GCM, GVM & Pay­load

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Tow Test -

When it comes to car­ry­ing and tow­ing, there are a few things you need to know to be le­gal and safe.

Gross ve­hi­cle mass, or GVM, is how much the ve­hi­cle can weigh when it’s fully loaded. So that in­cludes the weight of the ve­hi­cle it­self, known as the kerb weight. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the GVM and the kerb weight is the pay­load. Be­fore you put any­thing into the tub, how­ever, pay­load in­cludes all pas­sen­gers and any and all ac­ces­sories fit­ted, even a tow­bar.

Some man­u­fac­tures don’t claim a kerb weight, which in­cludes a full tank of fuel, but a tare weight in­stead, which in­cludes 10 litres of fuel only. In this case, any ex­tra fuel over 10 litres also eats into the pay­load. Pay­load fig­ures for cab-chas­sis models (not tested here) don’t even in­clude the tray weight.

When tow­ing, the tow ball weight also be­comes part of the pay­load and not nec­es­sar­ily at a one-to-one ra­tio, so you need to check the man­u­fac­turer’s tow­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Gross com­bi­na­tion mass, or GCM, is the towed weight added to the weight of the ve­hi­cle plus any pay­load.

None of these utes can be loaded to their

GVM and tow their rated max­i­mum at the same time, as in each case – although in vary­ing de­grees – this ex­ceeds the GCM and over­loads the rear axle. When you are tow­ing at or near the max­i­mum tow rat­ing, the GCM is the crit­i­cal fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing how much you can carry at the same time.

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