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Practical changes to help heavy vehicle owners with minor repairs


Making the process for minor and straightforward repairs quicker and cheaper for heavy vehicle owners is now part of the industry’s official vehicle inspection manual thanks to collaboration between Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the heavy vehicle industry.

Extensive work between the Transport Agency’s Vehicle Standards team and the industry has led to an industry code of practice being incorporated into the VIRM (vehicle inspection requirement manual) for heavy vehicles earlier this week.

The Minor Repair Code of Practice (MRCOP) began back in 2003 as a trial to vet the industry’s ability to follow standard repair designs for common heavy vehicle failures of the chassis such as replacing worn tow eyes or fixing minor cracks. 

The trial reverted to an industry code owned by the NZ Truck Trailer Manufacturing Federation from about 2007.  It allowed manufacturing certifiers to sign off on minor common repairs so that trucks and their trailers could return rapidly and safely back into service.

“The code was recently updated by industry to add a further range of repair designs to modern trucks and trailers,” Senior Manager, Safer Vehicles, Neil Adams says.

“After consulting with the industry, we dovetailed the code into the Heavy Vehicle Specialist VIRM (Vehicle Inspection Requirements manual).”

The MRCOP has been developed to assist the industry in making repairs quicker and more affordable for straightforward and common repairs. This reduces down time for operators and allows routine and repetitive repair and manufacturing tasks to be completed without requiring direct involvement of a heavy vehicle engineering certifier. It is designed to ensure that heavy vehicles are both safe and compliant.

“Moving this code of practice into the VIRM helps ensure nation-wide consistency and best practice and meets our role as a firm and fair regulator,” Mr Adams says.

More complex repairs, particularly those due to a design issue, continue to require oversight by a Specialist Heavy Vehicle Engineer.

More information on the 9 December 2019 changes(external link)