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Queensland Police ‘Operation Lift’ defects modern 4X4s

In a move raising the ire of the entire 4X4 community, Queensland Police with Transport and Main Roads (TMR) initiated Operation Lift earlier this month, targeting vehicles with illegal amounts of lift, including increased tyre size, raised suspension and body lift.

This isn’t towering monster trucks, it’s recent model vehicles with anything more than two inches of lift, or with a very slight increase in tyre diameter.

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Currently in Queensland, the TMR regulations prohibit Electronic Stability Control (ESC) equipped vehicles (mandatory on new vehicles since 2013) from having more than a 50mm increase in suspension height with no change to tyre diameter and no body lifts without mod plating, while non-ESC equipped vehicles can have up to 50mm each in tyre diameter and suspension height increase without certification, or up to 50mm of body lift without certification.

Mod plating, which is the official approval of modifications in Queensland, isn’t a difficult task for older 4X4s for increased ride height, however there are no engineers certified in Queensland to approve a lift on an ESC equipped vehicle.

While most states have similar regulations, they are infrequently enforced, although NSW has had more liberal regulations since 2016 with up to 75mm of lift, comprising 50mm from suspension and 25mm from tyres even for vehicles with ESC.

Some industry sources claim the TMR has changed the regulations without community or industry consultation and furthermore failed to communicate the rule change with road users.

The blitz has especially targeted dual-cab utes, the largest 4X4 market segment, with what are by many considered mild lifts.

Clearly, aftermarket suspension manufacturers are incensed by this rule change and organisations such as the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) and Four Wheel Drive Queensland are working towards a suitable outcome for those caught in this mess.

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