Are Queensland Towing Laws Changing?

Article from Mr4x4

If you’ve been on social media this morning, chances are you’ve seen a few articles getting bunted around about how Queensland towing laws are going to change in the near future due to legislation being brought in by the current Queensland government. According to the Courier Mail article, Queenslanders will be “…forced to buy large, powerful, expensive and fuel-inefficient imported utes and trucks.” But are Queensland towing laws changing?

It appears at this stage, that the entire article published by the Courier Mail is nothing more than scare mongering and ‘click-bait’; laying all the blame on the current government in Queensland. Indeed there have already been press releases stating as such, specifically from the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, this morning which states:

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“The Palaszczuk Government has made no changes to trailer towing rules in Queensland. These trailer towing rule changes are set by the Federal Government. The federal changes will not come into effect next month in Queensland. I will be raising all issues presented to me by stakeholders with my federal colleagues. Safety is of course our highest priority, but the Palaszczuk Government will absolutely reject any changes that unnecessarily disadvantage Queensland drivers or our wider state economy.”

Don’t get us wrong, Queensland has some of the most draconian GVM/GCM upgrade laws already, and the rulings themselves are just about as clear as mud.

Essentially what you’re able to do in Queensland as it stands for an already registered vehicle (not pre-registration second-stage manufacture), is upgrade the GVM by around the 10% mark (this number however varies from vehicle to vehicle). This does not automatically increase the towing capacity or combined weights.

So for example, let’s say you have a 2014 200 Series LandCruiser GXL, with a GVM of 3350kg, and a 3500kgtowing capacity, you theoretically have a GCM of 6850kg. If you were then to upgrade the GVM of the 200 Series from 3350kg to 3900kg, the GCM DOES NOT increase by 550kg to 7400kg. It remains at 6850kg.

What that means then, is that if you do increase the GVM, and run your four-wheel drive loaded right up to the new GVM, you lose that amount from your towing capacity (so from 3500kg to 2950kg – if your 200 Series is fully loaded to the GVM). So regardless of any upgrade you do to your vehicle, your GCM remains the same. Worthy of note, is that any GVM upgrade to an already registered vehicle, still requires it to be mod plated in Queensland.

With all of this in mind, the absolute best suggestion we can give you, is if you’re looking to do a suspension weight upgrade, it will be best to speak to the folks who will be installing and engineering/modification plating it, to ensure it will be legal.

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Comments 14

  1. The statement above using the 2014 200 Series is not correct.
    ( So for example, let’s say you have a 2014 200 Series LandCruiser GXL, with a GVM of 3350kg, and a 3500kgtowing capacity, you theoretically have a GCM of 6850kg. If you were then to upgrade the GVM of the 200 Series from 3350kg to 3900kg, the GCM DOES NOT increase by 550kg to 7400kg. It remains at 6850kg).
    Up until October 2015 the 200 Series did not have a GCM listed on the compliance plate or in the owners manual. I have a 2015 200 Series GX and had a GVM upgrade carried out prior to the initial registration and had a new Federal compliance plate fitted which stated the new GVM at 3800kg and still no GCM listed, so I can legally have a GCM 7300kg.
    It was not until Toyota released the upgraded EURO 5 Emissions 200 Series in October 2015 that they included the GCM on the compliance plate.

  2. GCM does not = GVM + Towing capacity
    2008 Mazda BT50 has GVM of 2948 and GCM 5500, diff = 2552.
    But towing capacity is 3000 (braked).
    Using max towing of 3000 the GVM is reduced from 2948 to 2500, a reduction of 448.
    These figures are not on the compliance plate but in the owners manual.

  3. I think there needs to be a new class of licence and training for those towing over a certain weight and length. Truck drivers have to do a lot of training and adhere to a strict compliance code to drive the rigs they do, so why can Harry and Sally hook up a 30ft van to their Landcruiser with no training what so ever and travel at 110Kph up the coast?

    1. I totally agree. Or at least have an endorsement to say they can tow a trailer. You find that a lot of people towing trailers cannot back them.

    2. Agree completely. Anyone towing over 2 tonne should have to pass a separate tow test. On a trip back from Bathurst the bloke I was a with (I was the passenger) was towing a 19′ caravan in the wet using a cruise control , very dangerous. It was all I could do to try and convince him NOT to use the cruise control in the rain, as a wheel slowing down when in a sideways slide can be registered as slowing down by the computer, only for the computer to increase speed creating an extremely dangerous situation, but he wasn’t having any of it. The next thing we saw was at Goondiwindi when we stopped for the night at the caravan park. We all went for a swim in the thermal pools (when in Rome etc), when we noticed over 1/2 of the old folks in the pools required a lot of assistance from others to enter and exit the warm water. When they did exit, you could see they were quite feeble walking back to their 18-25′ caravans. How on earth can they safely pilot 6-7 tonne of Landcruiser/ Patrol/ F truck etc + caravan down the road if they struggle to walk

  4. I work for a company that has MR LR & HR trucks so my driver that has a standard car licence can not drive a truck that is over 4.5 t but gray nomads can drive towing a load with a total of 6.5 t
    How in the hell does that work

    1. Post


      It’s a tough one – not sure what the answer is but there is certainly an issue there as tow vehicles and towed units continue to increase in mass.


  5. Kalen Please correct me if I am wrong I understand that Club 4 x 4 offers a discount on their caravan/trailer insurance if the insured completes a Towing Course with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) If the this is the case basically what is the percentage discount on the insurance policy?

    1. Post

      Gday Ken,

      You’re absolutely right mate. You get 10% off your trailer policy if you have the approved training.

      If you go to our partners at Tow-Ed Training, you could also get a discount on their training if your have a policy with us.


  6. I noticed a few comments about regular Bob and Jenny types hooking up their 30′ van behind the cruiser and away they go up the road with 6500kg on just a car licence. They are in fact breaking the law, Class C licence is GCM of 4500kg, and I’ve seen blitzes of nomads parked up due to being well over weight, under for their vehicles, but over for their licence.
    I unknowingly ran the gauntlet for many years with my little 2tonne ripper and trailer, the family 4×4 and racecar in tow etc, but have recently looked into it with my new trailer and have now booked in for my HR to save any potential fines

    1. Hi Cameron, thanks for reaching out. That is news to me – I thought that the Class C licence is based on a GVM, not GCM. I.E – you can drive vehicle with a GVM of up to 4.5T, plus any trailer it is allowed to tow…

      Happy to be corrected though!


  7. Ok my 79 cruiser unladen is 2750 on the weigh bridge has a gvm upgrade to 3950 my caravan tare is 2380 my tow ball weight is 210kg and my gcm is 6800
    So add 210 to my 2750 plus two people a weight in tray Which could be up to 3950 if if I wasn’t towing the van but my boat
    then add 2380 Of van nothing in it
    So vehicle and van together still have to be under 6800 so I have 1570 in available added weight between each and weight should be evenly spaced as much as possible

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