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Old 02-23-2006, 07:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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how to calculate GCWR?

I need to buy plates this week. Buying plates in Indiana is pretty much a B.O.H.I.C.A. affair. With me pulling commercially and DOT cracking down on everyone I figured it's time to "get right" and get the right weight class plate. I've been running 20,000 plates that are probably not enough. My truck weighs 8,700lbs full of fuel, clothes,the cooler full, with me and everything else in it ready to run for the week.
I very seldom pull anything over 11,000 lbs anyway but still need to buy the right plates as far as GCWR is concerned.
Dealership says 11,200 GVW for my truck and 13,500 GVW for a trailer (figured at a 11,300 dry shipping weight which is the max they said I should pull)would give me 24,700lbs GCWR. Does that sound right? I trust the info given on here more than what the dealer says.
Indiana offers 20,000 23,000 and 26,000lb plates, I need enough but don't want to spend the extra money for more than I need.
As far as actual weight vs GCWR, that seems like a crock. If I was to get an overweight ticket because I was over on the GCWR even though the actual weight was under that limit wouldn't that be like getting a speeding ticket just because my truck is "capable" of exceeding the speed limit? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img]
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

for the most ACCURATE determination of your weight
i'd take it to a PUBLIC " CAT SCALES "....i see by this
LIST OF INDIANA SCALES there are some w/in 20 or
so miles of your location in brazil & clayton.

their web site provides WEIGHING INSTRUCTIONS and
you can even order a FREE VIDEO

its pretty straight forward though....theres one near me
in virginia...and its automated/unattended...drive on position
the truck, go inside the booth, swipe my card and a few
seconds later i get a print out of my per axle weight
and my combined weight...cost me 6 bucks.

at my particular public scale i can return w/in 5 or 6hrs
and re-weigh for a dollar more if i need to....this way
you could weight your trailer EMPTY then go home and load
it up w/ water etc and weight it again to determine your
"empty" and "full" weights.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

There is no way to calculate GCWR. It is a rating the Ford determines, it is not calculated from anything. The GCWR will be in the owner's manual, and is also availabe in the Ford towing guide. The towing guide is online at www.ford.com.

In 1999 the highest GCWR for an F350 was 20,000 pounds.
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?



heres the TOWING MANUALS

the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is determined by
ford, sure, but its based on axle ratings as well as frame
and spring ratings.

its the manufactures determined MAXIMUM...ill have to trust
that ford knew the max limit (for safety and performance).

it sounded to me, and i could be wrong, like the poster didnt
want to tag is truck for the ABSOLUTE maximum combined
weight rating...rather he wanted to tag his truck for HIS
personal maximum (and avoid purchasing TOO much tag/tax
that he never expects to use or need)
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

[ QUOTE ]
the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is determined by
ford, sure, but its based on axle ratings as well as frame
and spring ratings.

[/ QUOTE ]
And engine power, and brakes, and cooling, and......

[ QUOTE ]
it sounded to me, and i could be wrong, like the poster didnt
want to tag is truck for the ABSOLUTE maximum combined
weight rating...rather he wanted to tag his truck for HIS
personal maximum (and avoid purchasing TOO much tag/tax
that he never expects to use or need)

[/ QUOTE ]
Could be, but the question was how to calculate GCWR. Can't be done.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

Add the GVWR of your truck to the GVWR of the largest trailer you plan to tow. This will be your GCWR the way the DOT will calculate it. Gov't doesn't care about the Ford GCWR, on the GVWR of the truck and trailer as well as tire rating.
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

[ QUOTE ]
Add the GVWR of your truck to the GVWR of the largest trailer you plan to tow. This will be your GCWR the way the DOT will calculate it. Gov't doesn't care about the Ford GCWR, on the GVWR of the truck and trailer as well as tire rating.

[/ QUOTE ] The government does care and they define GCWR very clearly. It is defined at all appropriate levels of government and in every state in the country. It is specified by the manufacturer. On some older trucks there is no specified GCVW. When that is the case then you are correct that the GCWR is figured by adding the two GVWRings together. You can find some improper definitions of GCWR at some private organizations or businesses. If you need government definitions I will provide them.
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

Get the 26000 plates.
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

I was looking basically to cover my butt the best I could. It seems every DOT officer will give you a different answer to the same question. In my line of work you try to avoid talking with them anyhow.
I deliver new trailers with this truck. I never pull the same trailer twice and they come in all sizes and weights. They're all shipped dry and go to either dealers or to a FEMA yard. It's not like I can load up my own trailer and go weigh it out.I do know about CAT scales thanks, I drove an 18 wheeler for 18 years before I started doing this. My truck weighs 8,700lbs on a CAT scale.
26,000lb plates in Indiana are going to be around $375.00 to $400.00, per year, that's why I didn't want to buy more than I needed. If the dealers figures are correct then I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and buy the 26,000lb plate after all. I just figured someone would have the numbers as to what I can legally pull with my truck. I don't have the owners manual for it and I don't believe the website towguide goes back to 1999. I just hate giving the state all that money every year for a stinking license plate.
Thanks for the replies.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

1999 ford-towing
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

[ QUOTE ]
Add the GVWR of your truck to the GVWR of the largest trailer you plan to tow. This will be your GCWR the way the DOT will calculate it. Gov't doesn't care about the Ford GCWR, on the GVWR of the truck and trailer as well as tire rating.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is what they go buy in Tenn. Axle weight limits if you are not over loaded on any one axle you are good. The DOT officer I had the unfornunate chance to discuss this with said if you have enough axles you can gross 80,000lbs. This is a touchy subject for some so I'll leave it at that. Let the flaming begin!
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Add the GVWR of your truck to the GVWR of the largest trailer you plan to tow. This will be your GCWR the way the DOT will calculate it. Gov't doesn't care about the Ford GCWR, on the GVWR of the truck and trailer as well as tire rating.

[/ QUOTE ] The government does care and they define GCWR very clearly. It is defined at all appropriate levels of government and in every state in the country. It is specified by the manufacturer. On some older trucks there is no specified GCVW. When that is the case then you are correct that the GCWR is figured by adding the two GVWRings together. You can find some improper definitions of GCWR at some private organizations or businesses. If you need government definitions I will provide them.

[/ QUOTE ]

I use a government website to come to my conclusions. Look here:

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/lw/cmvlaw/cdl/cdlmain.asp

If you look, you can see that the vehicles they use for the example photos do not have factory GCWRs of over 26000 pounds. However, when hooked to the gooseneck trailers pictured, they have GCWRs that exceed 26000 -- LEGALLY.

If you a have a F-350 pulling a tandem dual flatbed and when weighed after an accident your truck and trailer loaded weigh 24000 pounds, you will not be in trouble for exceeding ford's 22000 pound GCWR. However, if you don't have a CDL, you will be fined up to $5000 for operating a vehicle with a GCWR of over 26000 pounds without a CDL.
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

Note that the heading on that page is "Commercial Vehicle Enforcement". I pull a horse trailer with a GVWR of 23000#. Combined with the 11500# GVWR of my truck, I am weigh (pun intended) over the 26000# threshold. Yet I am exempted from CDL requirement as this is not a commercial vehicle (at least in Michigan). See the list of exemptions from CDL license requirements.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

That is true -kinda

In Oklahoma I can drive any vehicle (including a 80,000 GVW cattle truck) if it has farm tags. However, the exemption only applies to withing 150 miles of my home. If I load the semi and head to Ann Arbor, MI, I'll be in sad shape when I run across the scales in all of the scales between hear and there and say I'm driving under a farm exemption.

Before heading cross county, everyone should check to make sure there exemption applies everywhere they are going because the other CDL rules apply everywhere.

I think the RV exemption is pretty well safe everywhere but when you get into other types of trailers, the laws get murkey.

However, we're off topic. Your post doesn't change the fact that if you load that 23000 pound trailer hooked up to your 11500 truck, you won't be in trouble with the law when you cross the scale at 30,000 pounds even though ford says you can only weigh 22,000 (or what ever is applicable to your truck).
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: how to calculate GCWR?

[ QUOTE ]
[] The government does care and they define GCWR very clearly. It is defined at all appropriate levels of government and in every state in the country. It is specified by the manufacturer. On some older trucks there is no specified GCVW. When that is the case then you are correct that the GCWR is figured by adding the two GVWRings together. You can find some improper definitions of GCWR at some private organizations or businesses. If you need government definitions I will provide them.

[/ QUOTE ]

I use a government website to come to my conclusions. Look here:

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/lw/cmvlaw/cdl/cdlmain.asp



[/ QUOTE ] The site that you linked to has to do with a drivers license. He already has a CDL. But if you want to understand TX laws and GCWR then go here and look at the registation laws and the definition of GCWR. tx statutes Specifically look at chapter 502 and sections 001,055,151,410,412. And also see chapter 522 section 003 (GCWR). Basicly all trucks are "comercial vehicles" in TX
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