gvwr vehicle strength

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GVWR: HOW TO KNOW YOUR VEHICLE'S STRENGTH

GVWR: HOW TO KNOW YOUR VEHICLE'S STRENGTH

Carrying passengers or cargo? Knowing your gross vehicle weight rating helps ensure you don’t overload your vehicle.

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Gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR, might sound like a term only professional truck drivers are aware of. In reality, it’s an important figure every driver of a GMC pickup truck, SUV and crossover needs to keep in mind in order to remain safe while carrying cargo or passengers alike.

Easily found on a label placed inside the driver’s door jamb, the GVWR figure is the maximum weight a GMC truck or SUV is engineered to safely carry. While this figure does not include the total weight of any trailer being towed, it does include the passengers, personal effects, and cargo carried, along with the weight (or the gross vehicle weight) of the truck itself and the tongue weight of the trailer.

You may not give much thought about those figures while making short trips or carrying a couple of small items, but when it comes time to load your GMC with lots of passengers or cargo, it’s important to keep your GMC’s GVWR in mind. Failure to do so may result in you exceeding the GVWR and overloading your vehicle.

Overloading your truck or SUV can carry severe consequences, including:

  • Broken springs and suspension components due to excess weight
  • Brakes unable to stop the truck or SUV in a timely manner
  • Transmission and other driveline components may overheat and sustain serious damage
  • Unusual suspension behavior, making the vehicle hard to control 
  • Tire temperatures rising to elevated levels, potentially leading to a blowout

Knowing both your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight and gross vehicle weight rating allow you to quickly calculate how much you can safely carry. For example, take a look at the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD double cab with the EcoTec3 4.3L V6. The gross vehicle weight rating for this particular model is 7,100 pounds. The weight of the Sierra itself is already 5,216 pounds. By subtracting the weight from the GVWR, you can determine this particular Sierra can carry about 1,884 pounds without exceeding its maximum weight rating.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can universally carry 1,884 pounds of cargo in its pickup box – the weight of passengers within the cab also needs to be factored into the GVWR. If you have two 200-pound passengers climb into that same Sierra, it now has an available capacity of 1,484 pounds.

It's important to always abide by the GVWR specifically set for your GMC truck or SUV. In the course of vehicle development, professional engineers have extensively pushed these vehicles to their limits in order to keep you, your passengers, and your belongings safe and to avoid damage to your vehicle. Staying within these limits helps your truck, trailer, and travel remain safe.

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  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Crew Cab with available 6.2L V-8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

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