On 10 February 2014 the Heavy Vehicle National Law 2012 (HVNL) commenced, replacing existing laws governing the operation of all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) was established to administer the HVNL and is now the first point of contact for the majority of your heavy vehicle business.


Main Points

Fatigue Management Changes

• New definition of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle

• New National Driver Work Diary

• New approach to AFM

• New fatigue management exemptions


Fatigue regulated heavy vehicle

National laws are now in place to combat heavy vehicle driver fatigue. The laws are for drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles which are:

  • vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of over 12t
  • combinations when the total of the GVM is over 12t
  • buses over 4.5t with a seating capacity of more than 12 adults (including the driver)
  • a truck or a combination including a truck, with a GVM of over 12t with a machine or implement attached to it

Some heavy vehicles which meet the above criteria are not classed as fatigue regulated heavy vehicles however. These include trams, motor vehicles modified to primarily operate as a machine or implement (such as agricultural machinery, bulldozers, tractors, etc) and motor homes specifically modified for residential purposes (not just built with a sleeper berth).

The fatigue laws cover:

  • work and rest hours
  • work diaries
  • fatigue management accreditation schemes
  • chain of responsibility. 

National driver work diaries

Drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles must complete and carry a national driver work diary if they are, or if they have in the last 28 days been:

  • working more than 100km from their base location
  • working under any fatigue management accreditation (Basic Fatigue Management (BFM)/Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM)
  • driving under a work and rest hours exemption.

Note: The driver’s base location is the place from which the driver normally works and receives instructions. This may be the ‘garage address’ of the vehicle, the location from which the business is operated, or another place such as a depot or site.

Note: See email attachment Factsheet1 and Factsheet2

Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM)

Advanced Fatigue AFM brings a risk management approach to managing fatigue, rather than prescribing work and rest hours. It offers more flexible hours than Standard Hours or BFM in return for the operator demonstrating greater accountability for managing fatigue risks. See below for discussion of the Risk Classification Scheme being developed by the Regulator.

Independent Expert Panel consulted stakeholders and proposed Risk Classification System based on trading off high risks in one area with low risks in other areas

Risk-trading involves:

  • established set of risk management principles protecting rest and sleep
  • fatigue risks for are classified as high, medium, low, or community accepted
  • applications describe risk profile of proposed tasks (or multiple tasks if desired)
  • proposals which can show adequate safety countermeasure will be approved


Note: See email attachment Presentation1

Summary of Changes as they apply to training:


  1. Questions relating to relevant Law (Heavy Vehicle National Law 2012 (HVNL)) and Authority (National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)), need to be updated where required.
  1. Questions and Assessment Tasks related to completing Work Diaries need to be updated where required. In particular the new format, completion requirements and process including the changed need for drivers in Queensland to now complete a Work Diary when travelling 100 km from base.


  1. For operators (and drivers) accredited in fatigue management drivers must carry:
  • a copy of the operator’s accreditation certificate
  • a document signed by the operator stating the driver has been inducted into the relevant management system and meets the requirements relating to drivers operating under the operator’s heavy vehicle accreditation
  • a National Driver Work Diary (unless exempt)
  • a document stating the AFM operating limits if operating under AFM (this may form part of the AFM accreditation)


  1. AFM requirements and process have changed and apply a risk assessment based approach to seeking accreditation.

For more information, contact AlertForce on 1800 900 222 or visit our course page on Fatigue Management.

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