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Kerb Weight Vs Gross Weight

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So, kerb weight vs gross weight. What’s the difference between the 2 and why does it even matter? Well, it depends on what type of gross weight you’re referring to.

Gross Train Weight (GTW), for instance, is a term used when a trailer is involved somewhere in the equation. It applies when a vehicle is towing a trailer and both the vehicle, as well as the trailer, are fully loaded with goods and passengers to their maximum allowed weight limits (payload capacity). This gives you Gross Train Weight.

We actually did a great article on GTW, what it is, and how it applies to you, here.

Unladen Weight Vs Kerb Weight Vs Gross Weight Vs Train Weight - Confused Much?

Gross Vehicle Weight“, or GVW, on the other hand, is a more commonly referenced term and refers, simply, to a vehicle’s total mass when fully loaded with goods and passengers. It is basically the same as GTW but when there is no trailer being towed.

What Is Kerb Weight?

But this article is about kerb weight vs gross weight. And by gross weight, we’ll assume gross vehicle weight.

Kerb weight, which shouldn’t be confused with unladen weight, is the mass, or weight, of a car, van, or any other motor vehicle, as it stands without goods or passengers.

Kerbweight is the weight of the vehicle including a full tank of fuel and all standard equipment. It does not include the weight of any passengers, cargo, or optional equipment. Kerbweight is considered the closest weight to the actual weight of the vehicle. The Kerbweight may be helpful to know when planning to ship the vehicle on a carrier or tow/trailer the vehicle behind another vehicle. 

From Ford UK

It includes a 90% full tank of fuel, a spare wheel and tool kit, relevant fluids, as well as any other factory-fitted components required for that vehicle to operate.

What Is GVW (GVW)?

Gross vehicle weight is the maximum weight a car, van, or any other motor vehicle, is allowed to weigh when fully loaded with goods and passengers. Essentially, it’s kerb weight + goods and passengers without exceeding the specified weight limit for that vehicle.

For instance, a Luton van has a gross vehicle weight of 3,500kg (3.5t) but its kerb weight, in the case of a Ford Transit Luton, is 2,484kg. This means its payload capacity is 1,016kg – the amount of weight it is permitted to carry before it exceeds its GVW of 3,500kg.

Kerb weight (2,484kg) + payload capacity (1,016kg) = gross vehicle weight (3,500kg) – the weight the vehicle shouldn’t exceed.

You can find the gross vehicle weight for your vehicle on its VIN plate.

The Difference Between Kerb Weight And Gross Vehicle Weight

It really is quite simple. As stated above, whereas kerb weight is the empty weight of a vehicle as it stands, by the kerb, minding its business, not loaded with people or goods, gross vehicle weight is the legal weight your vehicle must not exceed when fully loaded with goods and passengers.

Points to note:

  • Unladen weight and kerb weight aren’t the same unless referring to a trailer.
  • Weight limits and specs vary between different vehicles.
  • Kerb weight simply refers to the weight of an unloaded vehicle.
  • Gross vehicle weight refers to a vehicle’s maximum permitted weight when it is fully loaded with goods and passengers.
  • These weight classifications apply to all cars, vans, or any other motor vehicle as well as trailers.

Every vehicle has a maximum GVW and there are no exceptions to this rule. You can find the gross weight limit of your vehicle on your VIN plate, which, is usually located inside the driver’s door panel, on the chassis of the vehicle in the engine bay, or on the dashboard.

Here are a few common vehicle examples of gross weight, unladen weight, and the difference between the 2 which would be payload capacity.

VehicleKerb WeightGross (GVW)Payload (PL)
Vauxhall Astra (1.6 1.6 CDTi)1275kg1850kg575kg
Range Rover2770kg3450kg680kg
Ford Transit (280 2.2 TDCi MWB)1689kg2800kg1111kg
Ifor Williams Trailer (HB511)1000kg2700kg1700kg
Common Examples Of Vehicle Weight Limits

So, now you know the difference between kerb weight vs gross weight, we can wrap it up by saying “every day is a school day”. And so it should be too, you can never know too much.

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