No vehicle is allowed to travel on Virginia highways with a single-axle weight exceeding 20,000 pounds, a tandem axle weight exceeding 34,000 pounds, or a gross weight exceeding 80,000 pounds. The maximum gross weight is determined by the number of axles and the distance between the first and last axles. The payload capacity of a truck is the maximum amount of weight that can be safely added to its cargo area, in addition to its empty weight (or empty weight). On the other hand, towing capacity is the maximum weight that a truck can tow after taking into account the weight of the truck and any cargo.
Calculating it requires knowing several things about your tow vehicle and the trailer you plan to tow. Your vehicle's towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight it can safely carry, which changes depending on the configuration, the weight it already carries and how you distribute and control the load you need to tow. For instance, if you have a Reading SL service body with a single wheel weight of 1,190 pounds, added to passengers, cargo, towed car and transport truck, you can calculate if your truck can handle it. Some trailers are equipped with their own brakes that are electrically connected to the towing vehicle so that pressing the vehicle's brake pedal activates both the towing vehicle's brakes and the trailer brakes. Manufacturers will publish the towing capacity for each vehicle they build.
However, it's important to note that these calculations assume that the towing vehicle has only one driver. Unlike payload capacity, it does not provide information on how much weight can be pulled or towed behind the truck. These penalties may not show much when unloaded but they can significantly reduce a vehicle's towing capacity. If you're looking for a full-size truck to tow your boat or horse trailer or one of the best SUV trailers to take your family on vacation and take the motorhome you'll be staying in, there are several terms and concepts you'll need to understand in order to make the right decision. To calculate the payload capacity of your truck, subtract from its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) the weights of service bodies, trailer accessories, closed bodies, platforms or garbage bodies and its empty weight. To calculate its towing capacity, you'll need to know the total combined gross weight rating of both the vehicle you plan to tow and the trailer you plan to tow along with all their cargo from people to windshield wiper fluid.
Additionally, you'll need to know your tow vehicle's empty weight: its weight when filled with gasoline and all other fluids it consumes while driving. Don't forget to consider the weight of any additional service bodies on your truck when calculating both payload and towing capacity.