What Does GVWR Mean?

Famiy getting Ram 1500 ready to go boating


What is gross vehicle weight rating? Simply put, GVWR is the maximum total weight of your vehicle. If you’re purchasing a commercial vehicle for hauling supplies and tools throughout Collinsville, you’re likely looking at specs like interior dimensions, cargo volume, towing capacity, and payload capacity. But there’s one crucial spec that often slips through the cracks: gross vehicle weight rating.

Typically abbreviated as GVWR, it’s no surprise that so many Caseyville drivers aren’t familiar with the GVWR meaning. Below, we’ll delve into what you need to know about gross vehicle weight rating as you choose your next commercial truck or van.

What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?

The gross vehicle weight rating tells you how much your vehicle can weigh safely. This figure includes curb weight (what your vehicle weighs when empty of passengers or materials) plus the weight of passengers, accessories, fuel, any other materials carried inside the cabin, and “tongue weight” of a tow trailer (normally 10-20% of the combined tow load and trailer weight). 

What’s the difference between GVWR and payload capacity? Payload is the maximum weight your vehicle can carry inside its cabin, and doesn’t include the curb weight, tongue weight, or accessories.

For example, the GVWR of your vehicle might be 7,000 pounds. If the curb weight is 5,000 pounds and the typical weight for your passengers and fuel is 500 pounds, then your vehicle can safely handle a payload of 1,500 pounds. Still, how should the GVWR meaning impact your choice of commercial vehicle — and what happens if you exceed it?

Ram 1500 Interior Seating

Why Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings Matter

First off, 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 hefty ticket. However, the consequences are far more severe if you’re involved in an accident while surpassing your vehicle’s GVWR — if the accident involves a loss of life, some states may levy criminal charges, including manslaughter.

Your vehicle’s GVWR will also impact legal requirements. For example, vehicles above a certain GVWR require additional insurance or require the operator to hold a CDL license.

Find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for Your Car

Fortunately, it’s easy to locate the gross vehicle weight rating spec for your vehicle. Look for a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door. Here you should find the curb weight and GVWR. If you can’t find the info, then check your owner’s manual or contact a Auffenberg Dealer Group dealership near you.

Explore Lease and Finance Specials at Auffenberg Dealer Group 

Auffenberg Dealer Group is a dealership group proud to serve the East St. Louis and Bellville areas with a wide selection of new and used vehicles, fair pricing, and expert service. We make it easy to compare and choose the right commercial vehicle for your business needs — try our vehicle finder service and apply for financing from home today!

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