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What Victoria’s New Smart OBM Regulations Mean For You

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

For some industries, managing the weight of your vehicles can be tricky. While you want to be safe, you also want to be efficient and maximise how much you can carry at any given time.

Smart On-Board Mass (OBM) systems harness advanced technologies to allow drivers and operators to effectively view and control the on-board weight of their high productivity freight vehicles (HPFV).

In November, there will be several key changes to how HPFVs run and operate across Victoria. We’re here to break down the new announcements and what they mean for you.

What Are Smart OBMs?

Smart OBM systems are designed to capture and transmit mass data from vehicles in a reliable and standardised way. The data is collected by Application Service Providers (ASP) who are certified by TCA.

At their core, OBM systems enable you to measure the mass ‘on the vehicle’ with ease. A good OBM system will measure the gross weight of a vehicle combination, as well as the mass of individual axles.

The difference between traditional OBM system and Smart OBMs is that, besides offering high levels of accuracy,  they use digital technology to combine mass data with other relevant telematics data.

Smart OBM systems can be used in all jurisdictions.

Why Move To Smart OBM

From November 1, there will be two big changes to the way Victorian HPFVs are managed across the state.

The first is that there are now two options available for transport operators to meet the requirements for HPFVs in Victoria: the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) or the Telematics Monitoring Application (TMA). In simple terms, TMA offers a more flexible, lower cost option for transport operators.  Both applications are offered by Teletrac Navman.

The second major change is that HPFVs that exceed a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) which exceed a gross mass of 68.5 tonnes will need to have Smart OBMs. Thankfully, because there are so many Smart OBMs available on the marketplace, operators benefit from having choice.

The reasoning behind the changes is that Smart OBMs will arm road managers with better data on how the network is being used by HPFVs. By providing data that easily identifies the structures and bridges doing the most work, Smart OBMs will help make more targeted investment choices about Victoria’s road network.

Smart OBMs will also be an important driver of the decision to transition HPFV networks from pre- approved to a new gazette notice. This change will allow HPFVs to operate on the HPFV network, without the need for a permit. The rollout is also critical to Victoria’s plans to expand access for new HPFV configurations like B-triples and AB-triples.

Busting Common Myths

Many operators believe that all you need is a Smart OBM system. However, for the system to work to its full potential, the OBM system needs to be ‘paired’ with a certified service provider.

Some believe that because they’re already using a Smart OBM, they’re fine for the November 1 changes. However, Smart OBM systems need to be type-approved by TCA, so just because you already have a system in place doesn’t mean you’re legally compliant.

And because Smart OBMs are designed to measure and capture vehicle data, some drivers and operators think that authorities will have unfettered access to all data. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Consent arrangements are in place for the use of your data, and what it can and cannot be used for. Data collected from the Smart OBM is sent directly to TCA and is strictly controlled by them, independent of the authorities.

Addressing The Issue

To better educate workers across Victoria’s freight and logistics sector about the benefits Smart OBMs offer, the state’s Department of Transport has created a Heavy Vehicle Permit Reform Roadmap covering five key themes.

The Department will focus on industry engagement, speaking directly to workers across the state to better understand their challenges and any potential hesitance towards these changes.

Alongside the opening of the updated Victorian road network, there will be transparent policies and strategies regarding Smart OBMs in HPFVs, which will help to streamline systems and processes regarding telematics.

What Does It All Mean?

To sum it all up, Victorian transport operators are legally required to have Smart OBMs on all HPFV combinations that exceed a gross mass of 68.5 tonnes. The Department of Transport will also support the transition of HPFVs and larger mobile cranes from IAP to the more cost-effective TMA scheme.

If you are concerned about getting everything done by the start of November, don’t worry. Extensions will be granted for those who can’t meet the November 1 deadline, provided they demonstrate they are currently, or planning on, fitting the technology into their fleet.

How Teletrac Navman Can Help

Teletrac Navman support all four for Smart OBM systems which have been type-approved by TCA: Tramanco, E-Max, Airtec and Loadman. We’ve already done all the heavy lifting, so once the system is adopted into your fleet, you’re good to go.

Because both the IAP and TMA pathways are available through Teletrac Navman, we strive to offer all Victorian operators total flexibility in both price and application, so they can mix and match pathways and partners to uncover the best solution for their specific needs.


If you are looking to find out more information about Smart OBMs, check out our recent webinar here

To get started, contact our team today.

Chris Marriott
Regional Manager, Victoria & Tasmania
0418 343 774

Anthony Laras
Regulatory Program Manager
0412 045 164


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