Here is the full statement made by Lovells Springs on August 22, 2018.
Queensland caravaners disadvantaged by Government decision on GCM
The Queensland Government is persisting with refusing to permit the revisions of Gross Combined Mass that are allowed on in-service vehicles in New South Wales and Victoria, and on pre-registered vehicles across Australia.
This is despite claims by the Queensland Government that Queenslanders would not be disadvantaged by changes to regulations governing upgrades and GCM revisions.
Lovells Managing Director of Simon Crane said Queenslanders were being forced to miss out on after market upgrades that increased the GVM of the vehicle and upgraded or maintained the towing capacity of the towed apparatus, resulting in a legal revised Gross Combined Mass.
The decision is not retrospective. It does not affect those vehicles previously modified which have GCM revision noted.
Lovells is Australia’s leading manufacturer of suspension components, GVM Upgrades, Towing Upgrades and GCM revision equipment.
“The fact is that the Queensland regulations that once allowed an increase to the combined capacity, the Gross Combined Mass, of a car and the towed apparatus are no longer recognised in Queensland on a vehicle that is already registered,” Mr Crane said.
“The same upgrade is allowed under Federal regulations on a vehicle before it is registered – but not once it is driven off the showroom floor and comes under Queensland’s regulations.
“The same upgrade that is allowed in New South Wales and Victoria is not allowed by the Queensland Government”.
“The same upgrade that is allowed on Queensland vehicles before they are sold are not allowed for cars already registered.
“Queenslanders are clearly disadvantaged by the Queensland Government’s Vehicle Modification Scheme.”
Mr Crane said the usable payload of many 4X4 vehicles today is minimal. Additional basic optional equipment and two or three adult occupants will bring the vehicle close to its legal maximum weight/Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) in many cases.
Add long range fuel tanks, bull bars, winches, side steps, roof racks, recovery gear, a payload of camping equipment or tool boxes, or an industrial type custom body, and the vehicle may exceed the Original Equipment allowable GVM.
Add to that a caravan, boat or horse float and the vehicle will most likely exceed the Original Equipment GCM (Gross Combination Mass).
This will mean that the owners and/or driver will be responsible for a vehicle that may be in breach of their insurance, and potentially workplace health and safety requirements.
Mr Crane said the announcement by the Government that they have backed down from introducing new regulations on 4 September is a distraction.
“The Queensland Government is avoiding discussing the decision already made by the Department of Transport and Main Roads that they will not approve an increase in the Gross Combined Mass of a registered vehicle,” he said.
The Minister for Transport, the Hon Mark Bailey MP, has said that the proposed new Vehicle Modification Codes LS11 and LS15 will not now be introduced on 4 September 2018.
Changes in these Vehicle Modification Codes included the banning of Towing Capacity Upgrades on in-service vehicles, banning of axle capacity increases on in-service vehicles, banning of GVM Upgrades on in-service vehicles which had previously been upgraded by another jurisdiction/State and/or brand and banning of GVM Upgrades on in-service vehicles which had previously had active SSM Approvals, which are no longer manufactured (eg. Nissan Patrol Y61 and Toyota Hilux KUN125/126).
While GCM revision is still legally available on brand new vehicles in QLD (and all States) and legal/recognised on in-service vehicles for all other States except NT, towing upgrades will remain of virtually no use in QLD because the Government will not allow an increase in the GCM (combined weight of the vehicle and its trailer).
Mr Crane said that towing upgrades that did not increase the Gross Combined Mass were still allowed on registered vehicles in Queensland.
“These upgrades do not allow motorists to pull more weight in total,” he said.
“If you upgrade the caravan, or other towed apparatus, you have to lighten the payload in the car.
“If you upgrade the payload in the car, you’ve got to tow a lighter van.
“The only solution to safely towing a greater weight is to have an increase in the Gross Combined Mass.
“The industry knows this, and the towing community of Queensland knows this.
“Queenslanders should not be prevented from being allowed to upgrade their vehicles to get the benefit of being able to tow more and tow safely.”
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