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TCA to provide assurance in the use of On-Board Mass (OBM) units

5 July 2013

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) today announced that it will soon commence the type-approval of On-Board Mass (OBM) units.

Commonly known as weigh scales or mass systems, OBM units typically utilise load cell or air pressure technologies to measure the axle group mass and gross vehicle mass of heavy vehicle combinations.

‘Transport operators have adopted the use of OBM systems as a way to manage commercial obligations and mass compliance’ said TCA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Koniditsiotis.

‘However, OBM units have not always met expectations, with problems being cited about their ongoing accuracy, performance and quality systems,’ said Mr Koniditsiotis.

‘These limitations will be addressed through the availability of type-approved OBM units.’

‘TCA will type-approve OBM units against a nationally-agreed performance-based functional and technical specification, to provide transport operators with greater confidence in their use.’

The specification incorporates functional and technical requirements for:

  • Accuracy
  • Security
  • Installation, calibration and maintenance.

The move towards the type-approval of OBM units follows considerable work by TCA in consultation with road and transport agencies, the OBM industry and transport operators.

An initial evaluation of all OBM units by TCA commenced in 2008, which led to the development of a draft functional and technical specification.

TCA’s draft functional and technical specification was further informed by practical deployments of OBM units by industry and government.

‘For example, the operation of OBM units linked to the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads has unlocked access for a new generation of Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles on the Toowoomba to Port of Brisbane corridor,’ said Mr Koniditsiotis.

‘The emergence of type-approved OBM units in the marketplace will provide tangible benefits to transport operators.’

‘Type-approval for OBM units will be supported with operational and maintenance guidelines

  • providing the necessary assurance to transport operators in their use.’

‘TCA is now encouraging parties within the OBM industry to begin their engagement with TCA in preparation for the start of the type-approval process,’ said Mr Koniditsiotis.