Modifying heavy vehicles

If you want to change the structure or layout of your heavy vehicle, you need to use a heavy vehicle specialist certifier to oversee this work.

Find a heavy vehicle specialist certifier

Some vehicle manufacturers have their own certifying engineers. The Heavy Vehicle Engineers Group can provide more assistance in helping you through this process.

Heavy Vehicle Engineers Group(external link)

When the specialist is satisfied with the modification work, they will issue you with an LT400 form. You must present the LT400 to a heavy vehicle testing station.

Importing and modifying heavy vehicles

Vehicles that you bring into New Zealand may need modification to meet New Zealand standards. You can make these modifications after you’ve imported the vehicle. In most cases, you’ll need to have your vehicle certified by a heavy vehicle specialist certifier before you can use them on New Zealand roads.

Before you can register your vehicle

Your vehicle must have a chassis rating. Contact an entry certifier for the chassis rating application forms and procedure.

Find an entry certifier

Heavy-vehicle brake standards requirements

Certain classes of buses and trucks (MD3, MD4, ME, NB and NC) first registered on or after 1 July 2008 must meet the brake standard set out in the Heavy Vehicle Brakes Rule 2006. In addition, if you intend using NB and NC vehicles to tow heavy trailers, you'll most likely need to fit ABS, EBS or LSV.

Vehicle equipment standards classifications: MD3, MD4, ME, NB and NC

To import a vehicle of classes MD3, MD4, ME, NB or NC – whatever the manufacture date – you must check that it complies with one of the approved brake standards.

Heavy trailers must also meet requirements set out in the Heavy Vehicle Brake Rule. In most cases, classes TC or TD first registered on or after 1 July 2008 will need to have ABS, EBS or LSV.

Land Transport Rule: Heavy Vehicle Brakes 2006

Vehicle equipment standards classifications: TC or TD

Other requirements

You may need to make other modifications to your heavy vehicle to meet New Zealand requirements, such as:

  • load anchorage standards
  • drawbeam/drawbar standards
  • log bolster attachments
  • chassis modifications
  • stability and rollover.

For class NB and NC vehicles manufactured after 1 October 2003, you also need to check with an entry certifier whether the safety belt anchorages meet standards.

See the detailed requirements you need to meet for heavy vehicles in:

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2016

Find out more about importing a heavy vehicle into New Zealand