To give you an idea of how you’re easy it is to overload your vehicle, we have chosen two popular 4x4s – Toyota 200 Series Land Cruiser and the Ford Ranger – and added typical touring 4WD accessories. Let’s see how they stack up.

MODELLand Cruiser 200Ford Ranger
Kerb weight2740kg2200kg
GVM3350kg3200kg
GCM6850kg6000kg
Towing capacity3500kg3500kg
   
   


LET’S START LOADING THEM UP:

EQUIPMENTLand Cruiser 200Ford Ranger
Bulbar/lights/winch100kg100kg
Roof rack50kg40kg
CanopyN/A80kg
Hi-Lift/shovel20kg20kg
Rear bar dual carrier80kg80kg
Rear drawers40kg50kg
Fridge/slide80kg80kg
Long-range tank60kg50kg
Fuel fuel Tank135kg70kg
Accessory battery30kg30kg
Additional wheel15kg15kg
LT tyres55kg55kg
TOTAL ACCESSORIES665kg670kg
Kerb weight2740kg2200kg
Actual GVM with accessories3350kg3200kg
   
LOAD CAPACITY55kg  overweight330kg

As you can see in the tables above, the Land Cruiser is already overweight before you even start to pack the essentials, or even passengers. The Ranger hasn’t got much load capacity left either.

TOWING

If you didn’t think it was complicated enough; there are further considerations when towing. Again, we’ll use the Land Cruiser as an example. If you add the maximum braked towing weight (3500 kg) and the GVM (3350 kg) together you get 6850 kg, which happens to be the GCM (Gross Combined Mass). So at GVM, you’re able to tow the 4WD’s full rating of 3500 kg. However, that’s not always the case for every car.

Now, let’s do the sums on the Ranger. Just like the Land Cruiser, it has a braked towing capacity of 3500 kg. The Ranger only has a GCM of 6000 kg. So with the Ranger, if your towing full capacity of 3500 kg, you will have next to no room for any accessories, such as bull bar, canopy, dual battery, etc.

The Tow Ball Mass (TBM) also affects you GVM. When you’re towing 3500 kg, with either the Ranger or the Toyota, if you’re Tow Ball Mass is 350kg (10%) of your van, you can add that weight directly onto the 4WD’s GVM.

GVM UPGRADES

BEFORE you give up and throw the keys in the bin; there is salvation in the form of a GVM upgrade. In the case of the Land Cruiser, you can install an upgrade that will lift the GVM from 3350 kg to 3800 kg, giving you a massive payload increase of 450 kg.
The Ford Ranger GVM upgrade will get you from 3200 kg up to 3500 KG.