Weight Change Process

What is the process?

It varies from case to case, but let’s take an example case: let us say you’ve got a 3,500kg Sprinter (either a self-build or a motorhome) and you need more weight carrying capacity.

This is where we’d ideally get involved, right at the beginning, to help you with planning the additional weight, its distribution and your limits, but many of my cases are where folks have overloaded their vehicle, and they’re trying to get back to legal but don’t worry, it’s never too late to get it sorted.

1) So you fill out one of our enquiry forms, and we discuss all aspects of your vehicle, the specification of your suspension / brakes / tyres, your plans for the vehicle, etc.

From this we can figure out if your vehicle’s Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) is good to be increased, or if further modifications are needed. In the example of the Sprinter, let’s say that the weight goal is a huge 4,800kg.

2) Let’s say your rear springs are overloaded and you need to beef up the weight capacity, you might either go for bigger leaf springs, or air assist; it’s your call.

Well if you’ve been smart, or got some pointers from us, you’ve kept all of that additional weight to the rear of the van. Now we know what you’re thinking “you need to distribute the weight evenly between the axles!” Well actually no, a rear bias is better. This is because under heavy braking your weight transfers forwards and very quickly overloads the front brakes and tyre traction. But by loading up the rear brakes your van can push lots of braking force to the rear axle, without braking traction. This means that a van carrying 1,000kg over the rear axle can actually brake shorter than the same van carrying 250kg at the front of the load bed! In addition to this it makes the modifications more cost efficient, as rear suspension upgrades are often much cheaper to do than front ones.

Anyway, let’s pretend that you went for replacement Heavy Duty rear leaf springs; you get them fitted and send me a copy of the receipt, and some photos of it all fitted up. Once the vehicle is capable of taking the weight, we’ll need two more things from you:-

3) An MOT to check the braking efficiency at your new weight; don’t worry if you’re not due an MOT test, you only need the brake test, which any tester will do for you, and give you the print out.

4) A visit to a weighbridge to check everything, including the front and rear axle weight distribution. With no further modifications needed, and your front and rear axles safely under their maximums, you’re all done.

Then it’s our turn

5) After paying the fee we’ll do all the calculations needed, create a full Engineer’s Report, make you a replacement Design Weight Certificate (VT6R), and order you a replacement Chassis Weight Plate.

6) We’ll send the whole pack to you within a week via email (the metal plate follows in the post), you print off a copy, follow the included instructions to fill out your V5c logbook, and send the lot to the good folks at the DVLA.

7) A couple of weeks later you’ll get your updated logbook, and you can go ahead and fit your new weight plate. That’s it, you’re all done and legal again. Obviously we’d then love some reviews, feedback, and to be named the godparents of your first born, but even just a thumbs up on the road would be thanks enough.