Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

A gross vehicle weight rating, in its simplest form, is the maximum weight a GMC truck or SUV can carry including the passengers, accessories, and any cargo. It does not include trailers. The various weight ratings can be quite confusing because they are numbers that you usually do not have to worry about on a daily basis, unless, of course, you decide to load up the truck and pull a trailer too. For example, the gross vehicle weight (GVW) is actually the weight of your GMC truck or SUV, not how much weight it can carry.


There are consequences if you exceed the recommended GVWR for your truck or SUV. These consequences include:


  • Broken springs due to excess weight
  • Brakes that may fail to stop the truck or SUV in a timely manner
  • The suspension will not react properly, making the vehicle hard to control
  • The tires may get hot and cause a blowout
  • The transmission could overheat and sustain serious damage


To put things into perspective, take a look at the GMC Sierra Vortec 4.3L V6 2WD. The gross vehicle weight rating for this particular model is 6,400 pounds. The weight of the truck itself is already 4,460 pounds. This means that you can add 1,940 pounds to the truck without exceeding its maximum weight rating. If you add two passengers weighing 200 pounds each, you will have an available capacity of 1,540 pounds that you can carry in the cargo area.


It's important to keep these things in mind when you are loading your truck or SUV. In order to keep you and your family safe, and to avoid damaging your automobile, always stay within the parameters given by GMC. We have put these automobiles through extensive testing and pushed them to their limits to learn how to keep you safe while driving.