What Is GVWR On A Truck? (Everything Explained)

GVWR means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This refers to a very much necessary value of a truck. Whether you are a truck owner or driver, you must know about this term. Because any mistake with this side of your truck will bring damage.

But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have a clear understanding of what GVWR means in detail and why it is important to know. Well, that’s about to change in this discussion. 

Here, we’re going to give you a brief overview of GVWR and explain what it is used for. We’ll also give you tips on how to calculate it, and tell you why you need to know the value of your truck. So what are you waiting for? Start reading about GVWR.

What Is GVWR On A Truck?

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and it is the maximum weight of a truck can carry including its own weight. The GVWR of a truck is determined by its axle weight rating (AWR) and its gross vehicle weight (GVW). The AWR is the total weight of the truck’s axles, and the GVW is the total weight of the truck, including the driver, passengers, and cargo. 

This definition may look hard, as you are new to GVWR. Let’s learn this term with an easy example. Suppose a truck can carry a maximum of 10,000 pounds including the driver, passenger, oil, and other accessories, and even its own weight then that is the GVWR of that truck.

How to Calculate GVWR of a Truck?

Now we know what is GVWR on a truck. But the measuring technique should be known to us, as it is very essential. When calculating GVWR, you must take into account the load capacity, the front, and rear axles, and the curb weight.

To calculate GVWR, you first need to determine the load capacity. This can be done by multiplying the weight of the cargo by the allowable weight limit for that cargo. Next, you need to determine the front and rear axle weights. These can be found by multiplying the load capacity by the number of axles on each axle.

Another easy way to calculate GVWR is, first determine the total weight of the vehicle and its loaded cargo. Next, add the weight of the driver and any optional equipment (such as a sprayer) that is on the truck. Finally, subtract the weight of the vehicle. This will give you the GVWR of the truck.

N.B. To understand this process, you need to know some terms. Let’s see these terms. 

  • Load Capacity: The load capacity is the maximum amount of weight that can be carried on the truck. 
  • Curb Weight: The curb weight is the weight of the truck without any cargo or accessories.

Is GVWR The Same As Towing Capacity?

This is a confusing question because there are some points where both GVWR and Towing Capacity are the same and there are some points there are differences. You need to know both with a clear conception.

GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the maximum weight a vehicle can carry. Towing capacity, on the other hand, is the maximum weight a vehicle can tow. While they both refer to the same thing, they are used in different contexts and have different implications.

GVWR is typically used when discussing the capacity of a vehicle to transport goods, while towing capacity is typically used when discussing the ability of a vehicle to transport a trailer. 

When towing a trailer, it is important to be aware of your trailer’s GVWR and your vehicle’s towing capacity. If your trailer’s GVWR is greater than your vehicle’s towing capacity, the trailer will be unsafe to tow and could damage your vehicle. Conversely, if your vehicle’s towing capacity is greater than your trailer’s GVWR, you can safely transport the trailer without fear of damage.

Does GVWR Include Trailers?

If you read the previous sections of this discussion, this question would not come because we discussed everything there. But as you have confusion, let’s see what GVWR says about truck trailers. The definition of GVWR says it counts all the weight of a truck including the trailer. So, GVWR includes trailers. 

But there is something more you need to know. That is your actual weight carrying capacity (WCC) will be less due to the weight of the trailer and its cargo. The WCC is the total weight of the vehicle and its cargo, including the weight of the trailer.

Why Do You Need To Know GVWR of Your Truck?

GVWR, or gross vehicle weight rating, is a key metric that you need to know if you are planning on transporting a heavy load. It is important to know this number because it determines the maximum load that your truck can carry.

If you are hauling a heavy load that is greater than the GVWR of your truck, your truck may not be able to handle the weight and may suffer from structural failure. In addition, your driver may experience fatigue and other health problems as a result of driving a truck that is overloaded.

GVWR is a critical safety factor for trucks. This is another reason to know this value. It is the maximum total weight of a truck that the manufacturer has certified can be safely transported. If you exceed that, this will hamper safety.

Moreover, trucks that are too heavy can cause instability and poor performance. They also create a higher risk of accidents, as the truck cannot handle the weight and may over-ride safety mechanisms. Some more reasons of knowing this value are given in the next section.

What If You Exceed GVWR?

As GVWR is the weight of the vehicle, loaded and fueled, you can not exceed it. There are so many problems that you may face if you exceed that. If you exceed the GVWR of your vehicle, you may be subject to a number of penalties, including:

  • A big amount of fine
  • A suspension of your driving privileges
  • A potential criminal record

With that, you will find more problems with your truck if you exceed the GVWR level. Some of them are:

  • That will cause the suspension to sag of your truck.
  • This will damage the axle.
  • You will face problems balancing the truck while driving.
  • The brake will not work properly

Ultimately, it is important to be aware of the restrictions that apply when driving your truck over its GVWR. So, you should always follow the GVWR limit.


The term GVWR seems very complex after hearing its full form. But actually, this term is a very easy term to understand. With that, knowing this term is essential too. After reading this, you should be clear about what is GVWR on a truck.

Next time before loading your truck, keep GVWR in mind. This will save you from many sides. And be aware of your state truck GVWR law. Thanks for reading from us.

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