Curb weight and gross weight (GVW) or two commonly used vehicle weights with one important difference.
Let’s explore what curb weight and gross vehicle weight are, how they are calculated, and the key difference between the two.
What is Curb Weight?
Curb weight is the total weight of a vehicle, including standard equipment and fluids, but without any passengers, cargo, or additional equipment. It’s an important factor to consider when assessing a vehicle’s performance, efficiency, and safety.
How to Calculate Curb Weight
You can calculate the curb weight of a vehicle in a few different ways.
Weigh the Vehicle
- Weigh the vehicle when it is empty of passengers, cargo, and additional equipment.
- Ensure that the vehicle is filled with necessary fluids such as engine oil, coolant, and a full tank of fuel.
GVWR – Payload
You can also calculate curb weight by subtracting the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) from the payload or passenger/cargo capacity.
A vehicle with a GVWR of 5,000 lbs and a payload of 1,000 lbs. would have a 4,000 lbs curb weight.
5,000 lbs (GVWR) – 1000 lbs (Payload) = 4,000 lbs Curb Weight
How is Curb Weight Measured?
Curb weight is typically measured using a large, industrial scale. The vehicle is driven onto the scale platform, and the weight is recorded. Remember, the vehicle must be empty of passengers and cargo and filled with necessary fluids when measured.
What is Gross Weight?
Gross weight, also known as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), is the total weight of a vehicle, including passengers, cargo, additional equipment, and necessary fluids. The GVW should never exceed your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), as stated on the Safety Compliance Label, for safety and performance reasons.
How to Calculate Gross Weight
One way to calculate the gross weight of a vehicle is to take the curb weight of the vehicle and add the weight of passengers, cargo, and additional equipment.
Using a car with a curb weight of 3,000 pounds, let’s assume you have 500 pounds of passengers and cargo in the car. In this case, the gross weight of the car would be:
3,000 lbs (Curb Weight) + 500 lbs (Passengers and Cargo Weight) = 3,500 lbs (Gross Weight)
How is Gross Weight Measured?
Gross weight is also measured using a large, industrial scale. The vehicle is driven onto the scale platform with all passengers, cargo, and additional equipment, and the weight is recorded.
Curb Weight vs Gross Weight: The Key Difference
The key difference between curb weight and gross weight lies in what they include:
- Curb Weight: The total weight of a vehicle without passengers, cargo, and additional equipment but with all necessary fluids.
- Gross Weight: The total weight of a vehicle, including passengers, cargo, additional equipment, and necessary fluids.
Related: The Ultimate RV Abbreviations Guide
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