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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Consistently assessing the impact of high productivity vehicles

Austroads is developing a nationally consistent methodology to determine the impacts of High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) on the Australian road network.

This report documents the findings of the project which aims to gain a thorough understanding of pavement vertical loading and subsequent deterioration caused by HPVs.

Australia is the world leader in the use of HPVs, from B-doubles and road trains to innovative multi‑combination heavy vehicles.

Australia’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme, formalised in 2007, does not include a performance requirement for pavement vertical loading. This project makes progress towards establishing such a standard. 

The project investigated the infrastructure impacts of HPVs, in particular pavement vertical loading, and considered axle configuration, gross combination and payload mass, as well as tyres used by these vehicles. These factors together with structural pavement data and existing literature, form the basis for a method of assessing and comparing pavement deterioration and the benefits of HPVs necessary to inform the access decision making process. 

The method comprises a number of steps to evaluate the impacts and benefits of the introduction of HPVs to a road network. The method presents vehicle comparison metrics for vertical pavement loading, offset against calculations to quantify the productivity, safety and environmental benefits achievable through the introduction of HPVs.

Further work is required to incorporate the report’s contents into a PBS rule, particularly with regard to the creation of a pricing scheme capable of transferring a portion of productivity-related savings to road managers for the increased cost of road maintenance.

Report link: Reassessment of the Benefits and Impacts of the Use of High Productivity Vehicles on Australian Highway Pavements

 

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