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Bridge engineering self supervision (BESS)

Information for companies and drivers

Bridge engineering self supervision (BESS) is a training and registration system for companies and drivers of heavy vehicles that operate under an overweight permit. BESS registration is a requirement for obtaining overweight permits that include restrictions on crossing bridges.

When is BESS registration needed?

Heavy indivisible loads often need to be transported for the greater economic good of the country. When issuing overweight permits for such loads, the key consideration for the Transport Agency is the safe load capacity of bridges on the route.

Increased axle group and gross masses are generally allowed over unrestricted bridges under an overweight permit based on greater certainty of load mass accuracy compared with general access vehicles.

Allowable vehicle masses may be further increased under a permit but with the following restrictions:

  • limiting speed to reduce the dynamic load effects on a bridge
  • removing other traffic to reduce total load effects, and/or
  • locating the vehicle in the best position (usually in the centre) to optimise load distribution over the bridge.

If an overweight permit specifies such restrictions, then the company and the driver operating the vehicle must be BESS-registered.

Alternatively, a BESS-registered supervisor may accompany the driver to control the crossings over any restricted bridges and to ensure the restrictions on the permit are complied with.

Applying for BESS registration

Companies and drivers wanting to become BESS-registered must apply to the NZ Transport Agency by completing the relevant form.

Download the BESS driver application form [PDF, 79 KB]

Download the BESS company application form [PDF, 71 KB]

Send the completed application form to:

BESS administrator
DDI: +64 7 834 8530 or +64 27 440 2996
Address: PO Box 9041, Hamilton 3240

BESS registration requirements for companies

To be eligible for BESS registration, companies must:

  1. be valid legal entities
  2. hold a transport service licence (TSL), if applicable, and
  3. have a good record of compliance with driving rules and transport legislation.

If we have concerns about a company’s traffic offence history or compliance record, we may approve BESS registration on a six-month trial basis or decline the application.

BESS registration requirements for drivers

To be eligible for BESS registration as a driver, you must have a current driver licence class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 when you apply.

You must also meet the Transport Agency’s criteria for a good driving record, that is:

Demerit points

If you are eligible for training, you must sit and pass the NZQA unit standard 23436(external link).

BESS driver registration process

When you apply for BESS registration, we review your driving history over the last two years. If you are eligible for BESS training, we will refer you to the nearest assessor. You then have six months to complete the training. If you do not pass the BESS training within six months, you need to submit a new application.

When you have successfully completed your BESS training, the Transport Agency will either issue your full BESS ID card or grant you provisional registration for six months, depending on how many demerit points you have.

If your application is declined, you can apply again in six months.  

BESS application process

Renewing BESS driver registration

BESS driver registration is valid for five years. Before your registration expires, you must complete a renewal course with a Transport Agency approved assessor to renew your BESS registration. Companies can book a renewal course on behalf of their drivers.

We recommend that you book at least eight weeks before the expiry date on the BESS ID card.

When you come to the renewal course, you need to bring:

  • your driver licence, and
  • your current full BESS ID card.

BESS renewal process

BESS renewal process

For assessor contact details to book your renewal course, see the list of approved assessors.

What happens if I breach BESS or permit conditions?

If you are found to have breached permit or BESS conditions, we may disqualify you and the company you work for and remove your names from the BESS register.

If it was a minor breach and a first offence, we may put you and the company on probation for a period and reinstate your BESS licences if there are no repeat offences.

Appealing against a BESS decision

If you disagree with a decision about your BESS registration, you can submit an appeal to the Transport Agency and request a review of the decision. We will review your submission as well as all the information considered for the initial decision and advise you by letter of our final decision. 

Send your appeal submission or review request to the BESS administrator. 

List of approved assessors

Transport Agency-approved BESS assessors and their contact details are listed below:

Regions covered Name Email Phone


Brian Parker (027) 541 0697

Bay of Plenty

Greg Sheehan (027) 293 6206
Allan Collins (027) 715 8980
Bill deRenzy (027) 478 8594

Bay of Plenty
Hawkes Bay

John Sutton (027) 278 7049
Tina Ware (027) 443 2065
West Coast
Peter Jacob (027) 443 0304
Hawkes Bay
Stuart McConchie 06 323 6332
Lower Hutt Gary Pearce (027) 459 4058
South Island
Jason Campbell (027) 242 6502
Pat Power (027) 208 4156


Daryl Stephen 0508 237 483

Frequently asked questions about BESS

I’m a manager/director of a heavy transport company. Is there a way I can monitor my drivers?

BESS-registered drivers can be monitored through TORO (Transport Organisation Register Online).
Find out more about TORO(external link)

What should I do if a bridge is damaged?

If you notice any damage when you cross a bridge or culvert, you should notify the Network Manager at the regional Transport Agency office as soon as possible but in any event no later than 24 hours after the crossing.

If it is an emergency, then you must immediately notify the police.

If you have any questions, please contact the BESS administrator.