No further permits will be issued for 23-25 metre High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs) until policy is finalised later this year, following a limited trial which has been operating around NZ.
The NZ Transport Agency is working with the trial operators to determine a way forward which will enable some of the longer vehicles to continue to operate in a limited capacity on approved and short haul routes, says Transport Agency Freight portfolio director, Harry Wilson.
“The purpose of this trial was to understand how these special use HPMVs operate, identify any problems and to determine a final framework for these vehicles in the future. This has taken some time, but we want to make sure the process was robust and provided certainty for industry and operators when they are planning their future investment in new vehicles,” Mr Wilson says.
Video recordings of the vehicles in operation taken by the Transport Agency, has shown that tracking of some of the vehicles on certain corners needs improving. At some pinch points on the network the trial vehicles occupied the full lane width, creating a safety risk.
“The extra length and time taken when tracking around corners means that these vehicles are not suitable for travel on much of New Zealand’s road network; however there are routes where they can operate safely and provide significant productivity and safety benefits. The trial has allowed us to prove this,” Mr Wilson says.
Mr Wilson says that the 23- 25m trial has been part of the Transport Agency’s priority work programme to move more freight on fewer trucks where the road infrastructure and the vehicles are suitable to carry heavier and/or longer loads, and most importantly, where road safety is not compromised.