May 15, 2020
Understanding the many industry acronyms and terms can be overwhelming. This quick guide can get you up to speed on some of the most important terms and meanings.
GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight
This is the total weight of the truck, including all passengers, drivers, cargo, accessories, fuel, and fluid in the engine at any point in time. It is important that this measurement does not go over the GVWR, or it can be a safety hazard.
GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
This is the maximum total vehicle weight that is safe for the truck, established by the chassis manufacturer. The weight of the truck, any cargo, and passengers including the driver, as well as any fuel and fluid in the engine is included in the rating. Chassis manufacturers will most often set the GVWR lower than the combined axle ratings (the total amount of weight an individual axle can carry). This is due to the chassis manufacturer’s internal safety standards for durability, stability, and handling, as well as SAE International test protocols.
GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating
Everything that moves with the vehicle is included in the GCWR. The weight of the truck, any cargo, passengers including the driver, any fluid or fuel in the truck, as well as the weight of the trailer and the trailer’s cargo is included. Exceeding the GCWR can cause a safety hazard.
CA – Cab to Axle
The cab-to-axle measurement is the distance from the back of the truck cab to the center of the rear axle. Clear CA or effective CA is the distance from the rear surface of any obstruction behind the cab to the center of the rear axle. If you have a tandem axle truck, then it is measured to the midpoint between the two rear axles. This measurement can help you determine the length of the body that can be mounted on the chassis.
CT – Cab to Tandem
The distance from the back of the cab to a point midway between the tandem axles. Clear or effective CT is the distance from the rear surface of any obstruction behind the cab to the center of the rear axles.
WB – Wheelbase
The wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear axles. When the truck has more than two axels, it is the distance between the steering axle and the center point of the driving axle group. This can affect body installation, weight distribution, and truck performance.
SRW – Single Rear Wheel
A single rear wheel refers to a chassis that has one wheel on each side of the rear axle. Single Rear wheels make for smoother driving without cargo, as well as easier driving in cities, suburbs, and highways. These trucks are more affordable to purchase outright, and have better fuel economy. A single rear wheel has less towing capability than a dual rear wheel, and less stability when towing in windy conditions.
DRW – Dual Rear Wheel
A dual rear wheel refers to a chassis that has two wheels on each side of the rear axle. This feature is a must if you are towing large payloads, or driving through rough terrain. It adds stability to your truck which increases safety for your divers and cargo. Having a dual rear wheel will allow the driver to safely get off the road in the case of a tire blowing out. Trucks with a dual rear wheel can be difficult to maneuver in cities, where parking and tight streets can be challenging. This feature can also reduce the truck’s mpg, especially in cities, and increase maintenance costs, because there are at least two extra tires to replace or rotate.
CDL – Commercial Driver’s License
The vehicle’s GVWR is one of the factors that will effect whether the diver needs a CDL. If the truck has a GVWR, and GVW of 26,000 lbs. or lower, the driver does not need a CDL.
A Class A license is required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more. This includes towing a trailer weighing over 10,000 lbs. which makes the vehicle and trailer rating over 26,001 lbs.
A Class B license is required to operate a single vehicle with a GVWR or 26,001 lbs. or more, and/or a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or heavier that is towing another vehicle weighting up to 10,000 lbs.
A Class C license is required if the vehicle you intend to drive does not meet the criteria for either Class A or B and it is meant to transport either: 16 or more passengers including the driver or hazardous material.