GVWR and gross vehicle weight are often thought to be the same – but they aren’t. A truck’s GVWR, or gross vehicle weight rating, is the maximum weight rating established by the chassis manufacturer. GVW, on the other hand, is the total weight of the truck and payload at a point in time.
There’s a common misconception that a truck’s GVWR is determined by adding gross axle weight ratings (GAWRs) together for all axles. Although this was a common way of calculating GVWR many years ago, it’s no longer an accurate method. The chassis manufacturer’s task of establishing a vehicle GVWR is much more difficult today due to the advancement of safety system standards and how vehicles meet these requirements. This is why many trucks actually have a GVWR much lower than the combined axle ratings.