In my previous article on maintenance  I talked about the requirement in Land Transport Rules that vehicles must be maintained within safe tolerance of OE. There does seem to be some confusion between the term safe tolerance and the term minimum compliance which is the requirement for obtaining a CoF.

The definition of safe tolerance is clear, it basically means that a vehicle should be maintained with all its components within the manufacturer’s tolerance limits – as new – and this is covered in the previous article.

The term minimum compliance, not so much, however it is generally taken to mean doing the least possible to ensure that your vehicle passes its CoF when it is due knowing that the Agency has set a minimum compliance standard for safety well below OE – for example, the minimum compliance for tyres is a tread depth of 1.6mm while a new truck tyre will have a tread depth of 10-15mm. How about brakes? The minimum compliance is a deceleration of 0.5g as tested on a roller brake machine however as supplied by the manufacturer the vehicle will have a deceleration of around 0.75 to 0.85g.

The problem here is complacency. You know the CoF is a snapshot in time, not a guarantee of compliance for the next six months but how often do you hear the bewildered statement; ‘What do you mean its unsafe/worn out? It only got a CoF a month ago’.

Minimum compliance is just that – minimum. Any less compliant and its non-compliant! If a call is made at a roadside stop that your ‘minimum compliance’ is now ‘non-compliance’ due to the continuous wear and deterioration suffered by all things mechanical you face an offence notice or even being green or pink stickered and placed off the road until repairs are made. A very expensive way to save a few dollars scrimping on maintenance!

Minimum compliance is not a maintenance standard, it is the bottom line before substantial maintenance is required. The real maintenance standard, as required in the Repair Rule and other Land Transport Rules is; Within Safe Tolerance of OE.  Maintaining to this standard will mean first time CoF passes, no offence or defect notices at roadside stops, less breakdowns, more productivity and lower overall costs. A win-win – why wouldn’t you?