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45/46 tonne general access changes

The VDAM Rule 2016 aims to set a reasonable balance between safety, productivity and use of New Zealand’s roads.

Read the VDAM 2016 Rule

To help address the increasing freight and passenger transport tasks, the VDAM Rule allows for new gross mass limits of:

  • 45,000kg (45 tonne) for 7-axle combinations with a minimum wheelbase of 16.8m.
  • 46,000kg (46 tonne) for 8-axle combinations with a minimum wheelbase of 17.4m.

The new gross mass limits will be phased in over two stages:

  1. From 1 February 2017 until 30 November 2017, vehicles utilising the new gross mass limits will be able to operate eligible vehicles on routes approved by RCAs and published on the NZ Transport Agency website.

    Take a look at the 45/46 tonne map(external link) to see what routes are currently accessible without requiring a permit. The map will continue to be updated as more routes are opened up for 45/46 tonne use. We recommend you check it regularly

    Note: If you take advantage of the increased gross mass limits and travel on a road not currently accessible on the 45/46 map, you will be over the limit for that road and non-compliant.

    For example, if your vehicle weighs 45 tonne and is travelling down a state highway shown on the map, you are operating legally. If you then turn onto a local road not on the map, and you have not obtained a permit for that local road, you are no longer compliant.

    Please also remember that weighing tolerances have reduced so check your information and routes carefully.

  2. From 1 December 2017, vehicles operating at the new limits will have general access on all local roads and state highways, except where restrictions are posted.

The two-stage approach gives time for bridge assessments to be completed, to identify any route restrictions and bridge postings required prior to making the new limits general access at 1 December 2017.

Read the VDAM question and answers