New NSW Road Rule for Caravans and Trailers

Submitted: Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 21:07
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All,
I draw your attention to the following issue that was in the minutes of a regular meeting of the NSW Association of Caravan Clubs, posted in my club's website. I cannot give you a link as it's a closed group - you will have to find your own link. Sorry.

New Road Rule
The President (of NSW Association of Caravan Clubs) drew attention to an amendment to the Road Rules whereby the definition of a “Vehicle” now includes a trailer as one unit. RMS inspection sites north of about Newcastle have changed the road signs requiring vehicles over 4.5 tonnes to enter the inspection station. This would include most tow vehicles and a caravan. Mt White station [and some others, but not all] still only require vehicles over 8 tonnes to enter.
Words in square brackets are mine following my research.

I spent some time at my local branch of Service NSW this morning. No-one at the counter knew anything about it but after a lot of me waiting on their phone (over 30 minutes) and them chasing people up, they were able to talk to an expert in Roads and Maritime Services head office.
The report above is confirmed - if the GCM (Gross Combination Mass) of your tug and van combination is captured by the signage (eg, vehicles over 4.5 tonne must enter the checking station) then, if your GCM is over 4.5 Tonne or whatever the signage says and you're towing, you must enter and presumably be inspected.

If they are using 4.5 tonnes as per the example in the Association's minutes, then I think just about every owner of a reasonably sized tug pulling a reasonably sized caravan or camper will be affected.

Remember, it's GCM - what you CAN have, not what you ACTUALLY have in terms of mass of your combination.

Some inspection stations have cameras to photograph vehicles that do not enter when they should, so I guess if you drive by they could send you a please explain or a bluey. With interstate plates they may not bother.

I have contacted my State MP to tell him about this and to ask what is being done about a public education campaign.

In the meantime it would seem that for nomads it's time to familiarise yourselves with safety chains (crossed, not parallel like many are, not overly slack like many are, adequate shackles rated or not - still a bone of contention and weights - overloading etc.)

Because if you have to go into an inspection station that's what they'll be checking.

And if you don't know about this rule change and go sailing past a camera monitored checking station you could end up with a please explain or a bluey in the mail.

NSW folk, I suggest you talk to your local state member and ask about what public education campaign is happening or proposed. And what to do in the meantime, as in drive past or join the queue of trucks.

Interstaters - who knows?
FrankP

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Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 22:37

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 22:37
So there's a good chance that a very large amount of caravaners will be getting booked for operating over 4.5t with a C class license time will tell. Then there will be an uproar from the people who claim they didn't realise they were driving illegally the market will be flooded with cheap 2nd hand vans in the near future.
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Follow Up By: Been-Everywhereman - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 08:57

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 08:57
4500kgs only relates to the towing vehicle and not the combination
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Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 23:05

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 23:05
Yes and they will chase you if you are caught failing to enter and they have heard every excuse under the sun. Back in the mid 90's I was a passenger in a HR truck and told the driver to pull into Mt White because the lights were on he said she'll be right wasn't he surprised when a vehicle pulled up beside us and got him to pull over and from memory I think he was told it was upwards of a $500 fine for failing to enter the weigh station.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 00:06

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 00:06
In the past it has been GVM over 4.5T, not actual weight and not GCM.

If it is GCM of 4.5T and over, it will not matter if you are towing or not and it will apply to almost every vehicle on the road.

They will quickly get sick of that. Someone has cocked it up.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 06:02

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 06:02
Guess the best would be to stay away from the Pacific Hwy central coast to the Qld border, as there are the only 2 stations that pull in 4.5t from memory.

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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:01

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:01
Eagle, "from memory", above mentioned only two inspection places in NSW. And what about the half dozen or so crews that wander around. I don't really know how many they are, but wouldn't be surprised if the number is 6 or more.

Anyway, let's face it, what training is needed to tow, including how to actually tow them, how to hook up and look after a van etc? Zip!! I don't think that there is any. Well there weren't any when we had a van.

Isn't this a sign of what was to be expected when we have so many twits out there that really don't have a clue. Yes, I know there are plenty that do. But . . . .

Phil

PS What would be the GCM for a T-Van and Patrol/Toyota?
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:14

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:14
An 80 series & a 2009 TVan would be 4.21 t ( 2960 for the 80 series & 1250 for the TVan)
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:06

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:06
Thanks

That would mean our 100 + t-van would be 4950 Kg. We have a GVM of 3700. But I wonder if they would chase us as the standard GVM for a 100 series GXL is 3250 (I think).

Just to be safe, the next time we hire one (doubt that), I think that I would pull over. They can just as easily say thanks and send us on our way. Unlike others, we don't mind "playing safe".

Phil
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:47

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:47
Phil, big difference. Fixed inspection stations have signage showing what weights have to enter. The mobile guys just pull you in, they can pull anyone in, whether it is a mini or a road train.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:31

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:31
batsy that would be a loaded 80 ser at 2,960kg factory kerb weight starts at around 2,080kg for base models. It would be up to each driver to weight their vehicle when loaded up for a trip if they think they are close to 4.5t so they are familiar with the weight they would be carting.
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:55

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:55
GCM is the gross combined mass ie the maximum possible combined weight not GTM - gross combined tare weight as I understand it.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:55

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:55
Definitions of motor vehicles
Tare the weight from the factory with filled radiator and oil and max 10L fuel
Kerb weight (AUS) same as above but with full fuel tanks
GVM Gross vehicle mass The max legal loaded weight set by MFG includes TBW when towing
Group axle load the legal maximum weight imposed on an axle set
Caravans
Tare Dry weight from factory without any fluids or gas but could include any FACTORY FITTED accessories. Does not include anything fitted later at dealers etc
GTM Gross Trailer Mass The maximum legal limit of weight on the wheels only
ATM Aggregate Trailer Mass The maximum legal limit of weight on the wheels and the jockey wheel
GCVM Gross Combined Vehicle Mass The total maximum legal weight of the tug and the van when connected together.
This is the combination of the GVM of the tug and the GTM of the van
All of the above are statutory limits and are not weighable as such. They are the legal limits for each vehicle
Lastly what you have to consider is the ACTUAL LOADED weight which is what your rig weighs at any one time and which should be under the above limits.
Reference herehttp://withoutahitch.com.au/caravan/understanding-caravan-towing-capacity/
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 18:39

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 18:39
Not all this information is correct in Victoria, and I presume other States.
GCVM is not a term I have heard of or is it referenced in the article given as a reference.
GCM or Gross Combined Mass is a figure set by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum weight that the vehicle is engineered to safely handle. It is most definitely is NOT the combination of " the GVM of the tug and the GTM of the van"
The term GCM is used in setting our road laws. Manufactures set this figure knowing that if they get it wrong they would become liable should accidents be attributed to a GCM that was to high. It gives certainty to any vehicle operator or policing authority as to the maximum weight any vehicle setup can be.

In reply to another post below I have given some examples for a D-Max which may help people understand the numbers.

I urge everybody who tows heavy loads to educate themselves not only what is legal but also what is safe. What is allowed by law is usually in ideal conditions, dry, sunny, flat and straight. When its wet, or dark, or winding, or hilly, then only a fool would believe he is safe because he is within the law. I would suggest you give yourself a margin to take account of the conditions not being ideal.

Lastly don't do what I say, or TomH says. Read what we have both written and then make your own inquiries from other sources and satisfy yourself that you know what is legal and what is safe because it is yours and your passengers lives that may depend on it.

This advice is given with all care but no responsibility. You are responsible for what you do.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 08:45

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 08:45
Ok so I put a V in there maybe incorrectly.
However if you read the link I provided they post the same criteria for GCM so someone must be correct.
I did say it is the maximum allowable legal weight of the combination which it is.
For some makes is a stated weight and for others is GVM plus max permitted towing limit.
If you weigh your rig on a weighbridge and your tug is loaded to GVM incl towball weight
What is the weight of the van described as.
Example with a Ballweight of 300kg and GCM of 6000kg towing limit of 3500kg Van is at ATM of 3100kg
Roll onto bridge Tug weighs full GVM of 3200 kg roll forward Whole rig weighs 6000kg.
What is the term for the weight of the van in this scenario.
If its not GTM I dont know what it is

The RACQ seem to know about GCVM

http://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/safety-on-the-road/driving-safely/carrying-loads
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 14:30

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 14:30
"The RACQ seem to know about GCVM" The RACQ can use what ever terminology they like, but GCVM is not in the Legislation and irrelevant and only confusing in this discussion.
The definition you give above for GCVM is in fact the same as GCM. After that definition you give above you go on to say "This is the combination of the GVM of the tug and the GTM of the van" These are your words, they are not in the legislation, and they are wrong. The vehicle manufacturer sets the GCM at a weight that they have engineered the vehicle to cope with safely. They reason you cannot exceed your GCM is it is unsafe as the manufacturer has stated that the braking and handling abilities of the vehicle cannot handle more than this weight. You will find in most, if not all, vehicles that the GVM plus the manufacturers stated maximum towing capacity will be higher than the vehicles GCM.
If you are weight tested, they weigh without disconnecting the trailer 4 things, the back axle, the vehicle, the vehicle and trailer together, and the trailer. To be legal (1) the back axle weight cannot exceed the manufactures load rating for the back axle(refer to the vehicles spec sheet), (2) the vehicle weight (which includes the ball weight) must not exceed the vehicles GVM, (3) the weight of the vehicle and trailer cannot exceed the vehicles GCM, (4) the trailer weight cannot exceed the weight as shown on the manufacturers compliance plate. Give them any lip and they may weigh the front axle as well if they think it maybe over the allowed weight. More $$$. Quite simple really.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 15:21

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 15:21
How much more can be said. . . GCM, GVM, GCVM, ICBM, SOS, QRT, ZGN, CSA (where I worked) and BAE (also worked) . . . . .

It's quite simple really. Keep the car under the GVM (including with the van hitched) and you should be fine.

Phil

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 15:57

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 15:57
Phil
At the risk of getting a reply from you all in CAPS, I hope it is OK to share a story with you :-)
A few months ago a brand new van pulled by a brand new Sahara 200 parked next to us at a overnight roadside stop.
We got chatting in the morning, as you do, and he explained they were on their maiden trip.
I was curious about the legality of his setup and diplomatically asked a few questions. All OK was his response - both GVM and GCM were within limits (just)
But he did say he was a bit concerned with the ball weight as it was 400kg.
Given the wheelbase (~2m) and overhang of the hitch (~1.5m), I explained that 400kg on the ball meant a 600kg load on the rear axle, and given the extra gear in the back of the Sahara plus the distributed weight of the 2 people, I said he might want to check the rear axle loading to make sure it was within spec. [My estimate would be approx 800kg] .He had no idea what I was talking about.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 16:10

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 16:10
I wasn't shouting. I just wanted people to read it. I have found out how to subscribe.

Tnx Andrew
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 18:11

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 18:11
Please then give me your opinion on the example I set out
I know the two definitions mean the same so why make such a fuss about it
I also know the term GCM is a term for a stipulated rating rather than an actual weight
However when you weigh your rig what are you supposed to call that weight
GCM or combined loaded weight or what.
I did say this and stand by it
It is the maximum ALLOWABLE LEGAL WEIGHT of the combination which it is.
Taking into account the factors you set out regarding axle weights etc
For some makes is a stated combined weight and for others is GVM plus max permitted towing limit.
Yes it is the weight set by manufactures for safety etc but when you have to figure out what do do with how you acheive it is basically what I said
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 19:51

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 19:51
Tom, what are the makes that have as their GCM the GVM plus permitted towing limit? I think people would like to know which category their setup falls.
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 22:50

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 22:50
My apologies Idler Chris however unless I have misinterpreted your words I must take issue with your statement: [GCM or Gross Combined Mass is a figure set by the vehicle manufacturer as the maximum weight that the vehicle is engineered to safely handle. It is most definitely is NOT the combination of "the GVM of the tug and the GTM of the van"]
In fact the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) IS the sum of the loaded weight of the tug plus the loaded weight of the vehicle being towed. Hence the term ‘Combined’. The following definition is copied and pasted directly from the ADR Third Edition Definitions:
GROSS COMBINATION MASS - value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass’ of the drawing vehicle plus the sum of the ‘Axle Loads’ of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer. This definition can be found at: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012C00326
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 13:07

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 13:07
Hi Blown4by, no need to apologise you are only trying to understand a complex issue and I am only trying to explain it, but not to well to date it seems. I will have another go as I now think I have some idea where you are coming from.

You and OP are saying that if you take your vehicle and attached trailer to a weighbridge the total weight is the gross combination weight. If you apply everybodys normal understanding of the english language I would agree you.

What this post is all about are legal weight limits for goods carrying vehicles as set out according to the ADR's and the road rules. You have sourced from the legislation the definition of GCM and I agree 100% with it. Great job it should help in the explanation. The thing to note in this definition is that it is a weight specified by the Manufacturer. It is a fixed figure, it never varies, even if you do a GVM upgrade this figure does not alter. In the case of a D-Max 4x4, Isuzu have set the GCM at 2950. This model came out in 2012 so EVERY D-Max 4x4 since that date has a GCM of 2950, no exceptions. What we now see is that we have two (2) definitions for the term GCM. One being that set out in the ADR's which is a fixed figure determinded by the Manufacturer, and that used by people applying their understanding of the english language which gives a variable figure depending on vehicle and/or trailer loadings when it goes over the weighbridge. This is one of the factors causing all the confusion. Clearly we will get nowhere in understanding this issue if the one term (GCM) has two definitions. We cannot change the ADR's so we should all accept that the GCM is that specified by the manufacturer which is a fixed figure. I would suggest that when we refer to the weighbridge weight of a vehicle with a trailer attached that we call it say "the all up weight". When you think about it it makes sense because if the GCM was the weighbridge weight, and we know the road rules say you cannot be over your GCM, on this basis you would never be overweight because the figures would be the same.

So how does a manufacturer ascertain the GCM for the load carrying vehicles they manufacture? You have to read the definition in the ADR's very very carefully to understand it. The key words are "specified for the vehicle by the Manufacturer" and "any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer" So what is "any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer"? When a Manufacturer designs and builds a load carrying vehicle it must design all components to cope with a certain load or weight. The engine, transmission, drivetrain, suspension, electronic controls, like the ESC, and most importantly the braking system will all have a design limit. The Manufacturer will use the lowest of these individual limits as a starting point, probably deduct a margin for safety and that is what they calculate as the vehicle's safest total weight, or you may also call it the maximum design weight. The Manufacturer then applies the ADR rule to calculate the GCM which is the maximum of the GVM, which is known, plus the weight of "any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer". The total weight thats capable of being towed is quite clearly the safest total weight or design weight less the vehicles GVM. Again this makes sense as only the Manufacturer who designs and builds a vehicle can possible know what a safe GCM is. The reason you are penalised if you are over your vehicles GCM is because the Manufacturer has determind that over that weight it is unsafe.

Now we all know that in the ute market if your ute cannot tow 3500kgs you are at a serious disadvantage to your competitors. So they all rate and advertise that their ute can tow 3500kgs. What they don't tell you is that you cannot tow 3500kgs at your full GVM. If you want to tow 3500kgs then the maximum weight including ball weight that you tug can be is the GCM less 3500kgs.
You have flexibility with weights provided the tug plus ball weight is never over the GVM, the trailer is never over the Manufacturers stated maximum towing weight, and the combined weights together are not over the vehicles GCM.

Hopefully most people will now have a better understanding of the ADR's and road rules as they apply to vehicle weights. You may find it helpful to re-read my previous posts, particully the ones with worked examples, they may make more sense now and help your understanding of these matters.

Going back to Frank P's original post. I would suggest that the minutes he quotes are just not quite right. If new signs pop up at weight stations I am sure someone will take a photo and post it so we can all understand what it really means. Hopefully most of you now know enough that should you see any signs before a weigh station you will know if it applies to you.

I notice around Melbourne lately there are popping up self serve weighbridges that give the weight of your tug and trailer separately and all up. I can only suggest that if you have any doubts at all that you comply with all the axle, GVM, GCM and ATM weights that you have your rig weighed so you know what your situation is so your can decide what actions, if any, you choose to take.

Its taken a few hours to write this but my efforts pale into insignificance compared to say Doug T, and if I have saved anyone from being fined, then its been well worth it.
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 15:25

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 15:25
Thanks Idler Chris. I don't understand why the GCM issue is being treated as complicated or difficult to understand because it is relatively simple. Believe me. This is the area I deal in for a job. Firstly there is no difference between what the NA category vehicle manufacturers compliance plate states is the GCM and what the ADR says the GCM is. What is quoted in the ADR is the 'definition' only. What is on the compliance plate is the maximum GCM the vehicle manufacturer has calculated from an engineering viewpoint the vehicle and trailer can be loaded to for safety and durability. i.e. so it won't break and will still be covered by warranty. As you stated many things would be considered such as chassis strength, drive line strength, braking ability, effect on ESC, ability to achieve and maintain speeds on certain gradients, vehicle stability and so on. All Australian complied vehicles state on their Compliance Plate: 'This vehicle is manufactured to comply with the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989'. This is confirmation that the vehicle complies with the respective ADR's for the vehicle category and type. What is unhelpful is that non-commercial category vehicles i.e. MA, MB & MC do not have the GCM quoted and has already been said the Vehicle Handbook must be consulted for guidance re towing capacity. Insofar as the law goes all Australian licensing jurisdictions will not permit the manufacturers stated GCM to be exceeded. If it is exceeded at best there will be a penalty and at worst should an accident occur the vehicle driver may be civilly liable at law, comprehensive insurance cover may be voided, vehicle warranty may be voided and it may be shown the driver is negligent. As far as putting the combination over a weighbridge the resultant weight is still the GCM but it is the ACTUAL GCM as opposed to the legal maximum GCM stated by the manufacturer and accepted as such by the Licensing authority. The ACTUAL GCM will either be under or over the maximum allowed. If it is over then the options may be:
Remove some unnecessary accessories or payload from either vehicle
Replace the tug with another of higher GCM capacity i.e. get the right size vehicle for the job.
Buy a smaller Caravan.
Leave it overweight and hope 'it' never happens - The 'ignorance is bliss' theory.
Stay home.
Re your statement: '[In the case of a D-Max 4x4, Isuzu have set the GCM at 2950. This model came out in 2012 so EVERY D-Max 4x4 since that date has a GCM of 2950, no exceptions.]' I think you mean GVM 2950 and not GCM. If the GCM were 2950 the vehicle would not be able tow a trailer apart from a very small one when the tug is unloaded. Don't worry about the confusion this stuff does my head in too after a while.
Refer: http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/perl/40096_840316R_RVD_22Apr2009084534.cmd
Your statement: ‘[So they all rate and advertise that their ute can tow 3500kgs.]’ is somewhat of a misnomer. Reason being, they rate their vehicles according to the Compliance Plate and the spec sheets. Any Dealer who advertises differently would come under scrutiny of Consumer Affairs and would be in breach of their Dealers License as well as their distribution agreement with the vehicle manufacturer and should an accident occur as a result of their misinformation they could be liable at law. That said, I have no doubt many Salespersons not wanting to lose a sale to a competitor will tell the prospective buyer whatever they want to hear regarding carrying and towing capacity. Some, less than economic with the truth, Caravan Salespersons do the same and tell the prospective buyer their X-Trail can tow 3000kg, No Worries.
Regarding your statement: ‘[You may find it helpful to re-read my previous posts, particully the ones with worked examples, they may make more sense now and help your understanding of these matters.]’ I have no trouble understanding these matters, however I think if you are providing information to those who do not understand these matters, and there are many out there, you need to be sure the information you are providing is 100% correct because many take what is stated in these posts as gospel and incorrect information could result in an accident.
The idea of ‘self-serve’ weighbridges is an excellent one because in Perth there are less than a handful of Public Weighbridges. This number is becoming less and less because the private businesses that have them are becoming increasingly concerned about Public Liability issues. This is understandable because loaded Road Trains mixing with the average Mum’s and Dad’s inability to reverse trailers and re-connect them once uncoupled is holding up industry and is a safety recipe for disaster.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 15:44

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 15:44
Great reply Blown4by 100% agree with everything you said. OOps, I reread my post at least a dozen times but one still slipped through. Being a human and being prone to error is very frustrating. Yes I did quote the wrong figure for the GCM of the D-Max it should have read 5950kgs.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 21:10

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 21:10
You still havent answered how youshould describe the weight of the van in the example I provided

Read here about weights and GCM

http://www.beadelltours.com.au/tow.html


Apparently Toyota dont specify a GCM for a 200 ser cruiser They didnt originally but it may have changed
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 23:25

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 23:25
Hi Tom,

GCM for a 200 series is 6850 ( http://www3.toyota.com.au/landcruiser-200/specifications/gxl-turbo-diesel-auto)

You said it was GTM and if I read what you say right I would agree with you.
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 23:33

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 23:33
Hi TomH,
Mate I think you have already answered your own question.
GTM Gross Trailer Mass The maximum legal limit of weight on the wheels only
ATM Aggregate Trailer Mass The maximum legal limit of weight on the wheels and the jockey wheel.
Both statements are in effect correct.
TomH the GCM is the MAXIMUM set by the manufacturer as you say but when you weigh the tug and trailer/caravan together the combined weigh is the ACTUAL GCM. Although it is the actual weight ascertained by a weighbridge or weigh scales it is still called the GCM.
As you say if you weigh the loaded tug alone the result is the GVM. The ADR’s only require the GVM to be stated on Compliance Plates for NA category vehicles and above. These are commercial vehicle categories. Many 4x4’s are MC category and as such are not required to display the GVM.
If you weigh the loaded trailer/caravan in isolation with its drawbar supported by the jockey wheel the result is the actual ATM as opposed to the maximum legal ATM displayed on the Trailer Plate (which is the trailer equivalent of the Compliance Plate fitted to Australian Complied Motor Vehicles) If you weigh the loaded trailer/caravan with the jockey wheel off the weighbridge and its wheels on the weighbridge the result is the GTM. As a point of interest if you weigh the front and rear of any vehicle that is supported both ends the sum of the two results will most often not equal the total weight obtained by weighing the whole vehicle. This is because the approach and departure to and from the weighbridge are often not in the exact same horizontal plane as the weighbridge deck so there can be some ‘weight shift’ fore and aft due to this.
BTW the ADR’s only require the GCM to be displayed on Compliance Plates for NC category vehicles and above which are motor vehicles exceeding 12 tonnes GVM. Some vehicles below this category may optionally display the GCM but the majority of passenger vehicles do not. This explains why you often have to add the manufacturers’ stated towing capacity to the GVM or Maximum Loaded Weight to obtain the theoretical GCM.
I hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 08:52

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 08:52
I fully understand all the definitions and was just wanting an answer from another poster who seemed to be at odds with what I posted as a example.
Also as has been proven with some of the supposed 3500kg capacity utes, if they are loaded to GVM they cant tow the full 3500kg because they would exceed their rated GCM However an interesting point is this.
You have a vehicle that has a tow limit of 3500kg. Is that the ATM weght or the GTM weight.
Why because if for instance you have a vehicle that loaded to its GVM can still tow 3500kg, can you hook up a van weighing 3800kg ATM less its TBW of 300 kg and be legal.
That is, tug at GVM inc TBW, van at 3500kg GTM = legal GCM
However when you split them and weigh each the tug will be 300kg under and the van will be 300kg over max towing weight.
Just asking as it intrigues me as to which weight you take as max allowable towed weight.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 09:43

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 09:43
Logically you are still towing 3800kgs so you would have to be illegal. I would say that the ball weight is added to the tug because because the suspension is designed for a certain weight which is increased when you put something on the towball. Another way to look at it is that if you drive on a weighbridge your total weight will be 6300kgs and as the GCM is 6000kgs you are over and in the poo.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 10:32

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 10:32
Read it again I said IF the tug can be at GVM inc BW and still tow 3500kg Which weight makes up the 3500kg as below

The tug is at GVM INCLUDING Ball weight so thats legal

The combined weight on the scales is at legal GCM so thats good. Pull forward and the GTM of the van is 3500kg so technically thats good as the two add up to GCM.

But the ATM of the van is 3800kg yet the allowable GCM has not been exceeded.

Do you see what I mean

To put it another way if its the ATM that is the towing limit we have Van is 3500kg ATM

Tug loaded to GVM inc ball weight of 300kg The van would then only weigh 3200kg when combined weight is taken and be 300kg UNDER GCM
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:08

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:08
Yep understand that.
So the real question is, is the towing limit of a trailer measured attached to the tug for free standing.
I don't know.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:22

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:22
Egzakerly Thats what NO ONE has ever stated maunfacturers included.

Have never seen anywhere which one it is,

I would think actually its probably ATM because most standard towbars and tow balls are only rated to 3500kg arent they

So working on that a tug with a GCM of 3200kg over GVM could reasonably tow a van with a 3500kg weight provided it had a 300kg ball weight.

Am I thinking correctly. Hope so!!!
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:43

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 11:43
Here are two definitions from the ADR's

GROSS COMBINATION MASS - value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass’ of the drawing vehicle plus the sum of the ‘Axle Loads’ of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer.

GROSS TRAILER MASS (GTM) - the mass transmitted to the ground by the ‘Axle’ or ‘Axles’ of the trailer when coupled to a drawing vehicle and carrying its maximum load approximately uniformly distributed over the load bearing area, and at which compliance with the appropriate Australian Design Rules has been or can be established.

The definition of GCM adds the axle loads of the trailer to the GVM. The axle load is the GTM . So it would appear that in your example you could tow a 3800kgs van legally. The possible problem is that in the definition of GCM it says "capable of being drawn as a trailer" I think this is specified by the Manufacturer and they probably mean the weight on the vans compliance plate which is the ATM.

The bottom line is this IMHO
Pushing the envelope like this is most likely unsafe and so it would be very prudent not to do it.
If however you did find yourself in this situation I would have a copy of the ADR's on my computer, and show them to the person threatening to book you, and try and talk/bluff your way out if it.

I don't tow, but have a trayback camper on a D-Max with a GVM upgrade. I carry all the papers for the GVM upgrade AND a copy of the ADR's just in case I am stopped for a weight check. Its just as likely that the policing authorities are just as confused about these matters as most others are.
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 13:19

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 13:19
TomH raises a very valid question viz:
‘[You have a vehicle that has a tow limit of 3500kg. Is that the ATM weight or the GTM weight? Why, because if for instance you have a vehicle that loaded to its GVM can still tow 3500kg, can you hook up a van weighing 3800kg ATM less its TBW of 300 kg and be legal?
That is, tug at GVM inc TBW, van at 3500kg GTM = legal GCM]’
I believe the towing capacity of a motor vehicle refers to the trailer GTM because the GTM is the weight component of the ATM (that goes through the trailer axles) that is considered to be TOWED i.e. PULLED by the tug. The remainder of the ATM is the ball weight and that is considered to be part of the GVM of the tug so therefore is CARRIED. In other words the ball weight of the trailer/van exerts a downwards force on the tug and is thus CARRIED and the weight that goes through the trailer/van axles is pulled along by the tug thus TOWED.
To use another example, VSB1-Building Small Trailers, in the braking section states:
‘[For trailers up 2 tonnes GTM, an efficient braking system is considered to have brakes operating on the wheels of at least one axle. Over-run brakes may only be used on trailers that do not exceed 2 tonnes GTM.
Every trailer over 2 tonnes GTM must have brakes operating on all wheels. The trailer brake system must cause immediate application of the trailer brakes in the event of the trailer becoming detached from the towing vehicle. Under these circumstances, the brakes must remain applied for at least 15 minutes.]’
So in the above example the ADR for braking refers to the GTM presumably because the tug is considered to brake to ball (carried) weight and the trailer/van is considered to brake the weight carried upon on the trailer/van axles.
You will have noticed that Caravans have both the ATM and GTM specified on their Trailer (Compliance) Plate. To allow for the caravan load, as a general rule, the difference between the Tare weight and the GTM is 300kg for single axle caravans and 400kg for tandem axles. As most people towing caravans will know, those weights can easily be exceeded. It is also advisable to ensure the stated Tare weight is correct as many manufacturers understate this either on purpose or because they weighed the first one of that model 10 years ago and continue using that eight without having weighed one since. With specification and equipment changes requested by customers this weight can change markedly with individual vans.
When the Mermaids (Scalies) weigh a tug/caravan combination they weigh individual axles without disconnecting the trailer. This further substantiates that Towing Capacity relates to GTM and not ATM.
I also know for a fact, with heavy vehicles (exceeding 4500kg GVM) they can tow a trailer that exceeds the weight difference between the GVM and the GCM by not loading the towing vehicle to its maximum GVM as in the example TomH provides.
You would want to be careful though applying this in practice e.g. In the (random figures) example: If you have a Table Top (Ute) with an aluminium tray with a Tare (empty) weight of 2000kg and a GCM of say 6000kg you would not want to be towing a trailer/caravan with a GTM of 3700kg and a ball weight of 300kg because in all likelihood you would have trouble braking, turning and moving away on a steep hill, particularly on an unsealed road, due to insufficient weight on the rear axle of the tug.
Regarding tow ball capacities the limit on a 50mm ball as stated by TomH is 3500kg however 70mm tow balls with a 4500 and 6000kg capacity and 75mm tow balls with a 9000kg capacity are available. Tow bars can be built to whatever specifications you require.
I agree with IdlerChris’ to operate to 100% capacity 100% of the time is probably not wise. FYI IdlerChris, in WA if you have a GVM upgrade, the GVM in the DoT licensing database (TRELIS) and on your vehicle license papers is increased to reflect the increased GVM so if you are weighed in WA by Main Roads WA or the Police they can see your GVM on-line. I agree though, still a good idea to carry the GVM upgrade evidence, especially if undertaking cross border travel.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:15

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:15
Blown4by writes

"in WA if you have a GVM upgrade, the GVM in the DoT licensing database (TRELIS) and on your vehicle license papers is increased to reflect the increased GVM so if you are weighed in WA by Main Roads WA or the Police they can see your GVM on-line."

Such a sensible idea, but it would seem to be beyond the abilities of the NSW system without manual intervention. I had my GVM upgrade done 6 months ago and the certificate was submitted electronically by the engineer to NSW RMS. I was told to always carry a copy of the certificate so I could "answer any questions that might arise".

When I received my rego renewal 6 months after my certified GVM upgrade it still showed the factory GVM and had a note at the bottom saying "Modified as per report number XXX on such and such a date". There was no info as to what the modification was, which wouldn't really help Plod at a roadside interview.

I took it upon myself to go to my friends in Service NSW armed with my copy of the engineer's certificate and have them manually change the GVM field to the new figure and re-issue the rego paper. This apparently is no simple task as it took the young lady a full 15 minutes before her printer would spit out a new rego certificate with the right numbers.

Anyway, now I carry a copy of both my rego certificate AND the engineer's certificate so hopefully any roadside business can be done as quickly and as conveniently as possible.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:44

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 14:44
Thank you Blown4by for that reply. The reason I mentioned the towball & towbar limit is for the fact that the maximum for all popular tugs is a 3500kg limit.
Lots are less of course.
The big Yanks have more but that is not what we are discussing.
Am just theorising but it is an interesting point.
I am in no way suggesting that anyone should tow those weights especially with a light tug.
I am just questioning the way the weights are applied and giving examples of what "Could " be done and still be legal.
I believe in having a heavier tug than the trailer.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:07

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:07
RE What Frank has just written. It was always my understanding that that if you had a GVM upgrade prior to the initial registration the upgraded GVM is what would be shown on the rego papers. If subsequent to initial registration you have a GVM upgrade it is notated on the rego papers that there has been a modification, but the GMV never alters from the initial registration. Because the registration paper mention a modification without any detail is why you needed to carry the modification papers. Modifications can be for a number of things (ie seating capacity) not just GVM.
Franks' experience of having the GVM changed on the registration papers could mean that NSW is different to Vic, Frank charmed the girl into doing something she was not supposed to do, or I was just plain wrong. Maybe people who have had a GVM upgrade should check their rego papers and if they are not reflecting the correct GVM, to go to their registering authority and see if they can get it changed. No matter where you are in Australia, those authorised to be able to check your weights has access to the DoT licensing database as this is where they get their information.

There is supposed to be an advantage in having a GVM upgrade prior to initial registration. To my knowledge that advantage was that your registration papers and hence what is recorded in the DoT licensing database, would be after the GVM upgrade as an upgrade after initial registration was only recorded that there had been a modification. This then meant that should you wish to register your vehicle in another State they copy over the registration which shows the original GVM and you then had to satisfy them of the GVM upgrade which may entail a new engineers certificate that the modification complies with the new States regulations at the time of re-registering. Does anyone know if there is an advantage in a GVM upgrade prior to initial registration, and if so, what is it.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:20

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:20
Been some interesting discussions within this thread, Gents!

When purchasing a new Landcruiser 79 series last Sept, I particularly specified a GVM upgrade, due to the weight of our slide-on camper. On "the day", the salesman presented me with what seemed like about 3 reams of paper, to peruse and sign as necessary. My eyes immediately glazed over, and usually needed some prompting to sign each page. However, some sixth sense advised me to read the rego cartificate in fine detail, and like Frank, the GVM was still at standard 3300kg.

Pointed this out to the salesman, and he went back into the office, and "they" corrected it to 3900kg. Will be interesting to see if has stayed the same at first rego renewal, later in the year.

Further to points about carrying paperwork, bought up by Chris & others, I would suggest that the SSM Compliance Plate would be all that is required to appease Police/Transport Dept. However, would agree the few items of paper work required would be little load to carry, and to lighten any likely stress, when one is travelling, and trying to be stress free.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:24

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:24
Re what Blown4by has written just above. He makes the comment "I believe the towing capacity of a motor vehicle refers to the trailer GTM" I think I have also said in one of my posts that I agree with this because if you weigh the whole rig it will still not be over the GCM.
Consider this. The compliance plate on a trailer must show the ATM, but there is no requirement to show the GTM but there is nothing to stop a manufacturer from showing the GTM if they wish to.
Now what happens if you are stopped by some authority who does not have scales. They look at the DoT licensing database, adds the two weights shown, being the GVM of the tug and the ATM of the trailer and says your over your GCM. I think you maybe in some trouble.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:51

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 15:51
Looking after the grandkids today, they are behaving like angels so far hence I am able to sit at the computer for a while. Its all good stuff though.
Re your post Bob. I took delivery of a new D-Max with a GVM upgrade four weeks ago. Like you 3 reams of paper and a salesman not wanting me read anything and sign my life away. Did the same looked at the rego papers and they showed original GVM. I refused to take delivery without a letter on their letterhead saying that they would undertake to get a new registration certificate with the correct GVM shown. I still have not seen it yet, they tell me that the original registration has to be undone and the whole registration done again which takes time. Suggest you contact your registering authority now and check what they have recorded as your GVM. This gives you time, should it be wrong, to get it fixed before your rego is due. Let us know how you go.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 16:30

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 16:30
Good on you Grandad! Great that you have them so close, and able to spend quality time together. Sounds like a reward, for being good, might be in the offing? Maybe ice creams............please, Grandad?

Good advice Chris, and sorry to hear your drama is taking time to correct. My dealer, in Townsville, appears to have a connection with Qld Transport for vehicle registration purposes, as they corrected my GVM error immediately.

As I was reluctantly selling my old ute, handed it over last Monday, I changed the plates last week, so received an updated rego slip. It DOES show the upgraded GVM, so all good. And have just been told by Herself that "that rego slip should be in the Toyota anyway!" "Yes, dear".

Have you put up any photos of your DMax with the camper on yet, Chris?

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 16:44

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 16:44
Thats good Bob could save you lots of hassles later.

The D-Max is going to have a Gecko Camper put on it. The camper is built but Gecko are still in the process of building the tray, under tray boxes, and a huge draw between the chassis rail. When finished the whole lot will be attached to the D-Max on 6 engine mounts. I will post pictures when finished.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:05

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:05
As I understand it there is a big difference if you get the upgrade done BEFORE its first registration then it can be done with the new GVM.

If its done afterwards then the fun starts depending on where you live. I had my vans ATM upgraded in QLD and I had to put a new compliance plate on it IN ADDITION to the old one and take paperwork to the TMR.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:21

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 17:21
Somewhere in this thread, and I think it is in the above long series of follow-ups, someone said that with dual cabs, the rear axle acts as a fulcrum whereby load at the back, especially tow-ball weight, takes weight off the front axle.

How true.

I just weight my BT50 dual cab (canopy, drawer system, fridge slide, water tank, second battery att at the back with fixed weights and heavy stuff as far forward as possible) loaded for car-based camping (no trailer) and again empty.

Empty:
Front axle: 1.4 tonne
Rear: 1.54 tonne
Both on the bridge: 2.98 tonne

Loaded, no trailer:
Front 1.36
Rear: 1.92
Both: 3.34

Also, in this thread I think TomH or it could have been Blown 4by said that because there is generally a ramp onto the weighbridge the sum of the axle weights will not necessarily equal the result of both axles on the bridge as there will be a "weight shift" when part of the vehicle is on the slope of the ramp.

The numbers above clearly reflect that.

FYI and interest

What this has shown me is that I have little margin for adding 160kg of towball weight. The roof basket that is currently on the canopy will be removed and at great expense a Rhino roofrack will be installed over the cab to move some weight forward - firewood, gas bottle and other sundries.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 18:22

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 18:22
In your case you need to look at max permissable axle loads. which will be listed for the vehicle.

Despite moving stuff forward it is still possible to exceed these limits and also the actual GVM
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:29

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:29
Frank P
It is not only dual cabs. In the example I used, it was LC 200 with a multiplier of 1.5 for ball weight to rear axle loading. This common for most, if not all the LCs. The Patrols were better with less overhang, as were the Discoveries and the Jeeps.
The other issue, which Blown4by and TomH might like to comment on, is that one needs to be careful comparing commercial vehicles with more standard vehicles including 4WDs. If I recall correctly, a truck with a fifth wheel and semi-trailer is categorised as a single integrated unit whereas a vehicle towing a conventional trailer with hitch (eg a caravan) is regarded as two separate units for the purposes of applying mass limits. [I would presume this would not apply to trucks with dog trailers]
I am happy to be corrected on this
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:46

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:46
Hi Frank. At those loaded weights I guess you realise you are over weight. For a BT50 with a Lovells GVM upgrade your limits are front axle 1480kgs, back axle 1850kgs and GVM 3330kgs. You need to lose 100kgs overall, and move about 60kgs from the back to the front to be legal. As for "little margin for adding 160kg of towball weight" forget that. I hope those weights were with all people onboard and a full fuel tank otherwise you will need more weight trimming. Another solution of course is a F truck, I see Andrew & Jen have one for sale.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:51

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:51
Reply to Andrew & Jen. I was referring to light vehicles and caravans only. Hence the example of 3500kg capacity which is the top limit of what most popular towing vehicles are rated to.
Not referring to 5th wheelers or The F series or Chev equiv
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 01:27

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 01:27
Reply to Idler Chris and TomH

Thanks for your comments.

The axle weight limits are within the new limits specified in the GVM upgrade certificate.
The front is unchanged from 1480. The rear was increased from 1850 to 2020. The GVM is upgraded from 3200 to 3500kg. This kit is a new Lovells product. The installer is next door to the Lovells warehouse near where I live - convenient for me and for him as he has only to walk next door for product or info.

When towing the van there will be less stuff in the tug, as much of what I took on the no-van trip actually came from the van. That will help, but I realise I still need to be careful, especially in regard to the multiplier effect on the rear axle of the rear overhang. Also, if the van is hooked up there will be no water in the tug's tank as the van is self-sufficient - a saving of a further 70kg.

I wish I could find a weighbridge with flat approaches so I can get more accurate axle weights.

Are there low-profile DIY scales available like bathroom scales where you could weigh each wheel one at a time and establish axle weights from there?

Chris, you might be interested in the certification. Attached is the explanatory page. Sorry it's horizontal - use your PDF viewer to rotate it.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 09:22

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 09:22
Any friendly farmers, or stock & station agents in your area Frank, who might lend you a set of cattle scales? The weighing platform would be long enough for both wheels to be supported at once, and from memory they'll weigh up to and above 2,000kgs. May just need some packing as they sit up about 150mm above ground.

There are those caravan jacks that have a dial on them too, though haven't seen them advertised for a while.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 09:56

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 09:56
Phew, quite a lengthy read.

Just taking up on a couple of points.

I did a post initial registration GVM upgrade and therefore it is classified as a modification under NSW State Regulations. And contrary to frequent commentary I read – it is legal anywhere in Australia. The only real implication is that registering it in another State would require a certification, which would be no real big deal.

Mind you I have no plans to move from NSW!

It is a Lovell’s GVM upgrade to 3,900kg (from 3,300kg) and the registration papers reflected this immediately at the time it was done.

And whilst I do carry the papers in the vehicle I doubt it will ever be a problem because the “system” has the upgraded GVM noted. If it ever was a problem I wouldn’t be inclined to argue it out on the roadside with someone (Inspector Plod) that does not understand it – I’ll leave that to the legal people when I get home.

I’ll highlight that the GVM upgrade to 3,900kg is actually above the manufacturer’s combined front and rear axle limitation of 3,780kg when it leaves the factory. Lovell’s have this approval and the front and rear maximum axle weights are also noted as being increased by 60kg each (that is how they get to 3,900kg).

I’m highlighting this because somewhere in this lengthy thread someone suggested that you are limited by the manufacturer’s axle weights – which is not necessarily the case. You are limited by the weight it is approved for. Mind you, in most instances this will most likely be the manufacturer’s stated maximum. Lovell’s somehow gained this approval contrary to the “norm”.

Just to confuse the matter, I actually down-rated the GVM to 3,780kg (the manufacturer’s combined axle weight limitation) due to having another modification down on the rear axle (Tru-tracker extension to correct the front/rear wheel offset) as the manufacturer of this modification has it approved up to a GVM of 3,780kg only.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:35

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:35
Reply to Frank If there is a gravel pit or a concrete plant near you they usually have a long scale and so would be good enough. Our local tip has one that is level both on and off it so is pretty good
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 11:29

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 11:29
Thanks TomH. I hadn't thought of those, only the local tip which has fairly steep ramps to and from the weighbridge.

My suspension guy sent me to a scrap metal yard with flat approaches to their weighbridge but they wanted $30 a reading and I wanted 4 readings (front, rear, both and trailer) so I didn't take up that offer.

I'll look around a bit more.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 12:18

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 12:18
A word of caution re weigh bridges
A while ago the Commonwealth Govt took over the certification of weighbridges from the individual states. Like most things, as soon as the Commonwealth Govt is involved, the cost of certification went up substantially with the result that there are now far less of them around - it was just not worth it for the smaller ones.
So MY UNDERSTANDING is that most of the weigh bridges now are calibrated, not on absolute mass, but on the basis of "load" mass. That is, you are measured before your load and then after and pay based on the difference. The absolute mass is actually of no interest to them.
Hence be wary of relying too much on on the local weighbridge unless it is certified and then expect to pay.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 13:58

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 13:58
I went to our local tip and got it for free if I didnt want a printout If you want to dick them around they will probably charge you
Try and pick a quiet time and have a slab on hand and visible.. There is a public weighbridge that they do heavy vehicles in Caboolture that I did mine on and they were pretty good It only cost $20 to do multiple readings
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 19:54

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 19:54
Questions have been raised whether a GVM upgrade should be done prior or post licensing a factory new vehicle. For those that are interested, it is an offence under Federal law to modify a vehicle prior to it being licensed. This includes a GVM upgrade. The methodology behind this is that when a vehicle is manufactured and fitted with an Australian Compliance Plate, the manufacturer is certifying that the vehicle is a standard vehicle that complies with the specifications that have been given type approval and is in it accordance with the Approval Number printed on the Compliance Plate. For those that are interested the Approval Number can be entered in to the RVCS website and the specifications for that Vehicle Make, Model, Type Approval, etc. will be displayed.
The only legal way such modifications can be performed prior to licensing is in the case where the vehicle modifier is approved by the Feds to carry out certain modifications and to fit a Second Stage Manufacture Compliance Plate. In this case the modifier will fit a SSM plate to the vehicle which will reflect the revised GVM. E.g. ARB Ford Ranger 2 Approval No. 44118 increases the GVM on the Ford Approval No. 43280 and Lovell’s Ford Ranger 2 Approval No. 46728 does the same.
It is known however that this law is often ignored by persons placing a quick sale and profit margin ahead of vehicle safety and such instances will in all probability increase as Government cost cutting results in a reduction in compliance auditing. It is however important from a vehicle safety, insurance, vehicle warranty and legal viewpoint to ensure such modifications are carried out by competent personnel, using parts certified for road use and that the applicable ADR’s are not compromised. This is particularly important when modifying the suspension and brakes on vehicles fitted with ESC, VSC, etc. I can only comment on what happens in WA where it is an offence to modify a vehicle with prior approval. Standard accessories and factory approved /Dealer fitted options are exempt from this process and there are several different approval streams depending on the extent/complexity of the modifications. All vehicles once modified must be examined and at this point the vehicle record is updated and generally a Modification Permit is issued (except where a SSM plate is fitted or a plate has been fitted under the VSB6 scheme) A Certificate of Variation to the Vehicle Details is issued as confirmation that the changes have been entered in to Licensing database. This Certificate along with the Mod Permit is the owners’ evidence that the mods have been approved and when the current vehicle license expires the new and future Registration papers/Vehicle License will reflect the revised GVM. For anyone interested copied in the square brackets below is the Federal rules re modifying vehicles prior to licensing.

Copied from the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989

[ Division 2—Standard vehicles not to be made nonstandard
13A Vehicles not to be made nonstandard
(1) Subject to subsection (3), a person must not do an act that results in the modification of a standard vehicle in a way that makes it nonstandard.
Penalty: 120 penalty units.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), a person must not hand over a standard vehicle to a person for modification, whether by that person or otherwise, in a way that makes it nonstandard.
Penalty: 120 penalty units.
(3) A person may modify a standard vehicle in a way that makes it nonstandard, or hand over a new vehicle for such modification:
(a) in prescribed circumstances; or
(b) with the written approval of the Minister.
(4) An approval given under subsection (3) may be subject to written conditions determined by the Minister. ]

Copied from VSB1
[ The Australian Government maintains jurisdiction over road vehicles up to the point of first supply to the Australian market (i.e. manufacture or importation). Once a vehicle has been supplied to the market, it is in-service. State and Territory Governments are responsible for continued regulation after this point (e.g. vehicle registration, roadworthiness and the approval of modifications to vehicles in-service). ]

Idler Chris raised the question: [ Consider this. The compliance plate on a trailer must show the ATM, but there is no requirement to show the GTM but there is nothing to stop a manufacturer from showing the GTM if they wish to. ] This is incorrect as shown below in ADR 43/00 and VSB1 which states both figures must be displayed with the ATM being on the Compliance Plate and the GTM either on the Trailer Plate or Identification Plate. In my experience caravan manufacturers usually elect to display bothe figures on the Compliance Plate

Copied from ADR43/00
[ 43.3. MARKING
43.3.0 Identification Number
43.3.0.1. Every vehicle shall have a unique ‘Vehicle Identification Number’
43.3.1. ‘Compliance Plate'
Every motor vehicle and every applicable trailer shall bear an `Approved’ 'Compliance Plate' which shall be placed in a conspicuous position on the vehicle.
43.3.2. Engine Number
An identification number shall be legible and permanently stamped, laser engraved, cast or a combination of these upon the main component of the engine at the time of its manufacture and such number shall be located where it can be readily seen when the engine is installed in the motor vehicle for which it intended.
43.3.3. Trailer Plate
43.3.3.1. On every trailer, there shall he permanently affixed a plate in a prominent external position on which is:
‘Manufacturer’s’ Name
'Date of Manufacture'
'Gross Trailer Mass' (in kg).
Tyre and rim data as required by the placard specified in Australian Design Rule 24/ 'Tyre and Rim Selection'.
43.3.3.1.1. In the case where the trailer is fitted with passenger car tyres, the data specified in Clause 24.2.1 of that Rule.
43.3.3.1.2. In the case where the trailer is not fitted with passenger car tyres, the data specified in clause 24.3.1 of that Rule;
43.3.3.2. Information which is contained in the ‘Compliance Plate’ does not need to be shown on the trailer plate, for trailers. ]

Copied from VSB1 – Building Small Trailers
[ 7. VEHICLE PLATE
Before registration under the terms of this bulletin, the manufacturer or importer must affix a vehicle plate to the trailer.
The vehicle plate is used instead of the identification plate (for new trailers) or used import plate (for used imported trailers). The vehicle plate provides a clear indication to the State and Territory registering authority – and to owners and the general public – that the trailer is ready for road use. The vehicle plate also provides useful information about the specifications of the trailer.
The vehicle plate must be durable, non-corrosive metal and must be affixed to the vehicle in a position where it may be readily examined.
The vehicle plate must be permanently affixed by pop rivets, hammer drive screws or welding. Affixing plates with adhesives is not acceptable.
The vehicle plate must show at least the following information:
Manufacturer's or Importer’s Name (whichever party takes responsibility for the certification statement);
• Trailer Model;
• Vehicle Identification Number (specified in Section 4);
• Date of Manufacture (month/year, e.g. 02/08);
• Aggregate Trailer Mass (kg); and
• The Certification Statement (specified below).
The certification statement for new trailers is:
This trailer was manufactured to comply with the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. ]

Idler Chris also raises another ‘what if’ viz: [ Now what happens if you are stopped by some authority who does not have scales. They look at the DoT licensing database, adds the two weights shown, being the GVM of the tug and the ATM of the trailer and says your over your GCM. I think you maybe in some trouble. ] I do not see how this could occur because to know you had exceeded your GVM the ‘some authority’ would have to weigh your tug with the trailer/caravan attached so the ball weight is included. Whilst there are plenty of offences based on the ‘published’ maximum weights, without weighbridge confirmation of actual weights, such as, driving out of class, exceeding the posted speed limit for a particular GVM rated vehicle, as we have been discussing, this question is too complex to answer with knowing the actual weights involved.
In a nutshell you could not reasonably charge someone, and be assured of success in court, re such an offence, without knowing the actual weights involved.

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 21:31

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 21:31
I have previously posted that you cannot have a GVM upgrade that is greater than the max axle loads of both axles added together. I got this info from an ARB saleman as he said all ARB's GVM upgrades do not go beyond the manufactures combined axle loads.
Today I had a long chat with one of the blokes from Lovells who is involved in getting ARR approval for Lovells GVM upgrades. He claims that the axle loading specified by the manufacturer are NOT what the axle can necessarily carry, but is the maximum weight used by the Manufacturer in doing the testing to obtain ADR compliance. Lovells simply do the testing of their suspensions with higher weights. As long as they follow the correct testing procedure and the suspension passes its gets ADR approval. I would have to believe what I hear from Lovells as the person I talk with I have known for many years, is a senior executive with Lovells and he is involved in obtaining ADR compliance for his companies products.
So to Frank P who I may have put some doubt in your mind over the legality of the GVM upgrade on your BT50, sorry, your (or any Lovells GVM upgrade for that matter) Gvm upgrade is fine and legal.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 22:17

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 22:17
Thank you Chris. I was not in doubt about the product I bought, but I was certainly interested in how the apparent discrepancy of views might be resolved.

Cheers

Frank



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Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:14

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:14
This cannot be right. I have a Isuzu D-Max and my GCM is 5930kgs and I don't have a towbar..
Lets see a picture of the sign before we all start getting our knickers in a knot.
Hopefully someone will be travelling this road today and can take a photo.
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AnswerID: 596528

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:07

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:07
Hi Chris. How do you figure that your GCM is when you are not towing?

Phil
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:13

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:13
Because the specifications of the vehicle specify GCM and according to the rules the OP put up all vehicles with a theoretical GCM of over 4.5t would have to enter - nonsense I know but that is how it reads.

My RRS has a GCM of 6.670t.

Garry
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:45

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:45
What's an RRS?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:49

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:49
Chris if you're in a truck regardless of whether your loaded or not you have to pull into an active weight station if your GCM is equal to or above what is posted at that station. So if all this talk about pulling up cars is true I expect it will be mainly aimed at vehicles that are towing that's where the GCM of the vehicle comes into play not when you are not towing. But they can also pull over who ever they like to do random checks so if you're within the specs you have nothing to worry about it's that easy.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 13:02

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 13:02
A vehicle's GCM is the same whether you are towing or not towing. A vehicle manufacturer specifies a number of things which must be complied with. They are individual front and back axle loads, max vehicle weight (GVM), and total all up max weight of vehicle and any trailer (GCM). These are the max weights that the vehicle is engineered too. For example a standard D-Max has a front axle rating of 1360kgs and a back axle rating of of 1860ks, a GVM of 2950 and a GCM of 5950kgs. So while the two axles have a combined load rating of 3220kgs you cannot achieve this as it exceeds the GVM. Similarly, a D-Max is rated to tow a 3500kgs trailer, but if the vehicle is loaded to its GVM of 2950 your total weight is 6450kgs which is in excess of the GCM. Another way to look at it is that the manufacturer engineers and installs a braking system, and the maximum safe weight it can stop is the GCM.
The maximum GVM upgrade you can get for D-Max is to 3220kgs which is the sum of the axle loadings. In practice you cannot load to this GVM because you would have to exactly balance the load so no axle is in itself overloaded,
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:06

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:06
Chris. I was just curious - that'a all mate. Not challenging things.

Catchya

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Reply By: Kenell - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:16

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 08:16
For the Victorians it might be worth approaching your federal member to lobby for a decent bypass road up the South Australian side of the border. Not much to see in NSW anyway and we don't need the aggro of the inspections. Can you imagine the length of the queues in June as we all go looking for some warmth?
AnswerID: 596529

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:37

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:37
GCM is not an actual weight it is the maximum permissible weight if towing.
If you follow this link and select a D-Max 4X4 Space cab, at the bottom is shows that vehicles GCM.
https://www.isuzuute.com.au/d-max/specs-and-compare.aspx
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:32

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:32
Hi Frank,

As this came from minutes could it be a type over as the C& V are beside each other......Could just be a human error..... And the difference of a C to a V is a lot......Just my thoughts..... And 4.5 tonnes was always the weight on the small inspection pull in stations up the coast...Signs have not changed..... Only 2 weight stations I know off where all truck must enter, Mt White up north and Marulan down south... all others are randomly maned....The one at Moto on the pacific hwy is reading 8T GVM and the one at Bell on the Bell line of roads is 8 T GVM I will keep looking for the rest that I know of and keep you up to date...

Cheers Andy
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:11

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:11
I don't know, Andy.

Just that I was told if your GCM is over 4.5 tonne and you're towing and a sign to that effect is displayed, expect a requirement to be inspected.

I await clarification from my state MP.

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Reply By: Neil P4 - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:34

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 09:34
Anyone available for a Caravan Get Together. Maybe a travelling convoy with about 30 -50 vans should do the trick!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay a couple of days and then return.
AnswerID: 596531

Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:27

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:27
I wonder how many of the proposed 30-50 vans would be defected?

There are a lot of overloaded vans and tow vehicles, along with tow vehicles with low tow rates pulling heavy vans, e.g. loaded Prados towing over 3 tonnes.
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Follow Up By: Neil P4 - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:08

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:08
Hi Tony
I couldn't agree more - We HAD a dual cab BT50 with a supposed towing capacity of 3500kg and a GCM of 6000kg. The numbers just didn't work!!!!!!!!!!

The Get Together would be good for ALL - the vanning community and the Main Roads dept.

A period of 'awareness' for some a period of 'Warning' for others.

Many know they are overweight and choose to ignore while others are blinded by car sales advertising.
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Follow Up By: JR - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:52

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:52
I think there is a issue here where light vehicles dont have a GCM, they have a GVM and max towing weight (braked and not).

Maybe this has been sorted out now.
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Follow Up By: JR - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:58

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:58
Seems now they do
5000-6000 kg will be many vehicles on the road
Id suggest plenty would go over axle weights or have compliance issues if they are tested.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:03

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:03
Neil, I must admit that I have a vested interest in towing vans etc. with Tow Ed as a Trainer and Assessor.

Although some on forums believe there is no need for training, there are many, many people who have driven only small car and never towed.

There is more to owning a van than just getting from A to B on the road.
Vehicle weight, Load, Tare, ATM, GVM, GCM's etc.
Correct loading of the van.
Weight distribution hitches.
Connecting or hooking up including power
Pre-departure checks.
The ability to reverse in a straight line and into a parking area/camp site.
Understanding the width and line that the van takes on road.
Visibility - others and the drivers, including mirrors and rear view cameras.

Many don't realise the size or lengths of their rigs.
Many don't realise what sort of roadblock they can become.

We do have to reiterate that we all "SHARE" the road, every effort should be made not to restrict or cause traffic, while it can be frustrating for faster travelers, they still have a right to travel the highway, because "share" is not one sided. :)
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:23

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:23
Neil the numbers may look confusing a bt50 has a GCM of 6,000kg the GVM is 3,200kg when your "not towing". This is where some people get confused when you're towing your GVM will decrease to what the manufacturer etc believes is safe but yes by the figures it may look like you can have a GCM of 6,700kg but you can't same thing probably applies to all vehicles. But having a GCM of 6,000kg doesn't mean you can load up to that if you only have a C - class license which is exactly where a lot of people will get caught out.
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Follow Up By: Neil P4 - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:23

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:23
Tony,
You are totally correct! The number of times you see people towing vans that are not correctly set up, people trying to back vans, Driving too slowly, driving to quickly, slowing down too early for someone to pass them etc etc etc.
My van and ute are over 15.5m in length and just under 8700kg ( if loaded to max allowance ) yet I am still ( or I thought I was ) a normal car under 4500kg ( 4495kg) with the checking stations etc, normal car licence.

I am all for checking everyone's setups, weights etc - we went to the extra expense of a yank tank so we KNEW we would comply. While I know not everyone can afford these it still comes down to what is safe and legal - Smaller vans with less toys.

Car manufacturers/dealers/salesmen are also part of the problem.

The only thing is as our van is 4200kg ATM in QUEENSLAND i have to have yearly inspections. I think all other states DON'T have to.

I THINK if i was based in WA the Do Not Overtake turning vehicle sticker comes into play.

One country - one set of rules would be good - one rego ( what ever the requirements ) for all / one set of rules for ALL

If this NSW checking station rule is correct it is another - different state / different rule.

TowEd or similar is the way to go - depending on what water craft you have determines the training you HAVE to do and pass. Why not towing?
Neil

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Follow Up By: JR - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:52

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:52
In NSW all trailers over 250kg (caravans over 411kg) weight have a rego check each year.
Your licence is capacity is related to vehicle GVM only not GCM it appears
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Follow Up By: mike39 - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:54

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:54
At Glencoe, 20km. S of Glen Innes on the NE highway is an unmanned casual inspection siding.
Another just N of the roundabout into Armidale.
Over the last 6-8 months we have seen vans pulled over for checking, I think they do this during a quiet time.
The sneaky speed camera hidden in the back of an unmarked wagon is very prolific on that stretch of highway too. A pathetic little sign 75m before the camera is all the warning given.
mike
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:01

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 14:01
Neil,

Just a note, any Car - Caravan/trailer combo over 7.5 mtrs can have the "give way when overtaking" signs on the rear if they wish.
[The Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009 Part 11]

The Tow Ed course is a nationally recognized and certified course AURTGA3001(click here for PDF)

The issue is that the Road Authority and governments have not caught up over the past 30 years.

In the 80's most cars weight under 2 tonnes and caravan rarely exceeded 2 Tonnes.
The Range Rover/ land Rover always had 3500kg or more towing capacity, Toyota Landcruiser 80 series only went from 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes towing late in the 80 series!.
Now all utes are trying to get to that magical 3.5 tonnes.
This pushed up the overall combined weight to exceed the licenced 4.5 tonnes limit. More recently the light ridged licence was removed, this was perfect for people who tow.

No one seems to asked the manufacture what is the vehicles towing capacity off the tar. Many have a reduced off road tow capacity, or you get broken chassis...

this is still a good read (click here)

Those who believe that the GCM doesn't matter, should consider, does a truck drivers licence allow him to drive a tractor unit of 12 tonnes or a rig of 50 tonnes, the GCM of the tractor unit?

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Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:37

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:37
Just a follow up on JR post: In NSW all trailers over 250kg (caravans over 411kg) weight have a rego check each year.
I don't know about the van but the trailer you don't need a rego check each year.... Mine is 750kgs and I renew it over the internet with no inspection required.....Vans might be different.....Yes that's NSW.....other states could be different.....
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Follow Up By: JR - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:58

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:58
I took that from RMS website
I think info is conflicting with empty weight vs full
For sure small trailers to 750kg arent checked, but over this - as they are braked - need to be looked at.
Caravans I have no idea
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Reply By: Member - Dave63 - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 22:01

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 22:01
Hi Frank,

I have found some legislation that may shed some light on the subject.

Heavy Vehicle National Law (NSW) No 42a
Current version for 6 February 2016 to date (accessed 23 February 2016 at 20:35)

Chapter 1Part 1.2Section 6

6 Meaning of heavy vehicle

(1) For the purposes of this Law, a vehicle is a heavy vehicle if it has a GVM or ATM of more than 4.5t.

(2) Also, for the purposes of this Law, a combination that includes a vehicle with a GVM or ATM of more than 4.5t is a heavy vehicle.
Note— Subsection 6 (2) is amended for New South Wales pending the commencement of the national scheme for the registration of heavy vehicles under this Law by omitting “other than in relation to registration under this Law”.

the Heavy Vehicle National Law (NSW) determines which vehicles are required to enter Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations and the above definition defines what vehicles must enter.

The important word involved is OR (not combined)
Sub Section 1) a vehicle is a heavy vehicle if it has a GVM (towing vehicle) OR ATM (trailer) of more than 4.5t.

Sub Section 2) Also, for the purposes of this Law, a combination that includes a vehicle with a GVM OR ATM of more than 4.5t is a heavy vehicle.

No where does it mention Gross Combined Weight (GCM)

Straight from Roads and Maritime Service quote;

All heavy vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) greater than eight tonnes are required to enter a HVSS (except Chinderah and Pine Creek - 4.5 tonnes). These vehicles must enter a HVSS to ensure the vehicle meets safety and roadworthiness standards and that their drivers are complying with road transport laws.

My Landcruiser has GVM of 3.5 tonne and my caravan has a ATM of 3.5 tonne. The landcruiser does not have a GVM of over 4.5 tonne nor does the caravan have a ATM of over 4.5 tonne and therefore does not meet the criteria of being a heavy vehicle that is required to enter Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations. If it did, everything else would also apply like log books, fatigue requirements etc.

Heavy Vehicle National Law (NSW) No 42a

Current version for 6 February 2016 to date (accessed 23 February 2016 at 20:50)

Chapter 1Part 1.2Section 5

5 Definitions

ATM (aggregate trailer mass), of a heavy trailer, means the total maximum mass of the trailer, as stated by the manufacturer, together with its load and the mass imposed on the towing vehicle by the trailer when the towing vehicle and trailer are on a horizontal surface.

GVM (gross vehicle mass), of a vehicle, means the vehicle’s GVM as defined in section 4 (1) of the Road Transport Act 2013 of New South Wales.

Road Transport Act 2013 No 18
Current version for 8 January 2016 to date (accessed 23 February 2016 at 20:53)
Chapter 1Part 1.2Section 4

4 Definitions

(cf DL Act, s 17 and Dict; Gen Act, s 3; STM Act, Dict; VR Act, s 4)

(1) In this Act:
GVM (gross vehicle mass) of a motor vehicle means the maximum loaded mass of the vehicle:

(a) as specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer, or (on compliance plate of vehicle)
as specified by the Authority if:
(i) the manufacturer has not specified a maximum loaded mass, or
(ii) the manufacturer cannot be identified, or
(iii) the vehicle has been modified to the extent that the manufacturer’s specification is no longer appropriate.

MOTOR VEHICLE MEANS a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle. (clearly the car)



Road Rules 2014

Current version for 18 December 2015 to date (accessed 23 February 2016 at 21:05)
Part 2Division 2Rule 15

15 What is a vehicle

A vehicle includes:
(a) a motor vehicle, trailer and tram, and

(b) a bicycle, and

(c) an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle, and

(d) a combination, and

(e) a motorised wheelchair that can travel at over 10 kilometres per hour (on level ground),
but does not include another kind of wheelchair, a train, or a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy.

This definition of vehicle under the Road Rules does not relate to the Heavy Vehicle National Laws or to saying a vehicle and its trailer is one vehicle.

Hope this helps as legislation is often confusing and can be very easily misinterpreted so I hope I haven't done the same but appears to be a mix up between GCM and GVM or ATM.

I cant talk about the advice or the quality you got (you would expect to get the right advice from RMS) but the legislation quoted is accurate for todays date.

I have no knowledge if this is a proposed legislative change but I could not find anything to suggest it might happen. You might have to check with your source if it is a proposed changed. If they are saying it has already changed I will stick with the above legislation.

Cheers

Dave





AnswerID: 596569

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 23:44

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 23:44
Dave you have done an excellent job. As I stated above I knew it was not right but did not have the time to look up the legislation.

I am a bit surprised that you did not find any reference to GCM. Maybe it is some other part of the Act.
It is my understanding that vehicle manufacturers are required to nominate the total weight that the vehicle's brakes and suspension are engineered to handle, and this is called GCM. The policing authorities know these weights and are required to check them and it is an offence to be over your GCM. In the case of a D-Max it has a GVM of 2950kgs, a GCM of 5950kgs, and a towing capacity of 3500kgs, so if you had a fully loaded vehicle to its GVM + a 3500kgs caravan you would have a GCM of 6450kgs which is over the limit by 500kgs and illegal.
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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 10:40

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 10:40
Good write up Dave,

As Chris has said GCM is used by the authorities and insurance companies.

More importantly GCM also affects the GVM and towing capability of the vehicles when connected.

What I said is that the authorities have not kept up with the vehicle changes (and never will) so cars and caravans have become heavier than the initial legislation, allowing manufactures to give an individual weight carrying and towing ability which is impossible when the vehicle and trailer/caravan is put together, causing more confusion for the normal driver.

Throw in the lack of clarity on some website, lack of knowledge of the transport staff and facebook and forum interpretations...

Thanks for your concise clarification of the current rules.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:04

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:04
Thank you Dave for your research.

From what you have quoted I believe that the legislation says that "light vehicles" towing "light trailers" will NOT be subject to heavy vehicle inspections.

That is logical and I'm happy to accept it, as I'm sure most of us are.

However, it is at odds with what the NSW AoCC minutes reported (confirmed by enquiries with Services NSW and RMS).

As I said, I have written to my state MP and hopefully will get an authoritative answer.

When I have another free hour or two, I am going to take your extract from the legislation back to the NSW Services office and ask them to check again.

I think this is a classic case of the bureaucratic right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing and that perhaps the wrong info has been supplied to NSW AoCC.

Cheers
FrankP

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FollowupID: 865630

Reply By: Mogul - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 22:16

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016 at 22:16
Only if you have a vehicle with a GVM over 4.5T, has nothing to do with GCM as stated by the OP.
AnswerID: 596570

Reply By: Geoffr17 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:12

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 09:12
I spent an hour at the RMS office yesterday and raised this matter. The short answer is they looked

at the current rulings NOTHING.

Upcoming changes concerning this NOTHING

Rang the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Station section NOTHING.

So at this time my conclusion , another incorrect report on the Forum .
AnswerID: 596584

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:17

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:17
Thank you everyone for your input.

Apologies for my lack of response to date. I have been enjoying some tracks since I posted the opening post :-)

I have taken a copy of Dave's quote from the legislation (Reply ID 596569) and will make further enquiries.

I have already asked my state MP to follow up on the quote from the minutes of the NSW Association of Caravan Clubs.

I will take the verbal confirmation from RMS via Services NSW and Daves quote from the legislation back to RMS and the politician if necessary and see what they come up with.

Cheers
FrankP

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AnswerID: 596723

Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:49

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 20:49
Hi all,

Quite a lengthy topic so I will try to be brief.

When our empty bogie body truck is towing a tandem trailer with a backhoe on it it has to have 3 ton of gravel or similar put into the truck to be legal otherwise the truck is too light for the towed load.
It has to do with ratio of tug to trailer weight. I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned it as most lightly loaded utes towing a large van would be in a similar boat.
It still terrifies me to see a ute towing a large dual axle caravan down the hwy at legal speed in the rain. I would hate to be anywhere near that if they had to stop in a hurry or blow a tyre.
Cheers,
Dave
2010 Isuzu FTS800 Expedition camper
2015 Fortuner
Had 72 cruisers in my time

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AnswerID: 596746

Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:54

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 21:54
Anyone with a brain would have the tug heavier than the trailer But then again.................................
Theres a few who will say theyve done it for 40 years and never had any trouble LOL


I reckon its not how fast you can tow a van. Its how fast you can stop it and still be on the road and alive, that matters
0
FollowupID: 865699

Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 08:15

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 08:15
I noticed that there were several references to people saying that they had a GVM upgrade. I am curious abou the different states acceptance of what some claim is a legal upgrade.

In Canberra the hardware is certainly part of the upgrade but in talking to theRTA inspectors the major part is demonstrating that the upgrade complies with the regulations. Now I don't want to get caught up in what the actual regulations, standards and engineering weights, stresses etc, are rather . . .What do the different state authorities require?

We had an engineering report, of about 30 pages, prepared and signed, a rear spring upgrade, some minor reinforcing kits installed to the front suspension, heavier shocks and a new compliance plate on the door frame and a pressure information/setting plate for the air bags. And don't forget the full hour of braking and stability tests done on the car.

Apparently just dropping into ARB, buying what they say is an approved kit and installing it, may only be the start of what is required.

What do other states need. I think that it would help those who may not have one that is approved to read this and maybe get they situation checked.

Phil.
AnswerID: 596753

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:18

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 10:18
Hey Phil

All of these secondary stage manufacturer's have approvals in place across (most) Australian States, it wouldn't be worth there while to do anything else.

With these approvals comes a requirement that "approved" kits are installed by an "installer approved to do GVM upgrades".

But to your point "what is a legal upgrade" - it is one that is noted on your registration papers and that will require some form of certification.

I do not need to concern myself about States other than where it is registered (NSW).

cheers, Baz
0
FollowupID: 865712

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 18:39

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 at 18:39
Hi Baz

Our upgrade was done last year and not the first rego. The car is a 2005 100 series. The paperwork was the engineers responsibility. We gave him the car then a few days later went and got the airbags fitted. All that was left was to pick up the paperwork and pay him. Next morning off to the RTA with the car and paperwork. It went over the pits, they gave me the new plate, I got it engraved and fitted. Then back to the RTA for a signature and all done. I wouldn't call that hard.

Cost about $2000. Worth it for us. And if anyone says that's too much and don't bother then I would ask them why bother insuring their car!

Phil
1
FollowupID: 865724

Reply By: Jackolux - Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 22:40

Monday, Feb 29, 2016 at 22:40
I got a ARB GVM upgrade done on a new vehicle , I understand because it was done before first rego it is a National certification , so if I wanted to register that vehicle interstate , I do not need another engineers report from that state .

A GVM upgrade does not increase the GCM of a vehicle .
AnswerID: 596803

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 07:49

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 07:49
Just a thought Jacko. Please - - - I am not attacking you or picking you. Okay!

Have you asked the RTA if it is okay for they will still insure it? Make it an anonymous enquiry.

Is it on the compliance plate and /or the rego papers. Did you bother to let the insurance company know it was a modified (from manufacturers released build standard) vehicle?

I would check. You wouldn't want to have a prang and they refuse the claim. I don't need to know. Just asking as I would bet that the RTA wouldn't tell them.

And you would want the extra kit/modification included to ensure you get the replacement done as well.

I always was a direct person and it's almost impossible to be so these days. You always get some smart alec who won't just read the words for what they are. I prefer "now" instead of the "at this point in time" crap. Okay!

Catchya

Phil
0
FollowupID: 865770

Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 08:13

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 at 08:13
There is a " Second stage of manufacture " plate under the bonett for the GVM upgrade , when done before first registration the upgrade is on the rego papers , it is listed on my insurance policy .

When I add any accessories , I alway notify my insurance company , I then get a revised policy sent to me and I usually pay a small increase in premium .

AnswerID: 596815

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