Road Trains

Road trains operating in NSW include Type 1 A-double road trains (including modern road trains), modular B-triples, B-triples, AB-triples and Type 2 A-triple road trains.

Concessional Mass Limits (CML)

Heavy vehicles operating at CML can access the approved General Mass Limits (GML) networks provided they comply with Schedule 2 CML in the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation and meet the relevant GML access conditions.

Type 1 A-double road trains

A Type 1 A-double road train is a combination consisting of a prime mover towing two semitrailers with a dolly supporting the second semitrailer.

These combinations are eligible to operate at:

Type 1 A-double road trains that are eligible to operate under the NSW Livestock Loading Scheme (NSWLLS) must also comply with the operating conditions of the NSWLLS.

Type 1 A-double road train approved routes

Roads approved in NSW for Type 1 A-double road trains operating at GML or CML and up to 36.5 m in lengthare available on the Interactive Road Train Map.

Type 1 A-double road trains can also access approve GML routes on and east of the Newell Highway if they comply with all of the following criteria:

  • The combination consists of a prime mover with a single steer axle and tandem drive axle group towing two trailers where the rear trailer consists of a tri-axle converter dolly supporting a semi-trailer
  • The tri-axle converter dolly in the combination is fitted with certified Road Friendly Suspension (RFS)
  • The combination has a minimum extreme axle spacing of 26.5 metres and
  • The prime mover and trailers forming part of the combination are nominated vehicles of an operator who holds an accreditation for the Maintenance Management module of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS).

Note: Type 1 A-double road trains that comply with the above additional requirements are known as 'Modern road trains' in NSW.

Roads approved in NSW for Type 1 A-double road trains operating at HML and up to 36.5m in length are available on the Interactive Road Train map.

Type 1 A-double road trains can also access approved HML routes on and east of the Newell Highway if they comply with the following criteria:

  • The combination consists of a prime mover with a single steer axle and tandem drive axle group towing two trailers where the rear trailer consists of a tri-axle converter dolly supporting a semi-trailer
  • All axles in the combination including the tri-axle converter dolly, except for the steer axle on the prime mover must be fitted with certified RFS
  • The combination has a minimum extreme axle spacing of 26.5 metres
  • The prime mover is a nominated vehicle of an operator who holds an accreditation for the Mass and Maintenance Management module of the NHVAS
  • The trailers forming part of the combination are nominated vehicles of an operator who holds an accreditation for the Maintenance Management module of the NHVAS
  • The vehicle must be enrolled and monitored in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) with Roads and Maritime Services.

Type 1 A-double road trains are Restricted Access Vehicles (RAV). It is the responsibility of the owner/operator/driver of a Type 1 A-double road train to know what roads are approved for access.

Tri-axle dollies and Road Friendly Suspension (RFS)

National research indicates that road trains incorporating tri-axle dollies fitted with RFS have reduced pavement loading impacts, are more stable and have less lateral sway than road trains using spring suspension tandem axle dollies. This leads to better handling, reduced safety risks and a more sustainable use of NSW roads and infrastructure.

These features are important for operation on roads east of the Newell Highway, which are subject to higher daily traffic volumes through more difficult terrains.

Roads and Maritime requires that Type 1 A-double road train combinations seeking access to approved roads on and east of the Newell Highway must include a tri-axle dolly fitted with certified RFS. The RFS system can either be an airbag or a mechanical/spring suspension system.

The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Transport maintains a list of currently certified RFS systems.

Intelligent Access Program (IAP)

NSW applies IAP to vehicles operating at HML and certain higher productivity restricted access vehicles where there is an elevated risk to public safety and NSW road and bridge infrastructure if they travel off approved roads.

Additional information on HML and IAP including how to enrol is available.

Modular B-triples

Modular B-triples are Type 1 road trains that comply with the 'National Framework for Modular B-triple operation'. The definition of a modular B-triple is contained in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice). Modular B-triples may operate in NSW, under a nationally agreed framework, on approved roads in NSW.

The national modular B-triple framework is a road transport reform initiative of the Council of Australia Governments (COAG) which was developed by the National Transport Commission (NTC). The national framework was endorsed by the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) (renamed the Transport and Infrastructure Council) on 18 May 2012. A copy of the national framework is available from the NTC website.

Modular B-triples are eligible to operate at:

Modular B-triples approved routes

Roads approved in NSW for modular B-triples operating at GML or CML and up to 35.0m in length are available on the interactive Road Train map.

GML modular B-triples may also access approved roads on and east of the Newell Highway if they comply with all of the following additional criteria:

  • The prime mover must have an engine with the maximum power output of not less than 500HP (370kW)
  • All axles in the combination except for the steer axle on the prime mover, must be fitted with certified RFS
  • The prime mover and trailers forming part of the combination are nominated vehicles of an operator who holds an accreditation for the Maintenance Management module of the NHVAS
  • The vehicle must be enrolled and monitored in the IAP with Roads and Maritime.

Roads approved in NSW for modular B-triples operating at HML and up to 35.0m in length are also available on the interactive Road Train map.

Modular B-triples are RAV. It is the responsibility of the owner/operator/driver of a modular B-triple to know what roads are approved for access.

Intelligent Access Program (IAP)

As an access road condition, NSW requires the prime mover used in a modular B-triple to be enrolled in the IAP with Roads and Maritime to access additional roads on and east of Newell Highway. The IAP ensures vehicles only travel on routes approved for their respective configuration, thus minimising the risk of high payload capacity vehicles travelling on unapproved and/or unsuitable road and bridge infrastructure.

Additional information on IAP including how to enrol is available.

B-triples and AB-triples

B-triples and AB-triples up to 36.5 metres in length are Type 1 road trains and are eligible to operate at GML or CML under the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice) and operate at HML under the current New South Wales Higher Mass Limits Declaration. The vehicle must comply with all operating conditions and mass limits contained in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice) and the current New South Wales Higher Mass Limits Declaration.

B-triples and AB-triples must be enrolled and monitored in the IAP with Roads and Maritime to operate on NSW roads.

Benefits of operating a B-triple or AB-triple

B-triples and AB-triples were introduced in NSW to provide a modern, safer, more productive option for freight transport.

These vehicle combinations provide a number of benefits, including:

  • High payload capacities in comparison to many other higher productivity vehicles;
  • Significantly greater deck space for livestock carriers and general freight carriers (B-triples); and
  • The ability to transport increased payloads of higher density loads such as minerals and grains (AB-triples).

B-triples approved routes

Roads approved in NSW for B-triples operating at GML, CML or HML and up to 36.5m in length are available on the interactive Road Train map.

AB-triples approved routes

Roads approved in NSW for AB-triples operating at GML, CML or HML and up to 36.5m in length are on the interactive Road Train map.

B-triples and AB-triples are RAV. It is the responsibility of the owner/operator/driver of a B-triple or AB-triple to know what roads are approved for access.

Intelligent Access Program (IAP)

As an access road condition, NSW requires the prime mover used in a B-triple or AB-triple combination up to 36.5 metres in length to be enrolled in the IAP with Roads and Maritime in NSW. The IAP ensures vehicles only travel on routes approved for their respective configuration, thus minimising the risk of high payload capacity vehicles travelling on unapproved and/or unsuitable road and bridge infrastructure.

Additional information on HML and IAP including how to enrol is available.

Type 2 A-triple road trains

The definition of a Type 2 A-triple road train and its mass limits are contained in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice).

Type 2 A-triple road trains are eligible to operate at GML or CML under the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice). The vehicle must comply with all operating conditions and mass limits contained in the current National Class 2 Heavy Vehicle Road Train Authorisation (Notice).

Type 2 A-triple road train approved routes

Roads approved in NSW for Type 2 A-triple road trains operating at GML and up to 53.5m in length are available on the interactive Road Train map.

Type 2 A-triple road trains are RAV. It is the responsibility of the owner/operator/driver of a Type 2 A-triple road train to know what roads are approved for access.

Note: Type 2 A-triple road trains are not eligible to operate at HML in NSW.

Route assessment

Road trains are Restricted Access Vehicles (RAV). It is the responsibility of the owner/operator/driver of a Type 1 A-double road train, modular B-triple, B-triple, AB-triple and Type 2 A-triple road train to know what roads are approved for access.

Operators can request for assessment of roads that are not currently approved for road train access by applying to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). For enquiries and support:

Vehicles must not operate on requested roads until they appear on the relevant maps and/or approved road lists.

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