What does GVWR mean? Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 5 important things to know.

What does GVWR mean?

If you’re buying a commercial vehicle for towing stockpiles and tools around, you’re probably glancing at specs like interior proportions, payload volume, towing capability, and cargo capacity. But there’s one important spec that usually we miss to know about: gross vehicle weight rating. Generally abbreviated as GVWR, it’s no wonder that so many drivers aren’t aware with the GVWR meaning. So let’s talk about the GVWR term meaning and why you should know what the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

Table of Contents

What does GVWR mean?

1. What is GVWR mean?

It stands for “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating”, and it’s an important number to know, especially if you haul heavy loads with your vehicle. But what does the GVWR mean for you, really? The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is primarily the maximum total safe weight of your vehicle, counting the curb weight (the weight of our vehicle when empty), plus the weight of your passengers, fuel, any accessories added to the vehicle, cargo, and the “tongue weight” of a tow trailer.

What does GVWR mean?

2. What is GVWR on a truck?

The GVWR on a truck is determined by the weight of the vehicle itself, plus its maximum acceptable payload in terms of passengers, cargo, and accessories within the cab or bed. It excludes any weight towed behind the vehicle on a trailer. When an auto manufacturer rates a vehicle for its maximum GVWR, it is taking into review the load-bearing limits of the suspension system, frame, axles, wheels, and other components that support the weight. The GVWR for most types of cars can be found on the placard affixed to the inside of the driver’s side door as well as in the owner’s manual.

What does GVWR mean?

3. What is GVWR for a trailer?

Likewise, a vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating, you already know that your even trailers also have their own GVWR as well. Simply the GVWR for your vehicle, the gross vehicle weight rating of your trailer includes its own weight, as well as all the accessories needed to tow it safely. The GVWR for trailers has a wider variety of definitions depending on the manufacturer, as well as the region in which the trailer was built. Some trailer makers specify a GVWR based on the lowest component rating on their product. Others determine a GVWR per trailer axle

For example:
A trailer with two axles may have a GVWR per axle rating of 6,000 pounds, for a total of 12,000 pounds GVWR.

If you are intending to tow a commercial-grade trailer, you will also have to factor in a few other things aside from the weight of your payload. You may have to take into understand your pallet fork holders, parking jacks, winches, grapple buckets, and other things that you need to haul commercial-grade cargo.

What does GVWR mean?

4. Why is GVWR important?

Vehicles are developed under specific weight limits, so learning payload and towing capabilities help keep a truck running safely. It’s essential to compare cars before buying to assure you select a car that is competent for hauling your cargo as expected. The gross vehicle weight rating tells you how much your vehicle can weigh safely. A truck driving over its GVWR can encounter a substantial decrease in handling and resilience due to extra pressure on brakes, tires, and chassis components. In imperfect driving conditions, the ability to drive safely declines even further.

By simply heeding manufacturer weight guidelines, truck owners can prevent many accidents each year. In addition, hauling an improper amount of weight can result in excessive wear or damage to a truck’s frame, engine, and transmission. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual before carrying or pulling any load.

What does GVWR mean?

5. What happens if you go over GVWR on a trailer?

It is important to know what the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is for your vehicle. Overloading your vehicle can do serious damage to the suspension. If you’re pulled over while in excess of your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating, you could end up paying a bulky ticket fine. There are also lawful provisions for different GVWRs. Regardless, the consequences are far more severe if you’re involved in an accident while surpassing your vehicle’s GVWR. If the accident applies a loss of life, some states may levy criminal charges, including killing.

That’s not to mention overloading your truck could cause serious damage to the vehicle itself, like breaking the suspension. Exceeding GVWR may not only be dangerous, but it can also dramatically shorten the life of the vehicle. The brakes, transmission, and suspension systems are all designed to handle the manufacturer’s GVWR, and exceeding this limit is a hazard to the driver and others on the road. Your vehicle may need typical insurance if it rates above a certain GVWR. You may need a CDL license to operate a commercial vehicle over a certain GVWR.

For example: 
Let’s say the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your vehicle might be 8,000 pounds. If the curb weight is 6,000 pounds and the typical weight for your passengers and fuel is 500 pounds, that means your vehicle can safely handle a payload of 1,500 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the 80/20 rule for towing? 
What do I need to know before towing a trailer? 
What is the difference between GVW and GVWR?
Does towing capacity include the weight of the truck? 
What does GVWR mean? Video
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