the victorian bus & truck drivers' handbook

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vicroads.vic.gov.au

The Victorian Bus & Truck Drivers Handbook

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More informationFor further information please phone 13 11 71 or visit vicroads.vic.gov.au

Latest information on road lawsRoad laws change from time to time. So, tests for the road laws will change as well. Check that you have the most recent edition of this book by visiting vicroads.vic.gov.au. If you are in doubt, check with any of the Customer Service Centres.

CopyrightThis work is copyright. Apart from uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any process without written permission from VicRoads. Permission is hereby given to copy and distribute parts of this work (within the limitations specified in the Copyright Act) for the purposes of bona fide research and instruction, provided such copies are made available free of charge.

Publication informationAuthorised and published by VicRoads 60 Denmark Street, Kew, Victoria 3101

ISBN 9789 0 7311 9165 9

First published July 1988

Reprinted with amendments January 2015

Crown Copyright

Roads Corporation, Victoria, Australia.

For VicRoads Customer Service Centre locations and further information, please visit vicroads.vic.gov.au or call 13 11 71.

Customer Service Centres

More informationFor further information please phone 13 11 71 or visit vicroads.vic.gov.au

Latest information on road lawsRoad laws change from time to time. So, tests for the road laws will change as well. Check that you have the most recent edition of this book by visiting vicroads.vic.gov.au. If you are in doubt, check with any of the Customer Service Centres.

CopyrightThis work is copyright. Apart from uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any process without written permission from VicRoads. Permission is hereby given to copy and distribute parts of this work (within the limitations specified in the Copyright Act) for the purposes of bona fide research and instruction, provided such copies are made available free of charge.

Publication informationAuthorised and published by VicRoads 60 Denmark Street, Kew, Victoria 3101

ISBN 9789 0 7311 9165 9

First published July 1988

Reprinted with amendments January 2015

Crown Copyright

Roads Corporation, Victoria, Australia.

For VicRoads Customer Service Centre locations and further information, please visit vicroads.vic.gov.au or call 13 11 71.

Customer Service Centres

1

Table of contents

Introduction What this handbook is about and how to use it 2

Chapter 1 Driver licences 4

Chapter 2 The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) 16

Chapter 3 Fatigue management and National Driver Work Diary 22

Chapter 4 Ready to drive: driver health and safety 38

Chapter 5 Vehicle checks 44

Chapter 6 Controlling your vehicle 52

Chapter 7 Driving on the road: planning and observing 60

Chapter 8 Communicating with other drivers and how to judge safe speed 76

Chapter 9 Vehicle emergencies 84

Chapter 10 Crashes 94

Chapter 11 Dimensions and load limits 96

Chapter 12 Heavy vehicle signs 104

Chapter 13 Coupling and uncoupling trailers 110

Chapter 14 Skills required to drive a bus 116

Words that heavy vehicle drivers need to know 120

Index 124

2

Introduction - What this handbook is about and how to use it

This chapter includes: Why you should read

this handbook

Your legal rights and obligations

How to use this handbook

Some technical words you should know

Why there is a national system of driver licence classes

Why you should read this handbook This handbook tells you about some of the main legal requirements for drivers of heavy vehicles in Victoria. It is intended as a guide only and does not set out in full all the requirements of the law.

Before you read this handbook you need a general knowledge of our road laws. Road law information is contained in the Road to Solo Driving handbook available at VicRoads Customer Service Centres, RACV offices and some newsagents.

The Road to Solo Driving handbook can be viewed from the VicRoads website at vicroads.vic.gov.au

Your legal rights and obligationsThe legal requirements described in this handbook will change from time to time. To understand all your legal rights and obligations, you should refer to the Road Safety Act 1986 (Victoria) and related Road Safety Regulations, as well as the Transport Act 1983 (Victoria) and the Heavy Vehicle National Law (Victoria) and associated national Heavy Vehicle Regulations.

More information on the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and associated Regulations can be viewed at nvhr.gov.au.

3

Introduction

How to use this handbook This handbook will help you to understand some of the special rules and regulations that apply to driving a heavy vehicle. If there is something specific you need to know about, you can look it up in the index at the back of this handbook (page 124). At the start of each chapter, there is an information box telling you what is in the chapter. At the end of each chapter is a section called Test Yourself Questions. These help you check if youve understood important material in the chapter.

The language of heavy vehiclesThere are many words that have a technical or special meaning for heavy vehicles. Youll find them used frequently throughout this handbook.Check the list at page 120 for a description of these industry-specific terms.

Why there is a national system of driver licence classesAll states and territories in Australia have a uniform driver licence system. The licence classes are:

C Car HR Heavy Rigid

LR Light Rigid HC Heavy Combination

MR Medium Rigid MC Multi-Combination

Each state and territory in Australia has the same licence and vehicle categories. What this means for you is that you can use VicRoads to get a licence or register a heavy vehicle, which allows you to drive in any state and territory, with the same vehicle and the same licence.

4

Chapter 1 Driver licences

This chapter includes: Driver licences

National heavy vehicle licence classification

Penalties for unlicensed driving

Learning to drive a heavy vehicle

Which parts of this handbook you need to know for the assessments

Accredited providers

Special needs of heavy vehicle drivers

Medical eligibility

Vehicles for which you need special permits to drive

Carrying dangerous goods

Mobile equipment

Vehicles and load requirements for assessment

Assessment in a loaded vehicle

Cabin cameras

Test yourself questions

Driver licences All states and territories have implemented common rules and categories for heavy vehicles. The National Heavy Vehicle licence scheme includes all vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) above 4.5 tonnes. Driver licences are issued in the categories shown in the diagram on the next page. If you have a licence, you may drive any class of vehicle within or above your licence category as shown in the diagram.Check what you can drive with each category of licence. The letters written in brackets are the code for the licence class. This code will be printed on your new licence in the square labeled Licence Type. The HVNL does not affect the way you go about getting your drivers licence. Drivers can still do some of their heavy vehicle business at VicRoads Customer Service Centres, including applying for and renewing your driver licences and purchasing the new National Driver Work Diary.

5

Chapter 1 - D

river licences

National heavy vehicle licence categories

CAR (C)A vehicle of 4.5 tonnes GVM or less, seating up to 12 people.

You are eligible for a car licence at 18 years of age.

LIGHT RIGID (LR)A vehicle greater than 4.5 tonnes but no greater than 8 tonnes GVM or which seats more than 12 people (including driver).

You are eligible for a LIGHT RIGID licence after holding a car licence for 1 year.

MEDIUM RIGID (MR)Any 2 axle rigid vehicle greater than 8tonnes GVM.

You are eligible for a MEDIUM RIGID licence after holding a car licence for 1 year.

HEAVY RIGID (HR)A vehicle 8 tonnes GVM and above, with 3 or more axles.

You are eligible for a HEAVY RIGID licence after holding a car licence for 2 years.

HEAVY COMBINATION (HC)(a) A prime mover to which is attached a single semi-trailer that has a GVM more than 9 tonnes plus any unladen converter dolly; or (b) A rigid motor vehicle to which is attached a trailer that has a GVM more than 9 tonnes plus any unladen converter dolly.

You are eligible for a HEAVY COMBINATION licence after 2 years of holding a licence, with at least 1 year of holding either a MEDIUM RIGID or HEAVY RIGID vehicle licence.

MULTI COMBINATION (MC)A Heavy Combination vehicle with more than one trailer.

You are eligible for a MULTI COMBINATION licence after 1 year of holding a HEAVY COMBINATION or a HEAVY RIGID vehicle licence. You must also successfully complete an approved MULTI COMBINATION training course.

Note: The content and duration of the course will depend on the category of licence held.

6

Penalties

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