Vehicle loading

Before loading a vehicle, familiarize yourself with the following terms:

  • Base Curb Weight: Weight of the vehicle including any standard equipment, fluids, lubricants, etc. It does not include occupants or aftermarket equipment.
  • Payload: Combined maximum allowable weight of cargo, occupants and optional equipment. The payload equals the gross vehicle weight rating minus base curb weight.
  • GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight): Base curb weight plus payload weight. The GVW is not a limit or a specification.
  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): Maximum permissible total weight of the base vehicle, occupants, optional equipment and cargo.

    The GVWR is specific to each vehicle and is listed on the Safety Certification Label on the driver's door pillar.

  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating): Carrying capacity for each axle system. The GAWR is specific to each vehicle and is listed on the Safety Certification Label on the driver's door pillar.
  • GCW (Gross Combined Weight): The combined weight of the towing vehicle (including occupants and cargo) and the loaded trailer.
  • GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating): Maximum permissible combined weight of towing vehicle (including occupants and cargo) and the loaded trailer
  • Maximum Trailer Weight Rating: Maximum weight of a trailer the vehicle is permitted to tow. The maximum trailer weight rating is determined by subtracting the vehicle curb weight for each engine/transmission combination, any required option weight for trailer towing and the weight of the driver from the GCWR for the towing vehicle.
  • Maximum Trailer Weight: Maximum weight of a trailer the loaded vehicle (including occupants and cargo) is permitted to tow. It is determined by subtracting the weight of the loaded trailer towing vehicle from the GCWR for the towing vehicle.
  • Trailer Weight Range: Specified weight range that the trailer must fall within that ranges from zero to the maximum trailer weight rating.

Remember to figure in the tongue load of your loaded trailer when figuring the total weight.

Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label.

Do not use replacement tires with lower load carrying capacities than the originals because they may lower the vehicle's GVWR and GAWR limitations. Replacement tires with a higher limit than the originals do not increase the GVWR and GAWR limitations.

The Safety Certification Label, found on the driver's door pillar, lists several important vehicle weight rating limitations. Before adding any additional equipment, refer to these limitations. If you are adding weight to the front of your vehicle, (potentially including weight added to the cab), the weight added should not exceed the front axle reserve capacity (FARC). Additional frontal weight may be added to the front axle reserve capacity provided you limit your payload in other ways (i.e. restrict the number of occupants or amount of cargo carried).

Always ensure that the weight of occupants, cargo and equipment being carried is within the weight limitations that have been established for your vehicle including both gross vehicle weight and front and rear gross axle weight rating limits. Under no circumstance should these limitations be exceeded.

Exceeding any vehicle weight rating limitation could result in serious damage to the vehicle loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, and/or personal injury.

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