Patrick Chu drawbar and drawbeam revocations – update for vehicle owners

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 2, 2019

An investigation into suspended Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) Patrick Chu‘s work has shown considerable non-compliance and, in a number of cases, significant safety concerns. As a result, the NZ Transport Agency has revoked all Patrick Chu certifications of drawbars and drawbeams.

The decision to revoke certifications was carefully considered by the NZTA and a group of independent industry experts. The experts provided technical advice, being mindful of both safety concerns and the impact to the heavy vehicle industry and capacity to organise re-certification. For these reasons, several exemptions have been issued (subject to conditions) and details are available at:

The NZTA is particularly concerned about:

  • significant errors in fatigue life assessment resulting in drawbars and drawbeams certified for longer than their viable life

  • errors in inspections including incorrect measurements of critical dimensions

  • no evidence of weld procedure or welder certification

  • poor bolting detail, including use of incorrect bolt sizes.

Letters containing exemption details have been mailed to affected vehicle owners.

A list of affected vehicles is available on NZTA‘s website and people are encouraged to search their vehicle plate number to see what exemption applies.

All of the information related to the Patrick Chu drawbar or drawbeam revocations is located on the website at, including:

  • Safety Alert – with details on how to check your towing connection

  • Guidance on how to be reimbursed by the Transport Agency

  • Sample letter sent to customers

  • Required forms

  • Simple flowcharts showing the process for each exemption applied

  • Questions and answers.

Daily checks: All revoked towing connections must be inspected daily or before use by the owner/operator as part of the routine walk-around inspection – guidelines are available on the drawbar/drawbeam Safety Alert dated 5 April 2019.

21-day inspection: If owners are applying for a three-month exemption, or are granted a three-month exemption, they are required to have the vehicle inspected within 21 days of receiving the letter granting the three-month exemption.

This inspection is not a re-certification. It‘s a check to ensure the towing connection is not showing visible signs of cracking or deterioration. An inspection form with instructions has been mailed to these customers and is also available on the NZTA‘s website‘s ‘Financial support‘ section at