Trouble Understanding GVW And GCW

Topic 15107 | Page 1

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worrywort's Comment
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Gross vehicle weight (GVW) - Total weight of a single vehicle plus its load.

Gross combination weight (GCW) - Total weight of a powered unit plus trailer(s) plus the cargo.

Okay guys...What is a 'powered unit'? Is it the same as the 'single vehicle' from the term GVW?

Old School's Comment
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Yes, the powered unit is the vehicle or the tractor. Your not the the first in here with that particular question. That wording from the CDL manual can be confusing at times, especially when you've been going over it for hours at a time.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Turtle's Comment
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The way I understand it,

GVW refers to any single vehicular unit, whether it be a powered unit, or a trailer. Each has it's own weight rating.

GCW, as stated, is the COMBINED weight rating of all individual units, or vehicles.

G-Town's Comment
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Just remember whenever you see the word "combination" in signage or documentation, that's you.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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U looked at it as single tractor or box truck type without a cab and no detachable trailer. The combo means the truck and trailer....which detach from each other. 9f course now that I'm a real trucker I don't need lay men's terms... but that is how I figured it out hahah

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