The NZ Transport Agency is introducing a new program called Weigh Right to reduce heavy vehicle overloading.
The agency says it will level the playing field for the transport industry, improve productivity and road safety, and ensure that heavy vehicle operators pay their fair share of road maintenance.
Members can expect to see targeted weight enforcement, increased weight compliance without impacting productivity, and a heavy vehicle permits system that is easy to use.
Technology to detect potentially overloaded vehicles will be installed at 12 commercial vehicle safety centres (CVSCs, formerly weigh stations) throughout New Zealand.
Vehicle screening technology
Here’s how it works: A heavy vehicle will be alerted by an electronic sign that a CVSC is operating from up to five kilometres before the safety centre. The combined heavy vehicle information from the weigh-in-motion (in-road) scales and the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera will be assessed by the vehicle screening system to see if a vehicle complies with its allowable weight, including permits.
If the system identifies that the heavy vehicle is potentially overweight, that vehicle will be signalled to pull in to the CVSC. This will be done by showing the vehicle’s front number plate on a second electronic sign, followed by the words “pull in now.”
The key change is that drivers will need to know the number plate of the heavy vehicle they are driving.
Screening is based on the vehicle permit with the lowest gross combination weight. This is to enable enforcement officers to check that the correct RUC has been paid for the actual load that is being carried. For example, if your load is 52 tonne and you have a 50MAX permit and a high productivity motor vehicle (HPMV) permit for 54 tonne, you will be signalled to pull in to the CVSC. This is because your load is greater than the maximum gross combination weight on the permits that are valid for the prime mover (50t for the 50MAX and 54t for the HPMV).
The vehicle screening system is sensitive to correct axle weight distribution. This means if a heavy vehicle is within its mass limits, being overweight on an axle, axle set or axle group will result in the system requesting that vehicle being pulled into a CVSC for further investigation.