Help with weights (GVM)

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) can be a difficult thing to calculate. You think you’ve got it right adding tools, equipment, and materials. But did you remember the kids, the family pet, and your full tank of gas? They’ve all got to be included if they’re travelling with you, so that everything is legal and valid for insurance. That in mind, each manufacturer’s GVM rating is available on your compliance plate. And we are happy to help decipher the calculation for you.

For safety’s sake (BTC)

Think about the ratings of your ute's suspension and axles. Ask your vehicle dealer about maximum weights and their effect on the vehicle's braking capabilities and the pressure placed on the clutch, gearbox, engine, and differential. It's also important to think about what kind of loads you will be towing - not just what’s in your tray. You will not be permitted by law to tow any loads that exceed your ute's brake tow capacity (BTC).

More to think about (GCM)

Finally, will you be towing heavy loads while the van itself is fully laden? If so, you need to be aware of the GCM (Gross Combined Mass) rating. This value relates to the maximum mass you can load into your vehicle while also towing safely. If you find that your needs exceed the maximum GVM, BTC or GCM of your chosen vehicle, you may need to upgrade. Factor this into your budget and look at upgrading the axles, suspensions and other components to bring the vehicle up to code for your requirements.

We’ll help work it out

On top of your GVM, BTC, and GCM weight limits, there’s Kerb Weights, Aggregate Trailer Mass, and Tow ball limits to consider. If you’d like help calculating the kinds of loads you will be carrying to compare this against the specs of your ute, we’re here to help. Pop into one of our fitment centres; a Flexiglass or TJM store; or feel free to call us for advice. We’ll make sure you really know you’re ready. You may need a GVM upgrade for your ute.

Best way to GVM Upgrade

To get the maximum value from a GVM Upgrade, it’s best to do the fit prior to registering your new vehicle. We can help you get an approved GVM upgrade so that you can increase your ute’s legal load capacity, without losing performance or handling. A typical GVM Upgrade includes heavy-duty coil or leaf springs front and rear; new shocks front and rear; and a revised compliance plate fixed to your vehicle, as well as a new tyre placard with revised axle capacities. The GVM upgrade will be nationally recognised, so there won’t be any problems when it's time to on-sell the vehicle.

Weighty terminology

GVM: Gross Vehicle Mass is the maximum allowable vehicle weight, including all occupants, accessories, and luggage. Any additional weight added to a tow ball including a trailer is included in the GVM, so a poorly balanced trailer/caravan could also overload your ute.

GCM: Gross Combination Mass is the total combined weight of your accessorised, fully loaded vehicle and anything you’re towing. The extra weight on your tow ball is generally calculated at 10% of the weight of the trailer. 

KERB WEIGHT: The weight of a rig when it’s ready to drive with full tank/s, an average driver of 68kgs and 7kgs of luggage 

AXLE LOADING: In addition to GVM, vehicles also have a maximum allowable load on both the front and rear axles

ATM: Aggregate Trailer Mass is the maximum allowable weight of the trailer you’re towing, as designated by the manufacturer

TBM: Tow Ball Mass is the weight on the tow ball imposed by the trailer, usually around 10 percent of the ATM. For a trailer weighing 3,500kgs, you’ll have a TBM of around 350kgs.

Ute already registered, GVM Upgrade

To fit a GVM Upgrade to a ute that has already been registered, you’ll need to have the vehicle signed off by an engineer (at an additional expense) to get it Approved. Your ute with GVM upgrade can then be driven anywhere in Australia. However, this form of GVM upgrade is only compliant at a state level. So, when it comes time to sell, the upgrade is only recognised in the state where it was engineer approved. If you decide to sell your ute interstate, the new owner will need to have the kit made compliant with that state’s road authority.