High productivity motor vehicles (HPMV) including 50MAX are trucks that are able to operate above the current 44 tonne weight limit under permit.
50MAX vehicle combinations have one more axle than conventional 44-tonne vehicles combinations, meaning the overall truck load is spread further and there is no additional wear on roads per tonne of freight. This means 50MAX gives operators an option to carry increased payloads on parts of the network that, while economically important to New Zealand, carry lower volumes of freight.
The increased payloads of 50MAX can lead to economic benefits for producers, customers and our communities. Allowing bigger trucks on our roads reduces the number of truck trips needed to move the same amount of freight.
Drive axles on tractor units and all trailer axles must be twin tyred for 50MAX truck and trailers, and for B-trains, to meet the 50MAX criteria or neutral pavement wear.
The 50MAX concept relies on neutral pavement wear to be viable on lower strength roads. The TERNZ report clearly shows the extensive use of twin tyres, therefore 50MAX is based on twin tyres to retain neutral pavement wear and help the 50MAX network grow.
The VDAM Rule outlines the different legal requirements for vehicles operating on New Zealand roads, including HPMVs. On 1 February 2017 the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (2016) came into effect.
The VDAM manual contains policies, standards, processes and procedures for the permitting of vehicles exceeding standard dimension and mass limits.
While the VDAM Rule sets out the dimension requirements for a standard heavy vehicle, PBS are used to indicate whether non-standard heavy vehicle designs or combinations meet the safety performance requirements equivalent to a standard vehicle.
When operating on a 50MAX, the appropriate RUC must be purchased. To reflect the 50MAX mass permit, you have choices:
If your vehicle runs on a permit most of the time, you can change your towing vehicle to an H RUC vehicle type and have an H distance licence. To change to an H RUC vehicle type, you need to complete a Road user charges application (RUCCV-H). You will need to enter the maximum weight shown on your mass permit, not just the maximum weight you will be carrying.
A 9-axle combination with a minimum wheelbase of 17.4m can carry up to a standard weight limit of gross mass of 46T when operating under a 50MAX (9-axle combination with a minimum wheelbase of 20m) for most trips. The RUC Type should be changed to a type H33.
Rates for H Distance licences can be found on Table 3, page 36 of the RUC Handbook
If your vehicle runs at standard weight most of the time, you need to apply for an additional licence for the towing vehicle to cover the additional weight carried under the permit for those individual distances travelled. You will need to complete a RUCAD form to purchase additional licences.
Additional licences may only be used in conjunction with distance licences when the vehicle has a permit issued under the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016 (see Factsheet 13G: High productivity motor vehicles).
A 9-axle combination with a minimum wheelbase of 17.4m can carry up to astandard weight limit of 46T. However, when operating under a 50MAX (9-axle combination with a minimum wheelbase of 20m) for a single trip with a distance of 40km, 4T of additional licence (46T standard + 4T additional = 50T) for 40km would need to be purchased.
RUC rates for additional licences