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Visit Vancouver Axle and Frame for gross vehicle weight (GVW) upgrades in the Fraser Valley, BC! All of our work is certified provincially and federally, and we are authorized to certify the safety of your vehicle with Transport Canada’s National Safety Mark (NSM). We do GVW upgrades right–to meet your needs AND satisfy all NSM requirements. We can upgrade the weight of most medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. Contact us NOW to discuss a GVW upgrade on your vehicle.
Raising Your Truck’s Payload: A Slippery Slope
Canadian regulations about GVWR can be confusing. Federal and provincial web pages contain language that is cumbersome to read and comprehend.
We’ve tried to simplify some of that information for you on our website.
Basic terminology to know:
- CURB WEIGHT:
The “wet” weight of a vehicle with a full tank of fuel and all fluids filled, but without passengers or cargo.
- BODY WEIGHT:
Weight of complete body to be installed on chassis.
- PAYLOAD WEIGHT:
Weight of commodity to be carried.
- GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR):
Total of curb, body and payload weights. Includes engine, transmission, brakes, axles, suspension, frame, etc.
- GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (GCWR):
Maximum capacity of a vehicle AND a trailer (towed vehicle), including its own weight
- GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR):
The maximum distributed weight that can be supported by an axle.
- GVWR and GAWR
should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and be consistent with the capability of your vehicle.
- PREVENT OVERLOADING
is the operative phrase.
The Motor Vehicle Safety Act & Weight Requirements
Transport Canada (governed by the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Motor Vehicle Transport Act works to improve safety standards on our roads. Transport Canada requires manufacturers and modifiers of vehicles to certify that their practices comply with regulations.
How do manufacturers and upfitters determine weight limits? They factor in the combined weight of your axles (your vehicle’s strongest weight-bearing components) plus the weight of your vehicle body, frame, suspension and tires (your vehicle’s less/non-weight-bearing ones). All vehicle components are designed with safety in mind to function within certain weights set by vehicle manufacturers.
GVWRs of light duty trucks and RVs
In Canada, most light-duty trucks and RVs have a GVWR of less than 5500 kg. If you drive a vehicle in British Columbia with a GVWR of more than 5500 kg (which is loaded in excess of its GVWR), you can get pulled over by a peace/police officer. At best, they ticket you, and you pay a fine. At worst, they judge your vehicle unsafe and issue you a “notice and order,” which removes your vehicle from the road until it can be upgraded to meet safety regulations. Read more
For RV-specific GVWR information:
How does a peace/police officer decide if a vehicle is unsafe?
They look for OBVIOUS signs of overload:
- Your vehicle looks unstable when moving
- Your vehicle looks off level; your front end looks higher than your back end
- Your tires appear deflated
Safety hazards of driving an overloaded vehicle
Imagine you lose control of your willfully overloaded vehicle, cause serious damage to others, and get sued. Your insurance could deny your claim. Why? Because your vehicle was “overweight” at the time of the accident.
Commercial carriers: learn more about weigh-ins.
How to know if your vehicle is overweight or unsafe?
The simple answer: don’t exceed your GVWR. But it’s not always that simple.
If you worry about compliance, pretend you’re a peace/police officer. Then, visually inspect your vehicle as though looking through their eyes.
Use this simple formula to find GVWR
Take your truck’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and subtract the truck’s curb weight from that figure.
Your truck’s GVWR is 12,000 lbs, with a curb weight of 8,686 lbs. That yields a payload of 3,314 lbs (12,000 lbs – 8,686 lbs = 3,314 lbs).
YOU CAN FIND YOUR PAYLOAD RATING IN ONE OF TWO PLACES:
1. On a sticker located on the driver’s side door pillar.
2. On a payload certification form found in your truck’s glove compartment.
How to increase payload
We can help you configure a solution to add payload AND keep your vehicle compliant. The maximum weight of your vehicle is determined by the weakest component, whether that is the tires, axles, brakes, hitch, or other equipment.
Removing your vehicle’s “weak links” can help.
Tailgates and rear seats can be taken out. Wheels and tires can be swapped to fine tune weight and payload.
Adding air bags, sway bars, and axles can make a notable difference in payload. But you can’t the exceed GAWR of your axles, either.
Get your upgrade right and leave it to a professional with NSM certification
We are NSM certified and authorized by Transport Canada to upgrade your GVW. Although no solution is perfect when dealing with upgrades, if you want to keep your vehicle, we can to help you improve your GVW and remain compliant! Contact Vancouver Axle & Frame NOW – we offer GVW upgrades from our shop in Surrey, BC!