Overweight van and towing combinations

BJM

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Sep 29, 2018
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The word is ,QLD Govt will mandate a new law by 2020 to require van owners to have an up to date combination weigh bridge certificate.Considering that 9 out of 10 combinations weighed in Vic and Qld are overweight ,there are many breaking the law.Having just returned from a quick 3 week trip through Central Qld out down to the coast and back to Yamba the number of vans etc loaded to the hilt on the road is unreal(Victorians mainly) )I tow with a 2010 Grand Cherokee diesel.Jayco 16.6 Journey Outback Poptop. Utes such as Raiders, BT50, Colorados, Hiluxes seem to be the flavour of the month.However if you are towing anything as big as a Silverline(as many are) with these utes ,just normal gear /supplies,etc in both van and ute ,I can almost guarantee you will be overweight.!!A good friend bought a brand new Raider trayback with canopy plus a new Silverline got weighed in SA and was nearly 300 kilo over.He wanted to put his tinny on the roof as well.!! Mind you his dog weighed 50kilo.
 

Drover

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I didn't think the Weigh Inns actually showed that many overweight vehicles and I find it hard to believe that QLD could and would bring about legislation to that effect, mainly as it would be a nightmare, unlike trucks which even though carrying a weigh ticket covering the load it doesn't mean didly if you go over the pads and the figures don't match, the bit of paper means absolutely nothing, you still cop a fine and the ticket is only good for that load and with vans they would have to stipulate an expiry date but it would still mean nothing if you get pulled over at a pad, they will still put you over the scales...............I would like to see someone go to court over the non compliance of compliance plates and removal of tare weights as they suck people in.

Another Rated Shackle bulletin.

Besides if there was money to be made from it with the least amount of litigation then NSW would have done it years ago....

If the Colorado or Ranger towing a Silverline is over then the Grand Cherokee would be as well, it's not the vehicles it's the tool shed on the draw bar, boat, engine, gennies,barbies, 3 spares, 4 water tanks and all the other junk people think they need.......
 

BJM

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I purchased a 2015 J Journey Outback poptop (single JTech suspension) without the ensuite etc at bargain price due to the fact the dealer was finding it hard to sell with no ensuite. We go fossicking and stay in caravan parks.If staying in parks only take one 9k gas bottle, travel with minimum water etc etc.to keep weight down.The full vinyl awning weighs over 30 kilo ! .My 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel (DP Chip, 610 NM) has the Merc motor and auto trans both pretty much bullet proof if looked after. ie regular fluid /oil changes etc. A mate has the same van with ensuite,extra water tanks ,water heater etc it is nearly 400 kilo heavier.His 2009 Hilux ute trayback with canopy often went into limp mode going up longish climbs overheating trans etc..He traded it for a new one but still not happy.Drove the GC and couldnt believe how much power it had.(I might add I have also a 2012 GC Diesel Overlander in NZ) .I have worked on Jeeps and owned them for over 20 years The diesels from around 2005 to current are extremely capable tow vehicles.Again I have to agree with Drover get rid of the heavy stuff you MAY need but never use.Your tow vehicle will like it much better too !! Apparently the Qld transport guys have mobile weigh stations .On a side note the NRMA has seen a huge increase in van/ tow vehicle write off claims in the last 12 months or so.Be interesting to know what the cause for the increase is .
 
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Drover

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I actually wouldn't have a problem going on the pads most of the time, be a pain as a truck is easier the axle loads are standard whereas a van or ute requires individual plate reading, just take so damn long...I've always thought if my GCM is okay they won't break the rig and check individual GVM's, thats where a lot would come unstuck but then that only works on a proper bridge but roadside pads if the tug or van are a bit heavier it will show up straight away.............I don't think a lot realise that even though your GCM is okay you could still be done for over on an individual axle, more than likely the drive axle......there are many ways you can be done, a compliant GCM, GVM or ATM doesn't mean your not going to see a ticket....like log books you need to tick a number of boxes before your safe.
 
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Macca_75

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Personally I think this sort of checking should go on for 12-18 month - regularly. Then they start getting tough. 12-18 months would be plenty of time to raise awareness, action, etc (probably plenty of second hand cars and vans for sale as well during that period I bet). It may also make the van manufacturers lift their game a little if consumers were more educated. I mean how much extra time and money would it be for each new van dealer to buy scales and produce a report for every new van that left the yard (including the tow vehicle)? At least some of the population would be better informed. It might even drive a purchase decision. I would pay a nominal fee to have a demo attached to my car and weighed "as is" before I bought my first van as I knew nothing about axles weights, towball mass, ATM, GCM, GVM, etc. All been a learning curve.

I (now) know my Ranger, full of fuel, food in the car fridge, family in the car and so on with the van attached an loaded is just under the axle weights (I have a GVM upgrade). With the van fully loaded I was over the factory GCM, however I got the Lovells upgraded GVM/GCM. I am aware of the controversy surrounding the legality of this (some states accept it and other are rumoured not to) however the upgrade came with a compliance plate which is attached to the car and the registration details with VicRoads has also been updated to reflect the new GCM. I am fortunate enough to have access to commercial scales so I can get as many readings as I need on a Saturday with all possible combinations (1 tank full, all full, all empty and so on).

Lets educate, then regulate.

Some of the obviously overweight combo's I see running along the highway, swaying, purposing back and forth and so on are just an accident waiting to happen IMO.
 

Macca_75

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@Drover I am thinking a small fee (say $30) for 15 mins time where you hitch a van, roll onto a set of portable scales and recorded the weights of each wheel. Nothing to trust there - you are part of the process.
The investment in 8 scales would be minimal I would have thought. $30 should cover 15 mins time (couldn't see it taking longer than this if a bay was setup). You could even take the fee off/refund the fee if the customer bought the van.

Would also be a) value add on the purchase of a new van b) covers the yard that the van rolled out of the yard with the weight as per the plate before the customer loaded any belongings or did any modifications.

BUT it would also mean van manufactures would need to ensure the plates were accurate and not guestimates.
 

Drover

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Depends if you wanted the ticket for just information sake, then your idea would certainly be the way to go and I really think it could be taken up by many dealers but if you wanted a ticket to be a legal proof of weight then it would be far more involved and the portable scales and joe blogs operating it all would need certification........................

We have a fella on here who does weigh tickets for vehicles around Brissie, he comes to you and charges a reasonable rate, I have thought about getting a set of scales for the rig, just for my personal satisfaction and if you were pedantic about checking your weights then they would pay for themselves in short order I believe, not many places will let you over the scales for nothing.........

I certainly think you have a good idea though and there should be regulated confirmation that compliance plates do actually comply and not the self regulated BS.
 

Macca_75

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Ticket off the yard would have no legal status although if the seller had to provide a ticket and the purchaser sign the ticket agreeing as part of the contract of sale then we are starting to get some where.
 
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DRW

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I think a correct tare would be a great start, however everyone needs to be accountable including the owner, if you drive a truck you are responsible for knowing its total weight, axel weight etc and the same thing should apply to vans. I also think manufacturers need to catch up to the 90's there are so many different materials available today that are strong and light weight but only a handful use them. My next van (after the one on order) might just be carbon fibre :o
 

Macca_75

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I think a correct tare would be a great start, however everyone needs to be accountable including the owner, if you drive a truck you are responsible for knowing its total weight, axel weight etc and the same thing should apply to vans. I also think manufacturers need to catch up to the 90's there are so many different materials available today that are strong and light weight but only a handful use them. My next van (after the one on order) might just be carbon fibre :o
Agree but truck drivers are educated about weights and such. I walked in off the street with a dual cab and about a 3T van. The salesman did ask me what my tow car was thankfully but some may not.

Ultimately it is my responsibilty but education has to begin somewhere. Pointing the finger and van manufacturers, their compliance plate accuracy and payload allowences (which means in some cases a van that sleeps 6 can carry 450kgs including water. Very unrealistic).
 
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Drover

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Some are educated by reading up on the requirements, some are educated by the blokes with the magenta flashing lights but I think the information needs to be across the board, drivers, manufacturers and sales, most compliance plates are not accurate, the first model is weighed and that becomes the tare, the rest of the weights are a formula which gives the answers, that is why you see on some plates a figure such as 2367kg.
Vehicle makers also use a bit of poetic licence, most dual cab ute's in theory can tow 3500 kg but only when its near empty, add a few people, full fuel and camp gear and that will soon drop to under 3 tonne but thats if you haven't added things like bars,canopies etc............ Vehicles like the Colorado 7, Jeep GC and other wagons add a bull bar, tow bar, side steps and one of those monster adjustable hitches along with the ball weight of usually 200kgs and you have eaten into the carrying cap of the vehicle by a big slice and have dropped the amount they can tow but the salesman will still tell you they are good to go....................................

I hate to say it but maybe a towing endorsement would be the way to go or at least a written, tick the box test on weights and tow regs for a licence endorsment for towing stuff over 750kgs as a licence code requiring a driving course and test regime would be impractical to implement in the real world, just getting states to agree would be a mammoth task in itself and it would have to be a national thing and the sudden rise of towing schools would mean another roof batts rort again.

I really should go over some scales just to see where my rig is at, the old bones say its okay, they used to tell me when the heavy was over and was mostly right, just that its a 120km trip to the nearest scales so not an easy task or cheap task.
 

BJM

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Sep 29, 2018
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The simple facts are ,many tow combinations are overweight.The question then has to be asked are these people towing these overweight units ignorant of the facts,stupid or just ignore the regulations anyway. Until regulators really crack down nothing will change.If you think people are still not overloading utes when towing,why are so many near new ones still bending chassis (With or without airbags)? Saw a near new Triton ute last week bent, the tray at the top had an inch wider gap ,than the bottom.Towing a large New Age van.
 

achjimmy

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Personally is it as big a issue as the internet seems to make it ? Are overloaded vans killing people left right and centre? I see so many f/wit drivers on a daily basis and then put them idiots on the open road on Sundays and you have a real recipe for disaster. Yet all the police do is book people for speeding 90% of the time.
 
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BJM

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The NRMA states they have had a large increase in caravan/tow vehicle right off claims in the last year.This will reflect in higher premiums.