New laws in QLD re GVM upgrades and towing capacity

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 15:45
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QLD News
4WD towing laws to be toughened by QLD government
Peter Gleeson, The Courier-Mail
August 20, 2018 11:30pm

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New laws to have major repercussions for grey nomads
TOUGH new laws to be introduced by the Palaszczuk Government will stop upgrades to 4WD vehicles to allow them to tow larger caravans, boats, horse floats and work toolbox trailers. The new laws mean any Queensland driver wanting to buy a caravan will probably need to buy a new vehicle as well.
Under the proposed new codes, to come into effect in two weeks, the towing capacity of 4WD vehicles will not be able to be upgraded after purchase.
Queenslanders who need an increased carrying or towing capacity will be forced to buy large, powerful, expensive and fuel-inefficient imported utes and trucks.

The popular Toyota LandCruiser is among the 4WDs to be affected.
The upgrades – such as improved suspension and shock absorbers – provide a more stable, safer ride and quicker stopping, while increasing towing capacity.
The weight of accessories such as water tanks, extended fuel tanks, bull bars and winches force many vehicles over their legal weight limit, which also makes upgrades necessary.
Vehicles operated in excess of their legal carrying capacity are declared unsafe and are not covered by insurance.
The ban will mean that many caravaners will be lucky to fit two people and a full load of fuel into their vehicles before they are over the legal towing limit.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey, despite repeated requests, has not told peak industry bodies why the Government is proceeding with the new laws.
The vehicles most affected include the most popular 4WDs on the market, including the Toyota LandCruiser, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Patrol, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D Max.
The new laws will affect up to a million 4WD drivers and 200,000 “grey nomads’’. Queensland is home to eight of the top 10 caravan ownership postcodes in Australia, at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Mackay, Gympie, Gladstone, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast.

Caravan industry bosses say it’s the most nonsensical legislation they have ever seen. NSW and Victorian drivers will be able to tow caravans in Queensland without being subjected to the same laws as Queenslanders.
The new code will prevent the same modifications undertaken to meet specifications required by Queensland’s police and the State Emergency Services.
Australian Caravan Club treasurer Graeme Tree yesterday said the ban meant any Queensland driver wanting to buy a caravan would probably need to buy a new vehicle as well.
“If this was about safety, it would apply to all vehicles on the road,” Mr Tree said.
“But these are modifications that are fitted to Queensland police, emergency services, fire and parks vehicles to increase safety in towing.
“They are already on thousands of private vehicles in Queensland and are perfectly legal in other states.
“These are upgrades that will still be allowed to be fitted here in Queensland to new vehicles on the showroom floor. But once it’s on the road, it’s banned. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Mr Tree said the proposed changes to Vehicle Codes LS11 and LS15 would decrease safety on Queensland roads and unwittingly put drivers of 4WDs in breach of their insurance.
“Modifications to most 4WD vehicles are essential for legal towing, so from September 4, most Queenslanders buying a caravan will also need to buy a new vehicle,” he said.
“It is inconceivable that Queensland would stop people improving the safety of their towing vehicle when the modifications are allowed under federal laws and before registration in Queensland.”

Despite repeated requests, Transport Minister Mark Bailey has not told peak industry bodies why the Government is proceeding with the new laws. Picture: AAP/Glenn Hunt
Australia’s leading manufacturer of the towing upgrade equipment, Lovells, says the draft codes will have a major impact on current towing practice and will lead to higher vehicle costs.
Lovells chief executive Simon Crane said the usable payload of many 4x4 vehicles today was minimal. Additional basic optional equipment and two or three adult occupants would bring the vehicle close to its legal maximum weight.
Add long range fuel tanks, bull bars, winches, side steps, roof racks, recovery gear, a payload of camping equipment or tool boxes, or an industrial-type custom body, and the vehicle may exceed the allowable weight.
Mr Crane called on Mr Bailey to explain the proposed regulation changes – and to delay the planned introduction.
“This is a change that has been dreamed up by bureaucrats without consultation or explanation,” he said.
“It makes no contribution to safety and is actually counter-productive.’’
Mr Bailey has not responded to requests for meetings with the 4WD industry stakeholders.
A spokesman for Mr Bailey said it was a complex issue and he was unable to give a comment.

Ray and Lynne Friis with their caravan at Wellington Point. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner

WHEN Wellington Point couple Ray and Lynne Friis retired, they decided to buy a caravan and travel Australia.
Little did they know their plans would be thrown into disarray by new State Government laws which effectively mean they will have to buy a larger vehicle to tow their caravan.
“I feel let down,’’ Mrs Friis said yesterday. “It almost feels as if this government is targeting grey nomads. We saw the new motor home stamp duty go up recently and now this. It’s definitely about revenue raising. If it was about safety why do they allow the emergency services vehicles to be upgraded?’’
The peak industry body for caravans has tried unsuccessfully to seek an explanation as to why the Government is going down this path.
Mrs Friis said the new law was “silly”. “It means if we want to buy a bigger caravan we can’t,’’ she said.
“We have worked hard all our lives to enjoy our retirement and travelling with the caravan is a big part of that. Now we are hit with these extra charges to make sure we can tow. It makes no sense whatsoever. The thing is we haven’t even been told why they are doing it.”
Mrs Friis said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should reconsider the new law.
“I would say to her, please listen to the consumer,” she said. “We are being targeted and it’s not fair.’’
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Reply By: Member - peter_mcc - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:01

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:01
I'm confused by the articles because they don't mention what is being restricted. Is it CGM (ie total mass) or GVM (vehicle only)?

I thought it was a national thing that you couldn't increase the CGM of a new vehicle - is this something different?

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:02

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:02
Scaremongering. This has been doing the rounds on Social Media today. The Legislation does not prohibit GVM upgrades. It sets out to clarify who & when upgrades can be installed. There was a thread on this forum a few weeks ago outlining this.

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:17

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:17
Correct, It stops secondary manufacturers from upgrading the GCM of light vehicle.

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Reply By: Rocket Rod - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:53

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 16:53
Changing laws that effect the status quo will always upset some people but I'm also pretty sure that a lot of drivers buy a car, van, bar, winch etc etc without a thought to GVM or GCM. Most will know that a Honda civic wont tow their 3.5T van but you would think any 4WD rated to 3.5T would? Maybe not, have a look at this

I don't tow a van but I have a large 4WD and when you add the bling, add up all the new weight and you'll be very surprised at how much weight you legally can carry. It's not much.

Having said that I dare say most people on this and other forums are well informed but not all nomads and 4WDers read forums.
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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 17:42

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 17:42
JBP lives on. The culture hasn't changed in QLD. Have they altered the law on making scones too?

You, you, you, will do as you are told, never, never, never mind what I am doing!
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 04:53

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 04:53
Fake news from a paper owned by a Victorian American

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Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 18:51

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 18:51
Qld in the dark ages ….
Anyways if its true or not , once you can modify in one state its legal in another . FACT.. Although in some situations u have to prove it . Which is actual bullshit in itself . An example of govt paper work gone mad some times it work sometimes it doesn't .. Sounds like politicians doesn't it !!!!!!!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 08:01

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 08:01
Technically, that isn't correct, but in practice it is rare for it to be challenged. Adding, I have never had a problem with my multiple modifications approved in NSW whilst travelling interstate.

The reality is that most major secondary stage manufacturers have approval for their products across most States, so it becomes a moot point. However, roadside, the police could reject modifications approved in another State and that means the vehicle could be ordered off the road unless it complies with the vehicle specifications prior to the State based approved modifications.

The only way to have modifications recognised nationally is to have it done prior to the vehicle being registered for the first time.

Under State based registration laws it does not follow that a modification approved in NSW will be recognised in Queensland or any other State or Territory. That is the problem we have with State based registration, rather than national.

I checked with the engineer who approved all the modifications on my vehicle and he confirmed this, but added, he had never heard of it occurring - but be aware, it could.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 09:07

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 09:07

Have a friend with a NSW engineered 100. He was pulled aside on one of the QLD islands beach and ruled unroadworthy despite having all the NSW certs with him. Cops words were "This is Queensland not NSW".

He had to strip out quite a bit of gear to satisfy the cop so he could drive away.
The QLD cops wouldn't listen so it had to go to court.
Took a NSW Queens Council (friend of his) to get the QLD courts to see they had it all wrong and nullify the action.
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Follow Up By: swampy - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 09:32

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 09:32
Ever modified a vehicle to be almost unrecognisable . U will come across this b....t .
State laws do have variations. AND AS I SAID once done in one state its legal in another although due to coppers having little law training u might have to justify yourself in court --as I said b4 .
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 21:42

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 21:42
Listening to talkback radio while killing some metres along Capricorn Highway this morning. From what I heard, the plan has been rescinded by the Minister.


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 22:58

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 at 22:58
According to this report No changes to QLD towing laws, says Minister

Extract "The Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Honourable Mark Bailey, has said there are no changes to Queensland towing laws, as reported by the Courier Mail overnight. The Queensland newspaper has reported that “TOUGH new laws to be introduced by the Palaszczuk Government will stop upgrades to 4WD vehicles to allow them to tow larger caravans, boats, horse floats and work toolbox trailers.” It’s followed by what seems to be very sensationalist editorial about how all caravanners will need to upgrade their vehicle if they ever want to tow a caravan.

The article says, “The new laws mean any Queensland driver wanting to buy a caravan will probably need to buy a new vehicle as well.” In ROAM’s experience, that is not true. The article seems to suggest that the laws would prevent towing capacity upgrades (improvements that raise the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle) would become illegal. It seems to make the assumption that every caravanner tows a caravan that weighs as much as the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity and also has their vehicle loaded to it’s GVM.

The Mark Bailey has responded in a statement saying, “The Palaszczuk Government has made no changes to trailer towing rules in Queensland. These trailer towing rule changes are set by the Federal Government. The federal changes will not come into effect next month in Queensland. I will be raising all issues presented to me by stakeholders with my federal colleagues. Safety is of course our highest priority, but the Palaszczuk Government will absolutely reject any changes that unnecessarily disadvantage Queensland drivers or our wider state economy.”

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:46

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:46

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Reply By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:49

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:49
Sorry to shout but this is FAKE NEWS. End of story. There are national changes coming about but Qld is NOT going outside these Federal rules. or ahead of them.
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:44

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 12:44
Would have never been an issue had the manufactures stuck to towing capacity being 1 1/2 times the weight of the tow vehicle with no legal towing up grade being allowed instead of dangerously pushing the vehicles limits.

Suspension up grade should be 10% if approved by the manufacturer not these 500kg spring up grades think of the extra stress placed on the vehicle. Buy the correct vehicle to suit but it all seems to difficult these days oh the horror of what I have just said that will up set those who know little or nothing about driving within the vehicle and their limits. Hope they start up the driver towing courses soon as well there will be a lot of vans left parked up at home in the holiday season.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:32

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 at 18:32
Statement from Lovells Springs one of the biggest players in the market

On the 21st August 2018, the Queensland Government overturned Queensland Department of Transport and Main Road’s decision to release new Vehicle Modification Codes (LS11 and LS15), which were due for release to the industry on the 4th September 2018.
Changes in these Modification codes included the banning of:
• Towing Capacity Upgrades on in-service vehicles
• axle capacity increases on in-service vehicles
• GVM Upgrades on in-service vehicles which had previously been upgraded by another jurisdiction/State and/or brand,
• GVM Upgrades on in-service vehicles which had previously had active SSM Approvals, which are no longer manufactured (eg. Nissan Patrol Y61 and Toyota Hilux KUN125/126).
The Government will now not introduce these planned regulation changes on 4 September, but is not backing down from its position of not allowing GCM (Gross Combined Mass) revision on in-service vehicles.
While GCM revision is still legally available on brand new vehicles in Queensland (and all States) and legal/recognised on in-service vehicles for all other States except NT, towing upgrades will remain of virtually no use in Queensland because the Government will not allow an increase in the GCM (combined weight of the vehicle and its trailer).
Despite the Premier’s assurances on the morning of 21 August that the Government would absolutely reject any changes that disadvantage Queensland drivers, they are already enforcing a disadvantage.
TMR Queensland have advised that their stance on GCM revision will be discussed and reviewed in due course.
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