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Safety alert – Patrick Chu drawbar and drawbeam certifications revoked


Following an ongoing investigation into ex-heavy vehicle specialist certifier Patrick Chu of Transport and Structure Limited, the NZ Transport Agency has immediately revoked the certifications of around 300 drawbars and drawbeams on heavy vehicles and trailers.

This means the components must be recertified before they can be used to tow anything.

Up to 1,700 further certifications have also been revoked, but the vehicle owners will either be eligible to apply for exemptions, or in most cases, will have exemptions automatically applied. The exemptions will allow the components to continue to be used to tow for the periods specified in the revocation notices.

Once an exemption has expired, the drawbar or drawbeam must be recertified before it can be used to tow anything.

The exemptions will be for either 3, 6 or 12 months. Further details of these exemptions, as well as vehicle plate numbers, will be made available on the NZTA website

“It’s important we continue to ensure safety comes first, but we’re also aware of the impact these decisions have on the heavy vehicle industry and heavy vehicle specialist certifiers,” says Steve Haszard, Regulatory Lead and Meredith Connell Managing Partner.

“We’ve carefully considered this decision and feel that a one-size-fits-all approach is not applicable, therefore we’ve applied a number of exemptions to the vehicles affected.”

“The result of these exemptions means only around 300 vehicles require immediate recertification of drawbars and drawbeams, this will help off-set the impact to industry.”

A team of senior industry engineers and experts at the Transport Agency undertook an investigation into Mr Chu’s files and discovered certification were issued for a range of non-compliant drawbars and drawbeams.

To assist vehicle owners with re-certification, the Transport Agency is talking with heavy vehicle specialist certifiers regarding options that could ease pressure in the Auckland region.

This revocation follows a safety alert issued in December 2018 revoking the certifications for tow bars issued by Mr Chu.

The Transport Agency will cover some costs – more detail is available on our website at link).

Read the safety alert and questions and answers here:

Safety alert: Drawbeam and drawbar certifications by Patrick Chu of Transport & Structure Ltd [PDF, 298 KB], April 2019

Questions and answers related to revocation of certifications issued by Patrick Chu