What Does GVWR Mean?

What Does GVWR Mean

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.

Where Do I Find My Vehicle’s GVWR
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.

Different Weight Classifications
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:

We’re always on the lookout for truckers to share the real deal perspective for our truck accident prevention portal. Reach out now and contribute!

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

FREE CONSULTATION & CASE EVALUATION

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

Have “The Hammer”
On Your Side

1

More than 25 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.

Other Case Types Served By Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs