You count on your truck to help you get the job done. You need to get where you are going on time with your cargo intact. There are things you should know to calculate your towing capacity for maximum handling.
Maximum Allowable Weight
The maximum weight of a truck, and the payload it is carrying, is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR. Truck owners can find this information on a label located on the door-lock pillar or on the driver’s door. The owner’s manual for the vehicle will also provide this information. Maximum weight includes everything in or on the truck and trailer.
- The weight of the driver and any passengers
- The weight of the truck, including fuel in the tank
- The weight of the trailer, unloaded
- The weight of the load in the trailer
- The weight of trailer hitch
- The weight of any optional equipment added to the vehicle
When you are calculating the maximum weight, do not forget to include all the additional items you may be carrying. Toolboxes and personal supplies need to be figured into the vehicle’s weight. This creates the Gross Combination Weight Rating or GCWR.
When you need to determine the maximum amount of weight you can tow, three factors must be considered. The first factor is the maximum amount of weight allowed for the hitch. Second is the actual maximum weight the trailer can handle. The total weight of the vehicle, without the trailer, must also be taken into account. Subtract the total vehicle weight from the GCWR to determine the maximum weight the vehicle can safely tow.
- Determine the base weight of the truck with a full fuel tank
- Add the weight of the driver and any possible passengers
- Add in the weight of any additional equipment or items being transported in the truck
- Subtract this number from the GCWR to obtain the maximum weight the vehicle can tow.
Do not exceed either the rated weight for the trailer or the maximum weight for the combined truck and trailer. When the tow weight matches the capability, drivers will find the best acceleration and stopping power, along with exception overall handling.
Get the most of your towing ability
When you load your trailer, also consider both the tongue weight and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). Each axle on the vehicle has a maximum amount of load for professional response. This information can also be found on the door panel or driver’s door. If the trailer is loaded with too much weight to the front or the rear, the performance and handling will suffer. Both your payload and your vehicle’s performance depend on following proper loading procedures.