Load restraint guides for light and heavy vehicles

Read the relevant load restraint guide to ensure you meet load restraint standards for light and heavy vehicles in Australia.

If you’re involved in packing, loading, moving or unloading a vehicle, you must follow load restraint laws in your state or territory. 

Latest news

The Load Restraint Guide for Heavy Vehicles 2018 is now owned by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR). Learn more and purchase hard copies of the guide for heavy vehicles on the NHVR website

The NTC retains ownership of the Load Restraint Guide for light vehicles. 

Background

When you transport any kind of load, your vehicle or trailer must be loaded safely.  Your load must not endanger other road users, you or your passengers or damage road infrastructure.

This means ensuring that your load:

  • is properly restrained
  • doesn’t overhang dangerously
  • doesn’t exceed mass limits
  • doesn’t cover lights, indicators, reflectors or the number plate.

Across Australia, it’s illegal drive a vehicle carrying or towing a load without a load restraint system that meets relevant performance standards.
 

Load restraint for light vehicles

Laws for Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory refer to the Load Restraint Guide for Light Vehicles (2018). In these jurisdictions, you must comply with the performance standards on page 19 of the guide.

Read the 2018 Load Restraint Guide for Light Vehicles

In Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the performance standards in the 2004 Load Restraint Guide apply. These can be found on page 186 of that guide.

Read the 2004 Load Restraint Guide

The advice on how to restrain your load in the above guides are only suggestions. You may choose to meet the performance standards another way. What’s important is meeting the relevant standards.

For general enquiries about load restraint for light vehicles, you can contact us. For more specific questions, use the contact information below.

Specific questions about light vehicle load restraint

Contact:

Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 673
FORTITUDE VALLEY QLD 4006
Tel: (07) 3405 0985
Web: www.tmr.qld.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 13Q of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010 (Qld). 

Contact:

Roads and Maritime Services
Locked Bag 928
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059
Tel: 13 22 13
Web: www.rms.nsw.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 66 of the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2021 (NSW).

Contact:

VicRoads
60 Denmark Street
KEW VIC 3101
Tel: (03) 9854 2666
Web: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 285 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2021 (Vic). 

Contact:

Department of State Growth (Transport)
GPO Box 536
HOBART TAS 7001
Tel: 1300 139 933
Web: www.transport.tas.gov.au
Email: info@stategrowth.tas.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 24 of the Vehicle & Traffic (Vehicle Operations) Regulations 2014 (Tas).

Contact:

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
GPO Box 1533
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Tel: 1300 872 677
Web: www.dpti.sa.gov.au

Or refer to division 3B of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) and regulation 6 of the Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Mass & Loading Requirements) Regulations 2013 (SA). 

Contact:

Access Canberra
PO Box 158
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Tel: 132 281 Fax: (02) 6207 6084
Web: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au
Email: vitu@act.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 292 of the Road Transport (Road Rules) Regulation 2017 (ACT).

Contact:

Department of Transport
140 William Street
PERTH WA 6000
Tel: (08) 6551 6000
Web: www.transport.wa.gov.au
Email: enquiries@transport.wa.gov.au

Or refer to Regulation 187 of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 (WA).

Contact:

Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
GPO Box 2520
DARWIN NT 0801
Tel: (08) 8999 5511
Web: www.transport.nt.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 24 of the Traffic Regulations (NT).

Contact:

Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 673
FORTITUDE VALLEY QLD 4006
Tel: (07) 3405 0985
Web: www.tmr.qld.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 13Q of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010 (Qld). 

Contact:

Roads and Maritime Services
Locked Bag 928
NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2059
Tel: 13 22 13
Web: www.rms.nsw.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 66 of the Road Transport (General) Regulation 2021 (NSW).

Contact:

VicRoads
60 Denmark Street
KEW VIC 3101
Tel: (03) 9854 2666
Web: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 285 of the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2021 (Vic). 

Contact:

Department of State Growth (Transport)
GPO Box 536
HOBART TAS 7001
Tel: 1300 139 933
Web: www.transport.tas.gov.au
Email: info@stategrowth.tas.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 24 of the Vehicle & Traffic (Vehicle Operations) Regulations 2014 (Tas).

Contact:

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
GPO Box 1533
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Tel: 1300 872 677
Web: www.dpti.sa.gov.au

Or refer to division 3B of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) and regulation 6 of the Road Traffic (Light Vehicle Mass & Loading Requirements) Regulations 2013 (SA). 

Contact:

Access Canberra
PO Box 158
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Tel: 132 281 Fax: (02) 6207 6084
Web: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au
Email: vitu@act.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 292 of the Road Transport (Road Rules) Regulation 2017 (ACT).

Contact:

Department of Transport
140 William Street
PERTH WA 6000
Tel: (08) 6551 6000
Web: www.transport.wa.gov.au
Email: enquiries@transport.wa.gov.au

Or refer to Regulation 187 of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 (WA).

Contact:

Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
GPO Box 2520
DARWIN NT 0801
Tel: (08) 8999 5511
Web: www.transport.nt.gov.au

Or refer to regulation 24 of the Traffic Regulations (NT).

Load restraint for heavy vehicles

The Heavy Vehicle National Law applies in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Performance standards for load restraint are in Schedule 7 (pages 97–99) of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension and Loading) National Regulation.

The Load Restraint Guide 2018 includes guidance on how you may meet these performance standards. The NHVR owns this document and provides more information on the NHVR website.

Read more about the 2018 Load Restraint Guide on the NHVR website

For Western Australia, the loading requirements are in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014. The regulations reference the 2004 Load Restraint Guide.

For the Northern Territory, loading requirements are in the Traffic Regulations. As such, the performance standards on page 186 of the 2004 Load Restraint Guide apply. 

Read the 2004 Load Restraint Guide

Specific questions about heavy vehicle load restraint

If you’ve read the relevant guidance material and you’re still unsure how to meet the performance standards, consult someone who: 

  • is a chartered professional mechanical engineer
  • 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 questions about load restraint for heavy vehicles in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, you can also visit the NHVR website or phone 1300 696 487

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.