These ratings are typically located in the driver's pillar post or door of the towing vehicle, or on the trailer's rating decal.
- GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
This is the maximum weight the orginal manufacturer states the vehicle and its load can weigh and still operate safely.
- GAWR(F) - Gross Axle Weight Rating (Front)
This is the maximum weight the manufacturer states can be loaded onto the front axle and still operate safely.
- GAWR(R) - Gross Axle Weight Rating (Rear)
This is the maximum weight the manufacturer states can be loaded onto the rear axle and still operate safely.
- GCWR - Gross Combination Weight Rating
Not all manufacturers affix this rating to the rating decal, but this is the vehicle manufacturer's maximum weight rating for the combination of the towing vehicle and its load, and the trailer and its load.
Many recreational trailer rating decals also indicate the trailer's dry hitch weight. If the dry hitch weight is not indicated on the decal, it can be found in the vehicle brochure. The dry hitch weight is the amount of weight that will be transferred onto the towing vehicle before water, personal articles and supplies are installed in the trailer. Remember to include the trailer's dry hitch weight and the weight of the above mentioned items when determining the towing vehicle's carrying capacity.
Determining carrying or towing capacity
- Fill the vehicle with fuel.
- Weigh the front axle and rear axle of the vehicle separately.
- To determine carrying capacity of the front axle, subtract the actual weight on the front axle from the GAWR of the front axle as specified on the decal.
- To determine carrying capacity of the rear axle, subtract the actual weight on the rear axle from the GAWR of the rear axle as specified on the decal. If the trailer hitch is not installed on the towing vehicle, add the weight of the hitch to the rear axle actual weight before calculation.
|Example: GVWR of 2,900 kg (6,394 lb)|
|1,000 kg (2,205 lb)
- 700 kg (1,544 lb)
300 kg (662 lb)
|2,000 kg (4,410 lb)
- 300 kg (662lb)
1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
|2,900 kg (6,394 lb)
-1,000 kg (700 + 300 kg)
|Tow vehicle load||1,900 kg (4,189 lb)|
Carrying capacity means that a total weight of 1,900 kg (4,189 lb) can be loaded into the towing vehicle or transferred from the trailer onto the towing vehicle provided the weight that is loaded or transferred does not exceed 300 kg (662 lb) to the front axle or 1,700 kg (3,748 lb) to the rear axle. This will ensure the total weight remains within the towing vehicle's GVWR and none of the vehicle's axles are overloaded.
Over 4,600 kg combined weight
In recent years, some travel and utility trailers have increased in size to a point where they qualify as Class 1 units. Legislation requires a driver to hold a Class 1 licence or a heavy trailer G Endorsement on their Class 2, 3, 4 or 5 licence to pull utility or recreation trailers weighing over 4,600 kg - trailer and load combined.
The combined weight of the trailer and its contents determines whether the trailer exceeds the 4,600 kg limit. The weight of the tow vehicle is not included in this calculation. If there are 2 trailers being pulled (e.g. a camper and a boat), the weight of both added together will determine the class of licence required.
A trailer of any weight can be pulled behind a 2-axle farm (Class F) truck on a Class 5 licence as long as it is a truck and not a power unit. If you would like to get your Endorsement G to tow a trailer over the 4,600 kg using a 2-axle truck, you must meet approved medical and vision standards, and pass the written and road tests.