What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?

RAM Chassis Cab Commercial Truck.jpg

Whether you’re buying a pickup truck or a commercial vehicle, you may see “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating” on the specs sheets. So, just what is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and why should you care? The GVWR is the maximum operating weight for the truck, as specified by the manufacturer. Not only is this important for your Chatham travels, but it is also important to know to obey the road rules. Let’s take a deeper look at the GVWR meaning: 

How is GVWR Calculated?

To understand what GVWR means, it’s helpful to know how to calculate it. In the past, drivers calculated gross vehicle weight rating by adding the gross axle weight ratings (GAWRs) together. But now, the process is more complicated. That’s because modern safety technology, like automatic braking and stability control systems, can affect your total GVWR. That means that adding the GAWRs together is not as reliable a metric as it once was – so you might have to do a little extra research!

What are the Laws Involving GVWR?

If you are a commercial driver, the GVWR has even more meaning for your Rochester travels:

  • Certain roads prohibit vehicles weighing over 6,000 pounds. Review the limitations in your area to make sure you’re operating your commercial vehicle legally.
  • Vehicles with a GVWR of over 8,500 pounds must carry public liability coverage, according to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980.
  • Only drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or a Non-Commercial Class A or B license can drive vehicles or combinations over 26,000 pounds GVWR. It’s important to note that CDLs are often required for vehicles with GVWRs under 26,000 pounds, including passenger vans carrying 16+ passengers or vehicles carrying hazardous/dangerous materials.

RAM Commercial Vehicle GVWR Classifications


  • Class 2 (2A): RAM 1500
  • Class 2 (2B): RAM 2500


  • Class 3: RAM 3500


  • Class 4: RAM 4500
  • Class 5: RAM 5500

Learn More With Green Dodge

Are you in the market for a new truck near Decatur? Contact us at Green Dodge with any questions. You’ll find our extensive selection in Springfield, so stop by today!

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