Vehicles are specified by the manufacturer as having a particular Gross Vehicle Mass. In other words, this includes all the weight in the vehicle when loaded, including accessories, cargo/passengers, fuel etc. It is highly likely that you may exceed the weight unknowingly and this may put you at considerable risk. This could include penalties, or worse, it could result in a mishap. This could also potentially impact your vehicle, its performance and its lifecycle. Here is all that you need to know about increasing the maximum weight, in a manner that is legally permitted and safe.

What Needs To Be Checked When Going In For An Upgrade?

When you opt for an upgrade, you need to first look at the condition of the brakes and the axle of the vehicle. This is typically performed by a licensed and competent engineer who will assess the axle weights before offering an opinion about suitability for an upgrade. There are certain limits to the extent of upgrades possible with basic suspension upgrades. GVM upgrades that are beyond 10 percent of the load limit require extensive work and will involve appropriate costs towards modifications. This will mandate the need for a new suspension, and other associated parts. Most importantly, this will require a specialist service provider to execute the upgrade.

The Need For Fulfilling Compliance Plate Requirements

Vehicles are fitted with OEM compliance plates by the manufacturer. Any upgrade of the gross vehicle Mass needs to involve the fitting of an additional modification plate. This plate will carry details of the vehicle and other approval related information. Before licensing formalities are concluded it is necessary for service providers to carry out the modifications and the affixing of the compliance plate. These are important aspects that need to be remembered, failing which, there are possibilities of penalties.

There are laid down specifications regarding this, in the Australian Design Rules approval process. All new approvals are granted only by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport.  After the registration of the vehicles, for all practical purposes, the vehicle goes back in the jurisdiction of the state. For approval purposes alone, it is the mandate of the Federal Department authorities.

Typical Suspension Kits That Are A Part Of Upgrades

A typical kit will comprise shock absorbers of the heavy duty variety, front coil springs, rear leaf springs, bush kit, compliance plate f the relevant color, and other associated components. Models have different ranges of upgrades possible in terms of increase of weight. While most models come with approvals for 10% increase in weight, some models offer marginally higher increase of gross vehicle mass.  This needs to be installed by approved and licensed service providers of Second Stage Manufactured GVM Upgrades.

It is important to use the services of reputed and reliable service providers who possess the infrastructure and expertise necessary for carrying out the upgrades. A poor choice will not only result in issues with approval, it can possibly lead to degraded performance over a period of time.

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