Heavy vehicles (any vehicles with a gross vehicles mass over 3,500 kg) including trucks, larger trailers, motor homes and buses, legally require inspection and a Certificate of Fitness (CoF) every six months to ensure the vehicle meets required safety standards (See NZTA to find the standards that apply to your vehicle).

Inspections for Certificates of Fitness for heavy vehicles are conducted at NZTA approved testing stations such as the Automobile Association (AA), Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ) or Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ).

If, as a result of an inspection you need to have some repairs or alterations done, or the testing agent requires certification for some aspect of the vehicle, or you are planning on designing a new component or modifying your vehicle in some way, you need to contact a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer (HVCE).

NB: Most light vehicles require Warrants of Fitness (WoF) every six months. If your vehicle requires a WoF and you need to have some repairs or alterations done, or the testing agent requires certification for some aspect of the vehicle, you need to contact a Light Vehicle Certifier. Modifications are certified by a Low Volume Vehicle Certifier (LVV). Repairs are certified by a Light Motor Vehicle Repair Certifier.

c Expand All C Collapse All

The LT400 is the NZ Transport Agency form that a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer issues upon completion of repair/modification work

It contains:

  • Heavy Vehicle Inspector’s (Certifying Engineer’s) Name & ID
  • Vehicle Identifiers (Reg. No. & VIN / Chassis No.)
  • Certification Category
  • Description of Work (Repair, modification and/or component descriptions)
  • Code or Standard to which the component has been certified
  • Component Load Rating
  • Supporting Documentation (that the HVCE has on file)
  • Any Special Conditions
  • Certification Expiry Date or Hubometer Reading (if applicable)
  • Heavy Vehicle Inspector’s (Certifying Engineer’s) Signature & Date

The LT400 is used to demonstrate certification to the CoF Agent and subsequently the NZ Transport Agency that the work was undertaken and completed to the required standard(s). If the Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer issues the original LT400 to the owner, they must immediately present it to the CoF Testing Agent to upload to the NZ Transport Agency’s Landata computer records system. The Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer may otherwise upload this information themselves to Landata and give the owner a copy of the LT400.

There are three ways in which a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer (HVCE) becomes involved in the certification of heavy vehicles

1. Repair

A Transport Services Delivery Agent (TSDA) finds something that needs to be repaired on a heavy vehicle during a Certificate of Fitness (CoF) inspection. They will issue the owner with a notice outlining where the repair is required, and request a completed LT400 form for the certification of the completed repair. It is then up to the vehicle owner to find and select a suitable repairer to undertake the repair work and a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer to issue an LT400 to certify the completed repair.

2. Compliance

The owner of a heavy vehicle or the Transport Services Delivery Agent (TSDA) finds something requiring certification or recertification on the vehicle. A Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer is then needed to certify/recertify the component as compliant with required standards. This may involve recommending steps that need to be taken in order for certification/recertification to be completed and a new LT400 produced.

3. Design and Modification

The owner of a heavy vehicle wishes to have modifications undertaken, or to design new components for their vehicle which change part, or all, of the structure or layout of their vehicle. The vehicle owner needs a Transport Engineer/Company to undertake the work and a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer to oversee the work.

Steps in Heavy Vehicle Certification

  • The certifying engineer must conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle BEFORE any structural work has been undertaken. They will take measurements, draw a sketch, record the owner’s details, and often take photographs during this inspection, and consider the task from a professional perspective
  • They will then conduct necessary calculations, analysis and research to determine what needs to be, and/or can be done
  • They will provide design instructions, drawings and specifications to the transport engineer/company to undertake the repairs/modifications within required safety standards and rules
  • They will often inspect the vehicle whilst the work is in progress
  • The certifying engineer MUST PERSONALLY reinspect the vehicle and alterations AFTER completion of the repairs/modifications to ensure that the work was undertaken to the specifications and standards required
  • When satisfied with the work that has been undertaken, he/she will issue an LT400 which certifies the repair/modification as being complete and up to required standards.
  • The LT400 may be issued to the owner to present to a heavy vehicle testing station for uploading into the NZ Transport Agency Landata computer records system, or the certifying engineer will upload this information to Landata themselves. A copy will be given to to the owner, and also to the testing station where appropriate
  • The owner may deal directly with the certifying engineer, or a repair agent may contact the certifying engineer on behalf of their client. (Note: Some vehicle manufacturers have their own certifying engineers)

Finding the right certifier with the right certification category for your need.