Mass Management

What is Mass Management Accreditation?

Mass Management is one of the three modules of operator accreditation under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), the other modules are Maintenance Management and Fatigue Management.

NHVAS is a National Quality Assurance system where transport operators have systems and processes in place to meet the standards of accreditation set by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Accredited operators are required to have their systems, processes and records independently verified by authorised NHVAS Auditors on a regular basis.

The regular reviews by NHVAS Auditors ensure that the operator is keeping the required records and complying with their own quality procedures. If an operator does not meet the required standards their accreditation can be suspended or cancelled.

In return, operators gain substantial benefits, such as protection under Chain of Responsibility (CoR) legislation, increased payloads (Mass Management), increased operational hours (Fatigue Management) and the removal of the requirement for annual Roadworthiness Inspections which is a requirement for some heavy vehicle registrations (Maintenance Management).

For Mass Management the following is required:

The operator must have a comprehensive Quality or Procedures Manual which documents the various processes that are in place to ensure that vehicles are loaded within legal limits.

Nominated vehicles must have the required NHVAS Accreditation label affixed and must have manufacturer's ratings sufficient for the increased weights permitted

Drivers are required to be inducted in all aspects of the operator's system, this may not be a formal course and will depend on the complexity of the operation and the experience of the driver.

At a minimum drivers should be provided with some basic instructions and introduction into what is required including the requirement to monitor and record axle group weights.

Vehicles loaded to Higher Mass Limits (HML) are restricted to approved routes and drivers need to have an understanding of the route restrictions applicable to vehicles they are operating.

The operator is required to have a procedure in in place outlining what to do if weights are found to be in excess of the limits permitted. The procedure must include a corrective process to minimise overloading instances, all overloads should be documented so the overall compliance of the operations are recorded and monitored. Whilst the occasional overload cannot be completely avoided, the system should include various instructions, checks and processes to ensure loading is within legal limits.

To ensure that road pavement damage, caused by malfunctioning suspension systems, the operator must have a process for recording any suspension faults occurring, this will normally be a pre departure checklist and fault report sheet completed by drivers. Regular suspension maintenance must also be completed for all vehicles and trailers.