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GVM FAQ's

What Does GVM Mean?

What Does GVM Mean?

GVM stands for gross vehicle mass. This is the maximum operating weight for a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer. It includes the vehicle’s chassis, body, engine, suspension etc. However what most manufacturers won’t tell you is that it generally excludes any fuel, aftermarket accessories, additional occupants (other than the driver), luggage etc.

 

What Does GCM Mean?

What Does GCM Mean?

GCM stands for Gross Combined Mass. This is the most weight that your vehicle is allowed to tow and carry on your vehicle combined. For example the Ford PX Ranger has GCM (Gross Combined Mass) of 6000kg.

Why Do Vehicles Need GVM Upgrades?

Why Do Vehicles Require GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) Upgrades?

 You may not be aware that installing extra accessories such as a bull bar and winch along with two or three occupants and their luggage can possibly bring your vehicle over it's total maximum legal GVM weight or load limit.

  • Need to protect Business, Managers from claims for breaches of OH&S rules and employee negligence.

  • Possibility of Insurance companies to void payout if the vehicle is loaded beyond approved GVM.

  • Possibility of litigation under common law if the vehicle is operated beyond its legal Load Limits.

  • Requirements to load vehicle and operate safely with weight beyond current Original Equipment limits for heavy and/or remote work.

  • Families loading vehicles up for 4wding trips may not be aware that after all accessories, luggage and passengers are added to the vehicle that it is over its GVM.

 

 

 

Who Can Fit A GVM Upgrade?

Who Can Fit A GVM Upgrade?

Only an authorised workshop who is an approved production facility by DOTARS (Department of transport & regional services) is able to legally install a GVM kit to your vehicle.

Who Would Require A GVM Upgrade?

Who Would Require A GVM Upgrade?

GVM upgrade kits will suit both a large range of people and businesses that have the need to carry extra weight on a daily basis. Anyone from Government Departments to mining companies or farmers, even families loading vehicles up for travelling or 4wding can benefit from having a GVM upgrade installed.

Should A GVM Upgrade Be Fitted Before Or After Registration?

Should A GVM Upgrade Be Fitted Before Or After Registration?

You Can Fit A GVM Upgrade Both Before & After Registration!

New vehicles can be fitted prior to registration as long as a ‘federal’ compliance kit is available. They are simply then registered with their new GVM as per the new compliance plate. This means that the vehicle is registered 'federally' with the GVM Upgrade. If the vehicle is sold or moved interstate then the compliance is still valid. 

However as long as there is a state compliance kit available to suit your vehicle then you can also have a GVM fitted after the vehicle is registered. State compliance means that the GVM is only valid within the state that it is fitted & complied in. State compliance GVM upgrades also require the additional cost of the engineers inspection and sign off of the ugrade when it is completed. The vehicle may be driven Australia wide with the GVM being recognised nationally (under state registration), however if the vehicle is moved or sold interstate it will be required to be re-complied by an engineer for that particular state or territory.

Does Increasing My GVM Also Increase My GCM Or My Towing Capacity?

Does Increasing My GVM Also Increase My GCM Or My Towing Capacity?

No it does not. Unfortunately you cannot increase the overall GCM or the maximum towing capacity over the manufacturers specifications. By increasing the GVM of your vehicle it allows you to be smarter in the way you set up your vehicle and caravan/trailer.

If you are towing up to the maximum towing capacity at all times then a GVM Upgrade may not suit your needs, however this is not a very common scenario. If you tow less than your maximum towing capacity then it is very likely that you can benefit from having a GVM Upgrade.

FOR EXAMPLE:

200 Series Landcruiser:

  • GVM 3300kg
  • Max Towing Capacity: 3500kg
  • GCM: 6800kg

If you were towing a 2800kg caravan with a ball weight of approx 280kg and your vehicle was loaded up to the maximum GVM of 3300kg (inc your ball weight)

GVM 3300kg + Caravan 2800kg = 6,100kg

As you can see you still have another 700kg before you reach the manufacturers maximum GCM of 6800kg. By having a GVM Upgrade fitted and increasing the GVM of the vehicle from 3300kg to 3800kg you can make use of another 500kg on the vehicle while still remaing compliant and roadworthy, also ensuring that you are covered by insurance should you have an accident.

 

 

How Much Can I Really Tow?

How Much Can I Really Tow?

What a lot of vehicle manufacturers will not tell you is that towing up to your maximum towing capability can sometimes (but not always) affect the amount of weight you can carry in your vehicle.

For Example: (For this example we are using GTM (gross trailer mass) which is the weight of the fully loaded trailer imposed on the trailer’s axle when it is coupled to the tow vehicle. GTM will always be less than ATM as some of the trailer weight is transferred to the tow vehicle when the trailer is coupled to it)

Ford PX Ranger: GVM 3,200kg / GCM 6,000kg

Ford advertises that the vehicle has the ability to tow 3.5T which it does, however if you take a closer look at the vehicles specifications you will see that the GCM cannot exceed 6000kg. If you take 3500kg max towing capacity from the GCM that leaves you a maximum allowable vehicle weight of only 2,500kg.

GCM: 6000kg - 3500kg (max towing) = 2,500kg

To be able to tow, 3.5T with the PX Ranger you need to take 700kg out of your maximum allowed GVM figure of 3,200kg. If you then look even further into the vehicle specifications it is even more of an eye-opener. Lets assume that you are still towing the maximum amount of 3.5T (GTM) with the PX Ranger which we will say is a Dual Cab XLT.

GVM (with max towing): 2,500kg - Vehicle Tare Weight: 2,159kg = 341kg

So you are now left with a payload of 341kg. Lets take out a couple more essential items from that figure.

Payload: 341kg - Tow Ball Down Force Approx: 280kg - Fuel approx 70kg = - 9kg

So on a Ford PX Ranger XLT towing a 3.5T trailer (GTM) with a full tank of fuel and approx 280kg of ball weight you are already over your GCM. Now try to add a driver, additional passengers, any luggage, a fridge, bull bar, winch etc and you will be well over your allowable limit. This makes your vehicle unroadworthy and in the case of an accident you risk voiding your insurance payout. As you can understand it is important information that the consumer really should be made aware of.

Will I Have Increased Wear & Tear On My Vehicle?

Will I Have Increased Wear & Tear On My Vehicle?

A vehicle that carries weight or loads in excess of the manufacturers GVM or a vehicle that has had an increase in its ride height will have “accelerated” wear and tear on its driveline components. The above warranty does not cover any components that have failed due to what is deemed “standard” wear and tear on a vehicle with increased ride height and weight carrying abilities. As a general rule the percentage increase in your GVM is equivalent to the percentage increase in accelerated wear and tear. For example a dual cab Toyota Hilux has an approx. 19% increase in GVM to 3300kg therefore you would expect to see a 19% increase in the wear and tear on your driveline components.

Is My Vehicle Warranty Affected When Fitting A GVM Upgrade?

Is My Vehicle Warranty Affected When Fitting A GVM Upgrade?

 

Vehicle warranty is not affected when a GVM Upgrade is fitted. Testing and analysis procedures are stringent and undertaken by an accredited Automotive Engineering Consultant to ensure original equipment components are not compromised. Modifications and load limits are within theoretical service/safety factors to ensure the integrity and longevity of OE parts associated with increasing the vehicles load carrying capabilities. Therefore, should an original equipment component fail and be directly attributed/caused by the vehicle carrying loads to a maximum GVM or part failure associated with the GVM Upgrade modification, the manufacturer of the GVM will cover warranty of the component after written proof and testing by an independent body has been lodged. This clause relates to all components, barring the clutch assembly in manual transmission variants. Therefore, the clutch, pressure plate or associated clutch parts, will not be covered by warranty under this clause or Authority.

A vehicle that carries weight or loads in excess of the manufacturers GVM or a vehicle that has had an increase in its ride height will have “accelerated” wear and tear on its driveline components. The above warranty does not cover any components that have failed due to what is deemed “standard” wear and tear on a vehicle with increased ride height and weight carrying abilities. As a general rule the percentage increase in your GVM is equivalent to the percentage increase in accelerated wear and tear. For example a dual cab Toyota Hilux has an approx. 19% increase in GVM to 3300kg therefore you would expect to see a 19% increase in the wear and tear on your driveline components.

 

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