April 20, 2023 2 min read

GVM is becoming a hot topic in some 4x4 circles, and for good reason. GVM, or Gross Vehicle Mass, refers to the maximum allowed weight of a 4x4 vehicle when it is fully loaded, including the vehicle's own weight, passengers, fuel, and any additional cargo or gear. It’s an important factor to consider when hitting the road, as it affects the vehicle's performance, stability, and safety.

Why GVM Matters

Every vehicle model has its own GVM limit that is set by the manufacturer. Now, for most types of vehicles, their owners never need to worry about exceeding their GVM as space and engine power constraints are usually limiting factors long before they tip over their car's legal limit. This isn’t the for 4x4 drivers.

Aside from the detrimental effect on performance caused by exceeding your vehicle’s GVM, there are very real and very expensive legal ramifications for doing so. In Victoria, even a minor breach of load limits can net you a $3000 fine, with more serious offences rising to $5000 and then $10,000.

The Benefits of a GVM Upgrade

You can make your own mind up as to what is the most important benefit of a GVM upgrade, but to list a few in no particular order:

  1. Increased load-carrying capacity
  2. Improved handling and stability
  3. Enhanced safety and braking performance
  4. Ability to accommodate aftermarket accessories and modifications
  5. Better towing capabilities
  6. Legal compliance with weight regulations
  7. Reduced risk of vehicle damage or breakdowns
  8. Increased off-road performance
  9. Greater peace of mind for drivers
  10. Improved ride quality when fully loaded

As you can see, there are more than a few reasons to consider this mod for your 4x4.

Components of a GVM Upgrade

A GVM upgrade typically involves several modifications to enhance a 4x4 vehicle's load-carrying capacity. Key components include an upgraded suspension system, featuring heavy-duty springs / leaf packsand shock absorbers for better support and handling. 

Upgraded brakes maybe required to ensure safe and efficient stopping performance. Revised axle ratings may be necessary to accommodate the additional load on each axle. 

Finally, obtaining certification and inspection after the GVM upgrade is crucial to ensure that the vehicle meets safety and regulatory requirements and remains legally compliant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does GVM Include A Full Tank Of Fuel?

The short answer is yes. GVM includes everything that makes up the total combined weight of the vehicle. This includes fuel, as well as passengers and cargo.

Is A Special Licence Required To Drive A Car With A GVM Upgrade?

The answer to this question may depend on the state you live in, so always make sure to check with your local road authority before going for a GVM upgrade. But to use Victoria as an example, you only need a heavy vehicle license if your vehicle has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of more than 4.5 tonnes but not more than 8 tonnes. In this instance, you would need the first type of heavy vehicle license, known as a Light Rigid (LR) licence.

Who Does GVM Upgrades In Australia?

There are a number of suppliers around Australia for GVM lift kits, but if you want a job done right, it’s always best to go with Offroad Industries.