A member raised concern yesterday (19 July 18) regarding Load Restraint Guide status in WA and the East (Heavy Vehicle National Law States).

The Issue

A member providing cross border services was advised that their load restraint standards must be compliant to the new Load Restraint Guide 2018 whilst in the East (Heavy Vehicle National Law States).

Whereas in WA they need to comply to the Load Restraint Guide 2004 version.

What do they do?


Western Roads Federation has contacted both Main Roads WA and the NHVR and is awaiting a formal answer.  These answers will be sent to members once received.

WRF Our Thoughts 

Under the Heavy Vehicle National Law the Load Restraint Guide is only a guide, as the NTC states

the Load Restraint Guide 2018 is only a guidance document on how you many meet the performance standards for restraining vehicle loads. (source National Transport Commission)

The actual legal requirement for load restraint under the Heavy Vehicle National Law are its referenced performance standards.  In other words they are not telling you how to do it, they are telling you what standard needs to meet.

this guidance material is not a legal requirement. You can restrain your load using other methods provided they meet the loading performance standards. (source: National Transport Commission)

In Western Australia, the Load Restraint Guide 2004 is specifically referenced in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014.  As such the Load Restraint Guide 2018 has no legal standing in Western Australia.

Performance Standards Differences

Both the 2004 and 2018 edition contain performance standards that must be met for Load Restraint.  As stated by the National Transport Commission,

In practice, there is no material difference between the performance standards as presented in the 2004 and 2018 editions. 

Will WA Adopt the 2018 Load Restraint Guide?

There is concern within segments of the Western Australian transport industry to the inclusion of livestock effluent, as a load restraint breach in the 2018 version.

It is therefore unlikely that there will be universal support to adopt the Load Restraint Guide 2018 any time soon in WA.  Even if and when it does, a regulatory change needs to be put through Parliament to change the referencing from the 2004 to 2018 version.

Where Can You Get A 2004 Load Restraint Guide?

Hard copy versions of the Load Restraint Guide are no longer available for sale.  Western Roads Federation will seek a solution for members on this.

Referenced material in this post comes from National Transport Commission source. 

Further Information for Members

Members requiring further information can contact us.

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