9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, Oct 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/10/2004   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All

Articulated trucks

Motor vehicles constructed primarily for load carrying, consisting of a prime mover which has no significant load carrying area, but with a turntable device which is linked to a semitrailer.

Average load carried

Average load carried is calculated by dividing the total weight carried by the number of trips made while carrying a load.


A B-Double combination consists of a prime mover towing two semitrailers. The first trailer includes a turntable which links to the second trailer, rather than using a dolly to link the trailers as in road train configurations.


Motor vehicles constructed for the carriage of passengers. Included are all motor vehicles with 10 or more seats, including the driver's seat.

Business kilometres

Distance travelled for hire and reward, or charged to a business expense, or for which an allowance was received. All distances travelled for business purposes, irrespective of actual use, and irrespective of vehicle type, are included in total business kilometres. The laden-unladen dissection of distance travelled for business purposes relates only to freight vehicles, i.e. light commercial vehicles, rigid trucks and articulated trucks.

Capital city

These areas are based on capital city Statistical Divisions as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2003.

Sydney - this includes the area bounded by Gosford and Wyong; Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains; Campbelltown, Wollondilly and the Sutherland Local Government Areas.

Melbourne - this includes the area bounded by Werribee, Melton, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Whittlesea, Healesville, Warburton, Berwick, Pakenham and the whole of Mornington Peninsula.

Brisbane - this includes the area bounded by Caboolture, the eastern part of the Pine Rivers Shire, Redcliffe City, Redland Shire, Beenleigh, Logan City and the City of Ipswich.

Adelaide - this includes the area bounded by the Gulf of St. Vincent, the Gawler River and the Mount Lofty Ranges from Gawler to Bridgewater through Kangarilla and Willunga to Sellicks Beach.

Perth - this includes the area bounded by Yanchep and Bullsbrook; Warnbro, Keysbrook and Wooroloo.

Hobart - this includes the area bounded by New Norfolk; Sorell and Carlton Creek; Brighton and Snug.

Darwin - this includes Darwin and suburbs, Palmerston and other areas north of the Howard Springs turn-off.

Canberra - this includes all of the Australian Capital Territory.

Commodity carried

The publication of commodities carried is based on the 10 sectional groupings of the Australian Transport Freight Commodity Classification (ATFCC), with the addition of Tools of Trade.


A device intended to link two semitrailers or a rigid truck and a semitrailer.

Freight vehicles

Consists of light commercial vehicles, rigid trucks and articulated trucks.

Fuel consumption

Fuel consumption is calculated by aggregating the total kilometres travelled multiplied by reported average rate of fuel consumption for each vehicle.

Fuel consumption (average)

The average rate of fuel consumption is calculated by dividing the total fuel consumption by total kilometres travelled for each type of vehicle.

Gross Combination Mass (GCM)

Tare weight (i.e. unladen weight) of the motor vehicle and attached trailers, plus their maximum carrying capacity. In the survey, this was obtained for vehicles operated in combination (e.g. a prime mover/semitrailer combination, or a rigid truck/trailer combination).

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)

Tare weight (i.e. unladen weight) of the motor vehicle, plus its maximum carrying capacity. In the survey, this was obtained for buses and rigid trucks not usually towing trailers.


This refers to any travel by vehicles outside their state or territory of registration.

Light commercial vehicles

Motor vehicles constructed for the carriage of goods and which are less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes GVM. Included are utilities, panel vans, cab-chassis and goods carrying vans (whether four-wheel drive or not).

Non-freight carrying trucks

Specialist motor vehicles or motor vehicles fitted with special purpose equipment, and having little or no goods carrying capacity, e.g. ambulances, cherry pickers, fire trucks and tow trucks.

Other Urban Areas

These are based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2003 as being either Statistical Districts with a population greater than 40,000 or clusters of collection districts and other urban areas with a population greater than 40,000, based on the 2001 Population Census.

New South Wales - within the areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Wollongong, Kiama, Bathurst-Orange, Maitland, Albury (excluding Wodonga), Hume, Wagga Wagga, Tweed Heads (excluding Gold Coast), Queanbeyan (excluding Canberra ACT), Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Greater Taree, Tamworth, Shellharbour, Cessnock, Nelson Bay, Port Macquarie and Nowra.

Victoria - within the areas of Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wodonga (excluding Albury), Shepparton, La Trobe Valley and Mildura.

Queensland - within the areas of The Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Gold Coast (excluding Tweed Heads), and Toowoomba.

Western Australia - within the areas of Mandurah and Bunbury.

Tasmania - within the areas of Launceston, Burnie, Devonport, Penguin, Ulverston, Wynyard and Latrobe.

This category is not applicable in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Passenger vehicles

Motor vehicles constructed primarily for the carriage of persons and containing up to nine seats (including the driver's seat). Included are cars, station wagons, four-wheel drive passenger vehicles, passenger vans or mini buses with fewer than 10 seats and campervans.

Prime movers

Motor vehicles constructed primarily for towing semitrailers. Prime movers have no significant load carrying area but are fitted with a turntable for linking to a semitrailer.

Rigid trucks

Motor vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes GVM, constructed with a load carrying area. Included are normal rigid trucks with a tow bar, draw bar or other non-articulated coupling on the rear of the vehicle.

Road trains

Motor vehicles comprising a prime mover hauling two or more trailers and employing a dolly or a rigid truck hauling two or more trailers.

Relative standard error (RSE)

The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers.


Trailers designed to impose a substantial load on the towing vehicle, usually via a turntable on a prime mover.

Standard error (SE)

Indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of vehicles was included.


Stratification is the process where a population is divided into homogeneous groups called strata that are non-overlapping, and together comprise the whole population. This technique uses auxiliary information to increase the efficiency of a sample design and units are selected independently within each stratum.


Total tonne-kilometres is the aggregation of the number of tonnes moved multiplied by the distance travelled in kilometres for each individual vehicle carrying freight. Note that it is not the aggregation of the total number of tonnes moved by total kilometres travelled by all vehicles carrying freight.

Tonnes carried

Total tonnes carried is the total weight of goods and freight carried during the survey period. The estimate of total tonnes carried relates to goods and freight uplifted by vehicles and therefore will overstate the actual physical quantity of goods and freight moved during the survey period to the extent that transhipment occurs (i.e. the transfer of goods and freight from one vehicle to another).

Travel to and from work

The travel between place of residence and place of work at the beginning and end of all working days, including travel to and from public transport stations.