How to calculate payload

Written by bill brown
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How to calculate payload
Know your payload before loading up. (4x4 off road SUV truck image by goce risteski from

Knowing your payload is an important aspect of operating your vehicle safely. If you plan on loading up your car, truck or SUV, you should determine how much you can carry safely before hitting the road. The payload is the difference between the total weight of the vehicle at its capacity (the gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR), and the weight of the vehicle empty (sometimes called the curb weight). Subtract the full weight from the curb weight to get your payload.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Calculator
  • Owner's manual for vehicle

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  1. 1

    Find the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for your car, truck, SUV or other vehicle in the owner's manual.

  2. 2

    Find the curb weight of the vehicle in the owner's manual.

  3. 3

    Subtract the weight in Step 2 from the weight is Step 1 to get your maximum payload.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not exceed the maximum payload when loading up your vehicle.

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