I don’t understand GVM upgrades

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 17:22
ThreadID: 137702 Views:4546 Replies:24 FollowUps:49
This Thread has been Archived
Is it true that someone can fit heavier springs and then have a 4wd classified to carry a heavier weight.
Ok the springs could be rated to carry more but what about the chassis, axles, wheel bearings and brskes?
I don’t understand how a manufacturers rating can be changed. Nor do I understand why people buy a vehicle that is not fit for their task then try to make it do a job it was not intended to do.
Maybe I am missing something here.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Tony F8 - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 17:38

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 17:38
If you are missing something, so am I. I certainly don't understand it, especially after seeing some near misses where the vehicle was struggling to pull up whilst towing some wallopingbig van, you don't have to be Einstein to see that a lot of the dual cab utes are well beyond their rated capacity.
AnswerID: 623339

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 20:00

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 20:00
Tony, guess you are regarding the caravan, it is a GVM upgrade and not a GCM upgrade. I believe GCM upgrades for light vehicles have been banned unless secondary manufacturers can get the approval of the primary manufacturer and that's not going to happen.

As for the dual cab assertion, it applies to any vehicle whether it be single cab, extra cab or wagon, if it is over weight then that is what happens. BTW I don't own a dual cab.
1
FollowupID: 896528

Reply By: mountainman - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:19

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:19
No one here gets exactly the vehicle they want or fit for purpose.
How much do you think that would cost if you had that option at time of buying.
At least people actually spend the money and make their vehicles legally and safely carry the weight they require.
Whats stupid about that.
People actually make their vehicle suit the needs of them.
How else do you think the aftermarket shops stay open..

You buy a vehicle to start with
Then customise it to suit your needs
Or am i not thinking out loud enough.
If you want to tow a van
You need proper suspension to do job safely
Same with touring remote or long distance spots.
Anything you add to a vehicle adds weight
Just look at the pathetic load capacity of 4x4 vehicles when full of fuel and 2people
Odd bit of luggage
Nothing left
But what would i know
Someones missing a few roos in the top paddock
AnswerID: 623341

Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:43

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:43
Cruiser, I agree, if springs and shockers are upgraded to carry more, the brakes should be upgraded as well, not just heavier duty pads, but upgraded calipers and rotors, if they can't be upgraded, no GVM increase possible, my two cents worth
John and Jan

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 623342

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:52

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:52
When I had my Dmax GVM upgraded it was upgraded to the axle load limit. The GCM stayed the same. I think the allowable towed weight was reduced to comply with the GCM when the vehicle was loaded to the GVM.
AnswerID: 623343

Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:56

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 19:56
I consider any upgrade to only be acceptable and legal in someone’s eyes because those allowing the additional load and stress to use up some of the makers safety margin. How much safety margin is used up probably varies. Ther is no way the axle ratings and bearing life or rating is really considered.
You can’t add extras and have it over GVM because it is not legal, BUT, if you pay sufficient people money, you can get an upgrade which takes the axle loadings and brakes ability past that level, etc, and be legal, but it wasn’t with the bull bar and a few other bits taking it over.
All official madness, allowed as long as someone is able to be the one responsible when things go wrong. However, most times when things go wrong it seems to me that no one calls to account those who authorised it all. Perhaps occasionally when a death is involved or the accident causes a great financial loss to someone with clout. The average bloke doesn’t have the same addressing of issues because he is small fry.
In Victoria, you cannot drive a B double down certain roads, ILLEGAL, FINES INVOLVED, but if you pay Vic Roads money you can get a permit to drive it down the road which you were banned from without the piece of paper. The paper dosn’t change the bridge rating or alter the road seal load ability, but it is now ok. Different but the same sort of madness. With aircraft the rules are tighter, because they drop from above if it is not right or it is overstressed.
AnswerID: 623344

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 22:17

Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019 at 22:17
Very good explanation RMD thank you
0
FollowupID: 896533

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 10:10
Yep , the difference between a LAME and a , lets say Tojo mechanic , sorry , technician is so far apart it is 'laughable' ... one actually 'signs off' and is liable the other just says 'oops' ....
0
FollowupID: 896541

Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 19:41
Very good analogy alloy.

Sort of like a Doctor and sorry, ambulance staff.

Cheers Greg
0
FollowupID: 896550

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:31

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:31
Seemingly, a good analogy, but from my perspective of having owned and flown many planes over the years, there are LAMEs and then there are LAMEs, much the same as the automotive industry...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
2
FollowupID: 896553

Reply By: splits - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 00:05

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 00:05
" Ok the springs could be rated to carry more but what about the chassis, axles, wheel bearings and brskes?"
--------------------------------------------
The internet is full of examples of chassis, axles, wheel bearings and wheel studs failing on upgraded vehicles, particularly in the Outback, but I have yet to see any broken aftermarket springs. That is not surprising though because they are the only parts in the car that have been designed to carry the extra weight.

Brakes don't break with extra loads but the cars take longer to stop. The same thing happens with oversize tyres. The distance between the centre of the wheel and the road is a lever. If you increase the leverage, you increase the stopping distance.

Then there is the altered loads on the wheel bearings due to owners fitting wheels with non standard off sets. The large inner bearing takes most of the load. Different wheel offsets can easily take some of the load off that bearing and transfer it to the small outer bearing resulting in it being overloaded.

Another major problem is a fully loaded car with the load correctly distributed is supposed to be down at a certain height. If it is up because of heavier springs or lift kits, the original suspension geometry is stuffed up but the driver may not notice it until an emergency situation develops.

This link briefly explains "roll steer".ROLL STEER It covers the semi trailing arm design but the same applies to all designs. It is the reason why rear leaf springs are always flat, or very close to it,with the front eye at axle height and the rear up much higher when the car the car is loaded. They skew the axle around slightly in the direction the car is being steered in corners in order to assist with cornering stability.

The front leaf springs on older Landcruiser are another example. The have high arc springs that pass under the axle with the shackles at the front. Toyota did not make them that way for appearence. When the car leans onto it in corners, the spring flattens a little and pushes the axle forward. The other side spring will drop down a little as the load on it decreases and take the axle back a little.

The front leaf springs on the early Hilux are on top of the axle with the shackles at the rear end but up high with the top bushes passing through the chassis. The spring is flat from new and goes concave when the car leans onto it in corners thereby taking the end of the axle slightly forward. I would imaging this design was used because the car was based on the 2wd chassis with its IFS suspension.

It is very easy to reverse the whole design when the car is up higher on aftermarket springs.

Many owners claim these popular 4wds won't carry their advertised loads without one end sagging. If that is the case you have a warranty problem and it is up to the manufacturer to fix it. As sure as can be though, the manufacturer will not distribute a full load in the same manner the owner has loaded it. A full load means every last kilo in exactly the right place.

It also means no bull bars or winches on the front if the car has not been designed to carry them. Cars are only designed to work with the manufacturer's own accessories.

Finally, if owners ask the manufacturer about off sealed road loads, don't be surprised if the answer is to reduce them. Maximum towing and carrying capacities are usually for good sealed roads only and should be reduced in the bush. This was mentioned in both the editorial and the bent chassis story in 4x4 Australia magazine a few years ago.
AnswerID: 623347

Follow Up By: Guy G - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 03:17

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 03:17
Good post Splits: "Brakes don't break with extra loads but the cars take longer to stop. The same thing happens with oversize tyres. The distance between the centre of the wheel and the road is a lever. If you increase the leverage, you increase the stopping distance." The other reason you increase the stopping distance is that the distance between the centre of the wheel and the brakes stays the same as does the friction materials and clamping forces. Therefore the brake efficiency is reduced. Try explaining that to every kid who has fitted oversized diameter tyres in breach of VSB14.
1
FollowupID: 896536

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 08:12

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 08:12
splits, "It also means no bull bars or winches on the front if the car has not been designed to carry them. Cars are only designed to work with the manufacturer's own accessories". so this means it's ok to fit a "manufacturers" bull bar and winch, but not after market ones, which in most cases are exactly the same items?
John and Jan

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

3
FollowupID: 896539

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 08:36

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 08:36
Land Rover have a carrying capacity, on road. If using the vehicle off road, LR say the load should be halved, 50% of on road load. I wonder why!
1
FollowupID: 896540

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:56

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:56
John (followup 2 of 3). My Mitsubishi bullbar is a darn site lighter than the heavy ARB,Ironman , etc bars. Thats why I chose it. I have good upgraded suspension but baulked at the heavy weight of aftermarket bars. Especially when 90% are just fitted to urban warriors cars.
0
FollowupID: 896547

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 15:15

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 15:15
Bigfish, (follow up 4) I did say most, LOL.
John and Jan

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 896548

Follow Up By: splits - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:07

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:07
John posted:
so this means it's ok to fit a "manufacturers" bull bar and winch, but not after market ones, which in most cases are exactly the same items?
----------------------------------------
According to a report on the current Hilux in a recent NRMA monthly journal, Toyota's genuine bull bar comes in a kit that includes new springs to support the additional weight.

It was the same back in the days when air conditioning in cars was an optional extra. The Holden spare parts manuals at the dealer I worked for listed one set of front springs for factory fitted air conditioning and different sets for cars that left the assembly line without air conditioning.

I have heard it said many times on the net that fitting an aftermarket bull bar took the weight on the front end over the maximum limit. You can bet the manufacturer of those cars did not supply a bull bar as a genuine accessory meaning the car was not designed for them.

Any amount of additional weight on the front suspension will alter the wheel alignment. You can readjust it to original specifications but the control arms are still in the altered position, i.e. different angles, and the ball joints will be swinging up and down in a different arc. This will result in the wheel moving up and down at a different angle to what the manufacturer intended and that in turn will have an effect on handling.
1
FollowupID: 896551

Follow Up By: splits - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:21

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:21
RMD posted:
Land Rover have a carrying capacity, on road. If using the vehicle off road, LR say the load should be halved, 50% of on road load. I wonder why!
------------------------------------------

I have an email from Land Rover that says the off road towing capacity of the Defender comes down from 3500 kg to 1500 kg.

Mitsubishi said the maximum towing capacity for the Triton is for sealed highway conditions only and should be reduced in off road conditions but they did not say by how much.

A few years ago when the towing capacity of the Hilux 4x4 was well below its competitors, Toyota's head office told me it can tow its maximum off road but do not tow at all in soft dry sand.

They all have restrictions but they are often ignored by many owners and the aftermarket industry. At least the owners are doing a great job in keeping the bush repair workshops going flat out during the tourist season.
0
FollowupID: 896552

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 10:56

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 10:56
Perhaps this discussion should be widened to include overloaded vehicles that have had no GVM upgrade given much of the commentary relates to vehicles being loaded beyond what the manufacturer intended.

Plenty of those vehicles on our roads and tracks, with many blissfully unaware of the potential consequences.

At least with a GVM upgrade a product is being fitted that has been tested and approved for the vehicle and whilst we can debate the finer points of that approval process, in the least it has had to go through engineering testing.

And a point made earlier in the thread about the GVM upgrade using up some of the manufacturer’s safety margin is understood, this is no doubt the case.

It comes down to assessing the risk/reward equation of doing that.

On the need for a GVM upgrade; it has been canvassed many times, but for the most part the vehicles being produced simply don’t cut it for the travel that some want to do...

I’m betting I could count on one hand the number of people who visit EO and undertake remote area travel with a ‘totally’ stock standard vehicle off the show room floor.

Our approach to managing the upgrade; as a matter of course we replace wheel studs, bearings, shock absorbers and check all suspension components regularly and well ahead of any’normal’ time frame to take account of the extra weight carried.

This approach has served us well to date with our vehicle of choice,

Good luck out there,

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 623353

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:03

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:03
Baz
I don't think the items added to modify have been tested much at all. They are obviously larger spring capability and shocks which control better and those are selected for use in a GVM upgrade. The Engineer who checks the specs of altered components, if he checks them at all, simply OK's it because it is higher rated in some way. Brakes usually, if altered at all for the extra mass, are nearly always a pad or lining which bites a bit better with greater coefficient of friction, if possible. How many vehicles are really tested with the new GVM load to see if the retardation performance is same or approaching same as OE. All vehicles when new meet a spec, empty, and things get worse when loaded. Therefore the GVM weight and brake performance is not compared to original. It is ok isn't it, = signed off. A vehicle which passes a basic brake test might have to endure sustained braking down hill/mountain and the new grippy pads will soon overheat to the, " I can't grip anymore" stage and simply fade.
User awareness is the biggest safety factor there.
2
FollowupID: 896544

Reply By: Guy G - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 11:50

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 11:50
There is an old saying that in effect says: "You can overload, you can travel at the maximum speed & you can travel on very rough surfaces BUT you can't do all three simultaneously without some consequences i.e. vehicle damage.
Without wanting to enter the GVM debate, its a case of horses for courses. I've seen many professionally done including brake test results, installation of wet brakes, etc. as well as some that are questionable, particularly the methods used by some to compensate for driveline angle variations. GVM upgrades are illegal on factory new vehicles prior to them being licensed except by a modifier holding a Federal SSM approval number. GVM increases are not covered under VSB14 but they are under VSB6 (Applicable only to vehicles exceeding 4.5 tonnes GVM) but some States (WA) are allowing them on light vehicles under VSB6 provided the vehicle has a full chassis. In some cases vehicle warranty will be compromised and some insurers won't touch modified vehicles. As vehicles become more and more technologically advanced these modifications will be harder to make compliant such as we are already seeing with factory vehicle stability programs (ESP) and the like. We are not here to dance to the tune of the after-market industry. Safety must be the guiding factor. Rest assured there are plenty of instances of broken springs, broken, cracked and bent chassis and other consequential damage.
AnswerID: 623354

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 11:58

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 11:58
I have had both GVM and GCM upgrades on the OKA (which is NOT a light vehicle).

The GVM upgrade in particular involved a quite extensive assessment of the vehicle by the approved engineer responsible, despite having done similar upgrades on several similar OKAs previously.

Checks on the brake performance, for instance, involved loading the vehicle to the proposed new GVM and then conducting real life brake tests on a private air strip (that we had to pay for). Tests included 12 panic stops from 60kph one immediately after another followed by a panic stop from 100kph. Pedal pressure and G force retardation were recorded for each stop and disc temperatures were recorded after the final stop.

Maybe some upgrades are more "legitimate" than others?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 623355

Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 12:46

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 12:46
Yes, a neighbor recently did the same tests, plus the witches hats waltz. He did his at A.I.R. The Engineer conducted tests on several vehicles on the same day to save costs on hiring A.I.R. for the day.

My neighbor failed his first attempt by the way. Something about the temperature of the brake rotors being too hot after the panic stops.

Maybe it's an SA thing?

1
FollowupID: 896568

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 18:26

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 18:26
The OKA failed the first brake test because the rear wheels locked up before the front and on the dirt in particular, that risks putting the vehicle sideways. Easily fixed on the spot by adjusting the proportioning valve.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
0
FollowupID: 896607

Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:33

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 12:33
As well as the GVM upgrade I changed the brakes, two reasons, first, able to carry heavier loads and wanted to be able to stop safely, second also had an engine upgrade fitting a Duramax, rears done also. The brake upgrade was not cheap, but in my mind an absolute necessity for safe motoring.
John and Jan

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 623356

Reply By: Member - IndroCruiser - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:00

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 20:00
A lot of insightful opinions have been put forward in the responses to the original question. The simple fact is where a vehicle exceeding its Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is involved in an incident which damages or injures other parties, the operator of vehicle will face some pretty heavy liabilities. There is no point in saying “everybody does it, so what’s the problem?” That line does not work with Traffic Police for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, DUI etc, etc, etc – and it won’t work with an overloaded vehicle either. The situation also would lead to difficulties with an insurance claim by the overloaded vehicle.

Nowadays, there is a lot of common ground between the States but there are still a few differences, and it is worth finding out whatever the local rules may be. In Queensland, it is recommended to have a good look at:

• National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modifications
• Queensland Code of Practice: Vehicle Modifications (published in October 2018)

…. and in particular to look through the documents found at:

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Vehicle-standards-and-modifications/Vehicle-modifications/Light-vehicle-modifications#qcop

Other States may be different, but most likely have something similar in their jurisdictions.

The relevant Queensland Code is LS11 which is found at Page 56 of the document which can be downloaded from the above link. Among other things, it appears that modifications of up to 10% increase in GVM outside of a manufacturer’s GVM rating on ladder frame light vehicles MAY be “certified” by an “Approved Person”, subject to ALL the requirements of Code LS11 being met.

What must be considered by an “Approved Person” doing the “certifying”?

Code LS11 requires that an “Approved Person” consider all of the following when considering a GVM increase:
Chassis
Engine/Transmission
Axle Ratings
Tailshaft
Suspension
Brakes
Steering
Tyres and Rim

It is also worth having a look at the Queensland Code LS9 which deals with high lift up to 150mm (note: suspension lift up to 50mm, tyre lift up to 25mm, does not require certification)

Who is an “Approved Person” and what are the qualifications?

in Queensland, an “Approved Person” must hold a Queensland Government accreditation. The requirements to be an “Approved Person” for each of the Queensland Codes are found at
https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/business-industry/Accreditations/Approved-Person-Scheme/Industry-experience-and-qualifications/Qualifications#qualificationtable
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 623360

Reply By: Bobjl - Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 22:14

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019 at 22:14
In answer to your question, Is it true that someone can fit heavier springs and then have a 4wd classified to carry a heavier weight.

The simple answer is Yes in many cases [dependent upon vehicle make, model and other criteria].
For what it is worth, I have a 2103 Land cruiser 200 which required a GVM upgrade from brand new, [the same applied to a previous LC200]. The upgrade I chose was Lovells and means I am legally allowed to carry 500kg greater than the manufacturers proscribed limits. I need some but not all of that additional GVM carrying capacity as my caravan usually is 340kg tow ball mass. The LC200 has a standard payload of less than 600kg so as soon as I fill the fuel tank, fill the Waeco and add up accessories fitted, then two of us get on board, we exceed the proscribed GVM limit. My experience has been that without the GVM upgrade and without sensible weight distribution when caravan attached, the rig is less than safe and illegal. The LC 200 brakes are very good however so as to ensure I do not overload brakes, I drive accordingly [lower the speed], use of trailer brakes on van also assists to share the load. If you have a read of the link below,it may assist your understandings.

https://www.lovellsauto.com.au/product12i.php
AnswerID: 623362

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 08:33

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 08:33
Wow, I’ve owned Ford Rangers and Toyota Landcruisers and find them good for safely towing 2.5 tonnes.
May I ask, with the load capacity you require why not buy a Ford 350, a similar Silverado or Dodge Ram?
2
FollowupID: 896556

Follow Up By: Members - Bow & Nan - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:25

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:25
I found that my 200 series was not safe towing even after a GVM and GCM upgrade. That is why I now drive a Ram.
Massive difference between in towing ability of the two vehicles.
"Work interferes with living"

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 896557

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:47

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:47
Cruiser

Possibly your question goes to the point of why GVM upgrade versus something more fit for purpose out of ‘the box’.

I mean, I’d have a Unimog tomorrow, if I firstly afford to buy it, and secondly afford the running and maintenance costs.

But on an f350, the cost of setting it up for remote area touring might extend beyond the budget of many - even before considering whether it is suitable for your requirements.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
0
FollowupID: 896559

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:05

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:05
Therein lays the 'problem' Baz ... fit for purpose , doing a GVM upgrade does NOT make a vehicle 'fit for purpose' in safety or reality no matter how many $$$$ one throws at it , a pair of thongs is still a pair of thongs even if you put an 'extra' layer of AT tire tread on the bottom ......
6
FollowupID: 896560

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:34

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:34
Hi Alloy

I’m comfortable with the safety and ‘fit for purpose’ aspect of my vehicle.

It suits my style of travel.

But I’ll take you back to a point I raised elsewhere in this thread. Those who have had a GVM upgrade, via the Secondary Stage of Manufacture route, on their vehicle have made a conscious and positive decision in ensuring their vehicle is capable of carrying a load above the original manufactuer’s GVM, safely and legally.

The original intent of this thread is to question why someone would do a GVM upgrade to carry more weight, fair enough question which I’ve answered with my view of it based on my experience.

My belief is that the focus should be not on why some people do an upgrade - but why are ( way too many) people carrying loads well in excess of the manufactuer’s GVM on our Outback roads, without any engineering consideration on the implications to safety...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy

As a footnote, I can calculate at any given time the weight/load of my vehicle within say 20kg - a discipline learnt in my flying days...



2
FollowupID: 896561

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:34

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:34
To Alloy c/t
That is the best explanation I have read so far “ a pair of thongs is still a pair of thongs even after at tread is added on the bottom”
Thank you.
2
FollowupID: 896562

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 11:43

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 11:43
To Baz the Landy
The original question was to ask if the gvm upgrade was possible simply by fitting heavier springs because I felt that many other items such as brakes chassis etc should also be upgraded.
I remember my earlier landcruisers were only rated to 2.5 t and with no real change they became rated at 3.5 which I think was pushing it, so I wonder about these upgrades allowing more weight to be carried.
If the upgrade included at least stronger brakes and reinforced chassis then I would totally understand the legitimacy however I can’t understand how fitting stronger springs can change the manufactures rating.
1
FollowupID: 896566

Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 12:43

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 12:43
The simple answer is - yes some vehicle's GVW can be upgraded with a spring upgrade but for another vehicle maybe not - depends on the vehicle. Other factors in the vehicle like chassis, brakes etc may already be strong enough to handle a spring upgrade to raise GVM where in another vehicle, it may not be the case.

1
FollowupID: 896567

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 13:42

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 13:42
And here is another conundrum of GVM , how is it that a Manufacturer does not ever LOWER the GVM of a vehicle model ? Take for example the Toyota FJ Cruiser ....2011- 2012 have the exact same GVM as the update 2013 , yet the 2013 has the 'extra' fuel tank which adds when full an extra 100 kg to the vehicle weight yet the load weights allowed are exactly the same as the 2012 , everything else bar an extra 5kg of 'electrics' are the same ,Brakes etc etc ....
0
FollowupID: 896570

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 14:22

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 14:22
Hi Alloy

Adding the extra tank gives utility of what you can carry. Extra fuel, at the expense of load, or vice versa. The driver of the vehicle is still required to remain within the approved GVM...

At least, that is my reading of it.

I can carry 260 litres of fuel in my vehicle, but that comes at the expense of a lower payload. If I only fuel it with 130 litres it’s gives me a higher payload, the GVM doesn’t change, just how and what you load your vehicle with.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
4
FollowupID: 896571

Reply By: Gbc.. - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:11

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 09:11
Read this as well
http://www.bamgarage.com/gcm-towing/ssm-or-ls11/
And you may understand the how part. I don’t have one, I don’t need one but I don’t begrudge others using it as a valid method of keeping their rigs legal. It isn’t cheap and it isn’t some dodgy shortcut that some make it out to be.
AnswerID: 623367

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 04:22

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 04:22
Yep, upgrades are pretty common in the heavy end of the market and they do take it very seriously.

Here is an application letter for an upgrade.

Mack upgrade application
0
FollowupID: 896574

Reply By: Member - IndroCruiser - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:48

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:48
Good clear explanation and an easy read at the link helpfully posted by gbc. See also this attached extract from the Queensland Code (October 2018 Update) from Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, to which the link refers -- it is a harder read but it is the official Qld requirement with which all reputable GVM upgraders in Qld comply.
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 623368

Reply By: Kazza055 - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 14:27

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 14:27
It makes me wonder how many people that are bagging the GVM upgrade actually are overweight because that have never bother to check their weights.

When I was researching my purchase for the D-Max back in 2013 had the dealer include in his pricing all the accessories I wanted. By the time I added bullbar, dual battery, canopy, drawers, long range tank, solar panels and the vans ball weight, then made allowances for what I would be carrying on an extended tour I was 20kg short of my allowable payload so I considered that GVM upgrade as being essential.

I had the ARB GVM Upgrade done which gives me an additional 270kg that I can carry as my payload.

What many people don't understand if that even though the D-Max is rated to tow 3500kg it basically is not possible one you start adding the accessories.

When I weighed the van and car with them fully packed the car was around 3000kg and the van was 2500kg so in my case the most I could to is not 3500kg but 3000kg.

The GVM upgrade does not effect the GCM which to the best of my knowledge only the Toyota Cruise is the only car that can have the GCM increased.

As I had my GVM upgrade done before registration it is recognised Australia wide, if you have the GVM upgrade done later you will need to have the engineering done to allow for any accessories you have added, my upgrade was done with the car straight out of the factory so the engineering is straight forward for the standard car.

AnswerID: 623370

Follow Up By: Bobjl - Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 17:01

Thursday, Jan 24, 2019 at 17:01
Thank you Kazza a good response.

The sad part is there are people that dont fully understand all of the issues involved in towing /suspension matters, so nothing changes and unsafe rigs abound. Happily some can identify concerns, relate them to potential safety issues and ask questions and learn.

Views as to merits of certain "upgrades" are mixed and there are perhaps some valid concerns as to potential for damage arising from some such upgrades.

Changes to factory specs are not necessarily going to cause serious problems. I like so many others have completed numerous "upgrades'' to my LC 200 to make it legal and safer. I upgraded Highway tyres to AT, fitted Taipan Exhaust, attached a Snorkel and a Bull bar, I am about to upgrade the electronics so the auto torque converter will lock up more effectively [reducing transmission heat and fuel usage], I am even looking to upgrade engine/performance capability and to reduce fuel usage by altering engine management system programs with a Chip. There are concerns and arguments that could be raised in relation to each of those Upgrades and some may be justified, but in the right hands are mostly manageable - in my opinion of course. Bob
0
FollowupID: 896572

Follow Up By: splits - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:04

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 22:04
Bobjl posted:

Changes to factory specs are not necessarily going to cause serious problems
------------------

There is some truth in that statement but how many owners fully understand what they have done and what it is going to do to the car?

Carrying additional weight may or may not break something. Only the manufacturer's design team could work out exactly what is going to happen when an owner does that. The other issue is the altered handling .

Adding weight to the rear end and or stiffening the rear suspension is a long time known method of changing the car from the factory designed understeer to oversteer. Controlling understeer is easy, you just back off a little on the accelerator pedal. That is why just about every car on the road has been designed to understeer.

Oversteer i.e the rear end sliding out first, requires skillful use of the accelerator and steering to bring the car back into line. I would not be surprised if the percentage of drivers who can do that properly would would be in single figures. I doubt if anyone could do it with a swinging caravan on the back.

Another thing that changes under/oversteer is tyre pressures. There is no end of owners who have fitted different size tyres and wheels and used whatever pressure they think is best. The car may feel great out on the highways but very few would would know what the car is going to do in an emergency swerve or when they go into a corner a little too fast.
1
FollowupID: 896594

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 01:05

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 01:05
I'd forgotten what a fun bunch this was.

Steve
... and he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 623381

Reply By: Member - Harry C - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 09:33

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 09:33
The best place to get to understand GVM upgrades would be to go to the relevant authority that approves them.
The windscreen is a travelling picture show

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 623395

Reply By: Jackolux - Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 15:29

Friday, Jan 25, 2019 at 15:29
The last line in the Op's post said " Maybe I am missing something here "
Turns out he was and so were a lot of others .
AnswerID: 623400

Reply By: axle - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 11:24

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 11:24
Hi Cruiser 3, Ican't understand the logic of it all either!

IMHO I think the fifth wheeler tow set up with the tow hitch mounted forward of the back axle is a far safer set up , and should be mandatory after 2.5 t tare weight of van or whatever. Or buy a dual cab 5t truck that is built to carry a load from the ground up, some have more cab room and are just as comfy, and with all the gadgets that most 4wds have. Its crazy what some are spending and end up with something that's not right anyway.


Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 623410

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 12:59

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 12:59
Hi Axle
From the answers I received it appears that only heavier springs are fitted to obtain the gvm upgrade certificate.
It also seems that motor vehicle manufacturers certify their vehicles with a safety margin built in, these upgrades apparently eat into that safety margin.
However this practice is legal.
There are many responders to my post who question the safety aspect of this practice.
There are also many who suggest that the people buying these upgrade certificates should purchase the correct vehicle for their needs in the first place. I remember one poster though admitting that he couldn’t afford the vehicle of his choice so it seems this upgrade certificate is a cheap way out.
I have found the answer to my question, only springs need to be heavier whereas I thought that the upgrade would have also included stronger brakes, reinforced chassis and possibly stronger front wishbone assy and heavier bearings. I then thought the economics of such an upgrade would be huge. But now I know that only rear springs need to be stronger. Thank for your reply
0
FollowupID: 896601

Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 16:03

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 16:03
Hi cruiser 3, I've found this discussion interesting but I don't fully understand your opinion. For my, and probably many others, further understanding it may be beneficial for us to know what your own vehicle is and what you tow with it along with what extras, if any, are fitted to each. This is to better understand what some here are going on about with the term "fit for purpose". To me it seems to have rather a narrow definition to some and about as vague as "value for money".
0
FollowupID: 896602

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 16:50

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 16:50
Hi Phill
I simply wanted to know what modifications had to be done to be able to get the GVM certificate because I heard it mentioned a lot. (I would not consider it)
After all the input from the forum members I have a better understanding but I also see that it is a hotly debated subject with many in favour of the certificate and as many others questioning the safety of towing more than the manufacturers stated maximum.
Personally I see the manufacturers maximum as being the absolute maximum under ideal conditions. I would never tow a 3.5 ton load behind either my Ranger or Toyota Landcruisers when I had them. I felt that 2.5 ton behind these vehicles was a good safe choice. I live facing a major highway and I see many caravan combinations that seem very overloaded. My thoughts are that they would travel ok until something went wrong then there would be little chance.
I experienced the u bolts breaking on one of my vans only a week after it’s safety inspection 2 ton behind a landcruiser and I was able to keep control even though the wheel went through the floor. Hate to think what would have happened if I were overloaded. Also experienced a complete brake failure after picking up a van that had supposedly had the brakes renewed.
So you can see why I remain conservative with my towing.
Hope this answers your questions
0
FollowupID: 896603

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 19:00

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 19:00
Hi Cruiser

I’d be the bloke that said I couldn’t afford my vehicle of choice (a Unimog), but that isn’t to say my Toyota 79 Series with a GVM upgrade wasn’t my preference taking all things into account (fit for purpose).

Problem with the ‘Mog is it won’t fit in the Coles car park, and putting affordability issues aside. ??

But on a more serious note, your assertions in terms of what is required for a GVM upgrade and what the Secondary Stage Manufacturers’ need to demonstrate is a long way off the mark and given your interest in the topic you would benefit by undertaking more reading outside of this forum and speaking to the engineers who approve SSM modifications.

Last comment Is to all those saying ‘buy a fit for purpose’ vehicle in the first place - given the load carrying capacity of the most popular 4WDs around and the loads being carried these days never the Twain will meet. The Coles carparks would be stacked full of ‘real trucks’ and the LC200 would be relegated to a passing moment in time.

Cheers Baz - The Landy
2
FollowupID: 896608

Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 19:56

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 19:56
Actually cruiser 3, you didn’t fully answer the questions. All I can gather from your reply is that you had some model Ranger, currently have some Landcruiser and some van at around 2.5 tonne. Nothing as to details and improvements/accessories/modifications.

Forgive the long story as I felt it necessary to fully describe why I had a GVM kit installed and how it changed things. Many people are happy with stock standard vehicles, I see ways to improve them for my circumstances. In my case, I wish it was done earlier and I'm long past the DIY efforts of 35 years with a Range Rover.

For the record, I have a PX Ranger XLT 3.2, 6 speed auto plus a van that is 2.6 tonne ATM (it’s 600kg payload means we can be below that if wanted). Only significant car changes are the alloy bar, 36kg’s of AGM aux battery in tub, 140 litre poly tank and the full Lovells GVM kit that takes it to 3500. Theoretically that also takes it to 7000 GCM but wasn’t fitted for that as this van is well below max towing and likely to be our only van as it suits our needs, with some tinkering.

Reasons for GVM upgrade were many and only partially as weighbridge showed us at just over 3100 in touring mode. Too close for my liking to factory GVM. Some of the other reasons go to some comments made here as to peoples opinions as to the Manufactures intentions in how they provide the standard vehicle. Personally, I believe that Manufacturers produce a vehicle to suit not only their internal Accountants/Sales and marketing ideas but also where they expect most sales to go to. Their internal people will limit making the perfect vehicle for every customer as it will cost too much for best sales numbers and limit what they can improve on at their next update model to get future sales. This ultimately ends up with a vehicle that is a compromise and for people towing and/or 4x4ing it may not be suitable in standard form.

Here we get to the reference to “fit for purpose”. It’s a term used here by some and only regarding weight carrying and towing ability. I doubt that most people limit it to that narrow subjects. Most buyers must contend with things like, what they can afford, who will drive it, where it will be parked and is it a daily driver. Recently I was parked next to a F250 in a Woolies carpark and no way would that class/size be “fit for purpose” for us. Yes, we could afford it, but home/shopping parking and wife driving it are totally out of our choices. I doubt that we’re alone in that.

People can dismiss GVM upgrades all they like but conveniently forget that if it is being done prior to Registration then the Dealer must have been involved in the fitting of it and/or organising it. If this type of upgrade was not in some way being approved by the Manufacturer then I can’t see them allowing their Dealers to be involved in it as legal liabilities could arise from it. Of course, here I’m accepting that there are also GVM upgrades being done that have not under gone much, if any, testing and may well be a safety issue that concerns you. A link was posted on one reply as to Lovells testing processes they went through but can also be seen on the Lovells web site. http://www.lovellsauto.com.au/product12i.php for example.

You mention having had a Ranger, well here’s my opinion of the standard setup and why I changed it. Firstly, I never drove one before picking it up 3 months after ordering it. I wasn’t concerned with drivability and suspension as I gleaned satisfactory information as to what it was like from elsewhere and never had any intention of leaving it standard because of past vehicle experience and future use as a mainly van towing situation, not a daily driver at home. First trip was Darwin-Adelaide-Darwin for a month. Solo driving and lightly loaded no problems, acceptable. Second trip to Adelaide to pick up van. Return trip, van and no WDH, found whole rig tended to porpoise a bit on some SA undulating roads and rear sagging more than I would have liked. On weighbridge in Alice for Rego and I was unhappy to find towball weight too high. At home I went through relocating 2 100Ah AGM,s in van, spare under rear and other lightening and now happy with ball weight. For next and longer trip all OK with WDH fitted but car rarely unattached. For next trip I had an extra leaf added to car rear and a set of Bilsteins. Car behaved even better but again not much time without van on rear. Next trip involved a month in Tassie without van and showed up car behaviour on hilly and winding roads. To me it was always too soft and wallowing and diving under braking and the front suspension needed attention plus there was a 10+mm lean to the front left (not unusual apparently).

In looking at GVM kits I chose the Lovells one due to the testing process they went through, not well documented by some others. As a part of the kit, which is far more than just leaf springs to rear, the lean to the front left is cured. Although it all makes the ride a lot firmer it isn’t that bad as wife didn’t comment on it, only about the increased height of 50mm and an extra step would be helpful. My opinion is that overall the car handles far better and is much more pleasant to drive. Still thinking of looking at brakes though but so far there hasn’t been an “Oh s**t” moment. Engine braking, car brakes, lower gears, van brakes and van ESC haven’t given any cause for concern. I don’t know if the experts (the proper one’s) agree but in my opinion a soft and wallowing vehicle could be detrimental to overall rig stability in the way it would tend to unsettle the van. My view is from the way it recently behaved going to Alice and return where it was less affected by other vehicles, particularly road-trains. It really was better behaved and more relaxing to drive.

Finally, In my opinion, a professional GVM kit that is tested, compliant, legal and properly fitted is an improvement that is invaluable to many who tow vans. As was said elsewhere, you should probably be more concerned with the many that DON’T have a GVM upgrade as there are a some supposedly capable tow vehicles that all too easily exceed their Factory GVM with passengers, luggage and accessories without a van on the back adding it’s towball weight. And BTW, even though we’re not insured with a specialist Company they had no problem with the GVM kit, with a minor premium increase of course.
2
FollowupID: 896609

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 20:55

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 20:55
Hi Phil
What a wonderful explanation, thank you.
In your circumstances I completely get it.
My Ranger was PX 2 and the van at that time weighed 2.5 t loaded and I was fairly happy with it and it’s towing ability. But I wouldn’t wish to tow anything heavier with it. This post however was not intended to seek advice on my own towing because as I have said numerous times I am very conservative with standard vehicles and lighter weight vans. During over 50 years of caravanning there have been many combinations of van and tow vehicle which is not really relevant.
I feel I have the answers to my question but in a way regret posting because this seems to be a very contentious and emotional subject that only serves to aggravate people.
0
FollowupID: 896611

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 21:38

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 21:38
axle replied:

IMHO I think the fifth wheeler tow set up with the tow hitch mounted forward of the back axle is a far safer set up , and should be mandatory after 2.5 t tare weight of van or whatever
-----------------------------

That reminds me of a man I called in to see in a small NSW country town around ten years ago. The owned an automotive repair buisness and needed a four wheel car trailer.

He started by having an engineer redesign his trailer and turn it into a fifth wheeler. For a tow car he chose a little L200 2wd Mitsubishi ute from back in the 80s and instaled a V6 Commodore engine and transmission.

With a Holden/Falcon size car on the trailer, the coupling weight is around 400 kg which is well under the axle's maximum capacity. The fifth wheeler design can't lever the back of the little ute sideways like the trailer could if it was attached to a convential tow bar. He said the Holden engine pulls it easily and the whole thing feels very stable as you would expect with a fifth wheeler design.
0
FollowupID: 896613

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:17

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 17:17
The bottom line is - someone can fit a GVM upgrade and still damage their vehicles chassis, suspension, axles, wheels, or wheel studs, by driving too fast for the conditions!

Who can recall the big old overloading/overspeeding, warning/caution plate fitted to the cars and trucks of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's??

This warning plate (below) is fitted to a 1923, 3/4 ton, Dodge truck.
In fact, this warning plate was first affixed to new vehicles, in 1912!



Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 623419

Reply By: Jackolux - Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 21:29

Saturday, Jan 26, 2019 at 21:29
It seems cruiser 3 is still missing something , you will never get a GVM upgrade by just replacing the rear springs .
AnswerID: 623426

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 07:41

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 07:41
Hi Jackolux
Ah the first person to respond with a clear yes or no answer to my question “do you only have to fit heavier springs” thank you.
Most answers were long and it seemed people were trying to justify why they were having this modification when all I wanted to know was do you only change springs or is chassis strengthened and bigger brakes fitted.
Some folks have said they have had better brakes fitted but this didn’t seem to be part of the gvm upgrade.
Anyway there had been no information suggesting stronger brakes were included nor strengthening of the chassis etc which by that omission suggested that only the springs were changed. Even you have said “you won’t get a gvm upgrade by just changing the rear springs” but you didn’t elaborate on what other parts have to be changed. That’s what I have been missing all this time Are only springs changed or are there upgrades to brakes, chassis and suspension.
Anyway I will leave it at that as I don’t seem to get a direct answer to that question but I can only believe that only springs are changed because there has been no suggestion of any of the other items I mentioned being replaced
Thanks for your reply.
0
FollowupID: 896617

Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:09

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:09
cruiser 3, below is a copy/paste from the ARB quote for my D-Max

COIL DMAX/COLORADO 2012 ON
SPORT STRUT DMAX/COLORADO F 2012 ON
------------
SPRING DMAX/COLORADO 2012ON 600KG
SPORT SHOCK NAVARA D40 -ROME U BOLT WASHER & NUT
GREASABLE SHACKLE HILUX 2005 ON
SPRING BUSH KIT HILUX 2005 ON FITTING
WHEEL ALIGNMENT CHECK
------------
OME DMAX ADR COMPLIANCE KIT

Maybe this will help you understand what is involved with an upgrade.
0
FollowupID: 896620

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:17

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:17
The answer of course, is "it depends"....
In my case it involved springs, wheels and tyres and extensive testing to establish other aspects, plus a long history of these vehicles running at higher loads.

There are many aspects that you can check yourself to possibly reduce the costs of the engineer.
Tyres and rims and axles (in my case) all have published load ratings for a start.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
0
FollowupID: 896622

Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:49

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:49
"you will never get a GVM upgrade by just replacing the rear springs ."

That is absolute nonsense - on some vehicles that is all that is required but on others other works to chassis and other areas may also be required - as someone said - it depends.
0
FollowupID: 896623

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 10:25

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 10:25
When I purchased a new Landcruiser ute in Sept, ‘15, I wanted a GVM upgrade, preferably to 3900kg. An Ironman kit was fitted, under SSM, and it consisted of upgraded front & rear springs, greaseable rear shackles, Ironman Foam Cell
shockies(mid range quality, I’d suggest) and larger side indicators, as per photo.



I don’t recall any other modifications done at the time, except the addition of the SSM compliance sticker to the firewall. The rear springs may not have been up to the task, as they sagged somewhat after carrying a pallet of pavers for about 600 kms. There is a heavier set of springs available to remedy this. The shocks & front springs have performed well over past 75K, on many remote trips.

Bob

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

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 896624

Follow Up By: Member - IndroCruiser - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 11:54

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 11:54
Hi Cruiser 3,

Your Question:

"Is it true that someone can fit heavier springs and then have a 4wd classified to carry a heavier weight.
Ok the springs could be rated to carry more but what about the chassis, axles, wheel bearings and brskes?
I don’t understand how a manufacturers rating can be changed. Nor do I understand why people buy a vehicle that is not fit for their task then try to make it do a job it was not intended to do.
Maybe I am missing something here".

Thank you for raising the Question. It stimulated a very worthwhile discussion – and many of us are wiser for it.

The Answer in Queensland:

No – it is not just about the springs!

The relevant Queensland Code is LS11 (attached earlier in this thread) – there are similar codes or standards in other States/Territories.

What must be considered by an “Approved Person” doing the “certifying”?

Qld Code LS11 explicitly requires in writing that an “Approved Person” must consider all of the following when considering a GVM increase for a specific vehicle:

• Chassis
• Engine/Transmission
• Axle Ratings
• Tailshaft
Suspension
• Brakes
• Steering
• Tyres and Rim

This does not mean that every item will be changed out or modified. Each one must be considered. Only those items on the specific vehicle which need upgrading will be changed.

As part of a “GVM Upgrade” job, the qualified “Approved Person” must submit the required paperwork to the registration authority and also attach the blue “Identification Plate Approval” (IPA) Plate to the vehicle. So he certifies very publicly and on the record that he has considered all the above items and has assessed the vehicle as safe and fit for purpose under the new GVM. To do otherwise puts his business, his licence, his income, his business insurances, and his reputation at risk – not to mention possible civil and criminal actions against him if he does something wrong. This does not mean that mistakes are impossible but a reputable licensed and registered installer will be very focussed on what is required of him – and usually will be very helpful and knowledgeable when inquiries are made about the subject of “GVM Upgrades”.
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 896632

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:42

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:42
On chassis reinforcement...

I looked into this for my Toyota 79 Series even though it was not a requirement of the GVM upgrade.

An engineering firm specialising in this type of modification, along with an Engineer qualified to approve and certify it both suggested that the reinforcement would quite possibly introduce stresses to the chassis. There suggestion was not to as the vehicle chassis in its original form would adequately carry the additional load
approved under the GVM upgrade.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
2
FollowupID: 896635

Follow Up By: Member - IndroCruiser - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 19:43

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 19:43
What Baz - the Landy describes is just as it should be -- the persons responsible and qualified to do the technical checking have looked into situation, including the chassis, and reached a conclusion, just as they are required to do. Sometimes people don't get this done and then there can be surprises ....
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 896640

Reply By: Member - Scott & Sally - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:49

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 09:49
Interesting topic,
I've just had a post 1st rego GVM upgrade done on my 76 series from 3000kg to 3660kg. Because the upgrade was after the 1st rego the car had to have a full road worthy on the pits at Regency Park in Adelaide. This inspection included a brake test on the shaker which the car passed without a problem for the extra weight.
Just a thought.
AnswerID: 623431

Reply By: Member - IndroCruiser - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:44

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:44
This has been a very helpful thread on a very current issue.

We all make “improvements” of some kind to our vehicles and long may that continue.

However, it is worthwhile to be clear that “Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) Upgrade” and “Gross Combined Mass (GCM) Upgrade” have specific legal meanings and must be carried out by a licensed workshop and/or be signed-off by an “Approved Person” in the State of registration. This person must ensure and certify compliance with all items (not just suspension) listed in the relevant Code in the State of registration. In Qld, this is Code LS11 – October 2018 as attached to an earlier reply in this thread. Each State/Territory has its own equivalent Code – mostly similar but there are some differences. Each State/Territory has included National Circular 0-4-6 – June 2018 (attached here) in its requirements.

The installer doing the “GVM Upgrade” must lodge paperwork with the relevant Authorities in the State/Territory of registration. An “Identification Plate Approval” (IPA) Plate corresponding to the paperwork must be attached to the vehicle by the licensed installer, usually next to the original manufacturer’s plate. This plate specifies the new maximum allowed Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of the vehicle as a result of the GVM Upgrade. A separate Plate must be attached if further modifications also have been made which allow an increased Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of the vehicle when combined with any trailer/caravan being towed.

As mentioned by several posters, “Second Stage Manufacture (SSM)” rules can allow significant Upgrades on specifically listed models such as LC200 – best done when new – but beware that some of these rules are changing, especially in relation to GCM Upgrades. For older vehicles (such as my 2006 “100 series” Landcruiser in Qld) for which there is no SSM arrangement, Code LS11 is the only option in Qld. This MIGHT allow a 10% increase in GVM (but no increase in GCM) IF the necessary sign-offs are obtained from an “Approved Person” – meaning a licensed and registered installer or engineer. All these “rules and regulations” can be found on the relevant State/Territory Government websites.

Good information also can be obtained from the motoring organisations in each State/Territory, or, by contacting reputable licensed and registered installers, such as:
https://www.lovellsauto.com.au/product12.php
http://www.bamgarage.com/official-release-from-lovells-automotive-systems-22-08-2018-1247pm/

A “GVM Upgrade” should be disclosed to the Vehicle Insurers and may entail a small adjustment to the premium. The “fine print” of most vehicle insurance policies requires this disclosure. If not done, this may become an excuse by the Insurer in the event of a claim.

It is also worth asking an Insurer what happens to an insurance claim when a vehicle exceeding its approved GVM or a rig exceeding its GCM is involved in an accident causing damage or injury?

If there an incident with an overweight vehicle which results in injuries, the Police get involved and it all gets pretty serious for the operator of the vehicle.




2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 623437

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 04:44

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 04:44
Light vehicle GCM upgrades are no longer permitted. GCM upgraded vehicles prior to the date below are still legal.

The Australian 4WD Industry Council of Australia have just a statement regarding changes to GCM re-rating for vehicles undergoing a Second-Stage-of-Manufacture. As of July 1, 2018, there will be no more GCM upgrades permitted on new vehicles.
1
FollowupID: 896645

Follow Up By: Member - IndroCruiser - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 20:52

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 20:52
Hi 9900 Eagle,

Can I suggest that the quote from the Australian 4WD Industry Council be checked out and clarified with them? There is nothing publicly visible on their website other than item dated 10th October 2018 about an ongoing discussion about GCM – see https://www.4wdcouncil.com.au/update-industry-gcm-forum/

At least from the Qld perspective, things have moved on. The Queensland Government Code of Practice was updated and re-published in October 2018. It is true there was considerable debate before this happened. Others will have to check what is happening in other States/Territories.

The up-to-date Qld Code LS11 relating to Light Vehicles less than 4.5 tonnes can be found at
https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Vehicle-standards-and-modifications/Vehicle-modifications/Light-vehicle-modifications . For Code LS11, see Page 56 and onwards in the overall Code of Practice document.

The statements about GCM are quite clear in Qld Code LS11. GCM increases remain possible in Qld PROVIDED THAT it is done within a Second Stage Manufacture (SSM) approval. It is not possible outside an SSM approval.

Some Second Stage Manufacturers prefer to focus on “Braked Towing Capacity (BTC)” Upgrades. See for example https://www.lovellsauto.com.au/product12k.php which remain available in the market today where a vehicle-specific SSM Approval is in place -- but not otherwise.

The Queensland Code of Practice is what counts for all vehicles registered in Queensland. This is what the Qld Code LS11 says (extracted from the above Queensland Government link):

1.1 Modifications allowed under Code LS11 (at Page 56 of the Qld Code of Practice)

Modifications that may be certified under Code LS11 are:
• Increase in GVM rating of an in-service vehicle that is modified in accordance with a SSM Approval for the same make/model/variant/chassis series (where the SSM Approval holder has permitted use of that SSM Approval as the basis)
• Increase in GVM where an additional axle has been installed
• Alteration of a vehicle’s GVM rating to match a manufacturer’s alternative rating for a particular variant of that vehicle’s make/model
• Up to 10% increase in GVM outside of a manufacturer’s GVM rating

1.2 Modifications not allowed under Code LS11 (at page 57 of the Qld Code of Practice)

Modifications that must not be certified under Code LS11 are:
• Increase in GVM greater than 10% of a manufacturer’s rating (except where an additional axle has been fitted or modified in accordance with an SSM approval)
• Increase in GVM rating of vehicles having unitary/monocoque construction
• Increase in GVM rating where no physical modifications (i.e. reinforced suspension, frame, brakes, etc) are performed (replacement tyres and rims alone, with different ratings are not deemed as physical modification).
• Reduction in GVM rating (apart the re-rating a vehicle’s GVM to a manufacturer’s optional GVM for that particular make/model of vehicle).
• GVM increase to a vehicle which has previously received a GVM increase (i.e. SSM, Code of Practice)
• increase in GVM rating of an in-service vehicle that is modified in accordance with a SSM Approval where the SSM Approval holder has NOT provided approval to use the SSM Approval as the basis.
• Increase in GVM rating of an in-service vehicle that is modified in accordance with a Low Volume SSM Approval but where the number of vehicles exceeded the SSM Approval limit.
• Increase in Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating (UNLESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN SSM APPROVAL)
• Increase in the maximum towing mass rating (UNLESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN SSM APPROVAL)
• Increase in vehicle’s rated towing capacity (UNLESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN SSM APPROVAL)
• Re-rating of vehicle components or sub systems beyond the original vehicle manufacturer’s rating.

5.2 Gross Combination Mass Rating & Towing Capacity (at page 62 of the Qld Code of Practice)
This code does not permit an increase in rated towing capacity or GCM rating (UNLESS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN SSM APPROVAL). For some light vehicles rated towing capacity or GCM rating may not be specified. In such cases please note that the maximum towing mass at GVM must be proportionately reduced to ensure that the sum of GVM and maximum towing mass at GVM before and after GVM upgrade remains unchanged.
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 896701

Follow Up By: nickb - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 22:14

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 22:14
So 5.2 caters for the 200series that do not have a GCM stamped on the plate?? In QLD that us
0
FollowupID: 896703

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 22:40

Monday, Jan 28, 2019 at 22:40
In this thread there has been a lot of input about what the situation is in Queensland.

That is relevant only to vehicles registered in Qld. For the other 7 jurisdictions (assuming ACT is its own jurisdiction in this matter) it is quite irrelevant.

Equally, what any other state or territory specifies is irrelevant in Qld.

That is a sad indictment on our system. The regulations are federal, yet they are permitted to be administered differently by each state or territories.

It's ridiculous.
2
FollowupID: 896704

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 05:08

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 05:08
I had a look around and I was totally wrong about the gcm upgrade as the government had back peddled on making them illegal.

I apologise for the incorrect information.
1
FollowupID: 896707

Follow Up By: Member - IndroCruiser - Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 19:01

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 at 19:01
9900 Eagle: As far as I am concerned, no apology is necessary. The discussion on this thread forced me to look into the subject and learn things that I did not know last week.

nickb: The answer to your last question might be found in some stuff from the Lovells Facebook page which is pasted below.

Frank P: Yes – there was too much Queensland stuff (because that is where I live). Maybe others can contribute from other States/Territories where they live. And yes, it is ridiculous to have so much State-by-State variation – separate rules for vehicle modifications is just a start, add to that separate State-by-State registration of all vehicles, speed limits, road rules, driver licencing, Police Forces, etc, etc, etc. These things derive from our Constitution, so they are not likely to change any time soon, even if many of us think that we have much more “Government” and costs than we need. Happily, all these Governments manage to reach agreement on some standards – the Australian Design Rules (ADR’s), National Code of Practice (VSB14), National Circulars like 0-4-6 (June 2018) and the Clarification of 0-4-6 (03AUG18) which together deal with the Second Stage Manufacture stuff, etc, etc, etc. These are all absorbed into the State regulations – BUT always with some local twists. There was a huge furore in Queensland (there I go again) in mid-2018 and a lot of out-of-date stuff from that time still turns up when us ordinary people do a search – so the confusion lives on. It is noteworthy that the reputable manufacturers have facilities all over Australia and they understand both the National and the State-by-State "rules" (actually, "laws").

cruiser 3: Thanks for starting this thread!!

Here’s a few of Lovell’s recent statements from their Facebook page as a Second Stage Manufacturer with operations and installers all over Australia – so it is not just Qld stuff. Similar views also can be found coming from other reputable suppliers and installers. This does not make it correct – does mean that all of these outfits are not likely to be openly flouting the law:

+++++++++++++++
Lovells Springs
August 21, 2018 (Facebook)
GETTING TECHNICAL
Towing Capacity Upgrades and GCM Revision

Contrary to social media and competitors’ spin, Lovells wish to confirm the following which was uploaded to the RVCS website (Federal Dept of Transport and Infrastructure) on 3rd August 2018.
Of note in this, which is listed at the following (https://infrastructure.gov.au/…/rvcu-2018-August-issue-3.as…) is to do with Australian Government Administrator’s Circular 0-4-6. (To see the clarification, scroll down to a heading “Release of New Circulars - Administrator's Circular 0-4-6 (Issue 4 June 2018)”

Administrator's Circular 0-4-6 (Certification of vehicles which have undergone a second stage of manufacture) was amended in June 2018 following industry consultation. The circular was amended to include arrangements for Second Stage Manufacture (SSM) Light Vehicles that have been subject to a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) upgrade under Clause 10—and formalise current business practice for GVM upgrades to light vehicles.

Of note:

• The guidance provided by the Circular 0-4-6 applies to NA (GVM up to 3.5 tonnes) and NB1 (GVM over 3.5 tonnes and up to 4.5 tonnes) category vehicles.

• The revised circular only applies to new applications and new amendments to existing Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs).

• The Circular will not affect the existing IPAs held by the second stage manufacturers. Existing IPA holders can continue to supply (to the market) vehicles covered by the approved Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVDs). This includes vehicles where the approved RVD has variants that exceed the first stage manufacturer's Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating. The second stage manufacturers need to ensure that the current approved RVDs refer to the current approved RVDs for the first stage manufacturer.

• The option of GCM or towing capacity upgrade may be available to consumers in some state and territory jurisdictions, after the vehicle is supplied to the market.

In conclusion, we confirm that there is no change to existing SSM Approvals. Any vehicles (as stated in current SSM Approvals and as noted on current RVDs) can still be plated with GVM Upgrades and Towing Capacity Upgrades (BTC upgrades) under the approved RVD. Thus Lovells SSM Approved kits can continue to be supplied.

The implementation of Administrator’s Circular 0-4-6 is effective for all future IPA Approvals. That is, any SSM Approvals applied for beyond the current valid and active SSM Approvals.
Lovells GVM/GCM/Towing Capacity or variants of these modifications remain 100% legal in all States and Territories for all vehicles in service/previously modified.
Lovells GVM/GCM/Towing Capacity or variants of these modifications remain 100% legal in all States and Territories for all vehicles when modified prior to first registration (Federal Compliance).

Lovells GVM/GCM/Towing Capacity or variants of these modifications remain 100% legal in all States and Territories, other than Queensland and NT, for all vehicles when modified after first registration/in service vehicles (State Compliance). State based GCM modifications are governed by the State Authority and their individual Type Approvals or Modification Codes.
Lovells GVM/GCM/Towing modifications have always been legal and we have always strived to ensure compliance with the Federal, State and Territory Regulators.
The whole point of GVM/GCM/towing upgrades is to ensure the ongoing compliance and safety of vehicles and occupants when carrying/towing heavy loads and thus ensuring the safety of other road users.

Despite false reports in some forums and competitor press releases, safety is not an issue. SSM Approval holders can attest to and advise categorically that there is no evidence of any safety issues, accidents or fatalities due to or related to any GVM/GCM/Towing Upgrade.
Unfortunately, all of the SSM Approval Holders who nominate a revised GCM and/or Towing Capacity increase will be affected by these changes in the future, as will any road user who wishes to tow a caravan, boat, horse float etc.

In Summary

• PRE REGO there is no change in plating vehicles with GVM & Towing Upgrades. GCM as defined by the SSM manufacturer

• POST REGO vehicles can be plated with GVM upgrade. The Towing and GCM upgrade would be supported and approved via State Authorities and state based signatories.

• The implementation of 0-4-6 is for all future SSM approvals.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Lovells Springs
September 18, 2018 (Facebook)
MEDIA RELEASE
17th September 2018

Lovells response to Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) statement on Gross Combined Mass re-rating of vehicles:

As the Australian leader in research into Towing Capacity Upgrades and GCM revision, Lovells supports the AAAA in calling an industry-wide forum on the potential to develop an improved testing protocol for GCM revision.

Lovells will bring to the forum its experience of the extensive testing regime that it has undertaken to prove the safety of upgrades – on the basis of advice received from the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRD) and undertaken in DIRD-approved testing facilities.

It is misleading to claim, as AAAA does, that a SSM, “can simply nominate an increased Gross Combination Mass (in addition to the increased GVM), without the requirement for any testing or evidence to ensure the vehicle can operate safely at the new nominated capacity”.

The fact is that Lovells nominates a GCM based on an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and many years, in research and testing in accordance with relevant ADRs; with not one report of a safety issue or catastrophic failure.The rigour of our testing speaks for itself.

Some of this testing is required by Federal and State laws and some testing has been conducted under the guidance of engineering experts, as no official Australian Standards exist. Many of the independent engineering companies we utilise (five different companies and points of views) have vast experience in towing and GCM testing. Two of our consultants have worked with Mitsubishi Aust and GMH and are experts in their field.

Lovells’ testing has been undertaken on guidance from DIRD on how to approach a towing upgrade, and has included the extrapolation of Heavy Vehicle Standards to light vehicles.
This has included purchasing complete chassis systems which have been load tested and analysed over many years at DIRD Approved Test Facilities.

These tests were carried out in accordance with the relevant ADR’s and engineering data and evidence was intricately compiled.

Lovells has independently tested our 5T off-road hitch, which forms an integral part of our towing upgrades. This included static load testing and durability testing using the applicable ADRs by a recognised DIRD and NATA Approved test facility.

Lovells has applied for and been granted a CRN (Component Registration Number) and SSM Approval for towing upgrades with DIRD and the relevant Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVD) are still active on the Dept of Transport’s RVCS site, which is publically searchable.

Lovells determines its GCM figures on the basis of extensive engineering data including FEA (Finite Element Analysis) for chassis, towing points, axles and driveline components including dynamic brake and thermal testing, beyond the ADR requirements (as there is no recognised procedure in Australia), which backs up our revised GCM figures.

Original Equipment Manufacturers are not required to disclose their data or evidence for GCM or towing capacities to DIRD or any other State or Federal Department. This is critical and sensitive IP, so there is no reason, why Lovells should, as a SSM, have to disclose their data or evidence for GCM capacities.

Original Equipment Manufacturers are liable for their engineering decisions, capacities and the vehicle being fit for purpose.

As a Second Stage Manufacturer, Lovells is also liable for our engineering decisions, capacities and the vehicle being fit for purpose.

Lovells has solid engineering and test evidence regarding Towing Upgrades and GCM Revision including 17 years’ experience in the field with zero evidence of safety issues, accidents, thermal failures or catastrophic failure of any OE critical component. This includes in excess of 10,000 upgraded vehicles in the field both in Australia and overseas.
In anyone’s terms, this equates to solid evidence.

One more point: Lovells disagrees entirely with the AAAA’s view that “the key issue is not whether a GCM upgrade on a particular vehicle is safe or unsafe, but the fact that there is no agreed method of validating this”.

Safety will always be Lovells’ first priority. The key issue will always be safety.
That is why we are the Australian leader in research into Towing Capacity Upgrades and GCM Revision.

++++++++++++++

The above items separated by the +++++++ lines are Lovell's words, not mine.

Cheers!
Indrocruiser
2006 Toyota HDJ100 Landcruiser Sahara 4.2 T/D - AHC/TEMS, BFG A/T 275/65R17, ARB Deluxe Bar, Kaymar Single Wheel Carrier, ARB Intensity lights

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

4
FollowupID: 896727

Reply By: nickb - Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 19:03

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 at 19:03
I don’t understand why people suggest buying a vehicle fit for purpose in the first place.
I drive a Ford Ranger, everyday it is loaded with work gear and is close to GVM. It suits my needs perfectly, it’s automatic, fits my wife and 3 kids comfortably, drives great, gets good fuel consumption, wife is comfortable driving it and was in my budget. I think it is absolutely fit for purpose for me, 99% of the time. I have modified the suspension and tyres to easily handle and control the load. I’m very happy with my vehicle choice.
BUT when I tow a trailer, the ball weight will send me just over GVM. This only happens a few times a year. I am considering a GVM upgrade to make me legal for those few times a year I tow. I believe the extra 40kg over GVM that my trailer causes will have no noticeable difference to the handling and safely if the vehicle was 40kg lighter and at GVM.
What late model vehicle should I have purchased with a budget of $30k that would be more fit for purpose than I currently have that meets the above needs?
I think in my case a GVM upgrade is a great solution.
AnswerID: 623444

Popular Content

Popular Products (13)