WHEN you’re the service manager of Australia’s leading brand of heavy-duty, oversize platform trailers, you get to know a thing or two about heavy loads and the rigs that haul them. You know those massive low-loader trailers that have more tyres on them than the Lego factory makes per year; the ones that take up both lanes on outback roads hauling monster mining equipment – yeah? Well, Steve Collins is responsible for keeping those big puppies on the road.
With the time to retire from that job fast approaching, and with a plan in mind to spend a few years travelling Australia by road, Steve had some equally big plans for a vehicle and accommodation.
“We have a 22-foot Lotus Trooper caravan with a four-tonne GVM rating, so the 200 Series LandCruiser was starting to get to its weight limits,” Steve told us. “I wanted a good tow vehicle and HSV has a good reputation with service outlets over Australia. The Chevy was converted in Australia to Australian standards and optioned up for our road conditions, so I was happy with the package.”
The Chevy Steve speaks of is this 2019 Silverado 2500 LTZ which was imported and converted by the competent crew at HSV (now GMSV) in Melbourne. The 2500 is the smallest of the heavy-duty (HD) range of Chevy trucks and in HSV-converted spec has 4491kg GVM and 4500kg (70mm tow ball) towing capacity. Those specs are derated from what they are in the USA so that Aussies can drive one on a regular passenger car licence, but Steve knew he was going to push those limits. After years of working in the heavy-haulage industry he knew what was needed.
“We had to get a GVM upgrade to 5650kg, which means it’s classed as a truck,” he says of the Chev. “This means a Light Rigid truck licence is required and yearly machinery inspections.”
Steve saw Jamie Facer’s F250 when we featured it in 4X4 Australia and liked what he saw, so reached out to Jamie at Allsafe Mining Vehicle Equipment (AMVE) to do the build.
“Jamie looked after the custom aluminium canopy and full vehicle build,” Steve says. “Coming from a manufacturing background myself I could see the company’s (AMVE) ethics are first class and the finished product is something to be proud of.”
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