# What is GVW? What is the difference between GVW and GVWR?

What is GVW? Gross weight is used to calculate the overall weight of a vehicle, but what exactly does it mean?

Calculating the precise weight of a vehicle can be a complicated process. Several units of measurement are used when weighing a vehicle, and each incorporates different information to arrive at an overall figure.

## What is GVW?

The gross weight of a vehicle (GVW) is the weight of the empty vehicle plus the weight of the maximum payload that the vehicle was designed to carry. In cars and small light trucks, the difference between the empty weight of the vehicle and the GVW is not significantly different (1,000 to 1,500 lbs).

The largest trucks and tractor-trailers, however, have a payload capacity share of 200%, which means they can carry 200% of their empty weight. The medium-sized trucks (truck classes 3-6) have payload capacity shares between 50% and 100%.

## How to calculate GVW?

The first factor to consider is the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is a rating system that looks at various categories of vehicles from light, everyday pick-up trucks to trucks towing large tractor trailers. This is an important safety element for fleet managers and can be classified into two separate criteria.

• The base curb weight of the vehicle
• The weight of optional truck accessories, the weight of cargo and the weight of drivers and passengers

These ratings are often specific to certain vehicles and most likely will never change. Unless in the instance of a manufac­turer recalling a truck due to issues concerning its GVWR, or formal changes within regulation.

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Let’s break this down further – the trailer capacity is the weight defined by manufac­turers that your trailer can hold, safely. Typically, this is an exact weight printed and displayed on the vehicle. On the other hand, trailer weight is the combined weight of cargo hauled in the trailer.

Unfor­tu­nately, sometimes fleet managers make the mistake of forgetting to include added accessories that contribute to the gross vehicle weight. That’s why it’s important for fleet managers to engage with drivers and dock workers loading the trailer, to ensure they are aware of the GVWR and consider all contri­bu­tions to the gross weight.

## How to ensure GVW compliance

Although fleet managers are responsible for enforcing GVWR, other employees as mentioned above should be in the loop. An initial training program would be the best way to implement employee knowledge on the subject. And always remember to check the regulation for your specific region. However, here is a general guideline of things to consider:

• If there are added accessories, make sure to include it in the GVWR calculation
• Include weight of passengers
• Which regions will the trailer be driven in?
• What is the approximate gross weight of cargo?
• Do the truck make, model and year affect the total GVWR?

## Does GVW include passengers & fuel?

Yes, GVW does include passengers and fuel. In fact, it includes the weight of anything loaded onto a vehicle while it is in operation as well as the weight of the vehicle itself.

Everything from cargo, fuel, & passengers to any other weight the vehicle is burdened by adds up to meet the vehicle’s maximum permissible load weight.

GVW is an uncompromising value too as it is the only weight specification that absolutely doesn’t change. Whereas a lower kerb weight means higher payload capacity and vice versa, GVW will remain constant to your vehicle type. The value of which is always kerb weight + payload capacity and should never be exceeded.

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What you load into your car or van is irrelevant, the only thing that is taken into account is how heavy that burden is and if it exceeds GVW to the point of overloading.

## How to find the gross vehicle weight of my van?

You can find the gross vehicle weight for your car, van, whatever, by checking your VIN plate.

It will look much like the image above and will be located in one of the following places.

• On the inner door well on the driver’s side of your vehicle.
• In the engine bay fixed to the chassis.
• On the dashboard.

This will tell you everything you need to know about your vehicle type and weight limitations. If you have trouble finding your VIN plate, check your owner’s manual or, like most curious people, do it the easy way and Google it.

## What is the difference between GVW and GVWR?

Understanding the difference between gross vehicle weight and gross vehicle weight rating is vital for any responsible driver. A vehicle’s GVW refers to its total weight. Everything inside of the car from passengers to engine parts is accounted for in this figure. It’s a number that’s always changing due to various factors.

The GVWR is something completely different. This number refers to the highest load your particular vehicle can carry without incident. It’s a figure that’s assigned by the manufacturer and will not change due to any external factors.

The rating or figure will account for drivers, every car component, fuel, cargo, passengers, and a long list of other things. It’s an essential rating for a driver to know. This rating becomes especially vital for drivers who move heavy cargo and drive in congested areas.

If you don’t keep this figure in mind, physical and engine damage could occur. It ends up being a huge safety risk to the driver and everyone driving around them. A drive should know this number in order to make sure their vehicle never crosses the threshold of what is safe.

If you’re a little confused about the ranges, this comes from each vehicle having different styles. People looking to increase their GVWR can buy certain variations with features for this purpose. It’s just another way drivers can help determine what particular vehicle fits their needs perfectly.

## Difference between gross vehicle weight (GVW) and maximum authorised mass (MAM)

There is no difference between MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) and GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) as they are, in fact, one and the same.

But why do we need 3 different terms to explain a single weight value? And yes, I said 3.

Well, to confuse matters further, MAM and GVW are also officially recognised as PMW (Permissible Maximum Weight) – yet another legal definition of the aforementioned 2. How this came to be is anyone’s guess, but, it is what it is and we must come to terms with it.

Out of the 3, GVW is certainly the more commonly referenced term but MAM, GVW, or PMW, can be used to effectively describe the same thing – the maximum permitted mass of a motor vehicle when fully loaded.

## FAQs

### How do I find the gross weight of my vehicle?

The Gross Vehicle Weight must not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which can be obtained from the Safety Compliance Certification Label located on the driver’s door, commonly referred to as the Door Jamb Label.

### What is difference between GVW and GVWR?

because the licensed weight (GVW) includes both the load you carry on, or in, your vehicle and the load you are towing. GVW refers to the weight you are licensed to carry and tow. GVWR refers to the weight your vehicle is designed to carry.

### Does GVWR mean fully loaded?

The Gross Vehicle Weight is the actual weight of the fully loaded RV including all cargo, fluids, passengers, and optional equipment. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the heaviest weight determined by the manufacturer for the safe operation of your RV.

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