TIP #144 Tow Vehicle GVM Increases Possible: Necessary/ Some With ALL the Toys.

Submitted: Monday, Jan 22, 2007 at 20:57
ThreadID: 123240 Views:5195 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Over the years for larger vans, we have had many people upgrade the tow capacity in vehicles like the 80 Series that was only legal to 2500 kg before about 10/1996, but was substantially the same vehicle from the early 90’s to its changeover in 2000. You can do this, many have. But besides towing capacity, another thing should be looked at, and that is increasing the GVM for some vehicles. I see many tow vehicles with fridges in the back, outboards, boats on roof racks, and the rest; that are obviously over their legal GVM. This can be fixed in many cases, and my concern is that Insurance Companies are having to tighten up on the laws and limitations, and technically can deny you insurance if you are an illegal vehicle overloaded beyond your GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass- The top weight fully loaded you are allowed…)

You almost have to have a boat on top, to have problems with most Toyotas for instance. But the larger bed and storage capacity makes it easy to load too much into some vehicles like the F-250 Ford.. I have had two F-250's in here, that have had the GVM increased to 5 tons, 5000 kg, because of this. Also, I have heard rumours of about 3 more that have had it done. More importantly: I have had a lot more Fords in here, that needed it...

I have been neglectful in getting the Engineers names that did the Modification Plates: Can anyone please Post here the Source of that Mod if you know it for others benefit; for each of the States of Qld, Vic, NSW...? I know it is being done, but cannot tell you who is doing it…

The problem is that many of you are running OVERLOADED, just because you can. The big bed size has given way to some going with 8' and I have even seen 9' canopies on trays; with boats on top, generators and motors in the back, fridges, folding boat trailers, two spares, toys, tools, on and on and some of you are OVER your GVM and not Legal... I know it is fun to have the most toys, but there is a problem…

Unfortunately, Insurance is getting tighter and tighter, and I am only concerned that technically you could get caught up without coverage in a serious accident claim as you are running too heavy. Look it is nice to have all the toys, but some of you are going over the top.. Just because the F-250 is so strong that with the air bag addition in the back it does not notice the weight, you need to be aware of the problem, and I would suggest you seek out a GVM increase. In all fairness, your upper limitation will end up being the single wheels. I converted my F-350 to Dually (Dual rear wheels) just because of this limitation when I built my 29’ gooseneck horse float. Now I am back to that with a factory Dually.

This is what an F-350 Dually 4x4 looks like with the weight of a Landcruiser in the back, and still in its Legal limits… Some of you might be overloading your rear single tyres. This Dually gives you nearly double the payload and the Dually means MASSIVE safety and carrying capacity… One more thing, MASSIVE TRACTION, and it makes a difference in the soft going. We are editing down a DVD to a modest size, from 5 hours. And while nothing looks half as bad in a picture or Video as it actually was, you can see the Dually in action with one of the largest and heaviest vans. Even in soft sand the difference is remarkable.

My van is only 22’, but heavy as I have doubled many of the features, testing some gear, and double normal tankage with 8 tanks… And the Dually has traction to spare. In the picture you can see over a ton of batteries, 200 litres of fuel, 8 tyres, pumps, tools, and more than you want to hear about, the weight of a Landcruiser in the back and it just sits level. The rear tyres are no where near their limits and so not prone to flats like singles would be in a STRESSED condition. This is my second late model “Dually”, and most of the myths about Duals are just that: Myths. The only place they are a serious disadvantage is in town parking. But even that I live with.

Newbies, if you are going BIIIIIG, and a boat, motor, canopy, motorbike, boat trailer, generator, and all the rest of a full lifestyle traveling full time, I would certainly consider a Dually. I have traveled extensively in the Outback, now with two of them; and the power, traction, stability, safety, and the rest is only increased where the rubber hits the road so to speak in Duals. Here is what it looks like in a heavy loaded state, two tonnes in the back.

If you are going to do it Biiiiig, then do it safely, both physically and financially, do it safely.. Isuzu truck, Dodge, Chev, Ford, Mitsubishi, there are many choices if you want to go oversized. Otherwise, priortize what you want to take along down to what you need to take along, and stay within your GVM limits..

Your Friend, the lone Ranger, is just trying to look after you.. As always….
Semper Fidelis
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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:40

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007 at 22:40
Per a question put to me, it might be of use to others as well so I am answering it here.. Yes you can increase the GVM of Landcruisers as well... You have to find the right Transport Approved Engineer that can stamp Mod plates to be affixed to the firewall, and then it becomes a "Custom" Landcruiser. For a while ARB was increasing the GVM of 75 Series to 3400 kg, utes and Troop Carriers.

You go to custom truck body builders, tip trailers, Dump truck sort of big truck body or Motorhome builders and they usually have an Engineer that does it. I did my stretched 75 Series to 3500 kg. I had increased spring packs, OME shocks, and 3 point greasable shackles, and the Mod Plate and Engineers Report cost me $500. I have had many other Mod plates done for as little as $100 by other Engineers. If you are in the category it is certainly worth the ring around...

Kind regards, Ranger da Rig Junkie, horses under da bonnet or under saddle...

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Reply By: TroopyTracker - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 03:15

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 03:15
Good post, I am, and suspect at least half the full time travellers I know over GVM. I have however had the upgrade to 3500kgs on our pre 10/96 Troopy. At the same time I had the GCM uped to mean that I can have the car loaded to GVM and still have full tow capacity. While this wouldn't affect F 250 etc owners, this is definantley something for cruiser owners to remember if going down this route. If you do have your GVM increased remember you have reduced the amount you can tow unless the GCM is changed also. I'm saying this assuming you plan to load the vehicle close to GVM.

EG- Your cruiser had a GVM of 3000kgs, GCM of 6500kgs. You upgrade to 3500kg GVM on vehicle but with current GCM you can now only tow 3000kgs if your vehicle is loaded.....

I think the Yota is only rated to around the 6500kgs for a reason. We weigh this much all up and I regularly have unhealthy thoughts of going over to the dark side and trading to an F250 size vehicle. Would certainly be a more comfortable outfit.

I'm hoping the new Troopy coming in the next few months will be a little bigger and have a slightly higher GCM. Going by pics around the place, the new ute and troopy will be not that much different from the windscreen back. I hope I'm wrong.

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:00

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007 at 19:00
Yep, agree on all, it sounds like you have done a good job of it...

Look, in all fairness, this is my most important job here in trying to look after everyone with their own best interests in mind. Many people are turning a blind eye to this, but I think the tide is turning. To survive, insurance companies are going to have to start cracking down on overweight vehicles when a major accident occurs.

Mind you, that has not happened much yet. But with the skyrocketing costs of claims, I do think it is coming. They have to prove in Court if they are challenged, that it was the contributing factor, but many could not or would not want such a court battle as it would cost more than their loss in the first place to fight it in Court.... So I think the insurance companies will take that stand more and more.. In all fairness, with the deaths on the highway, it is probably the right thing to do. Pushing your GVM without proper suspension, tyres, and approval by someone that knows what they are doing, is dangerous to say the least.

I am not nit-picking a tiny bit over issue. But some are running half ton to full ton over without considering maximum loading on tyres, recovery of severe steering, proper suspension for evasive action, and that sort of thing.

I am here to help.... Kind Regards, Ranger..
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Reply By: Aussie Bush Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 09:43

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 09:43
Hi Steve, apologies for the delay in replying to this, but only arrived home a few hours ago, and did not have the details with me.

As you know, we have an F250 and have had the GVM upgraded to just over 5 tonne, without doing any mods.

The “change agent” we used was
All Vehicle Compliancing or All Vehicle Modification & Compliancing
Contact Alan Marburg
PO Box 225 Caboolture 4510
Phone 0410669075
Email damarburg@optusnet.com.au

In talking with Alan, he indicated that he has upgraded other 4wd vehicles, although some mods need to be carried out.

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 18:39

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 18:39

He is the one that did my stretched Troop Carrier GVM increase to 3500 kg, what maybe 10 years ago?? He was a bit dear, and to tell you the truth, last time I went looking for him I could not find him.... Wow! What was the cost?

Mine was a bit dear, in fact the most expensive I have heard of as he did not modifications, it was all done, I thought $500 for an hour inspection of three point spring shackles and reinforced chassis and 9 leaf mine grade spring sets, and Nitrocharger Shockies.... I thought the hour inspection and say another hour to prepare the Mod Plate (as if) for $500 was a bit overcharged... OUCH!!!

Since then I have had many hitch related mod plates and others done in the $100-150 range by People like Ekebol Engineering in Kunda Park...

Cheers, Ranger
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Reply By: Aussie Bush Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 23:41

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 23:41
The cost from Alan Marburg was $500, and although no mods were required he visited on site (to the van) twice and interfaced with the Transport dept about 6 or 7 times. From what I can gather, advice from Transport was conflicting depending on the day and where the advice came from. So I do not begrudge the $500 as I would have done my cool. Anyway its a 5.0xx GVM now and we are legal.

AnswerID: 570313

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 at 01:49

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 at 01:49
It would be wise for ALL F-250s running heavy, with canopies, boats, and the rest, to get this Mod Plate lifting their GVM to 5000 kg..... Job well done Bob....

JUST KEEP IN MIND PER TIP #126 YOU ARE A 0.00 ALCOHOL TRUCK THEN!!!! But at least you comply with Max GVM for your Insurance... It is probably the lessor of all the evils, to be safe...

I know I blew a .01 three hours after a three glasses (big ones) of wine w/ lunch...!!! And they let me go, either because I had two kids and two German Shepherd dogs on board, and they did not want to deal with all of that... Or they figured I would be 0.00 before they got me into the Station??? Or they just flat did not realize my F-350 was a 0.00 Truck??? I don't really know... But the Officer said: After some Hesitation " Awwwww, you're OK" and waived me through. I think maybe I just looked like a Responsible Citizen and there was too much to handle with my two Girls and two big Dogs when I was so close to the mark... But Boggers, I would not push my luck,

Be careful out there..... Personally I would rather deal with the 0.00 than over GVM in a major tyre failure accident or something... OK?
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Feb 01, 2007 at 00:35

Thursday, Feb 01, 2007 at 00:35
One thikng that I don't think has been mentioned so far is that if you do have your GVM increased above 4500kgs then you will also require your licence to be upgraded to a light Rigid.

This might cause a problem or two for couples who just have car licences. I know my wife wouldn't be too pleased with me if I told her she had to go and do another licence test.

If you haven't got the appropriate licence for the class of vehicle that you are driving then your Insurance is void.

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