NHVR releases roadworthiness survey results

The results of the comprehensive national survey conducted by the NHVR mid-year reveal a significant improvement in the mechanical condition of heavy vehicles in the Australian fleet. 

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the results of the National Roadworthiness Survey 2021 which inspected 13,325 heavy vehicle units across 8,338 heavy vehicle combinations in all Australian states and territories between May and June showed significant improvements.

The survey included examining vehicles in Western Australia and the Northern Territory which are yet to come under the jurisdiction of the NHVR.

“In the last five years, we have seen the rate of non-conformities drop from 48 per cent of units inspected, to 31 per cent,” said Petroccitto.

“Importantly the most serious cases of major non-conformities and groundings has dropped from 12 per cent of inspected vehicles in 2016 to six per cent in 2021.

Petroccitto cited the wider industry’s adoption of improved safety practices including whole of business safety management systems and daily safety checks as a key contributors in driving the downward trend.

“While it highlights progress made due to the hard work being undertaken to improve and monitor the Australian heavy vehicle fleet, I’m determined as an industry that we continue to push on and ensure that Australia has one of the safest heavy vehicle fleets in the world.

The detail of the survey results shows a strong link between vehicle age and mechanical safety and the increased number of new trucks joining the fleet is expected to reflect further improvements in the next few years.

Key findings from the National Roadworthiness Survey included:

The rate of all non-conformities has dropped from the 48 per cent in 2016 to 31 per cent in 2021
The rate of major non-conformities and grounding has halved to six per cent of vehicles inspected
Brakes remained the highest non-conforming components – reducing from 25 per cent in 2016 to 14 per cent in 2021
Rigid trucks were the highest non-conforming vehicle type at 38 per cent, which has again reduced from 52 per cent in 2016
The average age of the inspected fleet was 10.2 years, compared to 9.2 years in 2016.

Petroccitto said the results would help inform the regulator’s modern approach to regulation which uses intelligence to address the greatest safety risks while keeping compliant operators moving.

“Despite the challenges, officers across all states and territories inspected 17 per cent more heavy vehicles in 2021, and through the use of technology and consistent inspection systems we were able to reduce the average inspection time from the from 45 minutes in 2016 to 31 minutes in 2021,” he said.

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