Performance Based Standards

Performance Based Standards (PBS) is a national heavy vehicle scheme designed to offer the heavy vehicle industry the potential to achieve higher productivity and safety through innovative and optimised vehicle design. This webpage describes how PBS vehicles are provided with access to the NSW road network

About PBS

If you have an idea for an innovative heavy vehicle and are interested in building a heavy vehicle that does not meet the current prescriptive Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) standards, or have an idea for an innovative heavy vehicle that would manage your freight task in NSW more efficiently, then PBS may be the solution you are looking for.

Further information about the PBS Scheme including vehicle standards is available on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) website.

PBS road network access in NSW

The operation of PBS vehicles in NSW is by an access permit, National PBS notice or a combination of both depending on the type of PBS vehicle and route. The access permits and National Notices provide details on the conditions of operation and road network access permitted for a PBS vehicle in NSW

PBS road network access in NSW is based on the four PBS performance levels (1-4) and access classes ‘A’ and ‘B’ as stated in the PBS Network Classification Guidelines. For PBS Level 2 and above, PBS road network access is divided into 'A' and 'B' networks based on vehicle length as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: PBS networks

PBS Performance Level Access Class 'A' Access Class 'B'
1 ≤ 20 metres in length ≤ 20 metres in length
2 ≤ 26 metres in length ≤ 30 metres in length
3 ≤ 36.5 metres in length ≤ 42.0 metres in length
4 ≤ 53.5 metres in length ≤ 60.0 metres in length

Eligible PBS Truck and Dog combinations may operate on approved routes contained in Appendix 1 of the NSW Schedule to the National Class 2 PBS Level 1 & 2A Truck and Dog Trailer Authorisation Notice. Tier 1 Level 1 20 metre truck and dogs and 20 metre B-doubles may operate on the Great Western Highway at their Level 2 masses without the need of a permit under the National Class 2 Performance Based Standards (High Productivity) Authorisation Notice 2022.

Eligible PBS Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 vehicles/combinations may now operate on approved routes contained in Schedule 2 of the National Class 2 Performance Based Standards Vehicle (Tier 1) Authorisation Notice 2021.

PBS Tier 1 only approved Level 2 access class 'B' A-Doubles (tandem dolly only) and B-Doubles may operate on approved network routes shown on the PBS 2B GML and CML Tier 1 only and PBS 2B HML – networks at GML/CML and HML respectively under a NHVR issued access permit if they comply with the bridge formulae for the level of access requested (i.e. Tier 1 compliant).

All other PBS approved vehicles must be assessed for suitable network access in NSW and must operate under a NHVR issued access permit.

Operators of PBS vehicles must comply with the PBS road network access conditions.

PBS road network access conditions

Operators of PBS vehicles must abide by the following the network conditions while operating in NSW:

  • It is a road access condition that all PBS vehicles/combinations (i.e. Level 1-4) that meet Tier 1 bridge formulae be enrolled in a:
    • minimum of Road Infrastructure Management (RIM) when operating at General Mass Limits (GML) or Concessional Mass Limits (CML); and
    • either the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) or Telematics Monitoring Application (TMA) when operating at Higher Mass Limits (HML). Additional information on RIM and TMA is available on the Transport Certification Australia (TCA) website.
  • PBS vehicles/combinations at all performance levels (i.e. Level 1-4) that do not meet Tier 1 bridge formulae for the level of access being requested (i.e. Tier 2 and/or Tier 3) are required to be enrolled in either the IAP or TMA when operating at GML, CML or HML.
  • PBS Level 3 vehicles/combinations operating on approved roads east of the Newell Highway are required to nominated vehicles of an operator who holds accreditation for the Maintenance Management module of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS).
  • Comply with all the conditions as specified in the PBS Vehicle Approval/ NTC Final Approval;

Transport for NSW has published the PBS map to provide the enforceable network for operators of compliant PBS vehicles/combinations seeking to operate in NSW. The map is designed to assist industry in understanding what access is available in NSW for PBS vehicles.

For PBS vehicles eligible to operate on approved routes shown in the PBS map, this will be stated on the NHVR issued access permit and/or in the National PBS Notice.

PBS map

The NSW PBS map shows approved General Mass Limits (GML), Concessional Mass Limits (CML), Quad Axle Mass Limits 1 (QML1), Higher Mass Limits (HML) and Quad Axle Mass Limits 2 (QML2) approved network routes in an interactive map format for PBS vehicles under the following access arrangements:

PBS performance levels have been matched to suitable approved network routes in NSW.

The approved network routes shown in the PBS map are available to PBS vehicles which comply with the conditions set out in the relevant access arrangements

Operators of PBS vehicles must comply with the PBS road network access conditions.

To operate on the approved network routes shown in the PBS maps, you must have:

  • A NHVR PBS Vehicle Approval or NTC Final Approval that approves your vehicle as compliant for the level of performance access you are seeking to operate at
  • An access permit issued by the NHVR authorising your approved level of performance access and Access Class; and/or
  • A National PBS Notice that approves access for your PBS vehicle.

Where a route you wish to use is not shown as approved for PBS vehicles, you may request an assessment of the route by contacting the NHVR. Access may be granted under an access permit issued by the NHVR.

The PBS map provides details on the roads and zones approved for the following PBS performance level and access class networks when selecting the corresponding option under the following access instruments:

  • Under Permit
    • PBS Level 1 GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS Level 1 HML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2A HML- Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2B GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2B HML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 3A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 3A HML- Tier 1 only
    • PBS 4A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 4A HML – Tier 1 only

Access for PBS Tier 3 vehicles

The National Class 2 Performance Based Standards (High Productivity) Authorisation Notice 2022 provides network access for Tier 3 PBS Level 1 Quad Axle Semi-trailers, PBS 2B Quad-Tri and Quad-Quad B-doubles and PBS 2B A-doubles with tandem axle dollys.

PBS Level 1 Quad Axle Semi-trailers and PBS 2B A-doubles with tandem dollys are required to meet particular axle spacings in order to obtain network access at Tier 3 masses.

PBS Level 1 Quad Axle Semi-trailer Reference Vehicle 1

Tier 3 PBS Level 1 Quad Axle Semi-trailers complying with the minimum axle spacings shown in Reference Vehicle 1 can operate at the their Tier 3 QML2 approved mass on the PBS Level 1 QML2 network.

Reference Vehicle 1

Reference Vehicle 1

PBS 2B Tier 3 A-double Reference Vehicle 1

Tier 3 PBS 2B A-doubles complying with the axle spacings shown in Reference Vehicle 1 can operate at their Tier 3 GML/CML and HML approved mass on the PBS 2B GML/CML - Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 1 and PBS 2B HML – Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 1 networks respectively.

Reference Vehicle 1
Reference Vehicle 1

PBS 2B Tier 3 A-double Reference Vehicle 2

Tier 3 PBS 2B A-doubles complying with the axle spacings shown in Reference Vehicle 2 can operate at their Tier 3 GML/CML and HML approved mass on the PBS 2B GML/CML - Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 2 and PBS 2B HML – Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 2 networks respectively.

Reference Vehicle 2
Reference Vehicle 2

PBS 2B Tier 3 A-double Reference Vehicle 3

Tier 3 PBS 2B A-doubles complying with the axle spacings shown in Reference Vehicle 3 can operate at their Tier 3 GML/CML and HML approved mass on the PBS 2B GML/CML - Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 3 and PBS 2B HML – Tier 3 Reference Vehicle 3 networks respectively.

Reference Vehicle 3
Reference Vehicle 3
Click on the button to launch the PBS map
Click on the button to launch the PBS map

Using the PBS map

The PBS map offers pan/zoom, different map views, location search and access to local street images.

Approved routes are shown at each mass scheme i.e GML and CML or HML and are subject to signposted restrictions under the following access arrangements:

  • Under Permit
    • PBS Level 1 GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS Level 1 HML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2A HML- Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2B GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 2B HML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 3A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 3A HML- Tier 1 only
    • PBS 4A GML and CML – Tier 1 only
    • PBS 4A HML – Tier 1 only

National Class 2 Performance Based Standards (High Productivity) Authorisation Notice 2022

They are enabled or switched off by selecting the Access instrument, PBS performance level and access class using the radio buttons in the legend menu on the left hand side. Information about particular PBS performance level networks eg travel restrictions, is accessed by clicking on the route, which will launch an information box which provides detailed information. Do not cross restricted structures that are displayed where applicable on the maps.

A layer to view approved access for 4.6m high routes and zones approved for travel is included and is enabled or switched off by clicking the check box in the legend menu.

By using the zoom and drag features included you are able to view and print maps at the level of detail and covering the area you need. The search function allows you to centre the map on a geographic location based on an address, town, post code, or a set of coordinates.

Disclaimer

The PBS map shows PBS approved network routes, zones and restrictions as an overlay on top of the Google map subject to signposted restrictions. Transport for NSW has no responsibility for and does not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying Google maps.

Transport for NSW strives to be accurate in showing the PBS approved routes, zones and restrictions, however there may be errors and omissions caused by Google maps being incorrect or out of date. Transport for NSW is not responsible for errors or omissions due to changes to the map by external organisations.

Requesting access for PBS vehicles in NSW

The NHVR provides a single point of contact when applying to the PBS Scheme. The NHVR will issue all Design and Vehicle approvals as well as advice on and request road network access, where necessary with the relevant road manager.

All PBS applications and enquiries should be submitted to the NHVR.

For enquiries and support:

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