The Importance of Knowing Your Trailer’s Weight Rating & How to Calculate It

Sep 7, 2022 | Uncategorized

The following guide answers the popular question – What is my vehicle’s weight rating and how do I calculate it?

If you are looking to haul a heavy load with your trailer, it is important to first understand what the weight rating is on your trailer. Hauling goods that exceed the intended weight limit is unsafe and can cause costly damage to your trailer.

The Importance of Knowing Your Trailer’s Weight Rating & How to Calculate It

Did you know that each trailer has a certain amount of weight it can physically and legally haul? 

Every trailer has its own Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) which can be calculated using the gross vehicle weight (GVW) and gross trailer weight (GTW). When a trailer’s weight exceeds its GVWR, it creates unsafe driving conditions for everyone on the road. It also causes excessive wear and tear on a trailer over time. If your trailer exceeds the GVWR, you are driving illegally and as a result, the driver of the vehicle can also be issued a ticket. 

In this article, we are going to educate you on how to calculate a trailer’s weight limit to drive safely on the road.


GVWR Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

This is the number your Gross Trailer Weight  (GTW) or Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) should not exceed. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount of weight the trailer is capable of handling safely. Loading the trailer full and exceeding the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is illegal, creates unsafe driving conditions for yourself and other drivers, and puts excessive stress on the vehicle and trailer parts. 

GTW – Gross Trailer Weight

The gross trailer weight is the trailer’s weight when it is fully loaded. 

GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight

The gross vehicle weight is the hauling vehicle’s weight including all cargo. This weight can be determined easily by driving over a scale. 

How to Calculate Your Trailer’s Weight Rating

Trailer’s Weight Capacity = (Trailer GVWR – Trailer Weight)

Once you understand your trailer’s weight rating, it will help you know how to properly load your trailer with the correct cargo weight and positioning. Keeping the GVWR within your trailer’s limits will keep you safe while hauling. It will also keep your trailer functioning properly for years to come. 

If you find that you have overloaded your trailer and have put stress on your trailer axles, contact BlueSwift Axles to help with axle replacements. Driving a trailer with damaged axles can put added stress on your tires. This can cause tire damage and unsafe driving conditions for everyone on the road.

See our video below for more information on BlueSwift Axles and the solutions we can provide for you.