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2 Vehicle exterior

2-2 Dimensions

Reasons for rejection

Mandatory equipment

1. A trailer with a GVM of 3500kg or less exceeds the dimension requirements set out in Table 2-2-1 and is not fitted with the appropriate hazard warning equipment set out in Table 2-2-2.

2. A trailer with a GVM of 3500kg or less exceeds the dimensions set out in Table 2-2-1 and is not:

a) a specialist overdimension trailer (Note 6), or

b) a trailer designed primarily to transport an overdimension load, or

c) a trailer operating on a valid permit, exemption or approval.

Note 1

Definitions of trailer types:

  • simple trailer means a trailer (other than a semi-trailer) that has only one axle set
  • full trailer means a trailer with two axles sets, the foremost of which is steered by a drawbar, and includes a semi-trailer with non-steering axles (Note 4) coupled to a converter dolly
  • semi-trailer means a trailer with only one axle set where the point of attachment to the towing vehicle or leading trailer:

    a) is no further rearward than the rearmost axle of the towing vehicle or rearmost axle of the leading trailer, or

    b) if the towing vehicle is a rigid vehicle (Note 5) and has more than one axle in its rear axle set, is no more than 300mm rearward of the rear axis of the towing vehicle.
Note 2

An over-dimension trailer is one that is either:

a) fitted with an over-dimension piece of equipment, or

b) designed to carry an over-dimension load that cannot be divided, eg glider trailers and large boat trailers, or

c) a specialist overdimension trailer.

Operational requirements for such trailers are given in Factsheet 53a – Overdimension vehicles and loads.

Note 3

Rear axis of a vehicle means:

a) trailers with one non-steering axle: centre of that axle

b) trailers with a non-steering axle set consisting of two axles: midway between those two axles if each axle has an equal number of tyres on it, or two-thirds of the distance from the lesser-tyred axle towards the greater-tyred axle, if one axle has twice as many tyres on it as the other axle.

Note 4

Non-steering axle means any axle of a vehicle, the wheels of which remain substantially parallel with the longitudinal centreline of the vehicle while the vehicle is turning.

Note 5

Rigid vehicle means a vehicle with motive power, driver’s position and steering system, that does not have any pivot points to allow any part of the vehicle chassis to move or rotate in relation to any other part of the vehicle chassis, but includes a pivot steer vehicle.

Note 6

Specialist overdimension trailer means a trailer where its primary purpose is to carry out a specialist function that requires overdimension equipment, and the dismantling of the equipment would make it unusable for its intended purpose, or it would take more than four hours to dismantle the equipment.

Table 2-2-1. Dimension requirements

Note All measurements must be taken with the vehicle combination in a straight line.

Dimension

Maximum distance

Comments

Width

2.55m

1.275m from each side of the longitudinal centreline of the trailer

Measurement does not include:

  • direction indicators and side-marker lamps
  • the bulge towards the bottom of a tyre
  • cameras or close-proximity monitoring systems mounted on the side exterior of a vehicle that extends not more than 70mm from the side wall of the vehicle
  • devices for improving the aerodynamic performance of a vehicle that extend not more than 25mm from either side of a vehicle.

Overall length

12.5m (simple trailers)

11.5m (full trailers)

For a full trailer, measurement is to the centre of the towing eye.

Height

4.3m

 

Forward distance

8.5m (simple and full trailers)

9.2m (semi-trailer)

Forward distance is measured from:

  • simple trailer: from the rear axis (Note 3) to the centre of the point of attachment to towing vehicle
  • full trailer: from the rear axis to front of trailer body/chassis (excludes drawbar) or load, whichever is foremost
  • semi-trailer: from the rear axis to centre of kingpin.

Rear overhang

4m

Rear overhang is measured from the rear axis to the rear of the vehicle or its load, whichever is greater.

Front overhang

2.04m radius arc ahead of:

  • tow coupling centre (simple trailer)
  • turntable centre (full trailer)
  • kingpin centre (semi-trailer)

Front overhang (Figure 2-2-5) is measured from:

  • simple trailer: tow coupling centre to front of trailer
  • full trailer: turntable centre to front of trailer body (excludes drawbar)
  • semi-trailer: kingpin centre to front of trailer
Table 2-2-2. Hazard warning equipment requirements for vehicles that exceed the dimensions in Table 2-2-1  (see Figure 2-2-3 for vehicle category thresholds)

Vehicle category (See Figure 2-2-3)

Dimension

Limits (up to and including)

Required hazard warning equipment

Category 1

Width/forward distance

2.55m  /11.4m, or

3.1m/10.5m, or

3.7m/8.5m, or

1. Flags1 or panels2 fitted on each side at the front and rear as close as practical to the outside edge

Length 25m, or
Front overhang 7m, or
Rear overhang 7m

Category 2
(not including category 1)

Width/forward distance

2.55m  /13.3m, or

4.5m/8.5m, or

1. Panels2 fitted on each side at the front and rear as close as practical to the outside edge

2. OVERSIZE sign3 fitted at the front and rear if more than 3.1m wide

Length 35m, or
Front overhang 10m, or
Rear overhang 10m

Category 3
(not including category 2)

Width/forward distance

2.55m  /20m

5m/20m

5m/8.5m

1. Panels2 fitted on each side at the front and rear as close as practical to the outside edge

2. OVERSIZE sign3 fitted at the front and rear

Front overhang 10m, or
Rear overhang 10m

Category 4A
(not including category 3)

Width/forward distance

11m/20m

11m/8.5m

1. Panels2 fitted on each side at the front and rear as close as practical to the outside edge

2. OVERSIZE sign3 fitted at the front and rear

Front overhang 10m, or
Rear overhang 10m
Category 4BExceeding any limit in Category 4A

1. Panels2 fitted on each side at the front and rear as close as practical to the outside edge

2. OVERSIZE sign3 fitted at the front and rear

3. Revolving amber beacon fitted so that it is visible to approaching traffic if the vehicle is more than 3.7m wide

  • Additional operational requirements may apply, eg if operated at night.

1 Flags:

  • must be fluorescent yellow
  • must be at least 400mm long x 300mm wide

2 Hazard warning panels:

  • must be reflective yellow-green with a reflective orange diagonal stripe
  • comply with AS/NZS 1906.1:2007
  • be frangible for those portions which extend beyond the vehicle’s limits (frangible means breakable or readily deformable)
  • must be of at least of the minimum dimensions and the colours specified in Figure 2-2-1

3 OVERSIZE sign:

  • must be black lettering on a yellow-green background
  • must be at least 300mm x 1100mm in size
  • be frangible if any part of the sign extends beyond the body or load of the vehicle, whichever it is attached to (frangible means breakable or readily deformable)
  • may be in two parts: OVER and SIZE.
Figure 2-2-1. Hazard panel details

Hazard panels

Figure 2-2-2. Hazard panel location and orientation

5

Figure 2-2-3. Vehicle categories and width/forward-distance thresholds.

Vehicle categories 2016

Use this figure to determine the correct category referred to in Table 2-2-2.

For the purposes of this figure, vehicles with a width less than 2.55m are deemed to have a width of 2.55m and vehicles with a forward distance of less than 8.5m are deemed to have a forward distance of 8.5m.

Figure 2-2-4. Trailer dimensions

(Note: Dimensions in red updated in VDAM 2016)

dimensions 2016

Figure 2-2-5. Measurement of front overhang

Measurement of front overhang

Summary of legislation

Applicable legislation
Mandatory equipment

1. A trailer with a GVM of 3500kg or less that exceeds the dimensions in Table 2-2-1 must meet the requirements in Table 2-2-2.

Page amended 1 June 2019 (see amendment details).