Drive heavy combination vehicle


This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to drive a heavy combination vehicle safely.

It includes maintaining systematic and efficient control of all vehicle functions, monitoring traffic and road conditions, managing vehicle condition and performance, coupling and uncoupling a trailer, and effectively managing hazardous situations.

Driving must be carried out in accordance with relevant state/territory roads and traffic authority licence requirements and regulations for heavy combination vehicles.

Driving is performed with limited supervision, and duty of care responsibility for self and others in achieving the prescribed outcomes.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.


Drive heavy combination vehicle


Heavy combination vehicle is started, steered, manoeuvred, positioned and stopped in accordance with traffic regulations and manufacturer instructions


Engine power is managed to ensure efficiency and performance, and to minimise engine and gear damage


Engine operation is maintained within the manufacturer specified torque range and temperature, through effective gear selection and smooth transition in gear changes


Heavy combination vehicle braking system is managed and operated to ensure effective vehicle control under all conditions


Driving hazards are identified and/or anticipated and avoided or controlled through defensive driving


Heavy combination vehicle is driven in reverse, maintaining visibility and achieving accurate positioning


Heavy combination vehicle is parked, uncoupled, shut down and secured in accordance with manufacturer specifications, traffic regulations and workplace procedures


Over width and overweight permit applications are completed and submitted in accordance with relevant regulatory requirements as required


Appropriate signage and lights are checked for operational effectiveness and for conformity to prescribed traffic regulations


Appropriate procedures are followed in a driving emergency


Monitor traffic and road conditions


Most efficient route of travel is taken by monitoring and anticipating traffic flows and conditions, road standards and other factors likely to cause delays or route deviations


Traffic and road conditions are constantly monitored and acted on to enable safe operation and to ensure no injury to people or damage to property, equipment loads and facilities


Monitor and maintain vehicle performance


Vehicle performance is maintained through pre-operational inspections and vehicle checks


Prime mover and trailer are aligned and coupled in accordance with manufacturer instructions and workplace procedures


Coupled vehicle is checked and tested to ensure it is correctly secured and to confirm it is fully operational


Performance and efficiency of vehicle operation is monitored during use


Defective or irregular performance or malfunctions are reported to appropriate authority


Vehicle records are maintained/updated and information is processed in accordance with workplace procedures

Evidence of Performance

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria on at least one occasion and include:

applying map reading and road navigation techniques

applying precautions and required action to minimise, control or eliminate identified hazards

checking and replenishing fluids and carrying out lubrication processes

completing relevant documentation

demonstrating low-risk driving behaviours

monitoring and anticipating traffic hazards and taking appropriate action

monitoring performance of vehicle, its trailers and its equipment, and taking appropriate action as required

reading and interpreting relevant instructions, procedures, information and signs

reporting and/or rectifying identified problems, faults or malfunctions promptly, in accordance with regulatory requirements and workplace procedures.

Evidence of Knowledge

Evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to and satisfy all of the requirements of the elements and performance criteria and include knowledge of:

causes and effects of fatigue on drivers

differences between transmission types

driving hazards and related defensive driving techniques

efficient driving techniques

engine power management and safe driving strategies

factors that increase fatigue-related accidents

factors that may cause traffic delays and diversions, and related action that can be taken

fatigue management strategies including on-road techniques

heavy combination vehicle controls, instruments and indicators, and their use

heavy combination vehicle handling procedures

lifestyles that promote effective long-term fatigue management

map reading and navigation of vehicle and related action

pre-operational checks carried out on heavy combination vehicle and related action

principles of operation of air brakes and procedures for their use

principles of stress management when driving a vehicle

procedures to be followed in a driving emergency

relevant state/territory road traffic authority road rules, regulations, permit and licence requirements

relevant work health and safety (WHS)/occupational health and safety (OHS) and environmental procedures and regulations

workplace driving and operational instructions.

Assessment Conditions

As a minimum, assessors must satisfy applicable regulatory requirements, which include requirements in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations current at the time of assessment.

As a minimum, assessment must satisfy applicable regulatory requirements, which include requirements in the Standards for Registered Training Organisations current at the time of assessment.

Assessment must occur in workplace operational situations where it is appropriate to do so; where this is not appropriate, assessment must occur in simulated workplace operational situations that replicate workplace conditions.

Assessment processes and techniques must be appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the work being performed and the needs of the candidate.

Assessment of this unit may be undertaken within a licensing examination conducted, by or under the authority of, the relevant state/territory road traffic authority.

Resources for assessment include:

a range of relevant exercises, case studies and/or simulations

applicable documentation including workplace procedures, regulations, codes of practice and operation manuals

relevant materials, tools, equipment and personal protective equipment currently used in industry

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance are explicit in the performance criteria of this unit of competency.

Range Statement

Range is restricted to essential operating conditions and any other variables essential to the work environment.

Non-essential conditions can be found in the Companion Volume Implementation Guide.


Not applicable.

Competency Field

C – Vehicle Operation