Holding yards

The Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2008 and the Holding Yard Policy provide the requirements for all holding yards owned, managed, leased or in any manner utilised by tow truck operators for the storage of consumers’ vehicles and personal property. The fees for the storage of vehicles in an approved holding yard are regulated under the maximum fees proscribed in the Regulation.

Requirement to have a holding yard

Tow truck operators who are authorised to conduct Category A accident towing (holders of four digit tow truck number plates) are required to maintain a holding yard to store towed/damaged vehicles. This holding yard must be within 10 km of the registered place of business of the operator, unless otherwise approved by Roads and Maritime Services.

The holding yard must be capable of storing any motor vehicle towed under the authority of the licence and the holding yard must be accessible at all times by each licensed tow truck operated by the licensee.

Exemptions from the requirement to have a holding yard

Tow truck operators who only operate tow trucks which have a GCM of at least 25,000 kg are not required to maintain a holding yard. Also exempt from the requirement to have a holding yard are those who operate tow trucks only for towing motor vehicles for the purposes of metal recycling or vehicle demolishing or dismantling by a vehicle-wrecker. Further information about these types of operation is available on the website.

The Roads and Maritime Holding Yard Policy gives further detailed information about the requirements for a holding yard and the responsibilities of the operator in maintaining and using a holding yard. The policy is available on the Roads and Maritime website. You should familiarise yourself with this policy to ensure that you are meeting all requirements.

Adding a new holding yard to your licence

Section 37 of the Tow Truck Industry Act 1998 requires that a licensee or certified driver must notify Roads and Maritime in writing of any proposed change in the particulars specified in the licence or drivers certificate at least seven days before the proposed change occurs. Roads and Maritime may approve the proposed change of particulars by amending the licence or drivers certificate.

Tow truck operators must notify Roads and Maritime in advance of their intention to change holding yards or add a new holding yard to their licence. Using a holding yard which is not listed on your licence is an offence and operators cannot charge any fees for using an unauthorised holding yard.

A tow truck operator can maintain more than one holding yard and can amend their licence by either adding or removing a holding yard.

The following documents and fees are required when adding a holding yard:

  • A letter from the operator requesting that a holding yard be added to or substituted for another holding yard on a licence.
  • Photographs of the holding yard. The photographs must show the following:
    • View of the premises from the road/street.
    • View of adjoining premises.
    • All vehicular and pedestrian access including locks.
    • Floodlighting (for external yards)
    • Perimeter fencing and gates.
    • Security system including sensors.
  • Proof of ownership – either a rates notice and letter of permission or a current lease.
  • Confirmation that public liability insurance covers the holding yard.
  • A licence amendment fee.

Upon receipt of a written request to add or change a holding yard and the above documents you will be contacted by an authorised officer from the Roads and Maritime Schemes Management section. You will be advised whether an inspection of your holding yard will be required and if so a time and date will be arranged with you.

If the authorised officer is satisfied that, based on the information and photographs you have provided, the holding yard meets the requirements of the holding yard policy an inspection will not be required. This decision will be made by the authorised officer who is considering your application.

Should it be the case that further action is required on your part to bring the holding yard up to the standard required in the policy, an inspection will be required and you will be notified of this.

There is no charge by Roads and Maritime for the first inspection. However, any re-inspection of the premises will attract a fee at the rate of $50 per hour.

Any inquiries you have about the progress of an application to add/change a holding yard should be addressed to the authorised officer who has carriage of your application.

Once Roads and Maritime is satisfied that the premises are satisfactory the addition of the holding yard will be approved and your tow truck operators licence will be amended accordingly and reissued to you.

If the holding yard does not comply with the policy, and no remedial action is taken by you to ensure compliance, the holding yard will not be added to the licence and the licence amendment fee will not be refunded.

Sharing a holding yard

Some tow truck operators share a holding yard with another operator.

When considering the approval of a shared arrangement in an existing holding yard Roads and Maritime’s primary objective is to protect the consumer’s property. Roads and Maritime takes into account the number of tow trucks already approved for use by the existing operator, the available space and the security of vehicles held by each operator in the holding yard. Roads and Maritime must be satisfied that the operator is able to take reasonable precautions to prevent loss of or from, or damage to, any motor vehicle while it is being held or stored.

When you are applying to use a holding yard which is already in use by another operator, an inspection will be carried out to ensure that the capacity of the yard is sufficient for the operations of both licensees and to verify that specific areas have been set aside for each operator.

The same documentation specified in the section on adding a holding yard is required for a shared holding yard.

More information

If you have any questions about tow truck licensing or if you need help in understanding any of the requirements for holding yards, please contact Roads and Maritime on 1300 131 134 or at towtrucks@rms.nsw.gov.au.

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