What is GVWR? - Trucker Terms - Simple Definitions

What Does GVWR Mean On A Truck?

Definition:
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) refers to the maximum allowable weight a vehicle has been engineered by manufacturers to safely carry. This weight rating is regulated by the United States federal government and gets determined by a vehicle’s:

  • Body – frame of vehicle
  • Chassis – main supporting area of vehicle
  • Cargo – the load being hauled
  • Driver
  • Passengers
  • Optional accessories – attachments for sleeping, etc
  • Vehicle fluids – fuels, oils, etc
  • Tongue – the hitch that connects the trailer to the vehicle
  • Other factors specific to each manufacturer

The GVWR does not include the weight specs of any accompanying trailers.

It is important to note that the GVWR value does not change. It is an assigned and permanent weight value unique to each vehicle. The actual vehicle weight is known as the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and should never exceed the GVWR assigned by the manufacturers.

Where Do I Find My Vehicle’s GVWR?

This number can normally be found on a label inside the door frame of the vehicle.

source: www.arb.ca.gov

Different Weight Classifications for GVWR

The GVWR for most standard passenger vehicles is 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg). Vehicles exceeding 8,500 lbs (3,900 kg) will require the driver to carry an additional form of insurance.

When vehicles like big rig trucks exceed 26,000 lbs. (11,800 kg), they fall into the GVWR category of requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This also applies to all vehicles, regardless of weight, transporting hazardous materials, and to passenger vehicles or buses carrying 16 or more passengers.

iStockphoto

Why Does Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Matter?

Complications arise when a truck or vehicle gets loaded past the recommended GVWR. Brakes and tires are designed with weight limits in mind. Too heavy a load equals not enough brake power to slow or stop the vehicle and an inevitability of tire blowouts. Safety remains the top priority when assigning a GVWR to a vehicle.

Related terms

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – This is the vehicle’s actual weight with all passengers, drivers and cargo accounted for. Drop off a passenger and you will have just changed your vehicle’s GVW.

Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)

GCWR = Tractor GVWR + Semitrailer GVWR

Add the GVWR together for the separate units of the tractor and the semitrailer hitched to it and you get the GCWR, the maximum weight manufacturers have assigned as safe to carry by a specific combination of vehicles.

Helpful 1-minute GVWR video from SuperSprings International Inc.:

Recently added trucker glossary terms:

Check out more common trucker terms & essential legal phrases in The Law Glossary!

Have “The Hammer”
On Your Side
1
More than 30 years of personal Injury law experience.
2
Former prosecutors who know how the "other side" operates.
3
Get 100% Personalized, one-on-one attention for your case.
4
Hammer Tough negotiators and proven trial lawyers.
5
Accessibility and availability – clients can always reach our attorneys.
Free Consultation & Case Evaluation

Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 800-800-8888 Now

Hammer’s Guarantee: You will pay nothing until we win your case!

Other Case Types Served By Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs

Service Icon

Car Accidents

When you've been in a car wreck, you need an experienced lawyer to who knows the law to protect your interests .

Read More
Service Icon

Big Truck Accidents

When you've been in a car wreck, you need an experienced lawyer to who knows the law to protect your interests .

Read More
Service Icon

Wrongful Death Cases

When you've been in a car wreck, you need an experienced lawyer to who knows the law to protect your interests .

Read More

Louisville Office

Isaacs & Isaacs1601 Business Center Ct Louisville,
KY. 40299

Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm

Phone502-458-1000

Lexington Office

Isaacs & Isaacs2333 Alexandria DriveLexington,
KY. 40504

Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm

Phone859-255-3000

Indianapolis Office

Isaacs & Isaacs201 N Illinois St #1600 Indianapolis,
IN. 46204

Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm

Phone317-237-9000

Cincinnati Office

Isaacs & Isaacs201 E 5th St, FL 19 Cincinnati,
OH. 45202

Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm

Phone513-386-6600