The first Heavy Vehicle Weights and Dimensions (HVWD) symposium was held in 1986 to mark the completion of the three-year Canadian Heavy Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Study. At the time, this was the most comprehensive size and weight study ever undertaken and it produced the first set of performance measures designed to support the regulatory process. The Roads and Transport Association of Canada organized the first symposium. It was held in a mountain resort near Kelowna BC far from any metropolitan center, capturing the delegates in close surroundings. The symposium was designed as a multidisciplinary event bringing together international experts in various fields of land transport. The synergy created during this event was remarkable and there was a strong consensus that a second symposium should be planned. In 1989 the second symposium (HVWD2) was held again in Kelowna Canada.
In 1992, the third symposium (HVWD3) was held at Cambridge University UK. During this conference it was decided to form an independent body to oversee future symposia and to foster communication and contact among practitioners of road transport. The organization was quickly created and formally named “The International Forum for Road Transport Technology” (IFRTT). Its first President was Byron Lord of the USA Federal Highway Administration.
The Forum was renamed in 2019 to the International Forum for Heavy Vehicle Transport & Technology (HVTT Forum) to better align with the name of HVTT Symposia. The current President of the HVTT Forum is Loes Aarts of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands.
The primary goal of the symposia is to bring together in close proximity, the various disciplines of road transport to broaden knowledge and perspective. The following are example areas of interest for the symposia:
Since Cambridge, further symposia have been held as follows:
In 2006, it was decided to change the name of the symposia from Heavy Vehicle Weights and Dimensions to Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology. This was done to reflect the fact that the scope of the symposia is much wider than simply size and weight issues.
These symposia have provided a unique opportunity to discuss the technology, safety and policy aspects of transport technology. The purpose of the Forum remains to formalize and support the running of regular international symposia and to facilitate information exchange between researchers, policy makers, regulators, road authorities and the transport industry.
All of the papers presented at these conferences are available in electronic form on this website.
Since the Forum was established, there has been a vast tide of international research co-operation, European Commission COST projects and NAFTA activities in North America. The Forum has played a role in publicizing and presenting the results from these international activities and provides an on-going opportunity for the international networks developed in these projects (which have a finite life) to continue and flourish.