We often get questions about payload, trailer weight, how to determine the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR or GVW), and why it matters.

One of the most common misunderstandings is what weight a trailer can actually haul, or the GVW. For instance, Pro-Line Trailers carries a wide variety of 8.5 x 24 Enclosed Trailers, which are used as car trailers, motorcycle trailers, cargo trailers, and racing trailers to name a few. But not all of these 8.5 x 24’ Enclosed Trailers are made equal in terms of GVW some can carry thousands of more pounds than others.

## What is GVW?

When buying any sort of trailer, it’s important to keep in mind the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR or GVW) of not only your payload but of the trailer as well.

The GVW is the maximum amount of weight the trailer is able to safely hold and transport. A trailer’s total GVW is made up of the weight of the actual trailer and the maximum load capacity of that specific trailer.

## What to Look For When Buying a Trailer

GVW is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new or used trailer. But before purchasing a trailer, it’s essential to determine the total weight of everything you plan to haul in it, keeping in mind possible accessories.

Next, look for a trailer that has a GVW that is higher than the weight of everything you will be hauling. At Pro-Line Trailers, we list the GVW in the product description to make the number-crunching process easier for our customers.

## What Do the Numbers Mean? How GVW is Calculated

38,500 (GVW) 8,500 (Trailer weight) = 30,000 lbs (Actual payload capacity)

In this example, this heavy duty flatbed trailer has a GVW of 38,500, but the empty weight of the trailer is 8,500 lbs. A GVW of 38,500 lbs the empty weight of 8,500 lbs = 30,000 lbs of available load-capacity weight for this specific trailer.

## Why It Matters: GVW Laws & Safety

In the United States there are GVW laws, however, these laws vary from state to state. They are all in place for not only safety reasons but also to help limit damage to the pavement on the highways.
Staying under GVW will not only help you to avoid any fines but also keep you and other vehicles on the road safe. Exceeding the GVW will decrease stability and can cause swaying. It also can damage the trailer and make braking difficult.