Before we delve into the wonderful world of vehicle loading and how it affects legalities and a vehicle’s handling, it’s useful to understand the terms commonly used.
TARE WEIGHT: This is the vehicle’s weight with fluids, usually with only 10 litres of fuel in the tank.
KERB WEIGHT: The weight of a rig when it’s ready to drive with full tank/s, an average driver of 68kg and 7kg of luggage. However, tare and kerb weight definitions differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
GVM: Gross Vehicle Mass is the maximum allowable vehicle weight, including all occupants, accessories and luggage.
GCM: Gross Combination Mass is the total combined weight of your accessorised, fully loaded vehicle and anything you’re towing.
AXLE LOADING: In addition to GVM, vehicles also have a maximum allowable load on both the front and rear axles.
ATM: Aggregate Trailer Mass is the maximum allowable weight of the trailer you’re towing, as designated by the manufacturer.
TBM: Tow Ball Mass is the weight on the tow ball imposed by the trailer, usually around 10 per cent of the ATM. For a trailer weighing 3500kg, you’ll have a TBM of around 350kg.
BTC: Braked Towing Capacity is the maximum weight that can be towed.