Curb weight vs Gross weight of a vehicle

Unusual as it might sound, that four-wheeled drive of yours has more than one weight. Your vehicle has two primary weights. The curb weight and gross weight. It is necessary to know your vehicle’s weight because it helps you figure out its capacity and not overladen it. You also want to prevent avoidable accidents an overstuffed vehicle may cause. Furthermore, a vehicle’s weight plays a role in its towing and passenger handling ability.

Hence, this article explains in detail what a vehicle’s curb weight is, what its gross weight is, and their differences.

What Is Curb Weight of A Vehicle?

In layman’s terms, your wheel’s curb weight is its exact weight taken without a person, animal, or object inside but its standard equipment. It is the vehicle’s weight as made from the factory without other self-added accessories. The curb weight is the vehicle’s standard weight. The weight is taken when the car is placed on an even surface, resting and not running.

What Is the Gross Weight of A Vehicle?

This is likened to the direct opposite of your wheel’s curb weight. It is your vehicle’s overall weight with all things it carries. These include its standard types of equipment, cargo in it, people, animals, and any other addition. Knowing your vehicle’s gross weight is especially necessary if you ride a heavy-duty vehicle that transports huge weights like large wood or machines. This is because these heavy burdens have a significant impact on your vehicle weight.

More about your vehicle’s weight

There are tools and methods for taking an individual vehicle curb weight measurement. These measurements often differ between vehicles even for those with a similar model. However, there is no one rule way of taking the curb weight of a car. The majority of car manufacturers take the car’s weight along with everything the car needs to function which includes; batteries, a full fuel tank and engine oil batch, transmission fluid, and so on.

Other manufacturers include the driver’s weight as part of the curb weight. Their opinion is that a driver is an essential part of a functioning vehicle. They assume the drivers’ weight to be 75kg.

Another disparity in curb weight measurement among car-makers in the presence of fuel in the vehicle. Some believe that a vehicle’s curb weight must include a full fuel tank while others believe the fuel tank can be filled up to 10% or lower to take a curb weight. These assume that so long the fuel is enough to have a running car then it is good for curb weight measurements. Again, some others believe for a car’s curb weight measurements, the fuel tank should be at an average that is 50% filled.

In truth, a large number of car manufacturers have their specific way of taking the curb weight measurements of their cars. However, they may change their methods in between created vehicles and models. This accounts for the slight variation in curb weight definition among carmakers in different territories.

Dry Weight Of Vehicle

Also, in a bid to overcome the curb weight differences, car makers now include their vehicle’s dry weight. A car’s dry weight is its measurements without any form of gas or fluid in it, just its solid components. The exclusion also includes load and passengers. So, the dry weight is the vehicle’s curb weight without gas, fluid, coolant, or even driver’s weight.

Importance of a Vehicle curb weight

A vehicle’s curb weight affects its functionality. As a general rule, a car with a lighter curb weight moves faster and performs better than one with a heavier curb weight. These lighter curb-weight vehicles also use less gas compared to ones that weigh more. Also, for vehicles with lighter curb weight, more distance can be covered quicker and applied brakes spring to action sooner.

However, vehicles with heavier curb weight also have their ups. For one heavier curb weight vehicles withstand impact better than those with lighter weight. This is to the benefit of its driver and passenger in case of an accident. Also, heavier curb weight vehicles easily go over barriers, potholes or road bumps better than one with a lighter curb weight.

How to Find Curb Weight of Your vehicle. 

One way to know your vehicle’s curb weight is by searching through the car’s manual. The manual often contains information on the car’s curb weight and how it was taken. That is it clarifies the method used; full, half, or a ten percent fuel tank and whether or not the driver’s weight was used. Information on the car’s weight can also be found by the driver’s door jam and on the vehicle’s engine plate.

Lastly, you can do a self-measurement if you will. There are scales made to measure vehicles, you can use those to know your vehicle’s curb weight. This may be necessary for transformed or pimped rides.

Difference between a vehicle curb weight and gross weight

The curb weight is taken under the circumstances that the vehicle has all it needs to properly function without the presence of travelers and items of luggage in it. It is more like the car’s weight at rest but with gas, oil, and other vehicle necessities.

While the gross weight is the heaviness of the vehicle with all the load in it at that instant. This includes living things and inanimate objects that are not part of the vehicle’s original makeup nor needed for its functioning. Consider this the vehicle’s weight while in use or on the move 

Also, the curb weight oftentimes is given by the manufacturer and it’s fairly constant except for personal changes made on your vehicle. While gross weight changes based on the car’s content and it is what the vehicle weighs at a given moment.

Curb weight versus gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)

A car’s GVWR is the highest weight of a vehicle that is safe to move travelers and their items of luggage. This weight includes the vehicle’s curb weight. The loading capacity of a car is its GVWR minus its curb weight. You take this to not overburden your vehicle.

What is the Difference Between GVW and GVWR?

Unlike what most people think, a vehicle’s GVW is different from its GVWR. The GVW, which means Gross Vehicle Weight has to do with how much a vehicle and the loads inside weigh. You have to add up both weights to get the accurate GVW of a vehicle. GVWR, which means Gross Vehicle Weight Rating has to do with the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can hold. This is usually rated by the manufacturer. 

What Happens If You Exceed GVWR?

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t exceed your vehicle’s GVWR. The overall reason is that it is not safe to drive a vehicle that exceeds its GVWR. Also, an overloaded vehicle is subtle to damage. You end up spending more to fix up the vehicle in the short and long run. Also, heavy vehicles that exceed GVWR can damage roads.