table 1: Extension of Table 3 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 for eligible vehicles operating in Queensland

Minimum axle spacing

Mass limit (t)

At least

Less than

21.0

22.3

62.5

22.3

22.7

63.0

22.7

-

63.6

 

(2)    The axle groups of an eligible vehicle that is towing two trailers with tri-axle groups must comply with Axle configuration of B-doubles in Schedule 6 Part 2 section 10 of the National Regulation, and have a minimum X and Y values:

 

a)      X = 5.35m; and

b)      Y= 5.5m.

Note:      The X and Y values above are defined in section 10 of Schedule 6 of the National Regulation.

 

 

Schedule 4 South Australia

1         Application

This Schedule applies in South Australia, even if part of the journey includes routes and areas in another state or territory.

2         Higher Mass Limits Authority

 

For the purposes of section 15, the Higher Mass Limits Authority in this jurisdiction is the:

 

                South Australia Class 3 (Application of Higher Mass Limits) Mass Exemption Notice 2020   

 

3         Areas and Routes

(1)    A road train prime mover up to 12.5m long with no trailers and a road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly, with a total combination length up to 19m, may only access the following network in South Australia:

South Australia 19m Network (HML)

(2)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer of a total combination length up to 20.0m, may only access the following networks in South Australia:

South Australia PBS Level 1A Network

(3)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following networks in South Australia:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

South Australia Road Train Converter Dolly (GML) Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

South Australia Road Train Converter Dolly (HML) Network

(4)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following networks in South Australia:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

South Australia 26m B-Double (GML) Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

South Australia 26m B-Double (HML) Network

South Australia Performance Based Standards level 3A Network


 

(5)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a total combination length no more than 27m may only access the following networks in South Australia:

For eligible vehicles not operating under section 15:

South Australia 30m Road Train (GML) Network

For eligible vehicles operating under section 15:

South Australia 30m Road Train (HML) Network

 


 

Schedule 5 Victoria

1         Application

This Schedule applies in Victoria, even if part of the journey includes routes and areas in another state or territory.

2         Higher Mass limits

Higher Mass Limits are not applicable in Victoria

3         Areas and Routes

(1)    A road train prime mover up to 12.5m long with no trailers or an unladen converter dollies may access all roads in Victoria, subject to the road rules.

(2)    A road train prime mover towing an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length up to 19m, or a compliant semitrailer of a total combination length up to 20.0m, may only access the following network in Victoria:

Victoria B-Double Network

(3)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m and a gross combination mass of no more than 46.6t may access the following network in Victoria:

Victoria B-Double Network

(4)    A road train prime mover towing a compliant semitrailer and an unladen converter dolly of a total combination length no more than 26m may only access the following network in Victoria:

Victoria Road Train Network

(5)    A road train prime mover towing two compliant trailers as a B-double combination of a combination length no more than 27m may only access the following network in Victoria:

Victoria Road Train Network