Quad bike safety standard - guidance for suppliers

The quad bike mandatory safety standard applies to all quad bikes and contains additional requirements for general use quad bikes. The following information is provided to help suppliers comply with the Standard.

Quad bikes covered by the Standard

The Standard applies to three categories of quad bikes:

  • general use (typically marketed as utility, work or agriculture)
  • sports
  • youth and transition (typically marketed as fun or kids ATVs).

The requirements of the Standard apply differently to different types of quad bikes. General use model quad bikes must comply with the entire Standard. Sports, youth and transition model quad bikes only need to comply with Parts 1, 2 and 4 of the Standard. The quad bike category a particular model falls within will primarily depend on its design features, performance characteristics and its intended use. For example:

  • A quad bike designed for adults with features such as a carry rack, tow bar and/or drive select system (2WD/4WD), is likely to be a general use quad bike because it can be used for both utility (on a farm) or recreational purposes. Type 1 quad bikes include one seat and Type II include two seats.
  • A quad bike with a high revving engine or sports tuned suspension which is designed to be ridden aggressively, is likely to be a sports quad bike because it would be inappropriate for use for utility or work activities.

The Standard only applies to quad bikes which are suited to off-road use. Some examples of off-road environments include bush-trails, rural properties and farms, and beaches. While the ACCC can only provide general advice, some indicators that a quad bike may not be suitable for off-road use include a lack of suspension and insufficient power to traverse inclines.

Quad bikes marketed as toys and/or targeting children may be captured by the Standard. However, this is unlikely to be the case if the quad bike is better suited for use in suburban backyards and public parks.

Complying with the Standard

All participants in the supply chain for quad bikes are responsible for ensuring quad bikes comply with the Standard. In practice, this means that manufacturers, importers, dealers, distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring quad bikes comply with the Standard.

The term ‘manufacturer’ extends to a person who imports goods into Australia if at the time of the importation, the manufacturer of the goods does not have a place of business in Australia.

Fitting operator protection devices to quad bikes

All participants in the supply chain are responsible for ensuring that general use quad bikes have an operator protection device (OPD) fitted or integrated into its design.

Quad bike suppliers must ensure that quad bikes have OPDs fitted before being supplied or offered for supply.

If a manufacturer or importer enters into an arrangement with another supplier to fit OPDs to its quad bikes, the manufacturer or importer remains liable if any non-compliant quad bikes are supplied.

Manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring the OPD they choose meets the requirements of the Standard.

Getting quad bikes tested

The ACCC does not recommend specific testing laboratories to suppliers, but has published general guidance about product safety testing.

For testing in general, information on accredited testers and details of the standards they are accredited, please go to the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) website.

Testing for lateral static stability

General use quad bikes are required to meet minimum stability requirements and must be tested for lateral static stability with an OPD fitted or integrated into its design. Schedule 1 of the Standard sets out the static stability test procedures required for finding out the angle to display on the hang tag.

Model variants

Suppliers may offer a range of variants of quad bike models. The variations may include additional features or aesthetic qualities.

The Standard requires that, when testing for lateral static stability, the quad bike is set up to kerb mass. Kerb mass is defined as 'all standard equipment fitted and vehicle fluids are to be filled to maximum capacity (engine oil, transmission and differential fluids, coolant, brakes and fuel)' in the Standard.

When determining whether to individually test a quad bike model variation, a manufacturer should consider whether the kerb mass of each variant:

  • is the same as the base model in its series
  • has a different mass distribution to the base model in its series.

Quad bike model variants, which do not impact kerb mass or mass distribution, such as an alternative paint application, would not require separate testing.

Getting OPDs tested

Selecting a compliant OPD

The Standard requires that OPDs must offer the same, or better, level of protection for operators from the risk of serious injury or death as a result of being crushed or pinned in the event of a rollover, as is offered by the Quadbar or ATV Lifeguard (see sub-sections 15(a) and (b) of the Standard).

The ACCC’s role does not include certifying or endorsing OPDs as being compliant under the Standard.

For more information on Operator Protection Devices, see: Operator protection devices (OPDs).

Testing Operator Protection Devices

The Standard does not prescribe the methods for testing OPDs, and it is open to quad bike manufacturers to determine how they ensure their OPD of choice complies.

The ACCC recommends that quad bike manufacturers should either:

  • conduct their own testing, using suitable in-house expertise and facilities
  • commission a certification agency to assess the OPD and provide written certification of compliance with the Standard
  • commission reliable, independent and preferably accredited laboratories to test the OPD and issue them with test reports
  • ask the OPD supplier for written evidence of compliance with the Standard through third-party product certification or product testing, including copies of test reports, preferably from accredited test bodies or laboratories.

For more information on product testing, see: Product testing.

The ACCC’s role

The ACCC, in partnership with state and territory consumer protection agencies, is responsible for administering the Standard.

The ACCC’s compliance and enforcement approach

The ACCC may take enforcement action where non-compliance with the Standard is identified.

Enforcement action may range from issuing infringement notices commencing court action seeking penalties and other orders.

Conducting surveillance and ensuring compliance with the Standard, including promoting compliance through education, is a priority for the ACCC in 2021. Further information is available in the ACCC’s compliance and enforcement policy and Product Safety Priorities.

More information