The following description was taken from Ken Cowell and Kim Hassall: The Evolution of the Performance Based Standards Urban Rigid Truck
The development of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme in Australia began in the 1997/98 period. In 2006 the scheme was agreed by federal and State ministers although a significant number of High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs) had been operating successfully under State permit schemes prior 2006. With one exception, all the HPVs were heavy rigid trucks with trailers or longer articulated combinations such as Super B-Double, B-triples, or newer road train combinations often referred to as A-Doubles. However, in 2003 (Hassall, 2003) proposed a longer rigid truck for urban operations and this special design was also approved under permit after being performance modeled by ARRB in 2004, (Hood and Cristoforo). The vehicle was designed for the Australian Postal Corporation which arguably has the largest urban delivery networks in Australia.
The concept behind the PBS urban vehicle, which is an almost 14 metre rigid truck with four axles, one being a drive axle, was twofold: firstly, as a replacement vehicle for the large number of fleet three axle rigid vehicles, not in combination, (up to 28 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass) and secondly, as a replacement for a large number of decommissioned linehaul semi-trailers, six axle articulated combinations, that were now undertaking urban work. Many of these articulated vehicles had access restrictions. It was estimated that this new vehicle could save the national postal authority some six million kilometres per annum in major city travel, (NTC, 2005). In the face of massive growth domestically and internationally in urban e-commerce activity, this concept and introduction, of a new urban delivery truck is timely for manufacture consideration and introduction.