Load Restraint Guide

The Load Restraint Guide 2018 provides truck drivers, operators, and everyone in the transport chain of responsibility with basic safety principles for the safe carriage of loads.

If you’re involved in packing, loading, moving or unloading a vehicle, you are responsible for complying with load restraint laws. The Load Restraint Guide will help you comply with these laws.

The Load Restraint Guide and the law

In all states and territories except Western Australia, the Load Restraint Guide 2018 is only a guidance document on how you may meet the performance standards for restraining vehicle loads. The legal requirements are the performance standards referenced in the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These performance standards are stated in Schedule 7 (pages 97–99) of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation.

Western Australia

For Western Australian residents, the loading requirements are contained in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014, which specifically reference the previous 2004 Load Restraint Guide.

WA residents should continue to use the 2004 edition as guidance for restraining loads. Currently the 2018 Load Restraint Guide cannot legally be used in WA.

Northern Territory

The Heavy Vehicle National Law does not apply in the Northern Territory. The loading requirements are contained in the Traffic Regulations, which specifically reference the previous 2004 Load Restraint Guide guidance material and performance standards. The performance standards are stated on page 186 of the 2004 Guide.

Differences between the 2004 and 2018 editions

The legal intent of the performance standards has not changed between the 2004 and 2018 editions of the Load Restraint Guide.

In practice, there is no material difference between the performance standards in the 2004 and 2018 editions.

Further advice on load restraints

If you’ve read the guidance material contained in the Load Restraint Guide 2018 and you’re still unsure how to meet your legislative loading requirements, you should consult with a suitably qualified person such as a chartered professional mechanical engineer who is a full member of Engineers Australia or Registered Professional Engineers Queensland and, has an understanding of heavy vehicle design and a detailed knowledge of load restraint requirements.

For more information visit the NHVR website or phone 1300 696 487 for questions about load restraint for heavy vehicles in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania and South Australia.

For Western Australia please contact Main Roads WA Heavy Vehicles Services on 138 486.

For the Northern Territory please contact the Northern Territory Government on 1300 654 628 or +61 (0)8 8999 5511.