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Visual inspections continue as RBT calibration relaxed

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21 April 2020

The National Heavy Vehicke Regulator has granted a temporary relaxation of calibration requirements for roller-brake testing (RBT) equipment.

NHVR Vehicle Safety and Performance Manager Peter Austin said the NHVR’s National Roller Brake Test Procedure required that machines used to conduct tests are calibrated in accordance with the manufacturers’ standards every 12 or 24 months.

“We have had manufacturers come to us reporting difficulty in achieving some of the calibration requirements because of the current travel restrictions,” Mr Austin said.

“We want to support industry and recognise this relaxation will only affect a small number of testing units.”

“Not having a machine calibrated can have minor impacts on the machine and accuracy of tests, so we have provided some practice guidance, including using additional visual inspections that can be conducted to validate the test results.”

While roller brake testing is an important maintenance process, physical inspections are key to identifying many causes of low performance like worn linings, incorrect adjustment, seized shoe bearings, defective brake chambers or contamination of lining surfaces.

The NHVR has updated Vehicle Standards Guides 21 – National Roller Brake Testing Procedure to ensure that ongoing testing is reliable while travel restrictions are in place.

Australian Trucking Association Chief Engineer Bob Woodward said the relaxation was a sensible step in managing compliance.

“The ATA was a strong advocate for the transition of roller brake testing from state vehicle standards to a national standard, based on dynamic RBT,” he said.

“I’m pleased that there’s been a quick response to the current domestic travel restrictions to give industry and regulators clear guidelines for ongoing testing.

“It’s important that vehicles are safe and that operators continue to have confidence in the testing system.”

  • Click here for the updated National Roller Brake Testing Procedure.

The NHVR has undertaken a number of recent changes to assist drivers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including protocols and maps for driver facilities which remain open, waiving amenity restriction on all curfew permits, extending supplementary work diary time limits and temporary changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme medical and face-to-face audit requirements.