You may have seen a story on our sister site, Unsealed 4X4, around a document released by Transport for NSW stopping upgrades to GVM; this document has now been withdrawn.
“VSCCS Notice 17” released on April 20, 2020 by Transport for NSW, referred to a post-first-registration GVM upgrade and within the notice, it appeared to put a blanket ban on GVM upgrades after had been registered for the first time, which has now been withdrawn. Where it got murky (as is often happens with the broad notices released regarding vehicle modifications), is that it advised the axle mass ratings as stated by the original vehicle manufacturer, were only permitted to be increased beyond those factory ratings, if:
“It is supported by documentation from the first stage vehicle manufacturer or axle manufacturer with specifications pertaining to Australian conditions; or
“The standard components have been replaced with components of a higher rating as appropriate with specifications pertaining to Australian conditions.”
Which sounds reasonable on first glance. One would assume that so long as you upgrade the springs and shock-absorbers, to appropriate ratings, everything should be well with the world. Bear in mind that this is the standard practice with a GVM upgrade on a vehicle.
Once you look at it further, it becomes apparent that this notice is related entirely to ‘axle load ratings’. Which in turn begs the question, does that mean that one must upgrade the axle housing, as well? And the diff mounting points and control arms in an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) four-wheel drive? And the wheel bearings? And the wheels and tyres?
As you’ll no doubt see, it becomes a very slippery slope as to what must be upgraded, in order to still be able to undertake a GVM upgrade. Murky indeed. Interestingly, just two weeks later, Transport for NSW has now withdrawn the GVM upgrade changes per Notice 17. We expect to see more around this topic, and hopefully with much more clarity as to the changes made, and what this means for the industry, as opposed to a blanket ban.
Once we have more information (or an update from Transport NSW) on the subject, we’ll get back to you with whether the changes are going ahead, or if it’s being rescinded in its entirety.