NSW Livestock Loading Scheme (NSWLLS)

The NSW Government implemented a livestock loading scheme to enhance productivity and protect jobs in the NSW meat and livestock industry.

The scheme was developed in consultation with meat and livestock industry stakeholders, the (then) Local Government and Shires Associations and Transport for NSW. The scheme provides increased mass limits for livestock loads, and includes measures to minimise road pavement wear, protect vulnerable bridges and reduce the incidence of livestock vehicle rollovers.

Enrolment requirements

Operators may enrol vehicles in the scheme by lodging an application form with Roads and Maritime Services. Interstate registered vehicles are eligible to enrol in the NSW scheme.

Application forms are available. Application fees are $92 per operator plus an additional $30 per vehicle. (Note: application fees are reviewed annually).

Scheme enrolment is not subject to periodic renewal, but operators must advise Roads and Maritime of changes to vehicle ownership or registration.

All enrolled vehicles, including prime movers, trailers and converter dollies, will be issued with a NSWLLS label which must be displayed on the vehicle.

NSW Livestock Loading Scheme label
NSWLLS label

The labels include a unique identification number which is linked to the vehicle on the Roads and Maritime registration database to enable enforcement officers to verify Scheme enrolment.

Interstate livestock loading schemes

Vehicles registered in another state or territory, and enrolled in the livestock loading scheme of that state or territory, are not required to enrol in the NSW scheme.  However, they must comply with NSW scheme vehicle standards, mass limits and operating conditions when operating in NSW.

Please refer to The Ministerial Declaration (NSW Livestock Loading Scheme) Order 2012 for more information.

Eligible vehicles

The following types of combinations are eligible to participate in the scheme:

  • Single articulated combinations with deck length for carrying livestock up to 12.5m
  • 19m B-doubles with a combined total deck length up to 15m
  • 25/26m B-doubles with a combined total deck length up to 18.8m
  • Road trains with a combined total deck length up to 25m
  • B-triples with a combined total deck length up to 28.2m
  • AB-triples with a combined total deck length up to 28.2m.

Certified Road Friendly Suspension (RFS)

To minimise road pavement wear, all combinations must have tandem or tri-axle group trailers fitted with certified RFS, and either dual or super single tyres on all non-steering axles.  Certified RFS is optional for prime movers and for converter dollies on road trains, but GML axle mass limits apply to units which are not fitted with certified RFS.

B-triple & AB-triple operating conditions

B-triples and AB triples

B-triples and AB-triples must also enrol in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), and must comply with operating conditions similar to those applicable to B-triples and AB-triples carrying other commodities.

Definitions

  • B-triple means a vehicle combination consisting of a prime mover towing three semitrailers connected by fifth wheel couplings (refer Diagram 1); and
  • AB-triple means a vehicle combination consisting of a prime mover and semi-trailer combination connected, by a converter dolly (with no more than 3 axles), to two semitrailers which are connected by a fifth wheel coupling (refer Diagram 2).
Diagram 1- typical B-triple
Diagram 1- typical B-triple
Diagram 2 – typical AB-triple
Diagram 2 – typical AB-triple

Travel requirements

B-triple or AB-triple, complying with these operating requirements, may travel on Road Train routes approved by the RMS for B-triple or AB-triple travel.

Any existing travel limitations applying to the approved route must be observed e.g. R25 Travel permitted in dry weather only.

Certification

The prime mover, and any trailer that is to be used as part of a B-Triple or AB-Triple, must be certified.

The certification must be undertaken by a suitably qualified Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme Licensed Certifier and must specifically address the construction, dimension, mass and operational standards that are set out in these operating conditions and relevant Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

A copy of the certification must be provided with the application for a permit.

Accreditation

The vehicle operator and the vehicle must be accredited under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) Maintenance Management module.

Maximum external dimensions

B-triple or AB-triple combinations, when laden or unladen, must not be more than:

Maximum internal dimensions

  • The distance from centreline of the king-pin of the first trailer to the rear of the combination must not exceed 31.6 metres
  • For an AB-triple the draw bar length must be more than 3 metres and no more than 5 metres. (Note: B-triples do not have draw bars).

Maximum deck length for carrying livestock

The maximum deck length for a B-triple or AB-triple transporting livestock is 28.2 metres, which is defined as the total deck space for loading livestock, between external walls of the stock crates, excluding any provisions of pens.

Compliance with ADR 43 dimensions

  • Each component vehicle of a B-triple or AB-triple must comply, in its own right, with the requirements of Third Edition ADR 43 Vehicle Configuration and Dimensions
  • A semi-trailer operated under the current Class 3 Semi-trailer Exemption Notice, cannot be operated as part of B-triple or AB-triple.

Maximum limits for axles and axle groups

The maximum axle mass limits for a B-triple or AB-triple is the lesser of:

  • the mass limits in Table 1, or
  • the manufacturer’s mass ratings, or
  • the sum of the mass limits for the tyres fitted to the axles and axle groups.    

Table 1 - Mass limits for B Triple and AB Triple single axles and axle groups

Description of single axle or axle group Mass Limits (tonnes)
STEER AXLE - Single steer axle 6.0*
NON-STEER AXLE GROUPS - Single axles and single axle groups
Single axle or single axle group fitted with 4 tyres
9.0
NON-STEER AXLE GROUPS - Tandem axle groups
Tandem axle group fitted with 8 tyres
17.0
NON-STEER AXLE GROUPS - Tri-axle groups
Tri-axle group fitted with 12 tyres.
22.5

Note:

* For combinations complying with the Schedule 3 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation

B-triple Gross Mass Limit

The gross mass of a B-triple must not exceed the lowest of:

  • 90.5 tonnes
  • The sum of the axle and axle groups mass limits set out in Table 1 above
  • The sum of the manufacturers’ mass limits for the prime mover (GVM) and the semi  trailers (Gross Trailer Mass), or
  • The gross combination mass (GCM) limit specified by the prime mover manufacturer.

AB-triple Gross Mass Limit

The gross mass limit for an AB-triple must not exceed the lowest of:

  • 113 tonnes
  • The sum of the axle and axle group mass limits set out in Table 1
  • The sum of the manufacturers’ mass limits for the prime mover (GVM) and the semi trailers (Gross Trailer Mass), or
  • The GCM limit specified by the prime mover manufacturer.

Mass limits relating to axle spacing

For any B-triple or AB-triple, the sum of the axle loads of the axles in any two adjacent axle groups (or of any single axle and the axles in an adjacent axle groups) must not exceed that calculated in accordance with the formula:

M = 3L + 12.5
where 'M' is the mass limit in tonnes and 'L' is the distance in metres.

Braking requirements

The braking requirements apply in addition to the braking system requirements that apply to all heavy vehicles.

A prime mover used in a B-triple or AB-triple combination must have an anti-lock brake system that complies with Australian Design Rules 64 Heavy Goods Vehicles Designed for Use in Road Trains and B-doubles.

The B-triple or AB-triple combination must comply with the requirements of Part 6 Division 4 'Additional brake requirements for B-doubles and long road trains' of the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2007.

Coupling requirements

B-triple or AB-triple combinations must have a minimum D-rating of 162kN for all kingpins, fifth wheel couplings, automatic pin couplings and 186kN for a drawbar-type coupling or drawbar eye (where applicable).

Speed  limiting

B-triple or AB-triple combinations must comply with the speed limiting requirements of the Third Edition ADR 65 Maximum Road Speed Limiting for Heavy Goods Vehicles and Heavy Omnibuses, and must be speed limited so that it has a maximum road speed capability of 90 km/h.

Vehicle monitoring

B-triple or AB-triple combinations must be either pre-enrolled or fully enrolled in the IAP and be in possession of a B-triple, AB-triple Intelligent Access Permit.

Tracking performance

When travelling in a straight line on a level, smooth surface, all units in a B-triple or AB-triple combinations must track in the path of the hauling unit without shifting or swerving more than 100mm either side of the path of the hauling unit.

Warning and specific signs

A sign displaying the words 'ROAD TRAIN' or 'LONG VEHICLE' must be attached to the front and rear of the B-triple or AB-triple combination.

The sign:

  • Must not be more than 1.8 metres and not less than 500mm above ground level; and
  • Consists of a yellow reflectorised background not less than 1200mm long by 300mm wide with black letters not less than 180mm high.

The sign may be in two parts, one part bearing the word 'ROAD' or 'LONG' and the other part bearing the words 'TRAIN' or 'VEHICLE'.

A warning sign must have a black border.

Scheme mass limits

Axle mass limits

Axle group Mass limit
Single steer axle 6.0 tonnes^
Tandem axle group - no RFS 16.5 tonnes
Tandem axle group - with RFS 17.0 tonnes
Tri-axle group – no RFS (for road train converter dolly only) 16.5 tonnes
Tri-axle group - with RFS 22.5 tonnes

Note:

^ For combinations complying with the Schedule 3 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation

Total combination mass limit

The total combination mass must not exceed the lowest of the following:

  • The sum of the axle mass limits, or
  • The GCM for the prime mover, or
  • The sum of GVMs of the prime mover and all trailers and dollies.

Total combination mass limits for combinations with certified RFS fitted to all non-steer axles are as follows:

Combination Total Combination Mass
Single combination 45.5 tonnes
B-doubles up to 19m 57.0 tonnes
B-doubles up to 26m 68.0 tonnes
Type 1 road trains with tandem axle dollies 85.0 tonnes
Type 1 road trains with tri-axle dollies 90.5 tonnes
B-triples 90.5 tonnes
AB-triples 113.0 tonnes

If the prime mover complies with the Schedule 3 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation, add 0.5 tonnes to the total mass limits listed above.

Mass limits related to axle spacing

Vehicles operating under the scheme may exceed the mass limits related to axle spacings set out in Schedule 1 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation Part 2, Table 2 by:

  • 0.5 tonnes for each tandem axle group fitted with certified RFS
  • 2.5 tonnes for each tri-axle group fitted with certified RFS.

Road train axle spacing limits

Road trains operating under the scheme must have a minimum distance of 26.5m between the outermost axles.

Floating tri-axle mass concession

To take account of the movement of animals within pens during transport, the mass limit for a tri-axle group may be exceeded by 0.5 tonnes as long as the total combination mass limit is not exceeded.

Reasonable allowances on axle mass limits for livestock loads

Since March 2011, eligible higher productivity vehicles have been permitted to exceed the regulated mass limits on tri-axle groups by up to one tonne, to take into account the movement of livestock within pens during transport.

      Livestock Loading Calculator (LLC)

      The LLC was developed to assist operators and their customers to comply with animal loading densities and vehicle mass limits.

      The calculator also assists operators and their customers to comply with their chain of responsibility obligations.

      Please carefully read the instructions on the use of the calculator on the introduction page of each LLC.

      Currently, LLCs are available for 6-axle single trailer combinations and 9-axle B-double combinations for carrying cattle or sheep.

      Loads are subject to maximum loading densities specified in animal welfare standards.

      Calculators

      Approved routes

      Scheme vehicles may use:

      • Routes approved for HML vehicles
      • All other Roads and Maritime managed state roads
      • Local and regional roads approved by councils for scheme vehicles and
      • Restricted bridges on approved routes which have signage to indicate maximum loads.

      NSWLLS route map

      A map indicating approved routes for scheme vehicles is available:

      Click on button to launch the online interactive NSW Livestock Loading Scheme (NSWLLS) map
      Click on button to launch the online interactive NSWLLS map

      The NSWLLS route map will be updated with additional local and regional roads, subject to council approval and the completion of load limit sign-posting to protect vulnerable bridges.  Please refer to these lists for updates to access routes in the NSWLLS since the last publication of the map:

      Driver training requirements

      Vehicle roll-over crashes are more prevalent in livestock vehicles compared to other vehicles. The scheme includes driver training requirements to ensure drivers understand and can apply techniques to minimise the risk of roll-over.

      The objectives of the training course are to ensure that drivers participating in the scheme:

      • Understand and comply with scheme vehicle standards, mass limits and route restrictions
      • Can safely operate 4.6m high livestock vehicles at increased mass limits, and apply techniques to minimise the risk of roll-over

        Drivers are required to have either completed the NSW driver training course or the Victorian Livestock Loading Scheme driver training course.

          The NSW driver training course will be delivered by trainers approved by Roads and Maritime.

          Approved trainers

          Name Contact details Areas of operation
          Paul BAXTER paul_baxter@attsnow.com.au
          1300 002 887 or 0409 430 786
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast, VIC, QLD, SA
          Gregory HARMES greg@globalaccreditation.com.au
          03 5874 3814 or 0417 585 223
          South West, Central West, North West, VIC
          Gavin NIELSEN Gavin_nielsen@attsnow.com.au
          1300 002 887 or 0488 223 555
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast, VIC, QLD, SA
          Bernard O'HARA Bernie@natwidepersonnel.com.au
          08 8360 2379 or 0417 885 594
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast, VIC, QLD, SA
          Ian PENDERED ian@pentrans.com.au
          02 4630 91023 or 0427 666 622
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast, VIC, QLD, SA
          Robert SMITH rgsmith@ymail.com
          03 54 463 693 or 0457 318 014
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast, VIC, QLD, SA
          Stephen SONNTAG tagtwo@bigpond.com
          0432 224 530
          Sydney & Hunter, South Coast, South West, Central West, North West, North Coast
          Jenine TURNER justlogistics@bigpond.com
          0428 303 183
          South West, Central West, VIC, SA
          Peter TURNER justlogistics@bigpond.com
          0411 318 807
          South West, Central West, VIC, SA
          Stuart WILLIAMS stuart@atagroup.com.au
          07 5464 6817 or 0419 774 390
          North West, North Coast, QLD

          Documents to be carried in vehicles

          For vehicles enrolled in the scheme, the only document required to be carried in the vehicle is the driver’s training certificate.

          Vehicles enrolled in the livestock loading scheme of another State or Territory, must also carry evidence of the vehicle’s enrolment in that scheme.

          Business rules

          The Livestock Loading Scheme Business Rules provide a framework for the administration of the New South Wales Livestock Loading Scheme. View or download the business rules.

          More information

          For more information about the NSWLLS please call 13 22 13.

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