GCM News

GCM Upgrades latest news and facts

All of the current facts outlining GCM upgrades

GVM Upgrades

Are Lovells Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) upgrades Federally approved and recognised? Yes. Have they always been 100% legal? Yes.

Braked Towing Capacity Upgrades

Are Lovells Braked Towing Capacity (BTC) upgrades Federally approved and recognised? Yes. Have they always been 100% legal? Yes.

Gross Combined Mass Upgrades

Are Lovells Gross Combined Mass (GCM) upgrades Federally approved and recognised? Yes. Have they always been 100% legal? Yes.

Pre-registration upgrades

Pre-registration upgrades on current approvals for BTC and GCM upgrades are 100% legal regardless of what state the vehicle is registered into upon taking delivery.

Current problem for the public

What exactly is the current problem? Some states do not allow GCM upgrades to be carried out post-registration. Forcing you to buy a new vehicle or permanently register your vehicle into another state to get the upgrade.

Future problem for the public

Federal legislation 0-4-6 has been passed which does not allow an SSM to apply for a GCM upgrade approval. This means when a new vehicle is released by a motor company that enters the Australian market i.e. Toyota Landcruiser 300 series the GCM cannot be increased.


CURRENT TABLE OF FACTS: PRE-REGO VS. STATE RECOGNITION & AND POST REGO VS. STATE RECOGNITION - RELATING TO LOVELLS SECOND STAGE OF MANUFACTURE (SSM) GROSS VEHICLE MASS (GVM), GROSS COMBINATION MASS (GCM) AND BRAKED TOWING CAPACITY (BTC) UPGRADES.

 

LOVELLS GROSS VEHICLE MASS (GVM) UPGRADES, GROSS COMBINATION MASS (GCM) UPGRADES AND BRAKED TOWING CAPACITY (BTC) UPGRADES ARE ENDORSED FROM THE FOLLOWING FEDERATIONS

STATEPRE-REGO, GVM, GCM, BTCPOST-REGO GVMPOST-REGO GCMPOST-REGO BTC
QUEENSLANDYESYESNOYES
NEW SOUTH WALESYESYESYESYES
VICTORIAYESYESYESYES
SOUTH AUSTRALIAYESYESNONO
WESTERN AUSTRALIAYESYESYESYES
TASMANIAYESYESNONO
NORTHERN TERRITORYYESYESNONO
ONCE YOU HAVE A LOVELLS UPGRADE OF ANY VARIANT (GVM/GCM/BTC/PRE-REGO/POST-REGO) IT IS 100% LEGAL TO USE FOR AUSTRALIA WIDE TRAVEL. IF YOU HAVE A PRE-REGO UPGRADE CARRIED OUT AND THEN REGISTER YOUR VEHICLE INTO A STATE THAT DOES NOT ENDORSE THE UPGRADE/S ON A POST-REGO BASIS IT WILL BE ACCEPTED AND IS 100% LEGAL AS THE VEHICLE HAS UNDERGONE A SECOND STAGE OF MANUFACTURE ALL STATES WILL AND MUST ACCEPT PRE-REGO UPGRADES.

 

 

WHY DOES QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT NOT RECOGNISE A POST-REGISTRATION LOVELLS GCM UPGRADE?

It seems because GCM is not on the Lovells Identification Plate Approval (IPA). GCM is not listed on any manufactures IPA for a passenger vehicle – that applies to both a First Stage Manufacturer (i.e. OEM compliance plate) and Second Stage Manufacturer (i.e. SSM compliance plate). The fact is GCM is impossible to put on an IPA for a passenger vehicle. Infact DIRDC (Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities) & the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) do not have a field to enter GCM on the Road Vehicle Descriptor (RVD) - that is correct, no field for GCM for both First Stage Manufacturers and Second Stage Manufacturers.

This does not mean an unmodified standard vehicle does not have a GCM just because it is not listed on the IPA – it is like saying a stock standard Ford Ranger with a GCM of 6000kg is not recognised, or a standard Landcruiser 200 series with a factory GCM of 6800kg is not recognised.

The Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series is classified as a passenger vehicle. Passenger vehicle categories (LEP, LEG, MA, MB, MC, MD1, MD2, NA and NB1) and there is no box on the RVD1 form to give the GCM a value. These vehicles still have a GCM that it is 100% fact.

 

 

WHY IS A PRE-REGISTRATION (LOVELLS SSM) GCM UPGRADE ALL OK FROM QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT?

A vehicle that has undergone a Federal SSM upgrade (pre-rego) cannot be affected or disputed with on a state level. This in itself is evidence of Federal approval for GCM increase which is why other states in Australia allow a GCM upgrade to be carried out to an in-service vehicle, post-registration.

 

 

WHY DOES QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT ALLOW GVM & BTC UPGRADES POST-REGISTRATION? AREN'T THEY POINTLESS WITHOUT A LOVELLS GCM UPGRADE?

The Federal Legislation, or superior legislation, is known as Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories) 2005.  The relevant definitions under the ADR:

"MANUFACTURER - the name of the person or company who accepts responsibility for compliance with the Australian Design Rules and to whom the ‘Compliance Plate’ approval certificate is issued."
"GROSS COMBINATION MASS - value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass’ of the drawing vehicle plus the sum of the ‘Axle Loads’ of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer."

From these definitions the Manufacturer is Lovells Springs Pty Ltd because that is the company that accepts responsibility for compliance with the ADR and to whom the compliance plate approval certificate is issued.  Considering the definition of GCM, the Manufacturer Lovells can specify the GCM as being the maximum of the GVM plus the axel loads of the trailer.

The issue is with TMR QLD because they wrote policy which is conflicting with the superior legislation.  This policy is called the Queensland Code of Practice, Vehicle Modifications Version 3, February 2018.  Page 58, paragraph 5.2 and the relevant excerpt from this policy is below

"5.2 Gross Combination Mass Rating & Towing Capacity

This code does not permit an increase in rated towing capacity or GCM rating (unless in accordance with an SSM approval). For some light vehicles rated towing capacity or GCM rating may not be specified. In such cases please note that the maximum towing mass at GVM must be proportionately reduced to ensure that the sum of GVM and maximum towing mass at GVM before and after GVM upgrade remains unchanged."

It is important to note the Federal body The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC) is the national governing body.  DIRDC published an amendment to Circular 0-4-6 dated June 2018.  Paragraph 10.6 says:

"The towing capacity of a light vehicle expressed as Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating must not exceed the value set by the first stage manufacturer. Second stage manufacturers are not permitted to increase the towing capacity as part of an SSM IPA that results in GVM upgrade."

 

DIRDC soon after published a Clarification to Amendment to Circular 0-4-6 which was updated on 2 July 2018:

"The Circular will not affect the existing IPAs held by the second stage manufacturers. Existing IPA holders can continue to supply to the market vehicles covered by the approved Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVDs). This includes vehicles where the approved RVD has variants that exceed the first stage manufacturer’s Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating."

 

This clarification clearly shows that Lovells can continue to supply vehicles covered by the approved RVDs.  This is for GVM and BTC upgrades as described on the RVD1 passenger category vehicles.

The clarification also states “this includes where the approved RVD has variants that exceed the first stage manufacturer’s GCM or BTM”.  In considering the information on the RVD it is important to note that there are no ADR rules requiring a GCM value to be provided (for this category vehicle), is not a requirement on the RVD1 form and is not on the OEM vehicle’s compliance plate.

If you follow the dates, TMR policy dated February 2018, then the 0-4-6 Circular dated June 2018 finally the federal clarification in July 2018.

We have been made aware by numerous parties that TMR QLD is saying that they are waiting on DIRDC to provide clarification that Lovells GCM/BTC upgrades are legitimate.  The clarification was published already by DIRDC and TMR is not recognising this clarification.  This is a huge issue disadvantage to the Queensland public as TMR are enforcing a policy which is in direct contradiction to the superior legislation and also in direct contradiction to the published clarification.

 

 

WHY IS QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT MISTAKEN ABOUT POST-REGISTRATION LOVELLS GCM UPGRADES?

  • GCM DEFINITION
    • The definition of GCM under the ADRs is: GROSS COMBINATION MASS - value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass’ of the drawing vehicle plus the sum of the ‘Axle Loads’ of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer.
  • NOW SEE THE QLD GOVERNMENTS STATEMENT 21 AUGUST 2018
  • NOW SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS STATEMENT 2ND JULY 2018
    • https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/new.aspx
      • "This update clarifies clause 10.6 requirements for recently issued Administrator’s Circular 0-4-6 (Issue 4, June 2018). Circular 0-4-6 was amended to include arrangements for SSM Light Vehicles that have been subject to a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) upgrade under Clause 10. The guidance provided by the Circular 0-4-6 applies to Light Vehicles that includes NA (GVM up to 3.5 tonnes) and NB1 (GVM over 3.5 tonnes and up to 4.5 tonnes) category vehicles. The revised circular applies to new applications and new amendments to existing Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs). The Circular will not affect the existing IPAs held by the second stage manufacturers. Existing IPA holders can continue to supply to the market vehicles covered by the approved Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVDs). This includes vehicles where the approved RVD has variants that exceed the first stage manufacturer’s Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating. The second stage manufacturers need to ensure that the current approved RVDs should refer to the current approved RVDs for the first stage manufacturer. The option of GCM or towing capacity upgrade may be available to consumers in some State/Territory jurisdictions, after the vehicle is supplied to the market."
    • Note the underlined statement abouve. Under these circumstances the Second Stage Manufacturer can supply to the market vehicle upgrades covered by the approvals published on the RVCS web site.
  • NOW SEE THE ADR DEFINITIONS
    • https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00487/Html/Text#_Toc450896115
      • "MANUFACTURER - the name of the person or company who accepts responsibility for compliance with the Australian Design Rules and to whom the ‘Compliance Plate’ approval certificate is issued."
      • "GROSS COMBINATION MASS - value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the ‘Gross Vehicle Mass’ of the drawing vehicle plus the sum of the ‘Axle Loads’ of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer."
      • "GROSS TRAILER MASS (GTM) - the mass transmitted to the ground by the ‘Axle’ or ‘Axles’ of the trailer when coupled to a drawing vehicle and carrying its maximum load approximately uniformly distributed over the load bearing area, and at which compliance with the appropriate Australian Design Rules has been or can be established."
      • "GROSS VEHICLE MASS (GVM) - the maximum laden mass of a motor vehicle as specified by the ‘Manufacturer’."
    • The ADR definition indicates the manufacturer who accepts responsibility for compliance with the ADR , in this case the Second Stage Manufacturer is the ‘Manufacturer’ who have an approved SSM RVCS and to whom the compliance plate approval certificate is issued. This approval is for GVM and in some cases the Axle Loads of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer (BTC) upgrades subject of the published approval. The ADR definition for Gross Combination Mass (GCM) is the value specified for the vehicle by the ‘Manufacturer’ as being the maximum of the sum of the Gross Vehicle Mass of the drawing vehicle plus the Axle Loads of any vehicle capable of being drawn as a trailer. The definitions indicate the approved GVM and BTC can be used by the ‘Manufacturer’ to set the values and in this case the GCM is, by the ADR definition, the GVM (including ball weight) plus the Axle Loads of the trailer (BTC minus ball weight). The manufacturer under the definition is the Second Stage Manufacturer of the approval, refer to the DIRDC policy below.
  • THE FEDERAL BODY, THE DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CITIES (DIRDC), POLICY EXTRACT DATED 30 AUGUST 2017
    • "Manufacturer is the person or company responsible for any modifications made to the base vehicle in relation to the SSM IPA Approval. GCM should then be determined as no greater than the sum of Rated Towing Capacity and GVM. Where an IPA has been approved for GVM increase as well as in some cases increased Rated Towing Capacity (braked trailer), GCM is a consequence of the modifications done under that approval and as such does not constitute an approval in its own right. GCM does not appear on approvals issued by the Department. As changes made under the IPA will affect the GCM. GCM would also be subject to concepts such as ‘fit for purpose’ under legislation other than the Motor Vehicle Standards Act and this should be taken into consideration by the manufacturer."

 

 

 

IF THIS UNFAIRLY AFFECTS YOU AS A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC

Lovells GCM & BTC Evaluation

Testing, Technical Information and GCM Verification

TOWING UPGRADES AND GCM REVISION FACTS

Lovells has solid engineering and test evidence regarding Towing Upgrades and GCM Revision including 17 years' experience in the field with zero evidence of safety issues, accidents, thermal failures or catastrophic failure of any OE critical component. This includes in excess of 10,000 upgraded vehicles in the field both in Australia and overseas for government, defence force and private customers.

Lovells determines its GCM figures on the basis of extensive engineering data including FEA (Finite Element Analysis) for chassis, towing points, axles and driveline components including dynamic brake and thermal testing, beyond the ADR requirements, which backs up our revised GCM figures.

Many of the independent engineering companies we utilise (five different companies and points of views) have vast experience in towing and GCM testing. Two of our consultants have worked with Mitsubishi Aust and GMH and are experts in their field.

As a Second Stage Manufacturer, Lovells is liable for our engineering decisions and capacities so as to deliver a vehicle fit for purpose.

 

SPRING AND SHOCK ABSORBER DESIGN

Lovells are the longest running After Market Spring Manufacturer in Australia and have been producing Spring and Suspension products since 1930. Coil and leaf springs are designed and manufactured in house using Australian Made Steel. Shock absorbers are designed to match spring rates and working heights.

Automotive Spring making Technology utilises experience and techniques gained in the manufacture of rolling stock, mining equipment and military applications which we manufacture for the global market.

 

ADR 35 SERIES BRAKE TESTING

As part of the Second Stage Manufacture Approval, vehicles have been tested to ADR 35 at the increased GVM. The vehicle has been re-tested with each update to ADR 35.

 

ADR 35 SERIES ESC TESTING

As part of the Second Stage Manufacture approval, all vehicles have been tested to ADR 35 at the increased GVM. As part of the full volume SSM approval, ESC testing has been conducted utilising Robert Bosch Australia test facilities.

 

BRAKED TOWING CAPACITY INCREASE – ADR62 AND ADR 35 TESTING

Lovells' testing was undertaken on guidance from DIRDC on how to approach a towing upgrade as it had not been done before. The Lovells Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series and Prado 150 Series were assessed for an increase in Braked Towing capacity. The towbars and tow coupling were tested and assessed to ADR 62/02 Clause 13.3.1 and Clause 13.4.

The tow vehicle and trailer combinations were tested and assessed to ADR 35/05 Clause 8.1.1 (Alternative Standard: UNECE R13r8 Clause 2.2.2). The combination park brake test, as detailed in Clause 8.1.1 of ADR 35/05 (Alternative Standard: UNECE R13r8 Clause 2.2.2) this report was submitted as part of the full volume SSM approval.

Structural Integrity and evaluation of chassis, tow points and tow bars is undertaken.

Durability and static load testing of Lovells 5T all terrain tow hitch assembly was handled by Horizon Global and Swinburne University, gaining D, V and S. Values. Lovells Hitch Assembly has the applicable CRN. 

 

COMBINATION BRAKE TEST

Vehicles are tested as a tow vehicle and trailer combination with comparative brake testing against OEM Gross Combination Mass. The tests have been conducted at the OEM GCM along with the Lovells GCM, with the resulting deceleration data compared against the OEM GCM.

 

FRONT AXLE CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

The front axle capacity is assessed by way of Finite Element Analysis. The front axle, suspension components, chassis mounts, and geometry have been measured and laser scanned. From this a model is built using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software. The OEM front axle capacity is used as baseline for comparison with the Lovells front axle capacity.

 

REAR AXLE CAPACITY ASSESSMENT

Initially the rear axle capacity is assessed by way of stress calculations and was assessed in a static state, using the design load factors found in VSB14.  Further to this, Axle Shaft Bending Fractures and Mechanical Endurance Testing is undertaken based on recognised International Standards .  The OEM rear axle capacity is used as baseline for comparison with the Lovells rear axle capacity.

 

VEHICLE GRADABILITY AND STARTABILITY

The gradability and startability of Lovells vehicles are calculated based on the reference calculations in Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6 – National Code of Practice Heavy Vehicle Modifications. These calculations were taken from a heavy vehicle application and used in a light vehicle application. They were used as a comparison against OEM vehicles.

 

TOW VEHICLE PROPULSION REQUIREMENTS AND THERMAL ENDURANCE AND POWERTRAIN COOLING TESTING USING SAE J2807 STANDARDS

Driveline thermal capability testing of Lovells vehicles are based on recognised International Standards and include the following critical components. Testing has been simulated on a 4WD dynamometer under controlled conditions and supervised by an independent engineering signatory.

  • Coolant temperature
  • Gearbox temperature
  • Differential temperatures
  • Oil pressure
  • Engine oil temperature

 

 

LIVE ANALYSIS OF GCM AND BTC

  • Lovells have test vehicles in the field operating at the revised GCM which have covered in-excess of 1.5 Million km combined without critical driveline component issue, damage or failure.
  • Over the past 17 years and approximately 10,000 GVM Upgraded vehicles, there have been zero critical driveline component issue, damage or failure. This doesn't include export military vehicles exceeding Lovells gazetted axle capacities, GVM, towing capacity and GCM.
  • Lovells equipped B7-level armoured Toyota Landcruiser 200 series vehicles are in use daily throughout UAE and KSA with a GVM up to 7000 kg without failures to driveline, chassis or critical components.
  • There have been no proven accidents which can be attributed to a towing capacity increase or GCM revision since towing upgrades were released to the market in 2015.