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Understanding Load Capacity

dogsrusdogsrus Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I'm a first time buyer of a truck, in this case, the Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Qual SLT. I decided if I wanted a truck, I needed a real one, and this is it! I am very pleased with everything about the truck, but I am trying to understand the load capacities of this big toy.

The sticker on the door says the GVWR is 9000#, the GAWR Front is 5200#, and the GAWR Rear is 6000#. The sticker does not list the GCWR, which is the gross combined weight. I know the front weights ~4600# and the rear weights 2800#, and the total weight is ~7100#. I checked the Dodge website and they gave me slightly different figures than listed above, with the GCWR at 15000# if properly equiped, and a payload capacity of 2839#. I do understand that the Dodge website gives the "average" truck sold weights, which explains the difference with the the vehicle sticker.

Can someone please explain how these figures pertain to my truck so I understand them? Are the GVWR and GAWR's the max weight allowed, in which case, I cannot add more than 1900#. Or is the 2839# correct, although that would be different than the allowed 6000# on the back, which means I should be able to add 3200#. And what do I need to be properly equipped for a GCWR of 15000#? Would that allow me to put 6900# on the back of the truck, although that would go well beyond the rear axle capacity and the tires... Of course the capacity of the tires throws in another issue.

I am not as frustrated as the sound of this post suggests, but I hope it sort of portrays the confusion. If someone would be kind enough to help reduce confusion that would be greatly appreciated. :-) Thanks!



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    The ratings are established with the MINIMUM tire size and rim size noted on your Vehicle Safety Certification Label. It also assumes the tires are at maximun cold tire inflation pressure.

    Making the assumption that they interpret it the same way as 30 years ago, the GAWRs are max, which means that it includes the weight of the vehicle on the axle as well as the load weight.

    If my math and your figures are correct, your truck is rated to carry 3800 lbs. payload on the truck (5200-4600=600 front; 6000-2800=3200 rear; total=3800).

    Now, I find it hard to believe that your truck actually weighs 7000 pounds plus. I could be wrong, here.

    But the payload on the vehicle is the GVWR less the dry weight of the truck. For some un-remembered reason, the GVWR is always slightly more that the total of the front and rear GAWRs.

    I don't know. Did I help you or help confuse you?

  • Dusty,

    Thanks, that is the way I thought it should be, but that 9000 GVWR threw in a doubt. The tires I have are the LT265/70R17E BSW All Season tires, rated for a maximum of 3000 pounds each. With the distribution over the back of the bed, the 6000 pounds makes sense, if it's evenly distributed. I put 1800 pounds on the back of the bed and the truck didn't sag in the least.

    The reason I know the weights is that I found a scale cargo trucks use on the smaller local highways. I figure they should be within 20-40 pounds of true. With me in the truck, the weight was an even 7300 pounds. Even if the scale was off by a 100#, the weight of the truck is still formidable. :-)

    Now, you stated that the GVWR should be "more" than the front and rear weights. That is another part that confused me. The front and rear weights total 11,200 pounds, yet the GVWR totals only 9,000. I would expect the GVWR to be slightly less than the front and rear added to gether, but not by over a ton. The reason I say that the weight should be slightly less is due to the weight distribution across the front and rear. Some of the weight in the front is also distributed to the rear, and visa-versa. That's what makes sense to me, anyway. I could be wrong on that aspect, though.

  • Your truck weight sounds about right. I know the F-250 CC 4x4 LB will go in the 7,500lb range.

    The GVWR is the maximum the truck can weigh. The GAWR is the maximum each axle is rated to carry. It is very possible to overload one axle and not overload the truck. Conversely, it is also possible to overload the truck without overloading either axle. The GCWR is the maximum your truck AND TRAILER can weigh.

    As you have just found out, 3/4 tons are really not the "heavy hauler" that they claim to be. You can only put 1,900lbs in your truck without busting the limit. Of course you and I both know it will carry more. However, those limits are there for a reason. There must be a "weak link" somewhere that causes the manufacturer to put that limit at 9,000lbs. By looking at your front axle weight I am assuming you got the diesel? That also works against your carrying capacity. But hey, I've got one too and don't regret it one bit.

    I'm glad to see you doing your homework. Most people will just buy the truck and grossly overload it without even thinking twice, then get in a real pickle with an overloaded truck.
  • rogere1rogere1 Posts: 5
    The last message sounds right on - on my new 2500 the wt is 7028 lbs and the allowable load is the 7028 from in my case Quad Cab 2004, 8800lbs. So I can put in about 1800 lbs. Thus my new 5th wheel with a pin weight of 1268 will eat up most of the available allowable limit. The 3/4HD is husky - but is alittle to be desired on the "wieghty issues". The towing limit on mine is 10,600 I believe.
This discussion has been closed.