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.
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 Waka Kotahi NZ 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:
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.
Companies and drivers wanting to become BESS-registered must apply to Waka Kotahi by completing the relevant form.
Send the completed application form to:
Phone: 0800 683 774
Address: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency,
Private Bag 11777,
Palmerston North 4442
To be eligible for BESS registration, companies must:
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.
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 Waka Kotahi criteria for a good driving record, that is:
If you are eligible for training, you must sit and pass the NZQA unit standard 23436.
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, Waka Kotahi 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 driver registration is valid for five years. Before your registration expires, you must complete a renewal course with a Waka Kotahi 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:
For assessor contact details to book your renewal course, see the list of approved assessors.
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.
If you disagree with a decision about your BESS registration, you can submit an appeal to Waka Kotahi 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.
Waka Kotahi-approved BESS assessors and their contact details are listed below:
|021 989 395
|021 127 1945
|027 670 7707
Bay of Plenty
|027 715 8980
|027 478 8594
Bay of Plenty
|027 571 0371
|To be confirmed
|027 443 2065
|021 392 762
Top of the South Island
|027 459 4058
|027 242 6502
|027 208 4215
|027 208 4156
|021 299 3630
|027 227 6716
Waka Kotahi and the New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association (NZHHA) jointly endorse applicants for assessors for Bridge Engineering Self Supervision Licences, so that MITO can accept their industry experience as being acceptable and extend the assessor’s status to include Unit Standard 23436.
The training material and assessment document was developed by Waka Kotahi and NZHHA and assessors must use this material to test candidates for their BESS licence.
Assessors gain the endorsement of Waka Kotahi and NZHHA so validate that they have had suitable on-road experience of BESS to be able to address any questions from candidates that arise during the training and assessment process.
Applicant must hold Unit Standard 23436
Provide NZQA assessment record
Applicant must hold current BESS licence issued by Waka Kotahi
Copy of current BESS licence and drivers licence
Applicant must have a minimum of 5 years’ experience of carrying out BESS
BESS licence date when first gained
Written evidence from employers, clients about driving work including BESS undertaken for them – length of time, number of loads
Applicant not a Waka Kotahi employee/sub-contractor
Documentation of current employer
Applicant has good driving/infringement history
Traffic infringement history is acceptable
Applicant must have endorsement from NZHHA
Letter from CEO of NZHHA
Applicant must have endorsement from Waka Kotahi
Letter from Waka Kotahi
If you have any questions, please contact the BESS administrator(external link)
BESS-registered drivers can be monitored through Transport Organisation Register Online (TORO).
If you notice any damage when you cross a bridge or culvert, you should notify the Network Manager at the regional Waka Kotahi 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(external link).