Weight Restricted Roads - Does it apply to me...?

Submitted: Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 14:16
ThreadID: 137518 Views:1972 Replies:14 FollowUps:45


I’ve been doing some research on the many typical and popular 4WD vehicles on the market today and how they may be affected by weight restricted roads.

In NSW the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) look after major roads and local government authorities lesser local roads within its area.

I have limited to NSW, as this is where I live and is specific to local government authority roads and streets.

Many will be familiar with signs that restrict vehicles over 3,000kg (usually marked 3t) from travelling along a particular road or street and some signs indicate vehicles with a GVM over 3t.

There is a slight difference as a vehicle can have a GVM in excess of 3t, but potentially be under 3t in weight – so a nuance to be aware of…!

These sign will usually have a “truck” picture on it; similar to the one in the photograph possibly leading drivers to form an opinion it does not refer to standard SUV style vehicles.

I have a Toyota 79 Series that has GVM of 3,780kg (standard is 3,300kg) and usually weighs in at around 3,500kg in its touring configuration.

The popular Toyota 200 Series has a GVM of 3,350kg.

But, 3t means 3t even if it doesn’t look like a truck and more like a passenger vehicle.

The purpose of the post is to highlight that many might either ignore or believe the sign does not refer to their vehicle and be travelling on them unaware of the implications it might have, especially in the case of an accident.

If you have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle you will find that one of the first things it will say is that you are “covered anywhere you are legally entitled to be”.

And it pays to reflect on that statement – anywhere you are legally entitled to be…

The implication for those with vehicles weighing over 3t or with a GVM in excess of 3t is that travelling on a weight restricted road will, almost certainly, void your ability to make an insurance claim if it relates to an accident on that weight restricted road.

I am insured with the popular 4WD specialist underwriter, Club 4x4, and I have confirmed with them that my interpretation is correct – if you are not legally entitled to travel on a road due to it being weight restricted you will be in breach of the terms and conditions of the policy and a claim would in all likelihood be denied.

And given underwriting standards and interpretations of terms and conditions are fairly standard across the automotive insurance companies you will find they'll all mostly likely arrive at the same conclusion.

I guess there are a couple of caveats on that depending on the specific circumstances, but without doubt you will be spending money defending your right to make a claim.

I’ve suggested that Club 4x4 might want to do an article on the topic in its “Campfire” monthly newsletter…

Local government authorities when restricting roads and streets to weight are required to provide an alternative for vehicles in excess of the weight restriction. I live in an area of Sydney that has numerous (3t) weight-restricted roads and there are alternatives.

The purpose of this article is to draw your attention to this issue and that you may jeopordise your ability to make an insurance claim by being in breach of the direction.

And importantly, it is worth noting, should an injury occur you might also be charged with “negligence” by the police, which on my understanding is not a traffic violation, but a criminal offence.

My caveat is I have researched this issue given I have “skin in the game” with my vehicle and I’m satisfied with my interpretation based on the information given to me and my research on the topic.

It may or may not be the same in other States, or others may interpret the rule differently, my only suggestion is do your own research on the topic to satisfy yourself either way. And of course, I'd be interested on the rules in relation to other States if you have any thoughts to offer.

I suspect many are blissfully unaware of the implications this issue may have, especially regards to insurance and personal liability…



Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Scott & Sally - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 14:42

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 14:42
G'day Baz,
Great article on a topic not many people think about.
The other thing often forgot is GVM. I've got a 76 series with a GVM of 3000 Kg. After all the add on's etc I found the tare with me, a full tank of fuel (170Ltrs) , an empty set of draws and an empty fridge was 2930KG so either the beer or the missus had to stay behind on a trip to be legal. The car had a standard OME 2'' lift when I bought it and I found out through some research that that is the suspension pack that ARB use for a GVM upgrade.
I found an engineer in Adelaide who for a modest fee signed off on the GVM upgrade with no modifications needing to be done.
The only other thing that was required was the vehicle had to pass a roadworthy over the pits at Transport SA due to it being an upgrade after 1st registration.
Jobs done.
I now have a vehicle with a legal GVM of 3660 Kg and the piece of mind knowing I can be loaded up and not have to worry about scalies etc when out and about.
Cheers Scott.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 14:53

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 14:53
Hi Scott

Does SA have similar weight restricted roads (3t)?.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Glenn C5 - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:03

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:03
Well you had better ring the missus every couple of days just to make sure she is ok !!
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Reply By: Member - Scott & Sally - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:21

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:21
Hi Baz,
Yes mate but mainly in the Adelaide CBD and surrounds. You get the odd one out in the burbs.
The other thing with these restricted streets is what if you own a vehicle that exceeds the weight limit and you live in the street. Do they give you a permit or something?
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:47

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:47
That is a good question...!

My understanding is you could apply to have a permit issued to enable you to enter the street on a regular basis. I am verifying this with my local council and will let you know.

But it does beg the question about delivery vans and trucks...?

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 18:53

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 18:53
Certainly does beg that question, and a few others.
Like, I'm moving to a place in there - does it mean that the removalist has to drop lots of my gear out in the street, and do several trips?
Like, How about a vehicle (which is below the limit) and a caravan (also below the limit) - what about GCM?

FWIW, I have no intention of asking these questions of my local council, not for fear of what it might mean to me (the road I live on is good for fully loaded trucks and dog trailers with gravel on, so not really relevant) but for fear of them making changes to other roads I drive regularly with the van attached!
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:27

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:27
Answered elsewhere on this thread. You are allowed in if you live there or are making a delivery. It seems the signs are meant to stop certain roads from being thoroughfares, shortcuts if you will. In their opinion the road isn't suitable for continual heavy traffic.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:35

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:35
Good post, Baz.

With my current vehicle, a BT50 upgraded to 3500 GVM the situation is as you describe.

With my previous vehicle I had another scenario that I never resolved. A Prado with a GVM under 3 tonne towing a 2 tonne hybrid, total a bit short of 5 tonnes.

I figured if the weight restriction was for pavement I was OK because the axle loads, and hence stress to the pavement, would have been within bounds.

But what about a bridge? That's not a pavement consideration, it's structural. Again, the load is spread out so could be ok, but is it really?

I never did sort it out before changing vehicles. I guess I should because I have the same trailer, and if the sign said 4 or 5 tonnes instead of 3, I'd be in the same boat.

Your post has prompted me to query RMS.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:50

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:50
Hi Frank

I'm hearing about axle weights, but most restrictions simply give a weight and don't qualify it beyond that...

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 18:57

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 18:57
Hope the answer is good ... both for you and for the rest of us!

Quite honestly, I'd not be holding my breath for a quick response, though!
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 16:15

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 16:15
G’day Baz
Here’s another one for you to think about.
Shopping centre multilevel car parks with signage stating similar to your sign meaning nothing over 3 tonnes. I won’t go onto that particular place in Tamworth as my Nissan weighs very close to that but the number of big Toyota’s and Nissan’s parked there amazes me. I doubt any of the drivers realise that they are very close to or over that 3 tonne limit.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 16:44

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 16:44
Hi John

I think it is something that is possibly overlooked by many. And a lot of people may not even be aware of the issue or given it any thought.

Non-compliance with any road sign or directive can have huge consequences attached to it, whether it be financial or personal liability.

And on the road weight restriction signs, you need to be looking for them, and the more I look, the more I find...!

Cheers, Baz


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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 15:50

Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 15:50
There are many who are aware of their weight but dont really care. Plenty of posts from people on various forums admitting they are overweight but not too worried. The number of people who tow overweight vans is also staggering. Hopefully the vehicle checks by cops with a focus on overweight vehicles and rigs will sort these people out.
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Reply By: baznpud - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:08

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:08
Interesting article, but these signs don't only refer to roads, we see them more on bridges, and this brings up the argument, why is it restricted to that exact weight and do you believe it, for example, couple of years back we went to camp at the Peach Trees camp site near Jimna , and the sign before the bridge said vehicles over 5t should not cross this bridge, we were just over 6t, there was a grader working on the road so asked the driver what he thought, the answer being "mate I weigh 28t and have been over it, and nothing has happened, don't know why the sign is there", so we drove over it, wrongly or rightly.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:32

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:32
Hi Baz

I guess the point of my article is to highlight the issue; some make a decision to disregard the sign, others may think it doesn’t apply to them and are unaware of the implications.

And like any road rule or directive, one might “run the gauntlet” many times, but the risks are there in terms of liability if something goes wrong.

As to whether the rule, whether a bridge or road, is appropriate is a question for the authorities to answer. I’m just looking at the legality side of things.

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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:06

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:06
Quite possibly the council had no signs for the "actual" engineer determined max load the bridge could carry, and used the ones they had with the highest limit available.
You think I'm joking? Would cost them an arm and a leg to get specific signage for every bridge, and not including the cost to get specific engineering limits determined.
Far, far easier to use signage they already have than to think about the unintended ramifications.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 00:27

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 00:27
That must have been some road grader to weigh 28 tonnes.

The largest proportion of Council road graders in use are around 150HP and weigh between 13 and 15 tonnes.

John Deere 770 road grader specifications

As far as the grader driver goes, it sounds like he was a right d***head.

If he continued past a 5 tonne load limit warning sign, without consultation with the Shire Engineer, he should have been fired on the spot.

More than one d***head operator or driver, with a heavy machine or vehicle, has destroyed a load-limited bridge, at great cost to themselves, and to taxpayers.

Road Graders are subject to intensive road regulations that apply only to road graders and road grader combinations - and the grader operator should have known that - if he had any qualifications at all.

Victoria - Road Grader and Road Grader combination road regulations

I am a former plant operator, grader driver, plant and construction equipment trainer, and have done extensive amounts of road construction, civil construction, and heavy equipment transport (up to 130 tonnes) - so I have some idea of what I'm talking about.

And what I do know is that load limit, height or width restriction, and other information signs are not placed willy-nilly by anyone, they are put in place by trained people, who hold the qualifications to do so.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 21:15

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 21:15
But so much of what you have written is specific to Victoria, and symptomatic of the dysfunctional plethora of rules/regulations among the states.

I seriously doubt that every weight restriction sign is installed after a complete engineering assessment of the problem. For a start, we don't employ enough engineers in our councils to do that! Far too many "rules" are predicated on a "cover your arse" mentality, from the point of view of the regulators. What that means is that the Council will err on the conservative side so as to minimise the potential for litigation, regardless of the actual engineering capacity of a portion of road or bridge.
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Reply By: Kenell - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:31

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:31
Baz, you have certainly raised some good points. In my opinion it would be difficult for an insurer to successfully deny a claim. They would have to ultimately show that the vehicle being where it shouldn't caused or contributed to the loss. Section 54 of the insurance contracts act would come into play. Something a lot of front line staff rarely come across. Nevertheless who wants to get into those arguments after a prang as you have said.

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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 08:09

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 08:09
I have just been in to the NSW Roads & Maritime Services site and found this :-

LIGHT VEHICLE ROAD ACCESS
Light vehicles that comply with prescribed dimension limits and applicable vehicle standards have unrestricted access to the road system provided the vehicle has current registration.

It goes on to define a light vehicle as being under GVM of 4.5T plus a trailer of AGM 4.5T. Makes you wonder whether the yellow signs as depicted in Baz's opening thread are anything more than recommendations. I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted and wonder whether anyone else has?

Ken
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:08

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:08
Hi Ken

Thanks for the input and your thoughts and if my memory serves me correct you have expertise in the insurance area.

On my initial enquiry to my insurance company it was referred to the Claims Manager who indicated a claim under my policy would most likely be rejected if I were travelling on a road I was not “legally” entitled to travel on.

I suspect this would be any insurer’s default position based on the terms and conditions of its insurance policy.

This prompted me to look at Section 54 as potentially it could be argued that it is a technical issue that potentially had no bearing on the outcome of the accident or incident.

And whilst there might be circumstances under which it might have been reasonable to be travelling on that road the issue is that you would need to argue it, or would need to challenge the insurer under Section 54 if a claim was rejected.

This might mean a couple of things.

The insurance company defends its position. Or they assess the cost of defending it versus the likelihood of success and come up with a settlement offer that will be less than what would normally be paid under the policy – a take it or leave it approach.

Essentially, it is going to cost the person insured money to pursue the claim.

Addressing your second follow-up…

I am aware of that provision under the Road and Maritime Service (RMS) in NSW, however, this relates only to roads administered and under the jurisdiction of the RMS.

In NSW the RMS administer major roads and highways only.

Many local roads, upon which these 3T weight restrictions apply, are administered by Local Government Authorities. As I understand it, the RMS does not have any weight restrictions under 4.5T on its roads and highways.

Therefore, if you see a weight restriction under this weight it will, in all likelihood, be under a local government authority by-law.

Local Government enforcement officers would usually issue infringement notices and I doubt the police would actively police it.

However, if involved in an accident, the police might then look at aspects such as travel on a weight-restricted road and this might have personal liability issues if there is injury involved.

I suspect a diligent insurance claims manager would also look at many aspects of the incident before making a determination of how the claim will proceed.

This issue is a “sleeper trap” that many can fall into totally and blissfully unaware of the potential implications if involved in a collision or accident on one of these weight-restricted roads.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:22

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:22
Thanks Baz and Ken. Your discussion here says to me that rather than approach RMS about the ute-trailer combination, I should approach a local government authority. But how many of those are there, and do they all think the same way?

It's a rhetorical question!!. I don't expect an answer from you guys :-)

I will try my local lot and see what they think as an indication.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:52

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 10:52
Hi Frank

I suspect all the local government authorities have similar by-laws relating to this issue and worded the same.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 11:10

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 11:10
Ok, I have just spoken with my local council and also an adjoining one. The local guy was just a customer service officer. The guy from the adjoining council was a roads engineer and spoke with more authority.

Both say that the signage applies to the total mass of the combination, so even if your vehicle and trailer are each under the posted limit (ie, logically, axle loads would be ok) but the combination is over the posted limit, then you cannot legally travel that road.

I was told that exemptions apply if the origin or destination of your journey lies on that road and also to delivery vehicles.

Baz, you might be interested in this. The engineer guy from the adjoining LGA was emphatic that these rules are common across all local government areas in NSW and are or can be policed by NSW RMS inspectors, even on council roads - and, I presume, by council rangers.

So that clears it up for me. Thanks for bringing the matter to our attention, Baz.
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 11:50

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 11:50
Baz,
Just a couple of comments.
I agree with you totally - no one wants to be in a conflict situation with their insurer when their car is on the back of a tow truck. S54 is indeed grey - there is an interpretation on line by the Financial Ombudsman's Office (as it was up until a week or two ago) that makes it a little clearer. ASIC takes a dim view of insurers saying "no" as a first response in the hope that it will put the insured off. Nevertheless I am sure it happens. They need to be pretty confident that it isn't a claim before the customer progresses it though because the insurer starts paying as soon as the customer contacts FOS and each contact costs more (thousands). And a final point - my policy covers my vehicle anywhere in Australia whether or not I am there legally. I could give many examples of why this is such an important part of motor policies but you have highlighted one in your thread. It is worth checking the geographical limitations before buying a policy. I also acknowledge the lines between local and state govt in relation to roads but the wording I quoted suggests they have an overarching authority. I have written to them seeking clarification and will share when (if) I get a response. Again thanks for the efforts you and others have gone to on this - makes the forum all worthwhile.

Ken
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 12:34

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 12:34
Thanks Ken

Will be interested if RMS come back to you. In my contact they were emphatic that the LGA sets by-laws on local roads.

What it does highlight is the amount of ambiguity on this issue. A read of the RMS light vehicle directive you posted would lead many (most) to think they are covered under it...

And let’s face it “ambiguity” is a legal professions playground...

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 19:21

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 19:21
https://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads
One of stages between "OPEN to all vehicles" and "CLOSED to all vehicles" is "Open to 4WD vehicles under 3 tonne only (no towing)".
There can not be any misinterpretation here. I suggest that "3 tonne" means "3 tonne".
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:15

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:15
Trouble is that the above is ONLY applicable to "outback roads" in SA.
Important though SA might be, it is not applicable across the country - yet another of the stupid anomalies caused by our state/federal system.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 19:55

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 19:55
We went to drive up the old section of the Silver City Highway north of Mildura and were confronted with a 4T limited bridge, nothing about trucks just 4T bridge limit. Now my ute weighs in at about 2750 and I tow a trailer rated at a tonne and a half but haven't weighed it loaded so we turned around and went back.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 22:01

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 22:01
Haven't seen too many of these signs out in western Qld, Baz, but on the odd trip to the coast have seen some examples. Often wondered why, and it appears the signs often restrict access to roads/streets that are narrow, steep, a cul-de-sac or somewhere that might cause access dramas at some time in the future. Ray Hadley's Galston Gorge comes to mind, but am unaware of it's weight limit, though this example might be OT.

Back in the day, light trucks wouldn't have been much more than 3 or 4 ton, and these may have been what the signs were originally aimed at. Local Govt probably hasn't kept up the increase in size, and weight, of the modern 4WD, with its weighty occupants & accessories.

Agree with your thoughts as regards insurance, culpability & the like.

Bob



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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 22:36

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 22:36
Hi Bob

Yes, I think the potential is that vehicle sizes have got bigger and heavier and the local roads have not kept pace.

Oddly, in Sydney you would be surprised at what is restricted to vehicles under 3t

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Follow Up By: Bill R5 - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 11:22

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 11:22
Not only roads that haven't kept pace with increasing vehicle size/weights.....

Try parking my Chevy in Woolies or Coles carpark... hahahaha
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 20:05

Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 20:05
Bill.
Heading out to the daughters place last week we dropped into the local (which has free camping out the back) to get some supplies. There was 2 Chevys and bushtrackers set up in the free camp. They were in the bar when we walked in and we had a short chat. I told them I have a caravan too and they asked what it was. I was pretty smartly told mine was just a toy not a real off road van. And the two wives had a very audible chuckle. They then asked about a 25 k short cut through to another town. I had driven through there a few weeks ago and said it was fine, the council haven’t long graded it.

One old mate turns to the other and says if it’s gravel F... that I’m going the long way. The other peanut agreed.

I bet that jimmy would eat that gravel road.

And yes bob y. Those 2 wives were very weighty occupants. Maybe that’s why they needed a Chevy. A Toyota would have been overloaded.

Takes all types I guess.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 22:31

Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 22:31
Following a bit OT, Greg, but remember reading a column in a 4WD magazine about the time MK Nissans were on the market. Columnist was talking to a traveller with a well tricked up Nissan ute in Katherine.

Journo asked Ol' Mate about his itinerary, and was told he'd be heading down the Stuart H'way to The Alice, then onto Adelaide. Journo then commented that Ol' Mate would enjoy the trip south from The Alice along the then unsealed Stuart H'way in this very capable Nissan.

Ol' Mate replied: "Oh no, I'd never take my ute on that road. I'm putting it on the train!"

Bob



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Follow Up By: Bill R5 - Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 23:07

Thursday, Dec 06, 2018 at 23:07
G'day Greg,

Those type really get up my nose with comments and chuckles about the type of set-ups other people have!!!

They must be on some sort of ego trip (as opposed to an off-road trip!!).

No wonder so many non-Bushtracker owners reckon that Bushtracker owners are up themselves.

It doesn't surprise me that they wouldn't take their gear on a dirt road....many are just show ponies.

As for Bob's story about the Stuart Hwy....what can I say....some people just beggar belief...!!!

Cheers gents

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 17:25

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 17:25
Hi Bill.

Yeah I can’t get my head around this snobbery about what other people choose to travel in.

We have what I consider to be a very nice off road van. A Kedron atv. But apparently I was wrong as it’s only a toy. We are more than happy with it.

I’m sure there’s as many snobs towing Kedrons as there is towing bushtrackers. But from what I’ve seen old Joe and Carmel in their commodore and jayco have just as much fun, if not more, touring around. I fact these are the type of people I’m more drawn to talk to.

The only reason we bought this brand of van was because an old uncle has had 2 of them and he recommended them so strongly. Without his advice god knows what we would have bought. And we are not sorry. Wonderful people behind that brand.

Cheers Bill. Might see you out and about one day.

Cheers Greg.


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Reply By: duck - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 07:58

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 07:58
Ignorance of the law is no excuse (according to the courts), it does not have to be even sign posted, it is up to you to know whether the way you travel is suited to your means of transport, (yet it may help in court)
The one that gets me is most of NSW National Parks roads/tracks are 4.5 ton rated & there no signs etc., On a trip out of Beneatha one of the local rangers informed me so I looked it up & he was right, I drive a Isuzu NPS 300 4x4 camper (6 + ton)
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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 16:21

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 16:21
Those signs mean Tare Weight, in simple words if your vehical (truck or car) or combination weighs 3ton or more you are not allowed to use that road or lane way or bridge,
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:20

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:20
No, they mean ACTUAL weight, not Tare (which is empty).
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:27

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:27
Hi Dave

If either your tare weight or gross weight, which ultimately is your actual weight, is over 3T, you cannot use that road, unless the origin or destination is on it.

You can’t use it as a through road.

Which was the thrust of my post. The question in the topic was rhetorical...

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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:55

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:55
Yeah, That's what I ment Peter lol, empty or loaded 3t or over is a no no
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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:52

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:52
I fail to understand why some people on this forum make pronouncements based on their opinions, rather than referring to the applicable legislation or regulation.

Below is the relevant NSW Road Regulation (Road Rule), as applicable to Load Limit signage on public roads.

The weight limit indicated on the Load Limit sign is the GROSS weight of the vehicle, which is the tare weight, plus any or all load/s.

This Load Limit also includes ANY vehicle CONNECTED to the primary (drivers) vehicle.

NSW Consolidated Regulations - Road Rules 2014 - Reg 103

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:00

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:00
Hi Ron,

By "the GROSS weight of the vehicle, which is the tare weight, plus any or all load/s" do you mean GVM or actual weight at the moment?

I cannot find a definition of "Gross Mass" or "Gross Weight". Only GVM, GTM, ATM, etc Your description of gross weight being the tare plus a load of one tonne ("any load") could be below the GVM.

So I am still not clear whether the signage means actual weight or the statutory limits of GVM and, for combinations, GCM.

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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:14

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:14
Frank, It's actual weight empty or loaded & or comination of vehical & trailer
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:22

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:22
But Reg 103 refers to bridges ... not to roadways.
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:57

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 19:57
It's the same if your vehical or combination of vehical & trailer is 3t or over to what ever the sign says, bridge/ road or laneway
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 23:11

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 23:11
Thanks Dave and Ron.

I have found numerous references that support your assertions that Gross Mass or Gross Weight is the actual mass or weight of the vehicle at the moment. Here is one that clearly differentiates between Gross Weight and GVM.

Here is another.

These are at odds with what the council representatives said to me this morning - they said Gross Weight on the signs refers to GVM/GCM as appropriate.

I don't know if those references would hold any weight (pun not intended) if push came to shove in an infringement situation.

I cannot find a definition of Gross Weight or Gross Mass in any Australian roads legislation, so if one of you truckies or ex truckies can point me to a definitive reference I for one would appreciate it as surely that is what would determine the outcome in an infringement dispute.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 01:01

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 01:01
Frank - "Gross" in reference to vehicle weights, means the total weight of the vehicle and everything in it, and connected to it.
It's the figure you get, when you drive over a weighbridge.

In Australia, we have officially moved to using "Mass" as a description for Weight - and this has been in place for many years - at least 25 years that I can recall.

"Mass" has been declared the official word because it is a scientific term.

Unfortunately, a large proportion of the world outside Australia still uses "Weight" as the official term.
So we have either GVM or GVW - both are correct, it's just that GVM is officially correct, in Australia.

The vehicle manufacturers give a Gross Vehicle Mass RATING, in the owners handbook, or on the vehicle ID (VIN) plate.

This has been the case since long before WW2, particularly on trucks.
You have probably seen vintage trucks such as old Chevys and Fords with a big plate affixed in a prominent position such as the firewall or door, warning drivers not to exceed the clearly stated, "X tons, Y cwt", Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

The vehicle GVM or GCM RATING, is not the GROSS Mass at any given time - that can vary widely.

GROSS Mass, as referred to on road or bridge signage, is the actual total weight of your vehicle or combination as you approach the signage.

The definition is in official legislation, but is only defined as related to vehicles and axles - the word "gross" is treated as the dictionary definition of "gross weight".

Australian Legislation - Definitions

Dicitionary.com - Gross Weight

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 08:05

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 08:05
Thanks Ron.

So when a bridge or road is signed with a weight restriction it is not based on GVM/GCM. It is based on actual mass at the time. That is logical and I accept it.

However it is at odds with the advice I received from both Council officers I queried. It would not be the first time a minor bureaucrat has been wrong.

Not to worry. I'll deal with that if and when the occasion arises.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 11:03

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 11:03
Hi Frank

In the context of the thread and the local roads I'm referring to, weight limited to 3T, simply work on total weight of the vehicle + anything you are towing.

But on GVM weight restrictions - I have seen two different types of weight-restriction signs in Sydney.

One simply state restricted to under 3T, and another restricted to GVM under 3T, there is a slight difference between the two. Next time I see the latter I'll take a picture.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 21:30

Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018 at 21:30
Following up on Ron N's statement about "weight" and "Mass".
Weight is a variable, depending on the location, the distance from the centre of the Earth, and a whole lot of other things that are irrelevant (such as whether they are on another planet with different gravitational effects). It is the force on an object due to the gravitational attraction between the object and the environment it is in.
Mass is exactly the same whether you are on Earth, Mars, or Jupiter. And is the amount of matter in an object. It is the resistance to a change in position - although more often stated as the weight of an object at sea level on Earth.
Since most of us will never get to travel to other planets, for most intents, the terms are synonymous.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 09:29

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 09:29
Cant believe how some people make a mountain out of a mole hill. Sign says 3 tonne and over. So bloody simple!! If you want to question every sign you,d never get out of the suburbs!!
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Follow Up By: axle - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 11:12

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 11:12
Hopefully that mob stays in the Suburbs mate!.


Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 12:51

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 12:51
Bigfish

Not sure who your post is directed to?

If at the original post I made it highlights an issue many may not be aware of. The title of the post is a rhetorical question - I know it applies to me...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 13:41

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 13:41
Understand the reason for your thread. I do not understand how much has been posted over such a simple sign. People read way too much into it. Simple...if the vehicle you are driving is 3 tonne or over you are not allowed to travel on the road. Naturally any additional load, towed object or anything associated with e vehicle will be included in the total tonnage. Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 13:53

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 13:53
Yes, agree, 3T is 3T, however you arrive at it...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 15:21

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 15:21
Bigfish,

I guess your reply was aimed at me and a couple of others who lengthened the topic somewhat.

In Follow-up 895388 to John T's Reply you posted

"There are many who are aware of their weight but dont really care. Plenty of posts from people on various forums admitting they are overweight but not too worried. The number of people who tow overweight vans is also staggering. Hopefully the vehicle checks by cops with a focus on overweight vehicles and rigs will sort these people out."

Yet you take issue with people who try to educate themselves and do the right thing because it apparently makes the discussion too long. Mate, if it bores you, don't read it!

The matter was straightforward until this paragraph in the opening post, which introduced GVM into the topic:

"The implication for those with vehicles weighing over 3t or with a GVM in excess of 3t is that travelling on a weight restricted road will, almost certainly, void your ability to make an insurance claim if it relates to an accident on that weight restricted road."

When I made enquiries to two local councils, they both said the restriction is based on GVM. One specifically and clearly said "If your vehicle is over 3T GVM but your weight on the day is under 3T, you would be in breach".

So please forgive me for introducing a discussion in this forum, which, after all, is a discussion forum, in an attempt to clarify conflicting interpretations.

I apologise for not knowing as much on the subject as clearly I ought.
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Reply By: tim_c - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 12:49

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 12:49
There's one in Canberra that has a 2t limit because a whole bunch of people bought homes on the main road in/out of the suburb, and then complained that too many people were driving past their homes trying to get in/out of the suburb. I reckon most of the cars owned by residents in the street would exceed the 2t limit - I'd like to see the Police enforce that.

In the area I used to live, there was a sign saying only authorised trucks were allowed. When it came time to move out, I wtore to the ACT Government asking them how to get authorisation to drive a removal truck to my house... it seems no one ever thought about it - I'm still waiting for a response almost 4 years later.
AnswerID: 622507

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 15:00

Friday, Dec 07, 2018 at 15:00
Tim - the definition of "Authorised trucks" would be in local bylaws or regulations - it doesn't mean you need to apply for official authorisation every time you needed to drive a truck into the street.

It's an unfortunate fact of life, that what has developed today, is that that dreadful pox on society, known as a "traffic planner", has become the defacto ruler of our roads and suburbs.

As a result we have Govts and Shire councils building excellent roads on one hand, and traffic planners on the other hand, making them unusable, with unbelievable restrictions, speed bumps, zig-zags, and "traffic calming" devices galore.

I can assure these people that "traffic calmers" usually have little more effect than making road users angrier.

Even road engineers are in on the stuff ups. After a local council installed a small-diameter roundabout in a main street, I questioned them at a meeting, as to how removal trucks were expected to get into the street.

My question was shrugged off, it was obvious that removal trucks were not even considered in the planning processes for the roundabout.

In Northam, some years ago, the council installed a roundabout on the heavy haulage bypass, at the end of the bridge over the Avon River.

Naturally, no-one on the council even considered the effect on up to 150 East-West B-Doubles and Semi-trailers, that were using the road each day and night.

Most had trouble getting around the roundabout, so the trailer wheels were dragged over it.
Shortly thereafter, the truckies made even less effort to go around the roundabout, and virtually went straight through it!

Within 3 months the roundabout was totally destroyed and the council removed it. I hate to think what the whole fiasco cost.

Cheers, Ron.
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