Here’s one for general truck / trailer information. Until last month I was completely oblivious to truck weight ratings and such mysterious stuff.
Now that I’m looking into working as a hotshot driver, I’ve had to educate myself on some of the confusing terms involved in truck ratings.
The most confusing of all to me was the GCWR, or the gross combined weight rating. Apparently it is confusing to a lot of folks, as I came across several interesting and creative variations in interpretation while trying to wrap my brain around what it really meant.
What I finally came up with is this… the GCWR is the heaviest combined weight of truck, trailer, and cargo that the manufacturer recommends be pulled by a particular truck.
In other words, if you go over this rating while towing a load of stuff, you can void your warranty and even potentially endanger yourself and others, because an overloaded truck is running on over-strained mechanical components which can fail due to the stress.
That is according to the manufacturer, anyway.
Now, people overload their trucks all the time. And most of the time they have no problems doing so. But my thinking is that doing this consistently, over a lot of miles, will pretty much beat the heck out of a truck. Overloading makes for some very hard miles in wear and tear, and probably substantially shortens the lifespan of a vehicle.
Just for grins, here are some actual GCWRs for various trucks…
Ford F-250, F-350, 23,ooo lbs.
Dodge Ram 3500 Cab & Chassis, 26,000 lbs.
Ford F-550 w/towing pkg upgrade, 33,000 lbs.
Keep in mind this is a separate issue from DOT regulated load limits. That is another animal entirely.