Mobile cranes

Mobile cranes are classified as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV). An SPV is defined as a motor vehicle or trailer, other than an agricultural vehicle or a tow truck built for a purpose other than carrying goods.

Access for mobile cranes

This webpage provides information on access in NSW for mobile cranes that are outside the statutory dimension and mass limits.

An SPV that exceeds one or more of the general mass and dimension limits set out in the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation is considered a Class 1 restricted access heavy vehicle. For further information on SPVs please see the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) website.

Mobile cranes that do not conform with the statutory mass and dimensions limits (eg height 4.3 metres, width 2.5 metres and length of 12.5 metres for a single vehicle or 19.0 metres for a combination) may gain access on NSW roads through:

Note: A NSW Intelligent Access Program (IAP) Certificate of Enrolment may be required as stated in the relevant notice or access permit.

SPV crane certification

The NHVR has integrated the NSW SPV crane certification into the process for importation and registration of new rigid cranes. Most heavy vehicle cranes are classified as SPV for the purposes of vehicle standards and registration.

Operators will be able to get the weight and dimensions of their newly purchased cranes certified by crane manufacturers. Manufacturers or importers of cranes can nominate a representative of their company to assess and complete a NSW Mobile Crane Application form.

This procedure for declaring the dimensions of a new crane has been incorporated into the NHVR in-principle support required for the import and purchase of new SPVs. Once the in-principle support has been granted by the NHVR and purchase finalised, the NSW Mobile Crane Application will serve to certify the Statement of Requirement (SoR).

The NSW Mobile Crane Application will be used by the NHVR to assess vehicle standards exemptions and by Roads and Maritime Services to issue a Certificate of Approved Operations for the purposes of registration in NSW.

The NHVR will communicate directly with operators and advise them of the outcome of their application for both the vehicle standards and NSW registration.

Operators will be in a position to register the vehicle, once they have secured the vehicle standards exemption and the Certificate of Approved Operations.

The procedures for measurement of weight and dimension apply.

For information about the process, you may contact Roads and Maritime on 13 22 13.

NSW SPV access networks

The NSW SPV Network map is an interactive map service that provides details of the approved roads as well as conditions of access and travel restrictions for eligible special purpose vehicles operating under the:

The NSW SPV Network map, if listed as the approved route on an access permit or IAP Certificate of Enrolment, also provides the legally enforceable network for a special purpose vehicle.

There are six SPV access networks for cranes travelling on approved State Roads in NSW:

  • SPV Level 1 – Cranes and SPVs up to 40 tonnes that comply with the Bridge Formula.
  • SPV Level 2 – Crane and dolly combinations up to 70 tonnes that comply with the Bridge Formula.
  • SPV Level 3 – 3-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 36 tonnes and 4-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 43 tonnes.
  • SPV Level 4 – 4-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 45.8 tonnes and 5-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 50 tonnes.
  • SPV Level 4/12t per axle – 4-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 48 tonnes and 5-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 50 tonnes.
  • SPV Level 6 – 5-axle All Terrain Cranes up to 60 tonnes.

Note: In addition to the above, there are axle spacings, tyre sizes, ground contact width and axle mass limits requirements that apply to each SPV access network. Cranes that do not comply with the requirements for any of the SPV access networks will require individual assessments to determine suitable access networks or individual routes (this is known as SPV Level 5).

Mobile cranes that require enrolment in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP)

IAP now forms part of the services delivered by Roads and Maritime on behalf of the NHVR.

All high risk mobile cranes must be enrolled in the IAP as a condition of access to approved roads in NSW. This includes mobile cranes registered in NSW, as well as those registered in other States or Territories who may wish to use NSW roads.

High risk mobile cranes are defined as:

Note: When travelling under the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice, two axle Pick and Carry cranes that are 2.5 metres wide or less with axle masses above 10 tonnes but which do not exceed 12 tonnes will not require IAP in NSW.

When a mobile crane is fully enrolled in IAP, Roads and Maritime will issue a NSW IAP Certificate of Enrolment. IAP enrolments for high risk mobile cranes can be submitted through the Roads and Maritime online service.

High risk mobile cranes not fully enrolled in IAP and travelling on NSW roads will risk being breached under the Road Transport Act 2013 and Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation 2013.

The NSW Special Purpose Vehicle Network map shows six networks with each network providing details of approved roads and zones and restricted locations and/or assets for that level. Refer to your NSW IAP Certificate of Enrolment for the SPV network your crane is allowed access on.

The high risk mobile cranes policy was developed in consultation with industry and the Crane Industry Council of Australia. For further information please contact Roads and Maritime Vehicle Telematics Systems via email at iap@rms.nsw.gov.au or by phone on 1300 364 847.

Urban Access Concession (UAC)

What is the UAC?

The UAC allows eligible mobile cranes to travel within the NSW Urban Zone during peak hour travel, on any classified State road, Monday to Friday between 7:00am and 9:00am and between 4:00pm and 6:00pm.

The UAC also allows eligible high risk mobile cranes to travel in clearway and transit lanes within the NSW Urban Zone between 6:00am and 10:00am and between 3:00pm and 7:00pm when clearway or transit lane restrictions apply.

Mobile cranes that are eligible to operate under the UAC are also able to access selected tunnels provided they comply with tunnel height restrictions and all other conditions listed in the:

Mobile cranes with a forward projection exceeding 3.5 metres when travelling in selected tunnels must have a yellow and red tether fitted that is manufactured to a standard outlined in AS 4497-1997 and is fitted from either of the travelling lugs of the boom to a lug at the front of the crane which must also not obscure the visibility of the number plate.

The UAC travel concession does not apply on state-wide public holidays or during public holiday periods.

Mobile cranes operating under the UAC must comply with all route restrictions contained in the:

What cranes are eligible for the UAC?

The UAC travel concession does not apply on state-wide public holidays or during public holiday periods’.

Dimension Option 1 Option 2
Width Not exceeding 2.9m Not exceeding 2.9m
Forward projection Not exceeding 3.5m Not exceeding 5.5m
Length Not exceeding 15.5m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang) Not exceeding 10.8m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang)
Height Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.
Rear overhang Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.

How to apply for the UAC

To operate under the UAC you must comply with the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice, the New South Wales Class 1 4-Axle & 5-Axle All Terrain Mobile Crane Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice or obtain an access permit.

Eligible high risk mobile cranes enrolled in the IAP in NSW must be enrolled in a relevant UAC scheme to obtain this concession. To apply for an IAP UAC scheme select ‘Urban Access Concession (UAC)’ under special requirements on the Application Details Form for IAP Mobile Cranes and on the IAP online enrolment via the Roads and Maritime online service.

To be eligible for the IAP UAC scheme you must provide the required supporting documents for the UAC (see below) as part of your IAP enrolment.

If your mobile crane is eligible for the IAP UAC scheme, Roads and Maritime will send you an interim Intelligent Access Condition (IAC) for you to provide to your IAP Service Provider. Once the IAC has been approved, a NSW IAP Certificate of Enrolment containing information on the relevant UAC scheme will be sent to you.

What supporting documents do I need when applying for the UAC?

For cranes registered in NSW, the following additional documents are required when applying for the UAC:

  • A NSW SPV Exemption/Approval dated from 1 March 2011 to 9 February 2014; or
  • A NSW SPV Exemption/Approval dated before 1 March 2011 and a Roads and Maritime Vehicle Dimension Certificate (VDC)*; or
  • An NHVR Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit) from 10 February 2014 stating approved dimensions and mass of the crane.

For cranes registered interstate, the following additional documents are required when applying for the UAC:

  • Approval document from your registering authority dated before 10 February 2014 stating the width, length and forward projection of the crane; or
  • An NHVR Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit) from 10 February 2014 stating the approved dimensions and mass of the crane.

*Please contact Roads and Maritime Technical Enquiries on 1300 137 302 to arrange measurement for a VDC.

Urban Peak hour Concession (UPC)

What is the UPC?

The UPC has been implemented to accommodate the urban access requirements for 'Pick and Carry' mobile cranes that exceed 3.5 metres forward projection.

The UPC is similar in operation to the Urban Access Concession (UAC) for mobile cranes with the following exceptions:

  • The UPC applies to different crane dimensions.
  • The UPC does NOT permit access to restricted tunnels.

What cranes are eligible for the UPC?

There are two groups of ‘pick and carry’ mobile cranes that may apply for the UPC:

High risk ‘pick and carry’ cranes and UPC

‘Pick and Carry’ mobile cranes that comply with one of the two following dimension envelopes listed in the table below are eligible for the UPC provided they are enrolled in the IAP:

Dimension Option 1 Option 2
Width Not exceeding 2.9m Not exceeding 2.9m
Forward projection Not exceeding 5.5m Not exceeding 4.6m
Length Not exceeding 10.5m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang) Not exceeding 10.8m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang)
Height Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.
Rear overhang Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.

Other eligible 'pick and carry' cranes and UPC

‘Pick and Carry’ mobile cranes that comply with one of the two dimension envelopes listed in the table below are eligible for the UPC without requiring to be enrolled in the IAP.

Dimension Option 1 Option 2
Width Not exceeding 2.5m Not exceeding 2.5m
Forward projection Not exceeding 5.5m Not exceeding 4.6m
Length Not exceeding 10.5m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang) Not exceeding 10.8m (includes the forward projection and rear overhang)
Height Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum height dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.
Rear overhang Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice. Not exceeding the maximum rear overhang dimension limits for mobile cranes listed in the current NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice or National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice.
Diagram - key eligibility dimensions for mobile cranes
Diagram - key eligibility dimensions for mobile cranes

When and where can I travel under the UPC?

‘Pick and carry’ mobile cranes operating under the UPC can travel within the NSW Urban Zone during peak hour travel, on any classified State road, Monday to Friday between 7:00am and 9:00am and between 4:00pm and 6:00pm.

‘Pick and carry’ mobile cranes operating under the UPC can also travel in clearway and transit lanes within the NSW Urban Zone between 6:00am and 10:00am and between 3:00pm and 7:00pm when clearway or transit lane restrictions apply.

‘Pick and carry’ mobile cranes operating under the UPC must comply with all route restrictions contained in the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice, the NSW Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle and Combination Exemption Notice and, if operating under an access permit, any related access permit conditions relevant to the crane.

How to apply for the UPC for my ‘pick and carry’ crane

1. High Risk ‘pick and carry’ mobile cranes

Eligible high risk mobile cranes enrolled in the IAP must be enrolled in a relevant UPC scheme to obtain this concession. To apply for an IAP UPC scheme select 'Urban Peak hour Concession (UPC)' under special requirements on the Application Details Form for IAP Mobile Cranes.

To be eligible for the IAP UPC scheme you must provide the required supporting documents for the UPC (see below) as part of your IAP enrolment.

If your mobile crane is eligible for the IAP UPC scheme, Roads and Maritime will send you an interim Intelligent Access Condition (IAC) for you to provide to your IAP Service Provider. Once the IAC has been approved, a NSW IAP Certificate of Enrolment containing information on the relevant UPC scheme will be sent to you.

To operate under the UPC you must comply with the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice or obtain an access permit.

2. Other Eligible ‘pick and carry’ mobile cranes

Operators of other eligible ‘pick and carry’ mobile cranes that do not currently have an access permit will need to apply to the NHVR and provide the required supporting documents for the UPC. UPC access may be granted if the crane meets the UPC eligibility requirements.

What supporting documents do I need when applying for the UPC?

For cranes registered in NSW, the following additional supporting documents are required when applying for the UPC:

  • A NSW SPV Exemption/Approval dated from 1 March 2011 to 9 February 2014, or
  • A NSW SPV Exemption/Approval dated before 1 March 2011 and a Roads and Maritime Vehicle Dimension Certificate (VDC)*, or
  • An NHVR Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit) from 10 February 2014 stating approved dimensions and mass of the crane.

For cranes registered interstate, the following additional supporting documents are required when applying for the UPC:

  •  Approval document from your registering authority dated before 10 February 2014 stating the width, length and forward projection of the crane, or
  • An NHVR Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit) from 10 February 2014 stating the approved dimensions and mass of the crane.

* Please contact Roads and Maritime Technical Enquiries on 1300 137 302 to arrange measurement for a VDC.

Alternate Configuration Scheme

The Alternate Configuration Scheme provides more productive and flexible access to travel on approved State in NSW through enabling:

  • All Terrain Cranes up to 5-axles to operate as standalone crane configurations on up to two Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) access networks.
  • A crane and dolly combination to operation both as a standalone crane (boom over crane) and a crane and dolly combination (boom reversed) on up to two SPV access networks.

To maintain road safety and protect road infrastructure there are requirements under the scheme for cranes to be enrolled and operators/drivers to self-declare in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) with Roads and Maritime. Operators must also provide a split weighbridge certificate for each configuration requested under the scheme as part of the initial application, if not displayed on a document from a registering authority or Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit) issued by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

To operate under the scheme an All Terrain Crane and/or crane and dolly combination must be:

  • Standalone crane configuration – vehicle standards exempted and registered in the largest dimensions and heaviest total mass across all the standalone configurations.
  • Crane and dolly combination – vehicle registered in the largest crane and dolly combination and vehicle standards exempted in the largest dimensions and heaviest total mass across all the standalone crane configurations and across all the crane and dolly combinations.

Access for up to 12 months on approved State Roads in NSW is available under access permits for each SPV access network issued by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

When operating under the scheme a driver or operator must self-declare when travelling on the alternate network listed in the below table, if the driver or operator also has a permit for a corresponding base network. Self-declaration is not required when travelling on a base network, unless required by another condition of the permit.

What are the available access networks for Alternate Configuration?

An All Terrain Crane, either standalone or in combination with a dolly, may be eligible to operate on more than one SPV access network in NSW.

The Alternate Configuration Scheme enables these cranes to be able to operate on two SPV access networks under an access permit for each network. Details of the relevant SPV access networks in NSW are detailed below.

SPV Level 6

The SPV Level 6 network enables access on approved routes for 5-axle All Terrain Cranes that meet the following requirements:

Criteria 5-axle All Terrain Crane Requirement
Gross mass (maximum) 60 tonnes
Axle mass (maximum) 12 tonnes
Ground contact width (minimum) 2.65m
Axle spacing (minimum) 2.20m/1.60m/1.55m/1.60m
Tyre size (minimum) 406mm

SPV Level 4/12t per axle network

The SPV Level 4/12t per axle network enables access on approved routes for 5-axle All Terrain Cranes and 4-axle All Terrain Cranes that meet the following requirements:

Criteria 5-axle All Terrain Crane requirements 4-axle All Terrain Crane requirements
Gross mass (maximum) 50 tonnes 48 tonnes
Axle mass (maximum) 12 tonnes 12 tonnes
Ground contact width 2.65m (maximum) 2.45m (minimum)
Axle spacing (minimum) 2.20m/1.60m/1.55m/1.60m 1.65m/2.00m/1.65m
Tyre size (minimum) 406mm 406mm

SPV Level 4 network

The SPV Level 4 network enables access on approved routes for 5-axle All Terrain Cranes and 4-axle All Terrain Cranes that meet the following requirements:

Criteria 5-axle All Terrain Crane requirements 4-axle All Terrain Crane requirements
Gross mass (maximum) 50 tonnes 45.8 tonnes
Axle mass (maximum) 12 tonnes 12 tonnes
Ground contact width (minimum) 2.65m 2.45m
Axle spacing (minimum) 2.20m/1.60m/1.55m/1.60m 1.65m/2.00m/1.65m
Tyre size (minimum) 406mm 406mm

SPV Level 3 network

The SPV Level 3 network enables access on approved routes for 4-axle All Terrain Cranes that meet the following requirements:

Criteria Criteria 4-axle All Terrain Crane Requirements
Gross mass (maximum) 43 tonnes
Axle mass (maximum) 12 tonnes
Ground contact width (minimum) 2.45m
Axle spacing (minimum) 1.65m/2.00m/1.65m
Tyre size (minimum) 406mm

SPV Level 2

The SPV Level 2 network enables access on approved routes for crane and dolly combinations that comply with the Gross Mass Limit Formula and meet the following requirements:

Criteria 5-axle All Terrain Crane Requirements
Gross mass (maximum) 70 tonnes
Axle mass (maximum) Refer to Table 2 of the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice
Ground contact width (minimum) Refer to Table 2 of the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice
Axle spacing (minimum)

Refer to Table 2 of the National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice

Tyre size (minimum) Refer to Table 3 of the

National Class 1 Special Purpose Vehicle Notice

How do I apply for the Alternate Configuration Scheme?

  1. An operator must have an crane and dolly combination and/or an All Terrain Crane up to 5-axles that is registered, as displayed in an approval document from a registering authority, in the following way:
  2. A standalone All Terrain Crane must be registered in its the largest dimensions and heaviest mass.
  3. A crane and dolly combination must be registered with both configurations displayed – as a crane and dolly combination and a standalone All Terrain Crane.
  1. If not registered as per above, an operator can apply to amend their Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit), however, any change in dimensions will require an operator to go through the establishment process. A new Certificate of Approved Operations will also be reissued by Roads and Maritime for a reissued Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit).
  2. An operator with a validly registered crane and dolly combination and/or an All Terrain Crane up to 5-axles can apply for an access permit to operate under the Alternate Configuration Scheme. From 31 July 2019, access permit applications must be submitted through the NHVR. An operator must also submit the following with the application:
    1. Copy of an approval from a registering authority or an NHVR Vehicle Standards Exemption (Permit).
    2. A split weighbridge docket for each configuration (if the individual axle masses are not listed on the approval document provided). A weighbridge docket is only required as part of the initial application (i.e. not upon renewal).
  3. An operator must also enrol in the IAP for both SPV access networks. This is separate to the access permit application. A separate IAP application must be made to Roads and Maritime using the IAP Application Details Form. Details for the selection of the Alternate Configuration Scheme are contained in section 4 of the form.
  4. An access permit for the Alternate Configuration Scheme will be issued for:
    1. Up to 12 months
    2. Enable access on up to two NSW SPV networks
    3. Require an operator to self-declare through the IAP when operating on the alternative network. Further details on the self-declaration process will be listed in the conditions of the access permit and are available below.

What are the IAP self-declaration requirements under the Alternate Configuration Scheme?

When operating under the scheme a driver or operator must self-declare when travelling on the alternate network listed in the below table, if the driver or operator also has a permit for a corresponding base network. Self-declaration is not required when travelling on a base network, unless required by another condition of the permit.

Base Network Alternate Network
SPV Level 6 SPV Level 4/12t per axle
SPV Level 6 SPV Level 4
SPV Level 6 SPV Level 2
SPV Level 4/12t per axle SPV Level 4
SPV Level 4/12t per axle SPV Level 3
SPV Level 4/12t per axle SPV Level 2
SPV Level 4 SPV Level 3
SPV Level 4 SPV Level 2
SPV Level 3 SPV Level 2

The registered operator of the vehicle (or a person acting on behalf of the registered operator, including the driver) must self declare using a Self Declaration Input Device (SDID) certified by Transport Certification Australia (TCA) or an alternative method approved and certified by TCA. The Special Purpose Vehicle Level on the NSW Special Purpose Vehicle network must be declared by selecting “Operating under special permits” in the Comment Name field and declaring the information in the Comment text field for each of the following events:

Comment text field Example Events
Enter in “Start – ” followed by the SPV Level number. Start – SPV Level 4 At the start of each journey when operating on the alternate SPV access network.
Enter in “Continue – ” followed by the SPV Level number. Continue – SPV Level 4 At the start of each day while operating on the alternate SPV access network.
Enter in “End – ” followed by the SPV Level number. End – SPV Level 4 At the end of each journey when operating on the alternate SPV access network.

For further information please see frequently asked questions: mobile cranes - Alternate Configuration Permits.

Mobile cranes that require a specific access permit

Oversize and overmass mobile cranes with dimensions or mass over the limits stated in the: 

may be eligible to obtain access to specified NSW roads through a specific access permit for particular routes. Specific access permit applications must be submitted to the NHVR.

Share this page: