BVT had one representative at the annual Heavy Vehicle Mini Conference in Wellington, held on Tuesday 11th April. The Heavy Vehicle Engineers Group (HVE) is a Technical Interest Group (TIG) of The Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) and all speakers were members of this group. This was the first year BVT have had a Heavy Vehicle Engineer (HVE) member, with Morgan Boyd, our Heavy Vehicle Certifier, attending the conference. It was a great opportunity to put faces to names of the additional members that could not make the HVE conference/AGM in Cromwell in 2016.
The conference started with a rather delayed flight from Christchurch due to fog with two other HVE members. The first discussion point was on putting the new swept path changes to use, covered by Dwayne Zander. Following this, Marin Vujcich discussed the new combination in the 45/46 tonne combinations, and the issues of obtaining the ratings with a 6×4 truck. The restriction of super singles on 50max permits and retrospective certification was also covered.
More technical aspects followed with Malcolm Allan discussing body locks and how they are being confirmed safe for use. The Statement of Design Compliances for drawbar hinges and the rating of proprietary twistlocks, with the drawbar hinges having varying levels of detail was also discussed. Neil Rogers brought up a valid point on copyright issues with the certification and recertification process, with designs that had been copied from existing designs without the certifier’s knowledge.
NZTA were present at the conference and discussed their current staff and restructuring progress at NZTA. Landata access to input data by HVE certifiers was a discussion point, but no decisions had been made and will not be made until after the restructuring process is complete. IPENZ also made a visit and discussed their internal changes, including changing the membership structure to allow progression above a graduate engineer without necessarily becoming a Chartered Professional Engineer. The HVE website was discussed as IPENZ are in the process of updating it, so there is a fresh new website to look forward to by the end of this year.
The last point of the day was a continued discussion with NZTA. The discussion focused on a Chassis code of practice, with the use of VSB6 suggested as a good intermediate patch for a lack of an actual code of practice. Crane mountings were also discussed with a few still failing the crane stability tests due to excessive twisting in the chassis.
Overall, it was an extremely worthwhile conference. BVT extend our thanks to all those who presented and took part in the organisation of the event. We look forward to continually seeing the presence of IPENZ and NZTA to further resolve issues and to get an overview of the industry moving forward. It was great to meet more people in the HVE group, and listen to their experiences from different regions of New Zealand.