What Does GVWR Mean?
In short, GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating on a vehicle. This is the maximum weight a vehicle has been engineered to safely carry. GVWR is regulated by the federal government. It’s important to note that GVWR has nothing to do with how much the truck actually weighs. That is the gross vehicle weight or GVW. This number may fluctuate with cargo, passengers, etc., but the GVWR always remains the same.
In addition, GVWR doesn’t actually include the trailer of a big rig. Instead, gross combination weight rating (GCWR) includes both the GVWR of the truck, as well as the GVWR of the trailer that it’s carrying.
Another misconception is that drivers can determine their GVWR by adding the gross axle weight ratings (GAWRs) for every axle on the truck. While this method may have worked at one time, there are so many factors that are taken into account now that simply adding up GAWRs is unreliable.
When calculating the GVWR, manufacturers will take quite a few factors into account. These include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:
- The truck’s chassis
- The body/frame of the truck
- The driver and passengers
- Cargo being hauled
- Fluids like oil and fuel
- Accessories like attachments for sleeping
- The hitch that connects the trailer to the truck