The National Measurement Institute (NMI) has made several regulation changes to weighbridge requirements that affect weighbridge owners.
On 1 July 2011 amendments to the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 (Cth) came into effect including changes to the requirements for weighbridge systems. To ensure compliance with the legislative requirements, weighbridge owners, operators and installers need to be aware of these amendments.
APPROACHES TO WEIGHBRIDGES - REGULATION 3.4
This Regulation requires:
• when the weighbridge is not used to determine end-and-end measurements the approaches must be level to within +/-2 degrees of horizontal (measured from the end of the nearer end of the weighbridge); and
• when the weighbridge is used to determine end-and-end measurements the approaches must be level within +/-0.25 degrees of horizontal (measured from the end of the nearer end of the weighbridge); and
• any dead space(s) between platforms on multi-platform weighbridges must be level and in the same plane as each of the weighbridge platforms.
Weighbridge owners: This amendment provides a relaxation of the previous approach requirements where all approaches were required to be level within +/-0.25 degrees of horizontal. This requirement is now only applicable when end-and-end measurements are undertaken.
Trade measurement inspectors may audit your weighbridge to determine if the approaches comply with the level requirements. Where weighbridge approaches are not level to within ±2 degrees of horizontal, the weighbridge is non-compliant. The approaches will require rectifying so they comply with the Regulations. When non-compliant approaches are detected by a servicing licensee on reverification they will note this on the verification form they supply to the NMI.
CLEARANCES FROM THE EXTERNAL EDGES OF WEIGHBRIDGE PLATFORMS – REGULATION 3.7
This Regulation now specifies the clearances from the external edges of a weighbridge platform in terms of functional parameters rather than minimum distances i.e. the clearance from the external edges of the platform must be wide enough to provide access for servicing and maintenance and to allow for drainage of water rather than specifying a prescribed distance required to achieve this.
It is the National Measurement Institute’s intention to remove Regulation 3.7 (1)(c)(iii) which requires that the clearance from the external edges of a weighbridge platform “must extend from the floor of the weighbridge to at least 1 metre above the platforms” as this Regulation was left unintentionally when the Regulations were first amended. Until the next amendments of the Regulations are made, Regulation 3.7 (1)(c)(iii) will not be applied.
Weighbridge owners: It is anticipated that the majority of existing weighbridges will comply with this requirement. Trade measurement inspectors may audit weighbridges to determine if the clearances are acceptable.
DETERMINATION OF END-AND-END MEASUREMENT – REGULATION 3.11
End-and-end measurements are the result of two weighings only (front end and back end). Where more than two weighings are completed this is deemed to be axle weighing and must be recorded on a separate measurement ticket. Axle weights are recorded as individual or grouped axle weights. Axle weighings are not to be added together and recorded on a measurement ticket as a total weight of the vehicle.
This Regulation now clarifies that:
• only weighbridges approved for determining end-and-end measurement prior to 1 July 2010 may continue to be used for that specific purpose. The approaches of weighbridges that conduct these measurements should be level within ±0.25 degrees of horizontal; and
• provision is made to issue a written permit for a weighbridge that does not comply with the construction requirements of Regulations 3.4 and 3.11 to be used to determine end-and-end measurement.
Weighbridge owners: If your weighbridge previously held an approval to conduct end-and-end measurements, and you wish to continue conducting such weighings, you will need to ensure that approaches of your weighbridge are level to within ±0.25 degrees of horizontal (NB. this level of tolerance was introduced on 1 July 2010 for all weighbridges).
Exemptions may be provided to existing weighbridges in extraordinary short-term circumstances (e.g. as an interim measure where a non compliant weighbridge may be permitted to be used for a specified time to enable the construction of a compliant weighbridge). Application can be made by contacting the Licensing Unit on 1300 686 664 (option 2) or sending an email to
Trade measurement inspectors may audit your weighbridge, without prior warning, to ensure that these specific requirements are being adhered to in order to enable end-and-end measurements to be undertaken.
RESTRICTIONS OF THE MANIPULATION OF VEHICLE SUSPENSION TO AFFECT MEASUREMENTS – REGULATIONS 3.11 AND 3.62
The regulations now prohibit the manipulation of any type of vehicle suspension to affect the measurement being made. Previously these regulations referred specifically to the manipulation of air suspension systems. They now apply to all types of vehicle suspension. The manipulation of vehicle suspension which affects the measurement being made applies to all weighbridges used for trade including public weighbridges.
Weighbridge owners and operators: It is your responsibility to ensure that this weighing practice is adhered to at all times when completing a weighing.
Nothing in this document is intended to constitute legal advice express or implied and readers should obtain their own advice from a legal practitioner on any information on which they seek to rely for any legal purpose.