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Discussion Starter #1
Many of us are putting very heavy engines and drivetrains in our trucks, which makes them much heavier, eating away a lot of the vehicle’s allowable payload per manufacturer’s specs. What are the legalities of this?
Thanks,
Mikle
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For example, my '63 Jeep weighs 4000 lbs empty and has a GVW of 5000 lbs.
 

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Technically, if you're over the GVWR, GCWR, or combined tire rating of your vehicle, then you could be subject to fines, delays, or other legal issues.

Realistically, since most of the vehicles we deal with don't need to stop at scales, you'll have to be doing something fairly obvious / stupid before you'd get pulled over. (Towing a F-750 dump with a 81 Toy 4x4 DOES qualify.. Trust me..)

The other consideration would be if there is an accident, and there's cause to think the weight of the vehicle might have had an influence on the accident happening / severity. Being over the limits for the vehicle in that situation would be a bad thing.
 

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Like anything else, it depends on where you live. My state is strict on the vehicle's GVW, but there is fine print that allows the GVW to be changed if the vehicle has been upgraded, then inspected by the state. For example, if I put a Dana 80, heavy rear springs, and (depending on the vehicle) reinforce the frame, I can increase the GVW of a 3/4 ton vehicle.

Some states don't care about the manufacturers GVW rating, and only care about how much money they get, and allow you to register a vehicle for any weight you want, as long as you pay for it.

Usually, as was mentioned above, unless you make it obvious, you won't be bothered. For example, replacing a worn out V-8 with a 4bt isn't much of a jump. A little more weight and lots more torque, but its well suited to the vehicle. On the other hand, replacing a 4 cyl. in a compact sport utility with a 4bt would really make it stand out, and most likely, attract attention from DOT officers or the police, so you better have it 100% legal.

Jim
 

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Good feedback, and I'd like to add: the 4BT when installed in a full-sized truck is fairly close to a big block V8 in weight, depending on which trans is behind it. My Dodge combo is now roughly the same as if I had stuffed in a 440 instead of a 4BT except for the 200 lbs tranny. I don't know how law enforcement sees this but it seems if the subject vehicle was available with a big block and maintained the same GVW or GVWR then all should be the same?

4BT weighs roughly 750-775 lbs.
 

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Like anything else, it depends on where you live.
\

I am glad it isn't enforced much, if at all. I have trailered numerous full-size cars on a 16" hauler all over the central USA behind my 5.0 liter powered '93 Ranger. I have been to the trailer's 7500 gross weight many times.

Wait....How is the law supposed to be interpreted? Do you mean the GVWR includes just what you can fit in the back of the truck?

If you begin to "eat away a lot of the vehicle’s allowable payload per manufacturer’s specs" then maybe just getting a trailer is your answer?
 

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GVWR- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, including the vehicle and all occupants and cargo IN the vehicle. For a pickup, that would be the total weight of having scales under all 4 wheels with the driver in the truck.

GCWR: Gross Combined Weight Rating, including the vehicle, all occupants and cargo, and the trailer (including cargo on the trailer). GCWR is different than the GVW, and can usually be found in the owner's manual or on the manufacturer's web site. This, again, depends on where you live- some places (like N.H.) won't allow you to tow any trailer above the GCWR. Other states allow you to tow anything as long as you are registered to tow that much.

Keep in mind that the two numbers do affect each other. Lets say you have a 5000 lb. truck (empty), an 8000 lb. GVW, and a 12000 GCWR. If your truck is empty, you can hook up a 7000 lb. trailer and be legal. But if you put 3000 lbs. in the bed of the truck, you can only tow a 4000 lb. trailer.

And one more thing- the trailer tongue weight does go against the GVW of the vehicle. In other words, at NO TIME can the weight of the vehicle (truck itself on a set of scales) go over the GVW. If you have a trailer hooked up and the DOT decides to put you on the scales, you will be weighed with the trailer attached, so remember that when loading the bed of the truck.

Although, once again, YMMV depending on where you live.

Jim
 

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GVWR- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, including the vehicle and all occupants and cargo IN the vehicle. For a pickup, that would be the total weight of having scales under all 4 wheels with the driver in the truck.

GCWR: Gross Combined Weight Rating, including the vehicle, all occupants and cargo, and the trailer (including cargo on the trailer). GCWR is different than the GVW, and can usually be found in the owner's manual or on the manufacturer's web site. This, again, depends on where you live- some places (like N.H.) won't allow you to tow any trailer above the GCWR. Other states allow you to tow anything as long as you are registered to tow that much.

Keep in mind that the two numbers do affect each other. Lets say you have a 5000 lb. truck (empty), an 8000 lb. GVW, and a 12000 GCWR. If your truck is empty, you can hook up a 7000 lb. trailer and be legal. But if you put 3000 lbs. in the bed of the truck, you can only tow a 4000 lb. trailer.

And one more thing- the trailer tongue weight does go against the GVW of the vehicle. In other words, at NO TIME can the weight of the vehicle (truck itself on a set of scales) go over the GVW. If you have a trailer hooked up and the DOT decides to put you on the scales, you will be weighed with the trailer attached, so remember that when loading the bed of the truck.

Although, once again, YMMV depending on where you live.

Jim


GCWR - your definition of GCWR is partially incorrect, GCVWR is not set in stone it effected and changes depending upon multiple items like tires, trailer GVWR and licensing. please feel free to snap a picture of any domestic vehicle with a GCWR stamped on the manufacturers ratings plate. there is no gross combined Weight Rating, there is a recommendation by the manufacturer but unless the tow vehicle and the trailer are manufactured together as a set with all specs known it is impossible for the manufacturer of the tow rig to set those limitations.

The only number legally applicable by any state is GVWR for the powered vehicle. the trailer is a seperately licensed vehicle and carries a seperate GVWR from it's manufacturer. the powered vehicle must have the GVW taxes paid up to the max you intend to pull which is where GCW comes into play. adding the trailer and the truck GVWR's whichgives you the max you must be licensed and registed for.

In states where GVW is restricted to powered rig registration the total GVW that you plan on hauling combined must be stated and taxed at time of registration. manufacturers do not set the GCVWR, if that set the legal bar and the manufacturers were setting the rules about trailers then every 1990' F-250 or F-350 going down the road hauling a Gooseneck RV is over the GCVW-Recommendation by ford since in the 1990's their supposed trailer capacity was 10k.



Rules of thumb.

1. Truck GVWR + Trailer GVWR = total combined GVW make sure you tow rig is licensed for it. some states charge taxes based on your total load some license the individual trailer and the truck seperate. so a 8800 lbs GVWR Dodge 2500 truck with a 16k lbs GVWR trailer is licensable to 24800 lbs and has a GCVW capacity of 24.8k lbs.

2. Any thing over 26001 lbs combined requires a Class A, If the trailer is GVW plated over 10001 lbs and the combined is under 26001 you are in the grey area if using it for recreational purposes. That Grey area means if you find a dickhead with a badge and your trialer is for over 10k he can red tag you on the spot and have you towed. In CA a non commercial Class A is only valid for RV's and livestock trailers it will not cover you on a flatbed trailer or car trailer over 10001 lbs.

3. Tires, you may be able to license your rig to haul a combined 29k lbs but if the pin wieght is too heavy and you are not able to distribute it well then your tires will be over loaded at one location or another in your combo long before you exceed the recommended axle ratings. scale each axle individually empty and then loaded check to make sure you are not exceeding the tire load capacity.


I run E rated tires that have a capacity of 3800 lbs so my rear axle tire capacity is 7600 lbs. my rear end weights empty 3000 i can handle a pin of 4600 lbs but with my GN 4" forward of the rear axle it transfers about 900 lbs-some times a hair more to the front axle. each load and combination of vehicles is different weigh and experiment with different combos to find what works for you.

My current truck is a 2003 Dodge 3500 SRW long bed, my small trailer is a 14k my truck is 9900 GVW trailer is 14k GVW my combined licensed wieght is 23900. all for recreation use licensed to my residence adn not used for profit, been scaled, been checked, been inspected all legal and in the state of CA.

exhaust brakes and slotted rotors are great safety additions but will not raise your capacity, upgrading axles and having a vehicle re-inspected can in some states but still you are limited to the GVWR of the tow rig and the GVWR of the trailer. after the GVWR, 98% it all comes down to tires, highway tax dollars and licensing.

This might help also
http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/DataQuality/CrashCollectionTraining/hottopics/GVWR.html


Ball hitch 10-15% pin weight
Gooseneck 20-25% pin weight
 
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