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3 Feb 2015 | by Lisa Cockerill

Heavy vehicles & (COI) Certificate of inspection

A Certificate of Inspection is required for Heavy Vehicles when renewing, transferring or newly registering the vehicle.


A Heavy Vehicle by the standard set by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is a vehicle that has a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) over 4.5 Tonne and under 16 Tonne.


Typically these vehicles will be trucks and motorhomes.


Trucks are required to have a Certificate of Inspection every 12 months to make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy unlike a light vehicle (under 4.5 Tonne) which is only required when the vehicle is being newly registered or transferred with a Safety Certificate.


With 20% of the road fatalities on the Queensland roads being caused by Heavy Vehicles, it is vital to the safety of all road users that Heavy Vehicles are regularly checked and regulated.


One of the main targeted areas for keeping everyone safe on the road when it comes to Heavy vehicles is to make sure that the load is balanced. Heavy vehicles tipping over and losing their load that the vehicle was carrying cause many accidents. Not only is the whole vehicle a danger to motorists in the immediate area but depending on what the heavy vehicle is carrying the goods being transported could also be a hazard. Liquids can catch on fire, toxic or hazardous material can affect both motorists and the environment.


Many truck drivers will tell you that their greatest fear is to be in an accident with any vehicle especially light vehicles as the risk of there being a fatality is very high for the other drivers and passengers of the light vehicles. That truck driver will have to live with that regardless of whether the accident was preventable on his/her part or not.


Only Approved Inspection Stations with qualified heavy vehicle inspectors are accredited to conduct Certificate of Inspections. To find the closest to your location you can contact the Queensland  Transport Department or search for Certificate of Inspection and your location on Google.


Any vehicle that is over 16 Tonne is required to go directly to the Transport Department for inspection. Private companies accredited to conduct Certificate of Inspections cannot inspect these vehicles.


There are minor modifications that are do not affect the roadworthiness of the vehicle or its Gross Vehicle Mass and therefore are acceptable by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)


There are:


  • Additional lighting
  • Aerials
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm Systems
  • Plastic Shields for lamps and windscreens
  • Manufacturers wheels and tyre options (as long as they are not affecting the GVM)


These modifications are required to be still within the manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the heavy vehicle standards.


All other modifications will require a modification plate.


See below for Modifications Codes:


A1 – Engine Substitution


A2 – Air Cleaner Substitution or Additional Fitting


A3 – Turbocharger Installation


A4 – Exhaust System Alteration


A5 – Road Speed Limiter Installation


B1 – Transmission Substitution or Additional Fitting


C1 – Tailshaft Alterations


D1 – Rear Axles(s) Installation


D2 – Differential Substitution


E1 – Front Axle(s) Installation


E2 – Steering Alteration


F1 – Suspension Substitution


F2 – Trailer Suspension Modifications


G1 – Air Brake System – Relocation of Air Brake Components


G2 – Installation of Trailer Brake Controls – Air Brakes


G3 – Trailer Brake System Upgrading


G4 – Brake System Certification


G5 – Auxiliary Brakes – Engine, Exhaust or Retarder Tyre

G6 – Air Operated Accessories


G7 – Brake System Substitution or Wheelbase Extension – Powered Vehicles


G8 – Trailer Brake System Upgrading Approved Design Certification


H1 – Trailers Wheelbase Extension Outside the First Manufacturer’s Option


H2 – Wheelbase Reduction Less than First Manufacturer’s Option


H3 – Wheelbase Alteration within First Manufacturer’s Option


H4 – Chassis Frame Alteration


H5 – Trailer Chasses Frame Modification


J1 – Body Mounting


K1 – Seating Capacity Alteration and Seat Belt Installation


K2 – Seat Anchorage Certification and Seat Belt Anchorage Certification


K3 – Cabin Conversion


K5 – Wheelchair Occupant Restraint System Installation


M1 – Fuel System Alterations


P1 – Tow Coupling Installation – Vehicles over 4.5t GVM


P2 – Fifth Wheel and King Pin Installation


Q1 – Installation of Truck Mounted Lifting Systems – Slewing


R1 – Goods Loading Device Installation


R2 – Wheelchair Loader Installation


S1 – Gross Vehicle and Gross Combination Mass Rating to S2 or S3 Approved Design or within manufacturer’s specifications


S2 – Gross Vehicle Mass Rating Approved Design Certification for Non-Standard vehicles or Special Vehicles


S3 – Gross Combination Mass Rating Approved Design Certification for Non-Standard Vehicles


S7 – Aggregate Trailer Mass Rating to S12 Approved Design or within Manufacturer’s Specification

S8 – Road Train Prime Mover Rating


S9 – B-Double Prime Mover Rating


S11 – Road Train Trailer Rating


S12 – Aggregate Trailer Mass Rating Approved Design Certification for Non-Standard Trailers


T1 – Construction of Tow Trucks


T2 – Design of Tow Trucks







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