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How to Calculate Gross Weight

by Alexander Eliot

A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) includes the total weight of the vehicle, in addition to the maximum additional load the vehicle can carry. This includes fuel and other fluid weight, as well as passenger and cargo weight. Often, the gross vehicle weight rating is listed in your vehicle owner's manual or other vehicle specifications sheets. If this isn't the case for your vehicle, there are other methods to find the gross weight.

Step 1

Check in the driver's side doorjamb area for a vehicle specification chart. This is the area along the chassis visible when the door is opened. Generally, these are printed onto a metal plate or sticker. The gross weight will be listed, as well as other specifications, such as the recommended tire pressure.

Step 2

Find the curb weight of your vehicle to calculate the actual gross weight, as opposed to the manufacturer's listed maximum gross weight. The curb weight will be listed in your vehicle owner's manual, on the doorjamb specification chart mentioned in Step 1 or on other vehicle specification sheets.

Calculate the total additional weight your vehicle is carrying. This includes the weight of all passengers, the amount of fuel in the tank and any cargo you are carrying. Add this value to the vehicle curb weight. The sum is the total gross weight of your vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Owner's manual or vehicle specification sheet
  • Calculator

About the Author

Alexander Eliot has been a professional writer since 2006. He holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Cincinnati. His academic background allows him to write articles in all fields of education, as well as science and philosophy. Eliot once worked for a performance auto center, an experience he draws from to write informative articles in automotive theory, maintenance and customization.

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