What are the changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law?

What the changes to Heavy Vehicle National Laws mean to you

The changes to the HVNL came into effect on 1 October 2018.

Everyone in the supply chain who has control or influence over elements in the heavy vehicle road transport process will be held responsible for non-compliance with the chain of responsibility legislation. The penalties are significant: entire fleets could be grounded, businesses fined up to $3m and senior executives could face fines of up to $300,000 or up to 5 years’ imprisonment (or both).

Solution: Inspect365

Inspect365 is the most complete solution in the market and has been developed by sgfleet to help customers improve safety inspections and manage their compliance responsibilities.

What is Inspect365?

We have designed our heavy vehicle inspection system to be both comprehensive and flexible. Inspect365’s ‘closed loop’ system provides an objective record of actions taken, which is a critical part of demonstrating compliance. It works in three ways.

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INSPECT

It allows for easy heavy vehicle inspections without the administrative burden of paper forms.

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INSPECT

It allows for easy heavy vehicle inspections without the administrative burden of paper forms.

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REPORT

It allows for easy reporting of any safety inspection issues found during the process.

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REPORT

It allows for easy reporting of any safety inspection issues found during the process.

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RESOLVE

It allows for repairs to be signed off by the repairer, ensuring our customers have ‘closed the loop’ on any issues.

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RESOLVE

It allows for repairs to be signed off by the repairer, ensuring our customers have ‘closed the loop’ on any issues.

Is your organisation compliant?

sgfleet can work with you to evaluate your current business processes and systems and help you implement new ways to manage safety inspections and maintenance cycles using world class, comprehensive reporting systems to help ‘close the loop’ on ‘Chain of Responsibility’.

Is your organisation compliant?

sgfleet can work with you to evaluate your current business processes and systems and help you implement new ways to manage safety inspections and maintenance cycles using world class, comprehensive reporting systems to help ‘close the loop’ on ‘Chain of Responsibility’.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the changes to Heavy Vehicle National Laws (HVNL) come into effect?

The changes to the HVNL came into effect on 1 October 2018.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with the new laws?

Entire fleets could be grounded. Additionally, penalties could be as high as $3m for a company and individuals could face fines of up to $300,000 or up to 5 years’ imprisonment (or both).

What are the changes to HNVL?

The laws was amended to align more closely with workplace health and safety provisions. The amendments ensure that every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to eliminate or minimise any potential risk by doing all that is reasonably practicable to ensure safety. Importantly, for the first time, the ‘supply chain’ has now been extended to vehicle standards and maintenance.

What does Chain of Responsibility (COR) mean?

Drivers and operators have traditionally been the focus of road laws. However, breaches are often caused by the actions of others. Under ‘Chain of Responsibility’ (CoR), complying with transport law is now a shared responsibility and all parties in the road transport supply chain, including drivers, owners, consignors, consignees, operators and schedulers are responsible for preventing breaches. Therefore, anybody – not just the driver – who has control or influence over transport and logistics may be liable for breaches of the HVNL.

How do I know if I am in the COR?

The Heavy Vehicle National Regulator (HVNR) has provided a CoR Gap Assessment Tool designed to help you determine whether or not you are within the chain. Please visit www.nhvr.gov.au for more information. If in any doubt about your obligations, we suggest you seek independent legal advice.

Are company executives within the COR?

Yes. Executive officers must apply all due diligence to ensure compliance. They must know what risk management processes and safety systems are in place and whether or not they are working.

Does COR apply to vehicle maintenance?

Previously, CoR applied to mass, dimension, loading, speed and fatigue. The recent changes have extended the HVNL to vehicle standards and maintenance, making timely repairs critical.

If I am in the COR, what is the best way to ensure I have done all I can to comply?

According to the NHVR, the best way to do this is to have safety management systems and controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes that:

  • identify, assess, evaluate, and control risk
  • manage compliance of mass, dimension, loading, speed, fatigue and vehicle safety standards requirements through identified best practice
  • involve regular reporting to supervisors, management and executive officers
  • document and record actions taken to manage safety.
Does there need to be an 'incident' in order for a COR investigation to commence?

No. The HVNR can audit any business at any time. They will then determine whether the system is compliant or not. If deemed non-compliant, penalties may apply.

How can I ensure that vehicle maintenance complies with the new laws?

Generally speaking, you should ensure your vehicles meet maintenance standards at all times by:

  • Ensuring proper vehicle safety inspections are carried out before each journey
  • Reporting any issue found during inspections
  • Resolving any issues reported – meaning that repairs are signed off as being satisfactorily completed before the vehicle goes on the road again.

In addition to the above, you should also consider the specific circumstances of your business and determine what, if any, other measures (e.g. safety management systems) should be adopted.

Am I responsible for supplier repairs on issues once the vehicle has been handed over to the repairer?

Possibly. If you can’t prove that you took all reasonable steps, or undertook everything that was reasonably practical to prevent a breach, you may be liable. What is reasonably practical in each case will depend on the circumstances. For example, having a system in place to ensure the repair was resolved satisfactorily by an appropriately qualified agent and that that resolution was recorded, might be considered ‘reasonable steps’ or ‘reasonably practical’ in most circumstances. This means that, depending on the circumstances, not having such a system could make you liable.

I already have a maintenance and repair system in place, isn't that good enough?

It may very well be. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your existing system remains compliant. Compliance may require adapting to changes in technology that raise the standard of what is reasonable. For example, if the rest of the industry is using a system that requires all repairs to be signed off by the repairer to ensure resolution, then not having that system in place could, at a later date, be deemed non-compliant.

How can sgfleet’s Inspect365 help ensure my heavy vehicle maintenance is compliant?

Inspect365 helps with safety management, and compliance with the NHVL, in three key ways:

  • It allows for drivers or other designated personnel to conduct streamlined digital safety inspections of heavy vehicles.
  • It allows for easy reporting of any issues detected during inspections. Importantly, Inspect365 has a large number of repairers within its system so that any issues can be directly booked in with the repairer.
  • It allows for resolution of the issue. Inspect365 permits suppliers carrying out repairs to sign them off on completion, thus ‘closing the loop’ and providing evidence of action taken to resolve the issue and details of the repairer.

Featured in

Australian Financial Review

Read the article to find out more about Inspect365 and the importance of fleet safety

Company Director, the member magazine for the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Read the ‘Chain of Rules’ article and commentary from sgfleet. 

About sgfleet

30+ years of experience and at the forefront of innovation.

sgfleet is a leading provider of integrated mobility solutions, including fleet management, vehicle leasing and salary packaging services. We have a presence across Australia, as well as in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, employ 700 staff and manage over 140,000 vehicles.

 

sgfleet has a unique position in the marketplace, built on the experience and product expertise of its team. An innovative mindset is core to everything we do. sgfleet continuously evolves its highly advanced fleet management capabilities and flexible mobility solutions, consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations.

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140,000 assets under management

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Over 700 staff globally

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Experts in Commercial Vehicles

Protect your organisation

Inspect365 standardises inspections across your operations and empowers your workers to be your eyes in the field. It provides visibility on each task and related responsibilities throughout the chain. Inspect365 helps you raise safety and quality standards.

Contact sgfleet now

 
 

Protect your organisation

Inspect365 standardises inspections across your operations and empowers your workers to be your eyes in the field. It provides visibility on each task and related responsibilities throughout the chain. Inspect365 helps you raise safety and quality standards.

Contact sgfleet now

 
 

Protect your organisation

Inspect365 standardises inspections across your operations and empowers your workers to be your eyes in the field. It provides visibility on each task and related responsibilities throughout the chain. Inspect365 helps you raise safety and quality standards.

Contact sgfleet now

 
 

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