Sugar Cane Harvest Management Scheme

The Sugar Cane Harvest Management Scheme (SCHMS) applies to sugar cane deliveries from plantations to sugar cane mills operated by Sunshine Sugar on approved roads specified by participating councils and across the 4.6m high state road network.

The SCHMS will operate across the sugar cane harvest season from June to December each year and commenced in 2015. Under the SCHMS, eligible vehicles may exceed regulated total mass limits for specific cargo by up to five per cent.

Key features of the Scheme

  • The Scheme offers a mass concession consistent with the Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS)
  • The Scheme includes asset protection, safety, and compliance requirements to provide assurance for road managers and the community
  • Vehicles operating under this Scheme are only permitted to operate on approved routes on state roads and participating council roads
  • Access is by a permit issued to the transport operator with approved routes specified on the permit. All heavy vehicle permit applications must be submitted to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) via the NHVR Portal. Transport for NSW and local councils no longer issue permits directly to transport operators. If you require assistance utilising the NHVR Portal, please contact the NHVR on 1800 696 487.
  • Councils have the option to participate in the SCHMS for the complete period or for specific time periods and may also specify access conditions. This is part of the permit application approval process with the NHVR.
  • At present one transport operator has been approved to participate and operate under the SCHMS, facilitating their fleet of approximately 35 Semi-trailer combinations access to this concession.
  • Participants receiving deliveries under the SCHMS must report on all vehicle deliveries to Transport for NSW. The data reported will be used to:
    • monitor compliance with the NSW SCHMS mass limits and
    • assist in planning future improvements to the NSW SCHMS.

Eligible vehicles

Only eligible prime mover and semi-trailer combinations operated by the transport operator engaged by Sunshine Sugar may participate in this Scheme. Vehicles must be equipped with the following technologies:

  • Certified road friendly suspension on all axle groups of the combination, except the steer axle on the prime mover
  • Vehicles (hauling and trailing units) manufactured on or after 1 July 2015 must be equipped with a roll-over control system.

SCHMS mass limits

The total combination mass limits for a semi-trailer combination under the SCHMS are up to 5% above the General Mass Limits (GML)

The total mass of a semi-trailer may not exceed the lesser of:

  • The sum of axle mass limits, or
  • The Gross Combination Mass (GCM) for the prime mover, or
  • The sum of Gross Vehicle Masses of the prime mover and all trailers and dollies.

SCHMS semi-trailer combination total mass limits - Table 1



Mass Limit

44.63 tonnes A, D

SCHMS Semi-grailer axle and axle group mass limits - Table 2

Steer axle and axle groups

Mass limit

Single steer axle

6 tonnes B

Non-steer axles and axle groups (fitted with dual tyres)

Non-steer axles and axle groups (fitted with dual tyres)

Tandem axle group

17 tonnes

Tri-axle group

21.63 tonnes C, D

A. Steer axle mass exception (total mass limit) condition

A heavy vehicle may exceed the total mass limit in Table 1 by 0.5 tonnes for a Complying Steer Axle Vehicle as defined by section 3 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension, and Loading) National Regulation.

B. Steer axle mass exception (axle or axle group) condition

A heavy vehicle with a Complying Steer Axle as defined by section 3 of the Heavy Vehicle (Mass, Dimension, and Loading) National Regulation may exceed the 6 tonnes mass limit for a single steer axle in Table 2 by 0.5 tonnes.

C. Floating 0.5 tonne tri-axle mass limit concession

The mass on a tri-axle group of a semi-trailer may exceed the mass limit in Table 2 by 0.5 tonnes provided that the total mass of the combination does not exceed the total mass limit in Table 1.

D. National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) enrolment

In recognition of the accreditation of vehicles in the NHVAS Mass Management Accreditation Scheme, the 21.63t tri-axle group total mass limit in Table 2 and the total mass limit in Table 1 may be exceeded by 200 kilograms.


Standard mass limits

Standard mass limits + Complying Steer Axle

Standard mass limits + Complying Steer Axle+ NHVAS

Standard mass limits + Complying Steer Axle + NHVAS + Floating 0.5t

Steer Axle

6.0 tonnes

6.5 tonnes

6.5 tonnes

6.25 tonnes

Tandem Axle Group

17.0 tonnes

17.0 tonnes

17.0 tonnes

16.75 tonnes

Tri-axle Group

21.63 tonnes

21.63 tonnes

21.83 tonnes

22.33 tonnes


44.63 tonnes

45.13 tonnes

45.33 tonnes

45.33 tonnes

Approved routes

Eligible vehicles may operate under the SCHMS on approved 4.6m high vehicle routes on state classified roads and council roads as approved by the permit. Approved routes will be stated in an appendix to the permit.

Heavy vehicles operating under the SCHMS must not operate on unapproved 4.6m high vehicle roads or on roads, bridges or causeways that have a load limit sign prohibiting access.

The mass limits only apply within NSW borders. Permit vehicles shall comply with mass limits and travel requirements in other states.

Obligations and reporting

Approved participants receiving deliveries under the SCHMS are obligated to the following terms and conditions:

  • To provide data on all vehicle deliveries, including the identification of overloaded deliveries, on the 1st weekday of each month (in which the SCHMS is in operation), using the electronic data reporting template provided to Transport for NSW via
  • To have a process in operation for managing overloaded deliveries to ensure they meet their Chain of Responsibility obligations. Please note that the SCHMS is in place to encourage productivity but discourage the transport of illegal overloads on the road network.
  • To ensure the weigh bridges at their receival sites are certified in accordance with the National Measurement Act 1960 and that proof of calibration is available for inspection by Transport for NSW at all times.
  • To ensure that the requirements of section 248 of the Roads Act 1993 are met by providing evidence of the fact a certificate issued under the National Measurement Act 1960 that the device measure accurately at all times within the period of 12 months after that date.
  • To communicate evidence of mass breaches of NSW SCHMS masses to the parties in the Chain of Responsibility as far as practicable and keep evidence of this communication, to produce upon request by Transport for NSW.
  • To allow the use of the SCHMS data for the purpose of generating public SCHMS Reports.

To become a SCHMS participating receival site you must contact Transport for NSW via the email to sign an undertaking form, agreeing to and fulfilling the terms and conditions, as outlined above, of the undertaking form. You will be provided with a SCHMS data reporting template.

Compliance and enforcement

Transport for NSW will operate an ongoing compliance program.

Penalties may be imposed on one or more of the parties in the Chain of Responsibility for the load in the following circumstances:

  • Breaches of Scheme operating conditions
  • Breaches of Scheme axle mass limits and total mass limits
  • Non-compliance with approved routes.

Vehicles or combinations found to be breaching the SCHMS operating conditions will be assessed against the regulated mass limits and penalties will be applied accordingly.

Administration of the Scheme

Transport for NSW will administer the SCHMS including auditing collected data for compliance monitoring purposes.

At this present stage there will be no enrolment process or administration fee for the operator or vehicles operating under this Scheme.

More information

If you would like further information on this Scheme please email