If you use a straight truck or a tractor trailer to move cargo for a living then you don't want to pay fines when DOT finds that you are not following the FMCSA regulations.
Those DOT fines will eat up your profit margins. And your cargo transportation activity wouldn't make any sense.
Below find what is GVWR rating on a truck and other aspects of it.
What is GVWR on a truck and on a trailer?
GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
This rating refers to the maximum weight under which a truck can operate safely without a trailer attached. It includes the weight of the empty truck (the curb weight) plus the weight of the passengers, the cargo, liquids, and any accessories.
It is prescribed by the manufacturer at the moment of releasing the vehicle. It also considers the suspension system, frame, axles, wheels, and other components bearing the load.
For example, let’s say the GVWR for your vehicle is 7,000 pounds, the curb weight is 5,000 pounds, and the typical weight for your passengers and fuel is 500 pounds which means that any loaded freight on the truck would have to be less than 1,500 pounds.
Also, the GVWR of the truck determines the types of requirements such as needing a CDL or types of insurance need to operate a truck.
If the truck pulls a trailer then you need to take into consideration its GVWR as well.
In the case of a trailer, the GVWR indicates the most weight that it can weigh without issues.
As well, the GVWR on a trailer is a metric determined by the trailer manufacturer.
Be aware that there is GVWR on a truck and there is GVWR on a trailer.
These are two different weight ratings for two different unit types.
Other towing related terms you should know
GVWR is not the only towing-related terminology you need to know. For your peace of mind, let’s look at the meaning of terms similar to but different than GVWR.
GAWR or Gross Axle Weight Rating - this refers to the maximum amount of weight you can safely place on front or rear axles. The vehicle manufacturer gives each axle its own rating.
GCWR or Gross Combined Weight Rating - It is the maximum weight of your vehicle with a trailer attached, as determined by the vehicle manufacturer. It also includes any cargo or load placed in either vehicle.
GTW or Gross Trailer Weight - your GTW is the total weight of any trailer you’re towing, plus the weight of anything inside.
Towing Capacity - on the other hand, towing capacity refers to the maximum allowable weight that a vehicle can tow as determined by the manufacturer.
Curb Weight - curb weight indicates the empty weight of the vehicle without any passengers and cargo. However, the curb weight includes the weight of gasoline, oil, and necessary fluids for operation.
Payload Capacity - payload capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a truck can haul its curb weight and stay legal. This category would include you, all your passengers, and any items they’re carrying, or you’re transporting.
The truck’s GVWR importance
In poor driving conditions, the ability to maneuver safely decreases even further. By following the 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.
When searching for a truck to buy, knowing how much freight you can haul with it is important.
It provides you with the possibility to keep your payload under the GVWR mark, which keeps your truck running legally and safely.
A truck operating over its GVWR or GCVWR can experience a significant reduction in handling and stability due to excess stress on brakes, tires, and chassis components.
Where to find the vehicles GVWR rating?
You can find the GVWR rating on the sticker on the driver side door, or you can find it in the manual of the vehicle. Or you can visit the manufacturer’s website.
General GVWR requirements
When you drive a commercial vehicle, it’s imperative to be aware of the limitations surrounding GVWR, which include:
- On certain roads, vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds are prohibited. (Review the limitations in your area to make sure you’re operating your commercial vehicle legally.)
- Vehicles with a GVWR of over 8,500 pounds must carry public liability coverage, according to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980.
- Vehicles or combinations over 26,000 pounds GVWR must be driven by a driver with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or a Non-Commercial Class A or B license. It should be noted that any CDL types are often required for vehicles with GVWRs under 26,000 pounds, including passenger vans carrying 16+ passengers or vehicles carrying hazardous/dangerous materials.