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September 2019
     

 


Caravan under tow

SA now in line with other states

Green light for towing upgrade testing regime

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SOUTH Australia has joined New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania in allowing motorists to carry and tow more weight.

According to Lovells Automotive Systems, the South Australian Government has accepted a new testing regime that proves the safety and integrity of towing upgrades and Gross Combination Mass revisions.

This reverses a 12 month ban, while Western Australia is set to make a decision on the same testing regime later this year.

The State and Territory jurisdictions cover in-service vehicles those that have left the showroom floor.

In line with the current Australian Design Rules, GCM revision and towing upgrades can be done on pre-registered vehicles by second stage manufacturers with applicable evidence packages.

Only Queensland and the Northern Territory motorists are being disadvantaged compared to their counterparts across the rest of Australia.

In a media statement, Lovells said the company was able to prove to Transport SA that its rigorous regime of engineering tests, based on current Australian design Rules and international standards, delivered a safe product.

General manager Mike Davison said the new SA regulations required that vehicle modifications for the towing upgrades and GCM revision be undertaken by a second stage manufacturers such as Lovells and then inspected by a qualified automotive engineer.

The majority of Australian motorists could now have their vehicles legally upgraded and be confident they were not breaking road rules or voiding their insurance by towing too much, he said.

"The usable payload and factory GCM of most 4X4 vehicles today is minimal.

"The addition of basic optional accessories and equipment, plus two or three adult occupants, will bring the vehicle close to its legal maximum weight capacities.

"Add long range fuel tanks, bull bars, a winch, side steps, roof racks, recovery gear, a payload of camping equipment, tool boxes or an industrial style custom body and the vehicle may exceed its legal capacities, which include axle assemblies, GVM and GCM."

Ball weights and towing capacities could easily be exceeded before the caravan or trailer were added, Mr Davison said.

"Without an increase in legal towing capacities, many people towing caravans or trailers have been unknowingly breaking the law and voiding their insurance.

"We know that the community needs greater towing capacities and revised GCM on vehicles which have the capabilities, and we have fought for 12 months to reinstate these upgrades in SA.

"We hope the WA Government accepts that towing and GCM upgrades can be done safely, and that the WA caravanning and towing public can once again drive safely and legally on the roads of Western Australia."

Mr Davison said Lovells had always rigorously tested every vehicle it modified in accordance with Australian and International Standards to increase the GCM of vehicles.

This included critical component analysis and testing of brakes, suspension, chassis, engine, transmission, driveshaft, differentials, cooling systems, tow bars, tow points and tow hitches both individually and as a combination.

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