Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

I have been looking at the numbers on the stickers on various horse trailers to try and figure out how much they weigh. I know how much my truck is rated to safely pull, but how do I figure out how much the trailer weighs? There are all sorts of initials on the stickers – GVWR/PNBV and GAWR/PNBE. The first thing I had to do was to figure out what those initials mean! GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating; GAWR is the Gross Axle Weight Rating, and PNBV and PNBE are the French equivalents of those (respectively).

So what does all that mean and how do I figure out how much trailer I can pull with my Ford pickup? Does that GVWR number mean that I then add the weight of the horses, plus all the tack, hay, etc. that I'm hauling? I called a few people - dealerships of both trailers and vehicles - to try and figure this out and ended up with long discussions and learning quite a bit.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating vs. Gross Vehicle Weight
The GVWR – the rating of the trailer – is different from the GVW, Gross Vehicle Weight, which is the actual weight of the trailer. The rating will never change, but the weight can change depending on how much it is loaded. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum loaded weight – for a trailer this includes the weight of the trailer plus mats, spare tire, horses, hay, feed, supplies, etc.

I then looked at the owner’s guide for my truck, a ¾-ton heavy-duty diesel, to see what it is rated to pull. At first I thought the number I found – 23,000 lbs. – was great, until I noticed it said that was the GCWR. This means the Gross Combined Weight Rating, which is the total weight of the truck AND trailer. The GVWR for that particular truck (found inside the driver’s side door) is 10,000 lbs., which means I could safely pull a trailer rated at 13,000 lbs.

But if I’m pulling a horse trailer, I wouldn’t be loading the truck to its maximum, so I needed to figure out how much my truck actually weighs, and that isn’t to be found anywhere in the specifications! I called the dealership where I bought my truck and asked if they could get that information for me. Because I bought the truck from them brand new, they found the shipping weight of my truck from when it was delivered to them – 7,020 lbs.

From all this information, I figure that I would be able to pull a gooseneck trailer with living quarters up to 14,000 lbs. Surely I am going to be able to find that!

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