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Heavy vehicle certification information for customers – Peter Wastney Engineering Limited

Updated: 4 December 2019

Peter Wastney recertification update for customers – 25 November 2019

Further towbar, drawbar and drawbeam certifications issued by Peter Wastney Engineering Ltd (PWE) are revoked. Some vehicles owners have received an exemption to continue operating their vehicle as long as they do not use the towbar or drawbeam to tow.

The Transport Agency understands the significant impact of this decision on both vehicle owners and heavy vehicle specialist certifiers, and we have communicated with the sector who acknowledge public safety must come first.

We want to support vehicle owners and heavy vehicle specialist certifiers however we can, including covering the cost to vehicle owners to rectify any issues identified with towbars, drawbars and drawbeams, as this was our policy for the PWE revocations carried out in 2018. We’re also working with the Heavy Vehicle Engineers Group To help certifiers deal with the additional workload.

Background

Following the failure of a drawbeam certified by Peter Wastney of Peter Wastney Engineering Limited (PWE) in August 2017, the NZ Transport Agency launched an investigation into towing connection certifications issued by the company.

The investigation revealed serious safety concerns due to errors made by PWE, as well as poor record keeping. A review of PWE work is ongoing.

Out of concern for public safety, the Transport Agency issued a safety alert on 14 February 2018 relating to all towbar, drawbar and drawbeam connections certified by PWE. Independent reviews identified that they were not adequately designed for the loads to which they had been certified. The safety alert urgently required all operators with heavy vehicles whose drawbeams, drawbars, or towbars were certified by PWE to have them cleaned and inspected for signs of cracks or other failures. If any signs were found, the vehicles’ use as a combination vehicle needed to be discontinued immediately.

Safety alert: Towing connections certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited [PDF, 2.3 MB] – 14 February 2018

Following the safety alert, in 2018 the Transport Agency issued notices of revocation to vehicle owners with towbar, drawbar and drawbeam certifications issued by PWE in the previous 10 years.

It is clear Mr Wastney’s files were poorly kept, inconsistent, and in many cases lacking basic detail. The Transport Agency has since pieced together a list of further towbar, drawbar and drawbeam certifications completed by Mr Wastney that we believe on reasonable grounds to be substandard. Safety is our top priority and these certifications have also been revoked.

What vehicle owners need to do

If you own a heavy vehicle with a towbar, drawbeam or drawbar certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited, you may receive a letter from the NZ Transport Agency.

The letter explains that we are revoking the certification that allows the towbar, drawbar or drawbeam to be used, and includes a notice of revocation.

  • A towbar is fitted to a vehicle and is used to tow a light vehicle (usually a trailer but may be another light vehicle such as a car).  A light vehicle is one with a GVM no greater than 3,500kg.
  • A drawbeam is the towing connection fitted to a vehicle and is designed to tow a heavy simple or heavy full trailer.
  • A drawbar is the towing connection at the front of a heavy simple or heavy full trailer.

Towbars and drawbeams

For vehicles with towbars and drawbeams attached, an exemption has been granted allowing vehicle owners to continue operating the vehicle as long as the towbar or drawbeam is not used to tow anything.

This exemption remains in place until 31 May 2021 and you will need to have the component recertified by a Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) that has ‘HVET’ authorisation by that date.

If you choose to remove the towbar or drawbeam or have it made permanently inoperable, please let us know by emailing info@nzta.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Confirming towbar/drawbeam removed/inoperable’. Please note that removing the towball or tow coupling only is not an acceptable method of rendering a towbar or drawbeam inoperable.

You will be able to renew the vehicle’s Certificate of Fitness without having the towbar or drawbeam recertified up until 31 May 2021. If you renew your Certificate of Fitness without the towbar or drawbeam being recertified, please note that you still won’t be able to use the towbar or drawbeam.

If the exemption to use your vehicle and not tow anything has expired, you will not be able to renew your Certificate of Fitness until you have the component recertified.

List of HVSCs

Drawbars

Vehicles with drawbars attached can’t be operated until the drawbar is recertified by a Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) that has ‘HVET’ authorisation. Under current legislation, a vehicle that is not certified can be used where:

  • the trailer is unladen (not carrying anything), and
  • it is used solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance, and
  • it is safe to be used unladen (no visual cracks, fatigue or other damage to the drawbar).

Affected drawbars will not be able to pass a CoF until recertified. Drawbars must be recertified by 31 May 2021 which is when the exemption above expires.

List of HVSCs

Check if you’re affected

Select the list below that you would like to check. There are lists for revocations that took place in 2018 and 2019. Vehicle plate numbers are listed in alphabetical order and you can quickly search by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ and ‘F’ keys. Type your plate number in the search box that appears.

Lists are current as at 25 November 2019 and will be updated as required.

Towbar plate numbers [PDF, 360 KB] – November 2019
Drawbeam plate number [PDF, 275 KB] – November 2019
Drawbar plate numbers [PDF, 292 KB] – November 2019

Note: many of the vehicles in the 2018 lists below have now been recertified.

Towbar plate numbers [PDF, 1.1 MB] – April 2018
Drawbeam plate number [PDF, 641 KB] – May 2018
Drawbar plate numbers [PDF, 494 KB] – May 2018

If you didn't receive a letter, and believe that the towbar, drawbeam or drawbar on your heavy vehicle was certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited, please phone 0800 699 000 or email info@nzta.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Check PWE certification’.

Sample letters

Towbars: sample of the towbar letter [PDF, 844 KB] – November 2019
Drawbeams: sample of the drawbeam letter [PDF, 844 KB] – November 2019
Drawbars: sample of the drawbar letter [PDF, 600 KB] – November 2019

Financial support

The Transport Agency is committed to supporting vehicle owners whose vehicles have towbars, drawbars or drawbeams certified by PWE. Although the Transport Agency isn’t legally liable to do so, we’ve agreed to cover the cost of inspection, recertification and any necessary repairs or replacements, in order to lessen the impact of the revocations we’ve called for. Please complete the TOW3 form, ensuring the vehicle owner has signed each copy.

The options in the letters above tell you what you need to do so that we can cover the costs for you. Please note: requests for financial support must be submitted by midnight, 14 June 2021.

Application for Peter Wastney towing connection payment (TOW3) [PDF, 70 KB] – November 2019

Questions and answers

Q&As reviewed and added to, 25 November 2019.

  • I’ve received a revocation notice for a PWE certified towing connection – what do I need to do?

    If you want to use the towbar, drawbar or drawbeam, you need to get it recertified as soon as possible. If the towing connection is not recertified before 31 May 2021, or the towbar/drawbeam is not removed or made inoperable, the vehicle will be unable to be used on public roads and will fail its subsequent Certificate of Fitness inspections.

    Exemptions for towbars and drawbeams mean you can continue to operate your vehicle on the road, with the towbar/drawbeam fitted, and obtain future Certificates of Fitness, so long as the vehicle is not used to tow a trailer (or other type of vehicle).

    Vehicles with drawbars attached can’t be operated until the drawbar is recertified by a Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) that has ‘HVET’ authorisation.

    Under current legislation, a vehicle that is not certified can be used where:

    • the trailer is unladen (not carrying anything), and
    • it is used solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance, and
    • it is safe to be used unladen (no visual cracks, fatigue or other damage to the drawbar).

    Towbars, drawbars and drawbeams must be recertified by 31 May 2021. At this date, any exemptions that have been issued also expire. If you no longer use the towbar/drawbeam, you can have it removed or made inoperable. If you choose to do this, please let the Transport Agency know by phone 0800 699 000 or by email info@nzta.govt.nz with the subject line ‘Confirming towbar/drawbeam removed/inoperable’ so we can ensure a note is added to the vehicle's file.

    Please note that removing the towball or tow coupling only is not an acceptable method of rendering a towbar or drawbeam inoperable.

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  • How can I make my towbar/drawbeam inoperable?

    In the case of a towbar/drawbeam that is easily unbolted, the towbar/drawbeam should be removed. Where a towbar/drawbeam has been welded onto part of the chassis of the vehicle or is part of another significant structure such as the hoist attachment, then it may be difficult to remove it. Examples of rendering the towbar/drawbeam inoperable include cutting the towball tongue off or removing the towball/tow coupling and welding a plate over the mounting hole so that another towball/coupling cannot be bolted on.

    Please note that removing the towball or tow coupling only is not an acceptable method of rendering a towbar or drawbeam inoperable.

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  • What if I have already had my towing connection replaced?

    If you have had your towing connection replaced please call us on 0800 699 000 in the first instance to check if the appropriate records have been updated. If the records have not been updated, please send us a copy of the new LT400 (Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certificate) form or a photo of the certification plate (which is found on the towing connection and should be clearly visible from the back or the side) to info@nzta.govt.nz.

    If you’ve had to have your towing connection replaced due to design problems, the Transport Agency is collecting information and would appreciate your cooperation to provide us with a brief summary and any evidence (such as photos) that you are able to provide.

    While there is no legal liability to do so, where the Transport Agency revokes a PWE certification for a towbar, drawbar, or drawbeam, we will cover the cost of the recertification and, where necessary, repair or replacement of it.

    The options in the financial support letters above explain what you need to do, depending on your vehicle’s situation, so that we can cover the costs for owners. Please note: this process must be completed by midnight, 14 June 2021.

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  • I’ve had no issues with my towbar, drawbar or drawbeam certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited. Why do I need to recertify it?

    You need to have the vehicle's towing connection recertified because the Transport Agency has revoked the PWE certification as reviews show they do not meet the Heavy Vehicle Towing Standard (NZS 5446/NZS 5467). If the towing connection is not recertified before the exemption ends on 31 May 2021, or the towbar/drawbeam is not removed or made inoperable, the vehicle will be unable to be used on public roads and will fail its subsequent Certificate of Fitness inspections.

    Please note that removing the towball or tow coupling only is not an acceptable method of rendering a towbar or drawbeam inoperable.

    The exemption document means you can continue to operate your vehicle on the road, with the towbar/drawbeam fitted, so long as the vehicle is not used to tow a trailer (or other type of vehicle). The exemption expires on 31 May 2021.

    Drawbars may only be used for the purpose of bringing the vehicle into compliance and if the vehicle is safe for such use – please see the conditions above.

    What vehicle owners need to do

    The towing connection needs to be recertified by a heavy vehicle specialist certifier with an ‘HVET’ authorisation. Alternatively, liaise with the engineering workshop you normally use, who will have a certifier they can use.

    HVET-authorised certifiers

    While there is no legal liability to do so, where the Transport Agency revokes a PWE certification for a towbar, drawbar, or drawbeam, we will cover the cost of the recertification and, where necessary, repair or replacement of it.

    The options in the sample financial support letters above tell you what you need to do, depending on your vehicle’s situation, so that we can cover the costs for owners. Please note: this process must be completed by 14 June 2021.

    Close Back to top
  • The certification on my vehicle's towbar, drawbar or drawbeam has been revoked. How soon do I need to have it recertified?

    We recommend you have the vehicle's towing connection recertified as soon as possible. If the towing connection is not recertified before the exemption ends on 31 May 2021, or the towbar/drawbeam is not removed or made inoperable, the vehicle will be unable to be used on public roads, and will fail its subsequent Certificate of Fitness inspections.

    Please note that removing the towball or tow coupling only is not an acceptable method of rendering a towbar or drawbeam inoperable.

    The exemption document means you can continue to operate your vehicle on the road, with the towbar/drawbeam fitted, so long as the vehicle is not used to tow a trailer (or other type of vehicle). The exemption expires on 31 May 2021.

    The towing connection needs to be recertified by a heavy vehicle specialist certifier with an ‘HVET’ authorisation. Alternatively, liaise with the engineering workshop you normally use, who will have a certifier they can use.

    HVET-authorised certifiers

    Drawbars may only be used for the purpose of bringing the vehicle into compliance and if the vehicle is safe for such use – please see the conditions above.

    What vehicle owners need to do

    While there is no legal liability to do so, where the Transport Agency revokes a PWE certification for a towbar, drawbar, or drawbeam, we will cover the cost of the recertification and, where necessary, repair or replacement of it.

    The options in the financial support letters above explain what you need to do, depending on your vehicle’s situation, so that we can cover the costs for owners. Please note: this process must be completed by midnight, 14 June 2021.

    Close Back to top
  • The certification on the drawbeam/towbar/drawbar on my truck/trailer still has some years left before it expires. Who is going to pay for a new one?

    The Transport Agency recognises that there will be cost in replacing/recertifying the drawbeam/towbar/drawbar but has decided in the case of PWE revocations to offer financial assistance to vehicle owners.

    While there is no legal liability to do so,  where the Transport Agency revokes a PWE certification for a towbar, drawbar, or drawbeam, we will cover the cost of the recertification and, where necessary, repair or replacement of it.

    The options in the financial support letters above explain what you need to do, depending on your vehicle’s situation, so that we can cover the costs for owners. Please note: this process must be completed by midnight, 14 June 2021.

    Close Back to top
  • My vehicle's CoF is about to expire. Will it pass a CoF inspection if I have a towing connection certified by Peter Wastney Engineering Limited on my vehicle?

    Your vehicle won't fail its Certificate of Fitness due to the revoked towbar/drawbeam certification if the towing coupling has been recertified, or the towbar/drawbeam has been removed or made inoperable, or you present the vehicle before 31 May 2021 with your exemption document to the CoF provider. Other towing connections issued by PWE are not revoked and should pass COF unless there is a safety concern identified during the inspection process. If your exemption to use the vehicle but not tow anything has expired, you won’t be able to renew the CoF until the component has been recertified.

    You will be unable to present your trailer for a Certificate of Fitness inspection unless the drawbar has been recertified as the only reason the trailer is allowed on public roads is to get the drawbar recertified, repaired or replaced, not to go for a Certificate of Fitness inspection. Affected trailers are not able to be used until the drawbar has been recertified, other than under current legislation, which means that a vehicle that is not certified can be used where:

    • the trailer is unladen (not carrying anything), and
    • it is used solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance, and
    • it is safe to be used unladen (no visual cracks, fatigue or other damage to the drawbar).
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  • What if I do nothing?

    If your vehicle's towing connection certification has been revoked, follow the instructions in the relevant letter. The letter will explain what you need to do to get your heavy vehicle's towbar/drawbeam/drawbar recertified as soon as possible. You can view full sample letters above under the section ‘Check if you’re affected’.

    Check if you’re affected

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  • What happens if I use my trailer on the road before its drawbar has been recertified?

    Using the trailer may be an offence with various penalties depending on the circumstances. Affected trailers are not able to be used until the drawbar has been recertified, other than under current legislation, which means that a vehicle that is not certified can be used where:

    • the trailer is unladen (not carrying anything), and
    • it is used solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance, and
    • it is safe to be used unladen (no visual cracks, fatigue or other damage to the drawbar).

    Using the drawbar on a trailer may cause a crash as a result of the trailer separating from the main vehicle.

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  • What is the difference between a towbar, drawbar and a drawbeam?

    A towbar is fitted to a vehicle and is used to tow a light vehicle (usually a trailer but may be another light vehicle such as a car). A light vehicle is one with a GVM no greater than 3,500kg.

    A drawbeam is the towing connection fitted to a vehicle and is designed to tow a heavy simple or heavy full trailer.

    A drawbar is the towing connection at the front of a heavy simple or heavy full trailer.

    Close Back to top
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