Understanding Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

Truck drivers are very familiar with GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). They must know the vehicle’s GVWR because of state and federal regulations for the weight of trucks and their cargo. 

Trucks are also classified by their GVWR. If the GVWR is high enough, a driver may require a commercial driver’s license to drive the truck, and the truck’s owner may need to purchase additional insurance coverage.

What Is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?

GVWR is the maximum weight a vehicle can weigh and operate on public roads. It includes the vehicle plus passengers, cargo, and fuel. The amount the truck weighs can vary depending on the cargo loaded on the truck.

You calculate a vehicle’s GVWR by adding the following figures together:

  • The weight of the vehicle when it is empty
  • The weight of fuel, passengers, and accessories
  • The weight of the cargo being loaded on the truck or trailer

You should be able to find the vehicle’s gross weight by looking at the label on the inside door frame. It is also included in the owner’s manual. If you do not have either of these sources, you should be able to look up the vehicle’s weight online.

Other terms related to GVWR that you might need to know include:

  • Payload Capacity – The total of the additional weight that can be safely added to a vehicle’s curb weight.
  • Curb Weight – The weight of the vehicle without cargo or passengers.
  • GAWR – Gross axle weight rating is the maximum weight that can be placed per axle.
  • GCWR – Gross combination weight rating is the maximum weight of a vehicle and an attached trailer.
  • GVR – Gross vehicle weight is the amount the vehicle actually weighs. GWVR is the amount a vehicle might weigh with cargo.

Regulations regarding GVWR are in place in large part for safety reasons; more on this below.

Dangers of Overloading a Commercial Truck

GVWR limits exist because it can be dangerous to overload a truck. Overloaded trucks have a higher risk of being involved in devastating accidents.

It is more difficult to handle a truck that is carrying more weight. The truck driver may be unable to correct the vehicle if it leaves the road, causing a rollover or jackknife accident.

Overloaded trucks have a longer stopping distance, which could result in a rear-end accident. Large loads could also make it more difficult to maneuver trucks around corners and objects.

Tires and brakes could have additional wear and malfunction if there is too much weight on the truck. Tire blowout accidents and brake failures could lead to truck accidents.

Overloaded Truck Accidents in Carlisle, PA

If you are injured because of an overloaded truck accident in Carlisle, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. Truck accidents cause severe and catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, amputations, spinal cord injury, broken bones, and damage to internal organs. The damages are often substantial.

Examples of economic and non-economic damages in a Pennsylvania truck accident case include:

One or more parties could be responsible for the damages caused by an overloaded truck accident. The trucking company and truck driver could be responsible. Shippers and loaders may also share liability for the claim.

What Should I Do if I’m Injured in a Truck Accident in Carlisle, PA?

Truck accidents often result in injuries that require emergency medical services. You may not be able to document the accident scene. But, if you can, take pictures and make a video of the vehicles and the accident site. Ask witnesses to give you their names and contact information.

Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Delays in medical care could cause your injuries to worsen. Also, prompt medical treatment helps you connect your injuries to the accident for a personal injury claim.

Then, call a truck accident lawyer for a free consultation. Truck accident claims are complicated personal injury cases. An experienced attorney can work to maximize the value of your claim and aim to put as much money into your pocket as possible.

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon