W.A. Police Crackdown On Illegally Modified 4X4s

Western Australian police have been cracking down on modified four-wheel drives recently, according to various Facebook posts by Great Southern District – WA Police. These posts are highlighting illegal modifications made to four-wheel drives such as fitting oversized tyres that stick out from the vehicles guards.

WA Police crack-down on modified 4X4s
One of the posts from W.A, a GQ Patrol with some worn-out Maxxis Bighorns. No rear bumper and tyres sticking right out probably didn’t do him any favours! Negative point for bad parking, as well.

We’d like to say it from the start, that illegally modified vehicles, be they 2WD or 4WD have no place on our roads. We also think using social media is a novel way of educating motorists to some of the unroadworthy modifications they might have genuinely not be aware of. After all, the local tyre shop is interested in selling and fitting tyres, it is your responsibility to understand what is the road legal tyre size for your vehicle. There was one social media post from Great Southern District – WA Police that caught our attention in particular and it seemed the  the 4WD community was also less than impressed judging by the responses.


WA Police crack-down on modified 4X4s

It’s worth noting that what the police has said is incorrect: 35″ tyres do certainly have a place on public roads (some have this tyre size from the factory), and can be easily engineered to suit the GU Patrol.This post states: “35in tyres have no place on this vehicle on our roads”, with a picture of a GU Patrol wearing 35″ mud terrains. While under the National Code of Practise, 35in tyres would be too large to be compliant for road use. However, we would like to argue that it could be done with suitable engineering consultation and resulting modification to steering, braking and suspension components. This would also involve emergency swerve testing (and the costs associated), but we have seen Patrols engineered for 35in tyres in the past, that operated in a safe manner. This begs the question however, should 35in tyres be banned from our roads (and tracks) all together?

This GU particular Patrol belongs to a staff member and has been engineered for all modifications, including suspension and 35in tyres.
This GU particular Patrol belongs to editor Scott, and has been engineered for all modifications, including suspension and 35in tyres.

Do you think 35″ tyres should be banned? Let us know in the comments below.

Another massive issue among four-wheel drivers, not just in W.A but Australia wide, is the mounting of LED light bars. While in some States (South Australia and Queensland) it is considered roadworthy to mount an LED light bar to the roof of a vehicle, it isn’t considered a roadworthy modification in other States such as NSW. So does this mean that if you own a vehicle registered in South Australia, with a roof mounted LED light bar, and drive through NSW you could be issued with a defect notice? Seems kind of silly, and it really does further prove the need for a National Code Of Practise Australia wide to standardise these vehicle modifications.


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  • Im from europe and i must say you guys have some seriously stupid laws. We run 44″ tyres on GU patrols without and issues.

    Bigger tyres roll better as they have a shallower angle to the floor and larger surface area to distribute power. All day a larger tyre gliding over the surface is better then dragging a car out with a winch because of lack of clearence and damaging your vehicle and taking a few rocks with you on the way.

    Is australia really that crime free that the police have nothing better to do then ruin peoples hobbies and risk their safety because they get bogged in the middle of no where alone due to ill equipped vehicles.

    Im all for safety but theres no argument here. Its just ridicules rules

    • Spot on Adam! Why can’t our politicians get together and make some national rules that everyone follows, not just for vehicles but for everything. Update our Australian Standards so that they apply to everyone nation wide, we are one country for heavens sake!

  • Australia being the flattest continent on earth, of course most people in the outback don’t necessarily need 35s or big lifts. However, if you DO live in the high country, or somewhere mountainous, you probably know of tracks where you won’t get through easily without them.

    Also, the JL Wrangler Rubicon will come standard with 33s. That means 35s should be legal with no engineers certificate. If you’ve ever tried pushing a pram with small wheels on the grass, or prams with big wheels, you’ll know the small wheels rip up the ground more than the big wheels. A car that can get through a tough track will rip it up less than a car that is marginal on that track.

  • Public liability is often what the 4WD ethusist forgets to consider when it comes to modifications on their vehicles. As an owner of a 100 series and an Engineer myself, I sought out an engineered certificate and verification testing for a modest 2″ lift with 33.5″ tyres. Mainly so I am covered by my insurance company. Yes 35″ tyres can be engineered for in many states. New vehicles with the more common 265/65R17 (30.5″) can pose some increased challenges due to stability control programs. The assessing engineer isn’t going to put their name to the sign off without results / verification to prove it passes the VSB codes. How would we like it if the Maintenance and Engineering staff at the airlines (Qantas & Virgin) had that same approach (she’ll be right mate). Rules, codes, legislation is there is cover the public. Most people wouldn’t be keen on having to explain to a court or coroners inquiry why there vehicle was / is the subject of investigation as to death of a person due to illegal modification.

  • Been running 35s for almost 17 years and used properly have less impacted on the environment than
    Smaller tyres. (Fact). Most people who modify their 4x4s to accept bigger wheels do it for better flowtation
    Purposes hence larger footprint and less pressure on the environment.

  • A simple question what did we do before all the vehicle mods were around ahh thats right we still got thru with out damaging the tracks maybe a lot to do with driving skill and understanding the the enviroment, to all the drop kicks next time you rip up a track you are giving the tree huggers and government agencies all the ammo they need to get tracks SHUT DOWN.

  • Seriously unbelievable
    Can’t believe the Australian government cant just get together and make the same law for modifications for every state. Every state is different. If you want to increase tourism and ask people to travel the country, generalise the modifications and make sure all the rules are the same

    and why do they even care if the light bars or spot lights are above the bull bar? what different does it make? just because an idiot cant turn it off…doesnt mean we ban it…unbelievable

  • What Police said was spot on….. “35” tyres have no place on this vehicle on our roads.”

    They were talking specific to that car, which was likely not engineered for those tyres…. they were not referring to 35″ tyres in general. Please don’t misquote

  • Done properly, bigger tyres are fine. They can also handle surprisingly well. Whilst my car has 33’s, my son’s has 37’s (fully engineered) and drives bloody impressively on the road.

    Yes, idiots can rip up tracks with 35’s etc – but they also do that with 29’s, 31’s, 32’s and 33’s etc. (Usually the same dicks who leave rubbish around the place, leave fires burning and do burnouts in the campground).

    There are cars modified by people who care – and their cars are safe, handle well and are looked after. Then there are cars that are “stock” and an accident waiting for a location. Then there’s everything in between….. Use to be Police could tell the difference and use discretion to take the bad ones off the road. Now it seems it’s tick the box stuff – oh 35’s – must be a dangerous vehicle – which leaves potentially dangerous cars on the road whilst taking off cars that may bend the rules but are still safe….

  • 35″ tyres should never be illegal. nor do they rip up tracks making it impossible for lesser vehicles to get through. bigger tyres, better suspension and traction aids mean the vehicle will go further, do it easier with far less damage to the trails due to less wheelspin,more clearance and more traction. the biggest problem is with occasional 4wdrivers in ill equipped vehicles with unsuitable tyres and suspension for the difficulty of trail they on. i drive one 4wd with 31’s and the other with 35’s i know the limits of both and being in coastal nsw where it’s high rainfall the 35’s are almost a must for heavily water eroded clay and rock logging trails that are seldom used. you also need to factor in the weight of the vehicle and the clearance under the diffs for example a suzuki sierra and a nissan patrol require different size tyres to travel the same trail without damaging it. putting a 3+tonne vehicle on skinny tyres on a clay trail when it’s raining is a sure fire way to make ruts.

  • All the people who say that 35s and suspension ruin tracks are clearly uneducated and/or jealous of the people who spend their time and money to set up their vehicles to be more capable for their needs. Set up correctly a vehicle fitted with 35s will cause less damage than a vehicle with smaller tyres/suspension dragging and spinning their way through tracks.
    And to the people who argue that you can access/live in NT etc that’s all good and well. But driving on farms and dirt roads is vastly different to exploring areas like the Victorian high country or places like the cobaws which require the clearance for rocks etc.
    Yes, there are people who go over the top/ do things cheap and nasty, but what aspect of life are there not these people.
    I personally prefer to have my clearance and 35″ tyres and idle through places where vehicles with smaller tyres/suspension have to spin their tyres and roll forwards and backwards to get through.

  • It is you the Media (mr4x4, 4wd action etc) that say it can be engineered in all states and don’t ever supply proof.

    Give me the name of an engineer who will sign off a 4in lift and 35’s, I bet none will let you publish their details because it cannot be done legally. I can write you a mod plate for it and charge you whatever I like but that doesn’t make the plate legal.

    Adam Felsman’s comment above is spot on for the Queensland laws.

    There are a couple of exceptions where companies have a Second Stage Manufacture approvals or type approval for things, Mark’s adapters portal axles come to mind.

  • I just can’t see with larger tyres and suspension lift that gives a higher centre of gravity can make these vehicles safer on the black top where the majority of them spend there time. To me they handle like the old 48-215.

  • Being someone who sells tyres we get the lot.If it’s over track and wide it must work Ha.Go blue in the face recommending upgrades to go with people’s overzealous egos only to see them find the closest mud patch and totally stuff their cars mechanicals in no time.I have had some shockers that I refuse to wheel align because they are so dangerous just driving out of the car park.Listen to someone with knowledge who wants to see you back safe and happy not the “why didn’t you tell me type”duh we did.Hate seeing 4wds with 12lbs of air doing 120Ks on the highway cos she’ll be right attitude plus over tracked,over height,under maintained.You can only try to make it foolproof but you will never make idiot proof Go Figure it’s in your hands

  • I can understand some of the disdain for over the top modifications like supersize wheels extending outside the vehicles guards. However some comments are not based on logic. How do oversize tyres, with better flotation than the standards on a given vehicle of same weight cause deeper ruts in tracks? Not that I have or want 35’s but seems like a case of accessory envy to me. Have a safe drive.

  • I Totally agree with you EI 100%. IT’S THE IDIOTS behind the wheel that dose the damage because the can’t drive a 4X4 with out there Fat foot flat to the boards. I want to see this country of ours and I don’t want to look my D-Max down some leaving a really deep hole because of Bloody IDIOTS. Yep I have been in situations where my old GQ couldn’t go so I just go around it,There is no need to make tracks worse. If One looses traction just stop choose a different way Change your technique. Just Look after our great country and don’t tear it up and you idiots will get everything closed.

  • Strange how the huge majority of people who live in remote and live in remote areas of Australia have no need for raised body kits, oversized tyres or massive suspension lifts. These people include remote area communication and power personnell, farmers, surveyors, medical people, cattlemen etc., etc. If you want a good laugh head up to the Cape York area and have a look at the dolts with their overweight, over modified 4wds who behave like morons, leave their rubbish and crap paper everywhere and speed wherever they want. Like the Harley Davidson is associated with the bad boys, the overtyred, over lifted, lights everywhere 4wd is now associated with the wankers.

  • This discussion could be likened to a “right vs left” political debate. Sadly, people tend to voice poorly informed opinions (usually one they have previously read or otherwise adopted from an equally misinformed source). 35″ tyres absolutely have a place on our tracks. For those who say “35s rip up the tracks, they dig big holes so I bottom out with my smaller tyres”. Please listen carefully, 35″ tyres do NOT rip up tracks, they do NOT dig huge holes in tracks and they do NOT destroy the bush.

    Let me be clear, idiots and I mean IDIOTS do all of the above. I have seen heaps of rigs with 31″ or 32″ tyres tearing up tracks. Is it the tyres fault?? No it’s the idiot behind the wheel.

    Do you get idiots with 35s? Sadly yes. You also get idiots in every other aspect of life. Banning something just because idiots are using it is not the answer.

    For skilled drivers, 35″ tyres allow you to tackle more difficult, technical tracks. They provide more traction, better clearance and allow you to traverse larger rock steps which smaller tyres simply could not.

    I have two sets of tyres, 32″ and 35″, I choose the appropriate size for the intended use. Each have their positives and negatives.

    For those ranting against 35s with out any experience using them, educate yourself before you regurgitate more adopted opinions.

    Rant over.

  • I have read so much about 4×4 mods can and can’t do,It’s mind numbing.
    Well I have spent a lot of dosh on my D-Max to comply with our states. Unfortunately I can’t comply with all states, because all the states have vastly different Antiquated and out dated laws on 4×4 mods. I just wish they could all talk to each other and to 4×4 clubs and get it sorted.
    My D-Max has 40mm Dobinson – lift and on the road I use the STD 245x70x16 29.5 tires .When we go off with the camper it has larger tires, so I matched the size and got Micky Ts MTZP3 285/75R16 32.8 they don’t stick out. .The D-Max rides extremely well ON and OFF road with the Micky Ts, I don’t drive like a idiot to old for that. So I guess it’s illegal now under these stupid laws by a small amount. I have a 42″ curved light bar on the top of the bull-bar that sits just behind the front of the bar, I don’t have a roof rack yet I would have put it up there, so with these laws, it doesn’t matter what you do you can’t put a light bar on at all. So I guess I will drive thou the bush with NO lights On at all, that will work, maybe I should try running around the streets with out my light on then no one will see me not even the police that would be fine. Why do we put light bars on and slightly bigger tires and vastly superior suspension hmm. I’m guessing Makes it Safer on and off road would be a good thing, When you mod your 4×4 just keep it safe for all road users and drive to the conditions.. I don’t think any one should mod there 4be, to the extremes going over bored with ridicules lifts and tries suited for a Monster truck. Looks like I have to send more money and get lockers and smaller tires and a 50mm thick bash plate.

  • I’m very disappointed that one person made a comment about 35’s being great so lesser vehicles can’t access the tracks.
    Not everyone wants to have to modify their vehicle so they CAN go out and enjoy the wonders of our bush and mountains.
    This has been my gripe,wondering where it is ever going to end as people get bigger and bigger tyres to cut ruts deeper each time.

  • Light bars on roofracks are bad news here in Wa where we have looong straights with dips in them. Oncoming traffic 5ks away and further is very visible. What often happens is the driver without roof lights isnt seen by the driver with them and has to suffer full blown high beam blindness often right to the point of a crest. Usually its a genuine mistake but its no joke for the one getting blinded.
    As someone who does long up north roadtrips often at night applaud the decision to bot allow the roofbars for normal use. Fantastic for out on the tracks at night though!

  • I believe there is some work needed between these law enforcers and paying road users. The police say it is the vehicle operator responsibility to know the law…? Where do we find this info? are we just meant to magically have the knowledge?(especially on changes). I ask this because the last 2 times i contacted transport dept, they had no idea and the time before gave me some incorrect advice! I believe the responsibility does not lie with the paying road user to be up to date when there is nowhere to get accurate info. To hand someone a fine for not knowing!.. when there is no standards easily available to public, is making one feel like a victim of entrapment.

  • In reply to the question asked,
    No I don’t think 35 inch tyres should be banned.
    Gee that wasn’t hard at all!

  • Good to see many responses here speaking against excessively jacked up vehicles with big tyres. These vehicles and the many hoons that drive them make offroad tracks virtually impassable for those of us with standard or near standard 4wds. Four wheel drives should not be used to buggar the bush and degrade the environment, to do so just gives the Government fun police the excuse to restrict us all. Probably a good thing to ban 35inch tyres. It seems everything we do in life is stuffed up by a small group of irresponsible people.

  • I visit Lane Pool reserve regularly in W.A. which has, or rather DID HAVE, excellent bush tracks for 4WD’s, however over the years the guys with their 35″ have dug huge holes in these tracks which have caused major erosion issues to such an extent these roads have now been CLOSED.
    Only folks who can use them now are pedestrians and push bike riders.
    Good one guys.

  • when I started 4 wheel driving many years ago it was in ex army Jeeps and series 1 land rovers and they were fitted with 600×16″ bar tread tyres there were not to many places that we could not go, until series 2 land rover and Toyota introduced 7/50×16″ tyres from there on out we had trouble going through the same tracks that we had accessed in the past because now our diffs bottomed out, so the question I ask is where do you stop with this nonsense and learn how to drive with the standard vehicle that manufacturers have spent billions of dollars in development with out some back yard mechanic thinking that they know better?.

  • Justin & Abberlad are on the money. Massive tyres and high lifts are dangerous and waste of money unless you are swamping or rock crawling 24/7 and never see the black top. I have 265/75 R16 cooper stmax on my 78series troopy with old man emu shocks with standard springs all round and it got me all through the kimberleys and NT no probs. I have 4 narva spotties on the front of my roof rack totally isolated with separate switch and the WA police didn’t even look twice at my vehicle….. Quality and simplicity is always better and easier in the long run.

  • This is a huge frustration of mine. Blanket bans because its too hard for the authorities to educate themselves on. I would much rather a 4wd with big muddies than some beaten up old rust bucket the farmer drives to market or the rest of the junk on the road. Australia is such a nanny state when it comes to vehicle modifications. They tell us in WA to not fit LED light bars above bonnet level but they forget to mention its completely legal to fit lights of any style and any combination in any position if they are dedicated off road lights on a separate switch. And the story about pedestrian safety doesn’t stack up either as they still allow roof racks and windscreens haven’t been banned due to the aggressive stop of momentum heads have when they hit them. Maybe the pedestrian shouldn’t have been in the way – same goes for open front wheels like with the ADR approved XROX bars – It’s just ludicrous bureaucracy created by bean counters and prius drivers that serves no purpose in the real world – Exposed tyre or not the pedestrian is still getting run over. Another gripe is that they blast the road safety message but then say its illegal to increase the track/width of cars which would without question improve the stability of lifted vehicles. Don’t get me started on the absolute rigmarole of engineering either – Its ridiculous and should be reworked so that if 1 particular set up passes then this can be accepted as satisfactory on any other vehicle – or make the whole process more flexible and cheaper. You cant even change a spring rate or anything else after its engineered without needing to go through the whole process again. The states need to let go of their ego and amalgamate the countries road laws and relax some their silly laws. Problem is that road safety and law changes are heavily influenced by roadside assistance providers and other industry heavy weights that demand political correctness over factual information – Again banning it is easier than understanding it.

  • LOL we are such a nanny state. I am temporarily living in the United States at the moment and these guys seemingly have no vehicle mod laws. It’s at the complete other end of the scale. I’ve even seen a NEW Tundra at the dealer fitted with 20 inch wheels that stuck way outside of the guards.
    On Jeep Wranglers, it seems like 35 inch tyres are pretty much the minimum, even though I don’t think any of them see dirt. Massive 6 inch lifted Pick Ups with 37 inch tyres with half the tread hanging out the guards is no big deal. The land of the FREE!

    Somewhere in the middle is a happy medium. With appropriate supporting mods and engineering there is nothing wrong with 35 inch tyres. I like NCOP, it is very sensible and leaves scope for those who want to go a bit further with their mods, but it’s just ridiculous that some states seem to continue with their antiquated and unenforceable modification laws.

  • As far as I know to defect a interstate regarding vehicle cannot as the person has to be aprove with that states laws and certified by that state and I have driven all states

  • You only have to drive the Holland Track, in WA, to see what the brain-dead knob jockeys have done. Do they really think it’s clever? As already opined – leave the big tyre, high-lift machines for comps.

  • One set of clearly defined, uncomplicated rules Aus wide would be appreciated. Unfortunately to achieve this we need common sense to be applied and that is in short supply these days. Biggest problem I see out there is the ever increasing number of idiots who feel they are above everyone else. They drive the tracks like its a tough mudder comp every time and then follow that stupidity up on the road.
    As for tyres, whatever. As long as they are fit for purpose and don’t stick out past the guards, fine. I would be looking at the quality of their suspension first as this seems more important to me when you see them rolling all over the place on the roads. When I see all the places you cannot put light bars and spotties it makes me wonder how there is even a market for this stuff. To suggest there is going to be any real issue with having a light bar attached to the front of a roof rack is complete BS. The light bar is a hazard but the rack isn’t?

  • NSW rules:

    Tyres can be 107% increase from factory Circumference. Need to have factory 32.7″ Tyres from factory to achieve this.

    Suspension and Lift is up to 1/3 of the suspension travel in the direction of the lift.

    For someone with a live axel on coil springs and shocks that is a massive amount of travel and well over 2″.

    All the above is without engineering!

  • Educate yourself….A good few JK Wranglers are engineered for 37″ tyres in Victoria and now in NSW. Some of us know how to drive technically challenging tracks in a responsible way that require correctly modified vehicles. We have seen numpties on 31″s cause more track damage with spinning wheels and poor technique. Crawler gears, traction devices, high clearance suspension and an ability to drive a line intelligently go a long way in track preservation.

  • In Queensland max 6in lift 2in tyres 2in suspension 2in body lift light bars can be fitted to roof racks but can only used in the bush not on the highways nothing can be fitted to the top of bullbar and there is a measurement how high spot lights can be fitted above the centre lune of the headlights

  • I’m gonna have a guess that SFA of the vehicles running around on 35″ tyres have been engineered. And as someone else pointed out, they create deeper ruts on tracks restricting access for anyone running legal size rubber. Keep the 35’s for comps and get them off our roads. It would be great to see standard rules across the country to help protect others from morons running illegal mods. I often see patrols running 35’s, 6″ lifts and a roof rack loaded with crap heading off into the desert. makes me wonder how they stay upright? ROFL. Maybe their money would be better spent learning to drive properly so they don’t need these unnecessary mods. And yes, maybe I am that Principal with baggy white undies. lol

  • Government rules….Sound like that nerdy headmaster…who wont let you wear jeans to school…and I bet he still wears those big parachute whitey underpants too……and uses the cane…drats!!! bummer!!
    This Jesuit has gone fishing?

  • 35’s are great for keeping lesser vehicles off the tracks. Once they have been through, the ruts are so deep that everything else bottoms out. Means a lot less vehicles can use the bush.

  • I’d love to know who engineered Scott’s GU with 35″ tyres ?? I’ve had many conversations with TMR Qld and I am in-fact an engineer. There is no get around the current ADR legislation. Its 2″ max on tyres even with engineering. Suspension can not go over the 2″ (with or without certification) in QLD but to 3″ in some other states, so with 2″ body lift for a total of 125mm in QLD and 150mm in other states. Some engineers are using the “old” and now “redundant” link between Heavy Vehicle codes, as Section G12.2 was updated in May 2014 to remove that link. 35″ tyres without ‘special dispensation’ from Main roads cannot be engineered and mod plated by an automotive engineer.

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