Important information

Loading and securing loads on your Roof Racks:

If you have chosen to fit your roof racks/load carrying system yourself, ensure you read the User Information, Assembly Instructions, Installation Instructions and any other documents that are included with your goods before fitting and before use. If you have any doubts about anything, contact us before using your products.

Evenly distribute the load over the roof racks. Long loads (such as long kayaks or long lengths of timber) need to be secured to the front and rear of the vehicle as well as the roof rack bars. A solid point (such as a tow point) must be used to do this.

Use strong, high quality, non-elastic straps to secure your loads. We have a range of excellent options for straps and tie downs in store if you require. Secure your load to each individual roof rack bar with an independent tie down. Check your load at regular intervals during transport.

If securing a long load to roof racks on a ute that has roof racks on both the cab and the canopy, please remember that the cab of the ute and the canopy of the ute will move independently, so ensure the load is safely secured while still allowing for this independent vehicle body movement. A rigid fix to a solid object over 3 or more bars can cause damage to the vehicle. Please discuss this with us before using your roof racks if you have any questions.

Take special care when driving with loaded roof racks and accessories. Avoid rapid acceleration, heavy braking and take corners slowly and with care. Be aware of the weather conditions, particularly strong winds and wet weather.

Be aware of how the roof racks and the load you are carrying will alter the overall size of your vehicle, especially in places that are familiar to you (e.g. your garage at home).

Remember:

  • Never overload your vehicle, roof racks or load carrying system.
  • Never exceed the max load rating as specified by the vehicle manufacturer or the roof rack manufacturer (never exceed the lowest load rating of either).
  • Check your load at regular intervals when transporting loads over long distances.
  • Travel slower when fully loaded and leave more of a gap between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow more time for you to stop if needed.
  • Consider the more weight that you carry on the roof of your vehicle, the less weight you will be able to carry inside your vehicle.
  • Remember that carrying anything on your roof will increase the overall height of your vehicle and this needs to be considered when driving into an indoor space such as a garage or carpark.
  • Do not drive into an automated Car Wash when you have roof racks or roof rack accessories fitted.
  • If you are unsure about how safe and secure the load is, DO NOT TRANSPORT IT. Safety is the most important thing to consider. If you are unsure about securing the load, get professional advice or contact us for more information.

How much weight can you carry on your vehicles roof?

Every vehicle is different, check your vehicle’s manual to find out how much weight your vehicle can safely carry above its roof. Standard passenger vehicles generally have a dynamic load rating for the roof between 50kg and 75kg depending on the vehicle. Commercial vehicles generally have a dynamic load rating for the roof between 100kg and 200kg, depending on the vehicle. What you can safely carry all depends on your vehicle and the roof rack system you choose.

At Roof Racks NZ we can discuss all of these questions with you to suit your needs. We only deal in high quality roof rack systems, so you can be sure that whatever option you choose from us, you’ll be getting a strong, safe solution that is made to fit your vehicle.

How much weight can your vehicle carry overall?

Each vehicle has a maximum safe laden (or loaded) weight. Overloading the vehicle beyond this weight can compromise the vehicle’s body, brakes, chassis, wheels and/or engine.

The laden weight and unladen (also called unloaded, tare or kerb) weight will be in your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook or manual. Also look for any specific instructions on how to load the vehicle safely.

The maximum safe laden weight minus the unladen weight gives you the maximum load (including objects, people and animals) that the vehicle can carry.

Loads overhanging the vehicle:

Warning devices

If the load (including equipment used to support or retain the load) extends more than 200mm beyond the sides of the vehicle (or a trailer), or more than one metre beyond the front or back of the vehicle, then you must attach suitable warning device(s) to it.

During daylight you must attach:

  • Flags (coloured white or fluorescent red, orange or yellow, at least 400mm long by 300mm wide)
  • or

  • Standard hazard warning panels (coloured yellow/green with an orange stripe, at least 400mm long by 300mm wide).
  • At the rear and facing towards the rear, coloured red (if the load extends sideways or to the rear)



  • Hazard warning panels can be used instead of flags

  • at the front and facing towards the front, coloured white or amber (if the load extends sideways or forwards)

During the hours of darkness, the lights must be clearly visible in clear weather at a distance of at least 200 metres.

If the overall width of the projecting load is one metre or less, then place one flag or panel or light at the centre of the load. If the load is wider than one metre, then place a flag or panel or light at each corner of the projecting load.

Note: If your load covers up essential lights on your vehicle or trailer, you must fit temporary lights to your load to make sure you comply with legal requirements. A vehicle lighting retailer or garage can advise you on purchasing and fitting temporary lights to your load.

For more information:

More information New Zealand rules regarding roof racks and load carrying can be found in the following links.

Light rigid vehicles
Guide to safe loading and towing for light vehicles