No more GCM Upgrades on new vehicles

The Australian 4WD Industry Council of Australia have just released 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.Zone RV Off Road Caravan

It has been a long standing modifications on new vehicles to change out tow bars, hitches and suspension components to effectively increase both the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) and Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM). The upgraded GCM was only able to be completed on a new vehicle, essentially pre-delivery, with modification plates to be affixed to the vehicle before first registration.

As of June 8, 2018, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) & 4WD Industry Council have now been notified of these changes by the Federal Department of Transport. The change was issued via an updated Circular by the National Vehicle Administrator following consultation with all state and territory transport regulators.

Where this change will be felt the most, is in the caravanning circles, simply due to the upgraded GCM (read: Towing Capacity) no longer being available, especially with the increased weight of caravans and camper trailers, for the typical mid-sized dual cab ute.

For example, the Ford Ranger XLT dual cab has a GVM of 3200kg, and a GCM of 6000kg, leaving an ability to tow up to 2800kg when it’s fully loaded (think bullbar, lights, winch, batteries, wheels, tyres, canopy, roof racks, fridge etc). The average van may well weigh 2200kg, however add water, food, gear, furnishings to the van and you’re very quickly pushing the GCM limit of the Ranger and a caravan. The average GCM upgrade ranges anywhere from 500kg to 1000kg, allowing for a lot more gear or caravan to be towed across the countryside.

Something worth noting, is that with this change being made due to safety concerns across the country, we should well expect more enforcement and weighbridging of vehicles on the roads into the future.

It is still early days in these changes, and we’re waiting to see what else comes of this change, or will new buyers need to go up to a full-sized / American sized ute? Let us know your thoughts below; would you pick a smaller caravan, or a bigger ute? One thing’s for certain, there’ll be no more GCM upgrades.


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  • We have a ranger and want to buy van 3500kg it’s only 20 foot we are going to travel for 2 years, so it looks like we have to upgrade the twin cab to F series or Ram we need lots more money there is a huge difference in price of vehicles.
    Is there anything less expensive towing larger weights?

  • Hi. Can someone please tell me if you can legally still upgrade a 2015 holden colorado gvm by changing the suspension.

  • Gcm (read towing capacity) stated in your article is incorrect in my opinion. My 200 series had the gvm upgraded from 3350 to 3800. This means the car can legally carry more weight. The gcm was increased from 6850 to 7300. This means I can still tow 3500 as has always been the case for the lc200. So increased gcm had nothing to do with altering the towing capacity.
    I feel your article could cause even more confusion to many people than there already is.
    I may be wrong but my understanding is that it will no longer be legal to increase the towing capacity of a vehicle as was the case with a number of vehicles. This is not gvm or gcm associated with this gvm upgrade.

  • Stephen Stokes, the GCM of your BT50 is 6000kg not 3700kg as you stated, Yes, it can tow 3500kg only if your vehicle plus the load totals 2500kg. That does not take into account the ball weight so you need to read up on how GCM is measured.

  • Interesting in the U.S if you go over 11,000 lbs ( approx 4500 kg) GCM you need a commercial license if it’s a towbar hitch

    Goosenecks or 5th wheelershave higher GCM weight limits before going commercial

    The Horse industry has known for 40 years or more goosenecks or 5th wheelers are far more stable when you get over 5000kg gvm’s

    There are lot’s of goosenecks and 5th wheelers around and they rarely seem to be in accidents

    Some hard data on Australian accidents per 10,000 trailers/caravans based on type and kilometers travelled would be useful if anyone has it

  • I believe that the stopping of GCM upgrades by approved suppliers has been overturned.
    I am from Melbourne and I just had a look at the government site, under WHATS NEW. On the 29/06/2018 an update was issued. clarifying clause 10.6 requirements for the recently issued Adminstrators Circular 0.4.6 (issue 4, June 2018). It states that holders of existing Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs) are not affected and 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)

    So if I am right you need to print a correction.

  • Clarificatton from all terrain 4×4, a lovells authorized installer of gvm/gcm upgrades. All current approvals will be able to continue. That means that ssm will still be able to supply gcm upgrades.

  • I have a 2015 BT50, problem is the likes of Mazda Ford Isuzu etc lie to you when they say their dual cabs can tow 3500kg, this is only true when the ute has no accessories or payload. With a GCM of 6000kg minus 3500kg towing capacity equals 2500kg loaded although the ute by itself has a GVM of 3200 fully loaded. It should be GCM 6700kg minus 3500kg towing equals 3200kg max GVM. Next problem you have caravan dealers who say, mate a BT50 can tow 3500kg so they sell you a van with an ATM of 3500kg knowing full well you can’t legally tow it fully loaded at that weight with a BT50.
    Why can’t the car manufacturers fit a heavier suspension when these utes are built to make them legal to tow, like what they advertise.

  • Julian
    RE: Dept of Infrastructure Administrator of Vehicle Standards Dated JUNE 2018…in particular 2nd paragraph (it says that only towing capacity can not be increased by SSM, nothing about GCM).
    I spoke with Federal DOT on 18/06/18 and this is current and at this time there is no 1st of July Deadline as incorrectly stated above, I was told this directly! ( but I was also told that this whole matter is currently under review)

    Circular 0-4-6
    10.6 The towing capacity of a light vehicle expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed the value set by the first stage manufacturer.
    Second stage manufacturers are not permitted to increase the “towing capacity” as part of an SSM IPA that results in GVM upgrade.

    JUNE 2018

  • Cameron M the government has issued a “revised” circular to all SSM’s, so this is now deemed to have taken effect. What is not correct are the assumptions made. Any business that holds existing SSM approvals for changes to GVM & tow ratings can still legally do so until such time as those models are superseded or their approvals lapse. Eg Six Wheeler Conversions in Toowoomba can still get GVM’s on converted vehicles to 4,495Kg and a new tow rating of 4,500Kg as part of their conversion process.
    The article does create some confusion, but the changes have been done with safety in mind, as there are GVM and GCM increase products in the market that are solely suspension based, with no additional safety features to improve braking performance, and or strengthen the chassis.

  • This post should be taken down as the information it is portraying seems incorrect….there has been no official release from any Government DOT regarding this, but yes it is being reviewed.
    At the moment this comes across as scaremongering by certain individuals.

    Until such time as there is a Federal announcement I don’t think individuals should make statements like this.

  • Rogun, for the moment, the regulation changes are to GCM (Gross Combination Mass) only so it affects people towing caravans, trailers, horse floats etc.
    You can still get a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) upgrade to increase the payload of your Hilux, so that you can carry your slide-on camper on the back of your Hilux without being overweight.
    You still have to be sure not to exceed either the front or rear axle ratings, even though you may be under the GVM maximum.

  • Hello all,
    I have to wonder where this will all leave those who presently have slide on flat tray campers,
    was thinking of an upgrade on a Hilux and new slide on,
    I am a little naïve and don’t fully understand the new rule ramifications,
    would sincerely welcome some honest input,

  • Let the Dodge Ram, Fords and GM’S into country with the 4.5 to 6.00 ton towing capacity. But let them in without high road tax. Top price in the States as I have seen on the net. Are US. $s $55000.00 to $58000. Australian about $60000 to $70000. No need for the stupid prices asked at $150000.

  • The only thing if you are checked out that you have to worry about is the compliance plate which is under the bonnet or inside the door sill if you do a upgrade and don’t add the new plate or sticker it reverts back to the old plate this is the only thing that is legal and they will look at

  • I’ve just had my 2012 BT50 upgraded through Pedders (two days ago). It all got approved through RTA without a hitch. This increases my GVM from 3200 to 3500 Kg. It was clearly explained to me that this does not increase my gross mass (5900 Kg). In my example my van comes in at a GTM of around 2600 Kg. With my boat on the roof of the car and all the extras I am carrying around 600Kg in the car. When I go over the scales I come in around 5850 Kg all up giving me a GVM of 3250 (50 Kg over). With the upgrade I am now 250 Kg under. If, however I put another 100 – 150 Kg in the car my GCM will then be around 6000Kg which is over the limit regardless of my GVM still being under 3500 Kg.
    This may help to explain to some

  • Having just read this article, and a few of the responses, why is it that we cannot have some UNIFORM RULES regardless of which state we live in. (Australia) GVM v GCM v Kerb weight v the idiots in government. Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Why? Because the governments, both state & federal are pathetic. Manufacturers try there best to interpret the rules. Where is the federal transport minister? Why is it not clear cut? Surely it’s not that hard to have a unified system. What’s legal in one state is illegal in another? Again, why? You have to be 18 years or older to vote in any election be it local council, state or federal, clear cut, but yet we have so much disparity on this topic. Insurance companies decline all sorts of claims due to the grey areas created by the ambiguity of such rules & there interpretation.

    As my dad used to always say, ‘The Best government is the Opposition, but you can never vote them into power” Think about it.
    Cheers, Phil.

  • I just had my 2012 BT50 upgraded. The large professional company who did it were quite clear that if is only the GVM that has increased. In my case from 3200 to 3500 Kg. It does not increase the GCM. This was done on 14 June. I took the paperwork to RTA on 15 Jun all updated no problem. I’m not sure how the new legislation effects me as of 01 Jul . In my case my van has a GTM of around 2600 Kg with a ball weight of 225 Kg. My vehicle GVM with the boat on the roof was around 3190 ( very close to the limit and including ball weight) but my GCM was still only 5800. If i was to increase my vehicle weight by more than 200 Kg I would still need to reduce the weight in the van by a similar amount to stay legal even though I would not be over my GVM. This my help explain to some

  • Colin
    Just had my 2013 GXL Prado GVM upgraded from 2990kg to 3500kg done with the Lovells springs and shockers, with engineers certified also with Vic. Reg. approval.
    I did this all because by the time I had all my gear in the car I was 50kg over the GVM.
    Normally I would not have bothered for that small difference but I think we all know what insurance companys are like if you have an accident and they find that are evan 2 kgs over and with all the hoo-haa going on about weights at the moment what do you do, the cost of an upgrade or loose the whole amount of your car and trailer. You do the maths.

  • seems a bit miss leading below, it says a second stage manufacturer can not increase the towing capacity, does not say GCM!!!!

    10.6 The towing capacity of a light vehicle expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed the value set by the first stage manufacturer.
    Second stage manufacturers are not permitted to increase the towing capacity as part of an SSM IPA that results in GVM upgrade.

    JUNE 2018

  • Now I’ve seen the circular from Vehicle Standards CIRCULAR 0-4-6 I believe this whole debate is a STORM IN A TEACUP, as the circular I read applies to SSM only (new unregistered vehicles) which have ESC electronic stability control, and doesn’t affect low volume manufactures (under 300 conversions a year), nor are their any changes to previous rules regarding towing capacity. I suggest you all google and read it for yourselves.

  • Lew,

    Was just about to up grade my XLT Ranger and found out in time about the changes which have already been implemented in QLD.
    I rang around industry groups, manufacturers and suppliers and their opinion is that this is a behind the scenes push by two large 4WD industry Australian companies, a suspension manufacturer and vehicle after market supplier (not TJM who do the upgrades !) to push Lovells out of the scene.
    Lovells spent a lot of time (over three years I believe) and money in R&D on this product. The product must have been government approved so why the turn around I ask ?
    I agree with Faereag’s comments something’s not quite right here.

  • This days everybody is an expert. Certainly the author of this artical is NOT.
    Confusing public does not help.
    If my car towing capacity is 3500kg and GVM upgrade takes this car to 3800kg then my GCM is 7300kg.
    Publisher of this magazine should also direct us to they response to all of our concerns.
    Am I right or NOT?!

  • If I have a registered gvm (gross vehicle mass) of 3500kg and an atm (aggregate trailer mass) of 3500kg I cannot be illegal. The GCM (gross combined mass) becomes irrelevant. What can never change is the TC (towing capacity) given by the original manufacturer.

  • My understanding is that the testing required for a GVM upgrade is based on the axle loading and braking capacity of the vehicle in question (in my case an MY17 V6 Amarok).

    Logic says that if a vehicle can tow an unbraked load of say 750kg then its onboard load can be increased subject to the testing of upgraded suspension components and/or brakes. Logic also says this does not mean an automatic increased capacity of GCM unless tested accordingly.

    So as my towing capacity is rated at 3,000Kg and my existing GCM is 6,000kg any increase in GVM I gain should be deducted from the maximum towing capacity if the vehicle is fully loaded – ie: if I increase the vehicle’s GVM by 350kg and fully load the vehicle to its maximum GVM then I can only tow 2,650kg to stay within the law……………

  • Great idea , the less road clogging inconsiderate caravan towers ( the ones who won’t pull over when they are holding up 10 other road users) the better! Get away from it all and drag everything you own with you!

  • Pretty obvious that most people who are towing have no idea about GCM GVM or TBM. hopefully the bureaucrats, start educating people or bring in a towing license so we won’t see under-powered under-braked dual cab’s towing 6.1m+ long vans on our roads and back roads. Pretty sure here in the West never has a GVM increased the GCM.

  • Do you guys have spell checkers? So many acronyms and spelling errors. Its hard to know who actually knows what they are talking about and who can’t read and write. F*#k !. Please re-read before posting and try and make some sense. Please

  • So Kerry, you had a GVM upgrade on the DMax by adding a lazy axle, does it really increase the GCM to 8000kg?

  • Hi, Interesting reading. ” expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or
    Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating ” – All this is talking about towed capacity, nothing else.

    The GCM reference has confused many. The GCM reference is clearly for those manufacturers that list towing capacity as a calculation based on GCM and GVM.

  • I have had a GCM upgrade, not by a change in the suspension but by adding a lazy axle. This is the proper way to increase your load carrying capacity, however it did not increase my towing capacity from the tow bar. This still remains at 3.5T and my D-Max has 8T GCM.
    I feel that the writer of this article has mixed up GCM with Towing Capacity.

  • Reading all comments, it seems big utes are popular, yes they have great towing ability, but, ‘off road ability’ is lacking to say the least, they are just to wide and heavy; also fitting them out for serious off road use will cost an arm and a leg, much more than a normal ute/dual cab (I’ve done the sums).
    I’m very happy with my 6x6Aust converted BT50 as it has serious off road ability, sure not a V8, but it does the job and can fit down 4wd tracks unlike big utes, and I can still town 3500kg when it is fully loaded, no compromise on the 3500kg tow capacity, where as a normal 4×4 ute eats into the 3500kg with every accessory or mod you add; so for me not wanting to tow more than 3500kg the 6x6Aust conversion resolves all my issues and has national compliance.

  • GVM, GCM what does it matter! Under slung tow bar design and poor loading characteristics of dual cabs and landcruiser 200 series will pitch most over their maximum rear axle loads well before you achieve GVM and GCM. You gotta be under your manufacturers individual axle loads first when the transport inspectors test you.

  • I had my 2018 VX done using the Lovell’s pre reg upgrade for GVM about 6 weeks back in SA.
    Toyota now specify a GCM of 6850kg in the owner’s manual, but NOT on the compliance plate.
    The GVM was increased to 3800kg. The BTC is unchanged at 3500kg. So the grey area became whether the GCM became GVM + BTC=7300kg, or did it remain at 6850kg (as stated – not mentioned on the plate).
    Irrespective of the answer; the BTC does not change and this will affect Lovell’s BTC approvals going forward.
    The change is not retrospective – so those will prior approvals have been lucky.
    The whole thing has an odious smell to it. I do not believe we are looking at a “safety issue”, rather it appears to be a case of minor interested parties lobbying to remove their disadvantage.
    For damn sure – there are going to be a lot of illegal rigs floating around in future – not many can splash $135,000+ on super size Yank rigs that still only have payloads of around 900+kg.

  • I think the continuing rush to build heavier caravans using outdated materials and methods is largely responsible. I bought a lightweight 21′ caravan with an ATM of 2400kg. It does everything I want, is comfortable, tows easily behind my D-Max and saves on fuel costs. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

  • How much did Toyota and the like shell out for this to eventuate, with there continually sliding sales as an incentive , there has been no consideration of the financial ripple this will cause in the prime manufacturing area and supply chain, more lost jobs for Australians, if they make this a retrospective law I would envisage some fairly serious litigation and people seeking out of pocket compensation.

  • I predict an increase in the used dollar value of uprated vehicles if the changes are “grandfathered” for already modified and legal vehicles, once the changes come in to force.

  • Some vehicles such as my 2013 79 series does not have a FSM GCM stated. In this case the GCM is the addition of the GVM and GTM , in the case of my LC 3300+3500=6800kg GCM as standard. I got a GVM upgrade to 3750kg , GCM thus is now 3750+3500=7250kg, only because Toyota did not publish a GCM!

    However, most vehicles such as Mitsy, Mazda and Rangers have a GCM stated in their specifications, so this cannot be exceeded no matter what GVM upgrade you got. Now it looks like even SSM cannot do upgrades that used to improve GCM even if they fully re-engineer the vehicle.

    I do agree that the article is not well written in that it is insufficient in describing how different manufacturers rate their vehicles.

  • Does this mean that all GVM/GCM up grades will have to be checked by an engineer as I had to because the vehicle was already registered

  • The more important issue guys is whether you are “compliant” in the event of a serious insurance claim. The legalities and interpretations will be sorted out by barristers in a Supreme Court and I just hope that I am covered. Thats why I bought a Chev; so I could be more confident that I would be insured. I couldnt “afford” the risk to be not insured.

  • So glad i have my little 15 foot millard,tow vehicle vf commodore is heavier then caravan tows caravan so easily and safely..cant believe some of these house on wheels being towed by dual cab utes.Came up behind one on the hay plains,75 to 80 kms/ hurry we are on holidays!

  • Have already ordered a new VX paid ($1000 deposit already paid) which was to be delivered to Creative Conversions for upgrade in October – there goes my $1000 bucks!
    What about the business that do these conversions what’s going to happen to these? It’s also going to affect other business eg boat loader suppliers etc
    Surely a GVM upgrade makes the car safer for towing?
    Maybe the powers that be can reduce duties/taxes so vehicles designed for towing are more affordable?

  • I would like to see more inspectors on the roads i travel all over Australia and i guarantee you 90% of utes towing caravans are well over weight (vcm), when you look at the size of the van compared to the car its ridicules, I’ve talked to a few people that have had there chassis repaired because of the weight of the van ,its no wonder there is more roll overs with small utes towing vans , people are trying to save money by buying small utes to tow these large vans lets face it its unsafe and doesn’t work

  • I agree with IAN, you’re better off buying a vehicle designed for the job that trying to upgrade a vehicle that wasn’t made for purpose in the first place. The only downside is that when all connected up the driving skills become debatable…… ( Grey nomad, ex Bdouble driver)

  • Gee there’s a few experts ready to tell the world how they see it – roll eyes.
    If people don’t wanna scratch their pride and joy, or don’t want to take it off-road as it was designed to do then that’s their decision. If you wanna bang up a new fourby in the bush or drown it in a bog hole that a $5000 shorty 40 would bath in all day everyday then go for it. The Utes are expensive and each to their own what they do with it – and of course they’ll never be as experienced as the experts here – roll eyes x 2.

    The yank tanks are purpose built to tow, right down to exhaust brakes, and given the silverado is going to be about $115000 with 1200Nm of torque my bet is we’ll be seeing a heap of them on our roads. Personally couldn’t give a dam if I can’t see around it – do some actually think they’re going to pass it without a caravan on the back??? Hahahaha. They move those rigs, and with a caravan will move a lot better than anything on the market in this country. Why buy a 200 when you can spend less on a Silverado, have more room, more power etc.

    Personally I wouldn’t want to tow a 3 ton van behind an 1800kg dual cab ute. For the inexperienced they’ll end up like the many vans you see littered up and down the NW Coastal Highway in the dry season – rolled over. Narrow roads, wind and big triple road trains sort the inexperienced out very fast, and it’s then they finally get it whilst sitting in their ute upside down 500km from the nearest town.

    I think this decision is a good one. If you’re not happy with the GCM then buy a bigger rig or downsize your choice of caravan. I think many think bigger is better in this country, just like the yanks – difference is they have purpose built trucks like the Silverados to pull their big vans safely instead of stuffing round doing a GCM upgrade on an already lightweight tiny ute. Good decision by the industry. Thumbs up.

  • We have a plate on our Landcruiser saying we have a GCM of 7800 so is this now safe (forget legal) for us to continue towing our 3,800 van

  • My GCM upgrade i clearly stated on a new compliance plate on the drivers door pillar 7000kg. My Vicroads rego papers now clearly state Gcm 7000. So hopefully they will grandfather these laws. With 350kg on ball i cant load over 6700kg legally anyway generally i am only 6420 fully loaded wife, fuel and water.

  • I would like to know who is going to enforce this and if it is going to be enforced, when will it be enforced. Will it be by Audit or after an accident or complaint?

    In NSW no-one really enforces this now. The RMS inspectors no longer do AIS visits or Audits and will soon be going over to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), and will operate under National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL); and light vehicles are not part of their core business. (not that anyone checks or enforces weights on light vehicles and or caravans anyway)

    At the moment businesses that issue compliance certificates only get audited after a complaint, which rarely happens. So this now leaves it up to a knowledgeable customer service operator at Services NSW. Services NSW did not re-employ staff with with years of knowledge and experience when they went over to Services NSW so again this leaves no-one.

  • What the press release didn’t explain is that ARB & Pedders both offer GVM Upgrades without GCM increases. Ron Pedder is a board member of the AAAA. He’s used his position to get the AAAA to oppose increases at the Fed Gov’t level. No proof, just pure self interest. A disgraceful abuse of power in collusion with ARB. Has anyone else wondered why they had press releases ready before the official announcement?

  • This make me laugh,
    Why would anyone buy a midsized underpowered twin cab and then try and increase its towing capacity, really come on people.
    I bought the US made GMC 2500 through Performax and then had it DERATED so my wife and kids could drive it on a normal car licence, lost 46KG off the GVM woohoo and can still tow 4500 on the ball ( 70mm ), more if you want to add air brakes.
    And when I come up behind that line of Grey Nomads in there “modified” Utes and cruisers doing their mandatory 20km under the limit, no issues passing them.
    You want safety buy the vehicle that can exceed your wants from the factory, and is designed to do the job.
    A quick look inside you see intergrated electric brake controller from the factory, exhaust breaking, a specific Haul Mode, and you know these vehicles are designed to tow,
    Add to that the excellent Fuel economy, 11 per hundred or below at 110 fully loaded OR 18 per hundred or under at 110 towing a 2900KG Gross Van ( weighed on the bridge).
    And they are not that much more than a fully optioned 200 LC but OHHHHH so much better.

  • This just goes to show how pussified Australia is becoming, all this does is force ppl to Import larger vehicles from the states, next the government will whinge about the size of the US trucks on our roads and then bump up the import taxes to make even more money out hard working Aussie who will be in even more debt cause they will have to spend $100k+ just to buy a vehicle to tow their van to get out and see this county.

  • From what I understand and I may be wrong, my Patrol has a 3200kg GVM and our caravan has 3000kg GTM with an ATM of 3180kg.
    My GCM therefore equates to 6200kg. (GVM + GTM)
    Would be stoked if the GCM is 6380kg (GVM + ATM)

  • Yes we all need safe roads. If you have a law and someone goes to the expense to comply then these people should not be financially screwed over when changes are made. Any prior upgrades should be grandfathered. That said there are too many of these little retarded utes on the road thinking they are F250 Trucks. We like our big toys so basically if we are going to be over-regulated more and our ability to use common sense is going to be taken away from us then the Govt should make it so its not impossible to “do the right thing”. My suggestions:
    1. We have no Automotive industry anymore to protect so drop the tarrifs and luxury car tax on all the bigger utes and wagons from the US. There are plenty of Grey Nomads that cant afford $150K for a US Built ute.

    2. Have affordable courses available for anyone wanting to tow a Van or boat over 2800kg. Most people have common sense, so a refresher and some basic physics will keep safe practices fresh in the mind.

    I drive a brand new Landcruiser Sahara and the carrying capacity of the vehicle on paper is not great. At around 580kg that inludes bull bar winch, luxury appointments, racks fridge, lights and Humans. This is a very capable car but Toyota is always known for its Bare minimum approach. With cheaper US imports all our available vehicles would have to raise their game, this will be a win win for all and safety.

    Another point with these small utes, they don’t have Luxury car tax as they are utes, My Sahara purchase price included $14500.00 of Luxury car tax, $9800.00 in GST and $4500 in stamp Duty. If you want people to have bigger safe comfortable tow rigs then the Socialistic ripping off of people needs to change.

  • Kev, it states “10.6 The towing capacity of a light vehicle EXPRESSED AS Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating OR Rated Towing Capacity OR Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed THE VALUE set by the
    Issued by the first stage manufacturer. ” (my caps for highlighting).
    The value expressed by the FSM in GCM cannot be exceeded. It states “or”, not “either”. This is inclusive of all expressed values.

  • My 2013 Landcruiser has no GCM recorded on any plates on the body. Does this mean a GCM increase can still be undertaken?

  • Utes have gotten too light & vans have gotten too heavy anyway. All these changes to the regs are probably a good idea anyway to protect people from themselves on their late life exploits down the highways of this country.
    Just buy a bigger 4×4, ie 70 or 200 series, patrol, unimog or WTF American RAM.
    Fill the roads with bigger American 4x4s that normal 4×4 drivers cant see over or past.
    Or go one better, lets all start driving heavy articulated camping rigs & be done with it!
    Most of these drivers don’t go off road anyway because they might scratch their rigs & they don’t have the real 4×4 skills necessary to get to the remote destination without help.
    Have you ever seen the internal carnage to the ‘stuff’ stored in the cupboards of a van that has been towed off road? Just because we see Jase doing it, doesn’t mean it can be done by the average Joe Blow & get there with everything intact.

  • This is a few spoiling it for all the rest of us.
    I suggest you all check out 6x6Aust as they can do 4495 GVM with 7795 CVM on BT50 (nationally compliant), this is conservative for their modification and achievable due to true load sharing rear bogie axles, and can do more with a Nissan or Toyota due to their heavier axle capacity.

  • I don’t know any manufacturer that stamps the compliance plate with a gcm. Only gvm and tow compliance plates are located on a vehicle. The gcm comes in a paper brochure, so until the first stage manufacturer compliance the vehicle with a gcm on it than it doesn’t have a gcm under the first stage manufacturer compliance.

  • My vehicle was in the shop getting the upgrade done, was to pick up on Tuesday – now engineer saying he can”t sign it off – is this right.

  • 10.6 The towing capacity of a light vehicle expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or
    Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed the value set by the first stage manufacturer. Second stage manufacturers are not permitted to increase the towing
    capacity as part of an SSM IPA that results in GVM upgrade.

    Read “the towing capacity”
    expressed as GCM, RTC or MBTM
    cannot be increased.

    SSM not permitted to increase towing capacity.

    DOES NOT say GCM cannot be increased.

  • Reg,
    I hope that is a typo in your comment about any upgrade fitted prior to 1st June, I thought it was the 1st July? Mine is ordered as well, due for delivery 30th June. ?

  • My son is in the process of purchasing a 200 series and the car is at the shop to get a GCM upgrade which was booked prior to the 1st June. It is my understanding not even Lovells were aware of the ban on their product when they were called to enquire on this issue which was on the 9th June. Haven’t heard any news yet whether the installation can go ahead as booked and paid. Any upgrades fitted prior to 1st June 2018 remain legal.

  • Duel cabs are so weak in the arse rails just carnt handle the constant bending . I’m a panel beater and the damage I’ve seen you wouldn’t believe even just tradies Utes bend as their weight is set to far back . In my opinion no duel cab ute should tow over 2.5 t even that is to high as they have very limited weight over the rear axle but hay that’s my opinion . Look at most of the roll overs , duel cabs at the top of the list then prado sized cars . How many 200 s or full sized patrols have rolled over not many as they are heavy enough to handle these big vans and the American rigs are the best for anything over 3.5

  • Australian built vans are massively overweight. There is no attempt to reduce weight. These big vans are all built to go’off-road’ when not necessary.
    Whilst this article might not be strictly perfect, it is definitely pointing in the direction that the law is going and insurance companies are definitely interested. I can see next year a refusal to pay out on bending chassis for twin cabs

  • Peter M,
    I have also read the article and the story by Mr 4×4 and see no confusion at all. It is clear that GVM upgrades are ok but that GCM upgrades are not.I am only aware of a couple of places offering GCM upgrades and they are all using Lovells components or a Qld mob called custom conversations? The bottom line that needs clarification is whether existing GCM upgrades will be legal. Very harsh on anyone that has made certain their rigs were legal by todays standards to then have them made illegal after spending around $5000 for the upgrade and then purchasing a large van for $80000 plus.
    Time will tell.

  • I have read the new laws and understand that GVM upgrades are still ok, ie status quo remains for new and used upgrades to GVM. GCM upgrades or any increase in towing capacity are not ok. Simples… please amend the article as it is a bit confusing. Especially make it clear that GVM upgrades are still ok.

  • Surely this has to be nothing more than an articulate designed to get “clicks”… Any governing body who thinks it is a wiser decision to “outlaw” an engineered improvement solution is clearly not thinking straight. Either that or this has been written by someone who has no idea what they are talking about as per previous comments above.

    If this is legitimate it will simple mean more people towing vehicles that are in excess of the compliance plate approved figures on their tow vehicle.

  • @Kris

    10.6 The towing capacity of a light vehicle expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or
    Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed the value set by the
    Issued by the first stage manufacturer. Second stage manufacturers are not permitted to increase the towing
    capacity as part of an SSM IPA that results in GVM upgrade.

    I would think that this states that the original GCM and the maximum braked towing capacity can not change from the first stage manufacturer.

    As such if you have a GVM upgrade on your 200 series you would then at max GVM you would have a reduced towing capacity as your GCM must remain unchanged(as stated by the author) .So for example the lovells BTC kit or gvm kit with unchanged BTC kit will most likely not comply for the SSM changes listed in the Bulletin.

  • I’m just bloody happy I decided to by a 79 SC and get a gvm upgrade before rego, for our slideon as I heard they were going to crack down on TC utes.

  • Main reason to change is Prado used to have a lesser tow limit but with upgrade was similar to competition. Now they are 3 ton it is no longer needed. It was to look after them

  • Does this new law still allow you buy a new car and then take it to ARB and get a GVM upgrade? And therefore increases your GCM? If so nothing has changed!!

  • I am interested to know if this change will be retrospective. Very unfair for anyone that has done everything legal to be able to set up their rigs for towing large vans. I ordered my gvm/gcm upgrade two weeks ago with delivery due 30/06/18.

  • This is complete miss information through poor interpretation of the revised circular. It clearly states that no ssm may increase the Towing Capacity as set by the original manufacturer via the increase of GCM, tow rating or btc.

    The GCM of a vehicle is still permitted under ssm however no increase to tow capacity may occur. For examaple a 200 series can have an increased GVM of 3800kg and retain its tow capacity of 3500kg on a SSM approval. This has in turn increased the vehicles GCM but not the towing capacity.

    I would suggest the author of this article do some further research rather than spreading miss information that is potentially damaging to an entire industry.

  • The dual cab Ute market is a rouse. All of them are unable to tow the GT that is advertised if you want to have passengers and or any other gear in the tow vehicle.

  • A recent news article foretold the coming American style pickups, manufacturered in right hand drive. I couldn’t really see why they were suddenly making the effort until after reading the above news announcement about no gcm increases…

    All makes sense now!

  • GVM is the combined Curb Weight 2005kg and Payload 1195kg on the XTR. You may have a caravan with an axle load limit of 2990kg and an Atm of 2950kg upgraded. With a tare weight of 2200kg.
    How you then distribute your payload in both vehicle and caravan to stay below the 6000kg GCM is up to you as the owner.
    As a BT50 owner, try pulling 3500kg of load any real distance and see how your fuel gauge goes never loan wind and speed limits

  • What about a 200 series that has been done by Lovell’s, is the BTM still OK on existing upgrades?
    We had ours done last year & just trying to work out where we stand.

  • I have a np300 2015 nav and when i have my family in the duel cab im already overloaded due to the accessories this is without puting any load in the tub so how can i be legal

    • Dan, you’ll have to lose some of the accessories (put them in the trailer or van, or leave them home ) ? or lose some of the family ? = leave them home or make then ride a bike, horse, catch the bus, … or buy a bigger vehicle.

    • refer below for clarification (From Lovells)
      Dear Authorised Dealers, Production Facilities, Dealerships and Fleet clients,

      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 Friday 29th June (Note: paragraphs highlighted by Lovells for clarity).

      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, 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, competitor press releases and industry news pages, 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 Automotive Systems Pty Ltd
      (Incorporating Lovells Suspension)

      Sydney (Sales and Engineering)
      PO Box 5126
      Minto BC
      Unit 2, 25 Badgally Rd
      Campbelltown NSW 2560

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      Sandgate NSW 2304

      PO Box 60
      Jimboomba QLD 4280

      Ph: +61 2 9820 6800
      Fax: +61 2 9820 6788
      Mobile: 0421 709 727 (Int: +61 421 709 727)

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  • Since when has the GCM been able to be increased adhoc. I would suggest that the author has used the incorrect nomenclature. Mixing GVM and GCM up. To the best of my knowledge apart from a couple of Toyotas no GCM increase is available pre or post registration. Increasing the GVM of a tow vehicle does not increase the GCM.

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