GVM, GCM, Legalities and Options Demystified - or so we hope

  • By CTO Admin

Title: Maximizing Your Truck's Potential with a GVM Upgrade

Are you the proud owner of a new truck but baffled by the terms GVM, GCM, Tare weight, and all the legal intricacies surrounding vehicle weight limits? Fear not, because we're here to demystify the world of GVM upgrades and help you understand how you can benefit from one.

Let's put it in perspective: Picture a family of four embarking on an epic cross-country adventure. Their excitement is palpable as they anticipate the breathtaking landscapes and memorable moments ahead. They've meticulously planned their trip, loaded their truck with camping gear, and attached a caravan to accommodate their needs.

However, their journey takes an unexpected turn when they were pulled in by the police for a check. Little did they know that this stop would lead to a critical decision. As their truck was weighed, it became apparent that they were over the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) limit. The implications were clear—they had to make a choice: start emptying cargo and items to reduce their weight or organise someone to tow their van to their net destination.

This scenario isn't fiction; it happened to a real family. Their experience underscores the importance of understanding and complying with GVM limits, as well as the pivotal role that GVM upgrades can play in ensuring a safe and stress-free journey.

The Hidden Insurance Risk of Exceeding GVM

Beyond the immediate concerns of vehicle performance and safety, there's another crucial aspect to consider—insurance. If you find yourself in an accident, whether it's your fault or not, and your vehicle is over its legal GVM, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Insurance providers take vehicle weight limits seriously. Operating a truck that exceeds its GVM is seen as a violation of safety regulations. In the unfortunate event of an accident, your insurance company may use this as grounds to deny your claim or reduce your coverage significantly.

Let's illustrate this point with a real-life example: A customer of ours, the proud owner of a Silverado 2500, left our shop after a upgrading wheels and tyres with a lift. Just three hours later fate took a cruel turn as he was involved in a head-on collision, resulting in a fatality.

As the police and insurance companies conducted their investigations, the owner had absolutely zero worries or issues. Why? Because all the modifications had been carried out legally and professionally. This meticulous attention to detail ensured that he had nothing hanging over his head, even in the face of such a tragic accident. His insurance coverage remained intact, and he could focus on dealing with the emotional aftermath rather than worrying about legal complications.

What's GVM vs. GCM?

Let's start with the basics. GVM stands for Gross Vehicle Mass, which represents the maximum weight your vehicle can carry, including passengers, cargo, fluids, and even the tow ball weight. On the other hand, GCM refers to the Gross Combined Mass, which is the maximum allowable weight of both your vehicle and whatever it's towing. This includes the weight of your caravan, boat, or any other towed items, along with the truck's passengers, cargo, and accessories.

If you're planning to use your truck to its fullest capacity, especially for towing, you might find yourself bumping against the limits of your GVM. This is where a GVM upgrade becomes invaluable.

Why Should You Consider a GVM Upgrade?

Picture this: You've got your dream truck, but its stock GVM barely allows you to load your camping gear, let alone those essential upgrades like bullbars, long-range tanks, or electrical systems. That's where a GVM upgrade comes into play, granting your truck the ability to legally carry more weight. It's a game-changer for adventure enthusiasts and tradies alike.

Who Can Benefit from a GVM Upgrade?

Adventure Enthusiasts: If you're a fan of family adventures, a GVM upgrade is a must-have. It enables you to tow caravans or boats, load up with camping gear and your whole family whilst ensuring a safe and comfortable journey for your loved ones.

Tradie Power: Tradies in heavy industries, such as concreters and bricklayers, often haul substantial loads of tools and equipment. A GVM upgrade not only eases the burden but also enhances the vehicle's performance.

What's Included in a GVM Upgrade?

The components of a GVM upgrade can vary depending on the supplier and the specific vehicle. However, our GVM upgrades typically include:

Shocks: We use top-notch shocks from brands like King or Fox Shocks to enhance your truck's ride quality.

Springs: Customized springs are provided to match your vehicle's requirements.

Optional Airbags: These help with load leveling, ensuring stability and safety while carrying heavy loads.

The upgrade is finalized with rigorous testing and certification, ensuring that your truck is ready to handle the increased GVM.

The Certification Process

Our GVM upgrades are not a simple aftermarket add-on; they are certified through approved engineers. The process involves a thorough evaluation of your vehicle's factory components to identify weak points and determine necessary changes to accommodate the new GVM rating.

We then equip your vehicle with the required parts and conduct extensive testing. This includes loading the vehicle with over 1000kg of sandbags to achieve the correct axle ratings and overall GVM. Safety tests, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and brake tests, are also performed to ensure the vehicle's safety remains intact.

Upon successful completion of testing, your vehicle is approved, and a certification report is generated. This certification ensures that your upgraded truck meets all legal and safety standards.

How Long Does It Take?

Most GVM upgrades can be completed within 2 days for the installation phase. Afterward, we send images and measurements of your vehicle to the engineer for confirmation. Once verified, your new certification stickers for the door jams are issued, along with the Vicroads Certificate. The entire process typically takes 4-6 weeks, but we are continually working to expedite it and minimize any delays for our customers.

Legalities Across Australia

As of now, our GVM upgrades are State Certified, meaning they are specifically intended for customers residing in and registering their vehicles in Victoria. However, they are recognized across Australia if you happen to travel through another state. Be sure to check the local regulations when crossing state borders.

What Does It Cost?

The cost of a GVM upgrade varies depending on the vehicle's make and model, as well as the options and requirements you choose. Our kits range from $4,200 to $12,000, providing you with flexibility to tailor the upgrade to your needs.

Do You Need to Modify Axles or Differentials?

No, our GVM upgrades do not require any modifications to axles or differentials. Our approach is rooted in the understanding that overloading, overspringing, or not driving to the road conditions can lead to chassis failures. Upgrading axles or diff components simply shifts the problem to another part of the chassis, potentially causing fatigue down the line.

If you require a GVM of over 4000KG, consider opting for a 2500 equivalent truck. By starting with a 2500 and investing in necessary upgrades, you can have a factory-built vehicle with a warranty that's better suited for the job and offers long-term reliability.

Finding a GVM Engineer Near You

Don't worry about hunting down an engineer or handling logistics on your own. We've got you covered across all of Victoria. We can even arrange for your truck to be transported to our facility or returned to you, saving you time and hassle. Our team takes care of all the details, so you can enjoy a stress-free experience.

In conclusion, a GVM upgrade can unlock your truck's true potential, whether you're an adventure seeker looking to explore the great outdoors or a hardworking tradie hauling heavy loads. It's a legal and safe solution that enhances your vehicle's capabilities, providing peace of mind and improved performance. Don't let your vehicle's limitations hold you back—invest in a GVM upgrade and take your truck to new heights.

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