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Old 03-15-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
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Payload ... what about the driver?

Shopping for a new tow, I'm finding it hard to extract good information and numbers from the dudes on the sales lots.

None so far has ever heard of "payload." Now, I have the salesman send me a photo of the door tag, if I'm not there myself.

But what's included in that payload calculation? Should the weight of the driver be subtracted from that number, along with passengers and gear, or has the automaker already factored that in?

Trust me, if you ever want to baffle a dealer, ask that question.

So with that in mind, let me put the question to the Airstream folks, who understand the issue.

Which manufacturer Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota factors in the weight of the driver before establishing a number for payload

Also, what about fuel? Does the manufacturer's payload number factor in a full tank, or do I need to subtract for that as well?

Interesting how payload is considered a key limiting factor ... but the people selling the iron have no idea.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:31 AM   #2
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See https://www.carsdirect.com/car-safet...vehicle-weight

or

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_..._weight_rating

GVW/Curb weight is the vehicle full of fuel and fluids, stationary with no passengers.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
Shopping for a new tow, I'm finding it hard to extract good information and numbers from the dudes on the sales lots.

None so far has ever heard of "payload." Now, I have the salesman send me a photo of the door tag, if I'm not there myself.

But what's included in that payload calculation? Should the weight of the driver be subtracted from that number, along with passengers and gear, or has the automaker already factored that in?

Trust me, if you ever want to baffle a dealer, ask that question.

So with that in mind, let me put the question to the Airstream folks, who understand the issue.

Which manufacturer Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota factors in the weight of the driver before establishing a number for payload

Also, what about fuel? Does the manufacturer's payload number factor in a full tank, or do I need to subtract for that as well?

Interesting how payload is considered a key limiting factor ... but the people selling the iron have no idea.
Look for the "Tire and Loading Information" sticker on your door. It will tell you, for that specific vehicle with all its options, what the maximum allowable load is. That load includes all cargo, passengers and trailer tongue load. It assumes that the fuel tank is full so you could theoretically add more cargo if the tank is half full.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
Look for the "Tire and Loading Information" sticker on your door. It will tell you, for that specific vehicle with all its options, what the maximum allowable load is. That load includes all cargo, passengers and trailer tongue load. It assumes that the fuel tank is full so you could theoretically add more cargo if the tank is half full.
But "passengers," does that include the driver? My English says no, but ... I'm not an auto engineer.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:55 AM   #5
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I think the payload is in addition to a skinny driver and a full load of fuel.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
Which manufacturer Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota factors in the weight of the driver before establishing a number for payload

Also, what about fuel? Does the manufacturer's payload number factor in a full tank, or do I need to subtract for that as well?
From my 2018 F-150 owners manual. From this I take it that you do NOT subtract gas.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:03 AM   #7
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"Payload" has never been the limiting factor for me...
I have always used actual as used vehicle weights and axle ratings...from the sticker.

Our Burb....


Fully loaded for camping all axles are well under their limits.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:47 AM   #8
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oop's... I misspoke in the above post, all axels except the ASs'... whoever built the trailer equipped it with two 3500lb axles and still gave it a GVWR of 7300lb. 🥴
How kool is that?👎

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Old 03-15-2019, 11:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
But "passengers," does that include the driver? My English says no, but ... I'm not an auto engineer.
Actually, the sticker says "occupants", not passengers. So the driver's weight is part of the maximum allowable load.

Note that the maximum payload given by the door sticker is usually quite a bit less than the manufacturer's advertised payload. The latter is for a completely stripped down vehicle with no options. The weight of the options comes out of the advertised payload to arrive at the sticker payload.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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I believe most manufacturer's allow for a 150 lb driver, which is not counted against the payload capacity. I am not sure how they came up with that number. In my case, there are almost 2 drivers, LOL.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:59 PM   #11
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I believe most manufacturer's allow for a 150 lb driver, which is not counted against the payload capacity. I am not sure how they came up with that number. In my case, there are almost 2 drivers, LOL.
Not so; "passengers" means all occupants....including the driver... unless it spells out different. (I haven't seen different.) Several folks here have gone around and around on this discussion over the years.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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The driver's weight is not included in payload.

My reasoning behind this is as follows:

1. When I pull onto the Cat scales, the call button is located on a pole and is at least 8 ft off the ground, so a driver in a semi can reach it from his window.

2. I need to get out of my vehicle and climb up the pole to push the call button. Since the pole is not on the scale, and I am hanging on the pole, my weight is not included in the weight on the ticket.

3. If I were driving a semi, or a lifted F350, then my weight would be included, as I could push the call button from the driver's seat.

I hope this illuminates the situation.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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If there is this much discussion on the definition of payload I can see why a subject like "best truck" or "best hitch" really gets beaten to death!

So now I'll chime in... how can payload be anything other than all occupants, cargo, etc.? Some imaginary 150lb. driver? Who came up with that?! Maybe I've been around GM trucks too long but as far as I know GM has always indicated payload includes all occupants. All occupants means the driver too! No theoretical 150 lb. drivers - the actual weight of the driver!

Take a look at note 3 in the snip from the 2018 Silverado 1500 information available on the internet:
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #14
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The 150 lb driver allowance probably comes from SAE J2807's definition of TVTW (tow vehicle total weight). TVTW allows 150 lbs for a driver and passenger. This SAE standard:

"establishes minimum performance criteria at GCWR and calculation methodology to determine tow-vehicle TWR for passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks. This includes all vehicles up to 14000 lb GVWR".

It has nothing to do with the manufacturers tire and loading sticker.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
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If I had to fret this much about payload I'd definitely change something...🤔, towing a trailer that can't handle towing a trailer is not my idea of a fun pastime.

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Old 03-15-2019, 04:46 PM   #16
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The issue is the lack of definition of payload.

GVWR is a defined term under the FMVSS. It is allowed maximum for the vehicle plus everything you can put in or on it, so that means occupants, fuel, and cargo.

Curb weight is also a defined term. It is the base vehicle, with all fluids (and nominal fuel level). It doesn't include occupants or cargo.

GVW is the actual weight of your vehicle, as it is configured; it isn't published, it is measured.

Theoretical payload is GVWR - curb weight.
Calculated payload is GVWR - GVW

Now we come to published payloads. They can't exceed the theoretical figure above, but they can be less than it. And they can have conditions attached. Some manufacturers may include no occupants. Other manufacturers may include a 150 lb driver. Some use different conditions depending on which publication you refer to. For example, Ford says a 150 lb driver is included in payload, which seems simple. But for their camper ratings, ie how big a slide in camper can you carry in the bed, they publish cargo limits and include a 150 lb occupant at every seating position. Tow ratings may include 2 150 lb people, because that is what the SAE towing standard calls for.

Other manufacturers reduce published payload because of where the payload will be carried. While the vehicle could theoretically carry more payload, physical restrictions on where it can be carried (eg where the trunk is) may result in a lower published payload than the theoretical payload.

Look at your GVWR sticker. Measure the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. The difference is your effective payload. If you are reading any published payload info, refer to the fine print for the conditions the manufacturer used in determining it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewarden View Post
I believe most manufacturer's allow for a 150 lb driver, which is not counted against the payload capacity. I am not sure how they came up with that number. In my case, there are almost 2 drivers, LOL.
I think the 150 lbs for the driver is included in calculating maximum towing capacity, not payload capacity.
I think the math is:
150 lb driver + tow vehicle at curb weight + trailer at max tow rating=GCWR

Any additional payload in/on the tow vehicle detracts from towing capacity. (in other words, if payload/cargo weight is added to the tow vehicle, the tow vehicle's towing capacity is decreased by that same amount, until the total load equals GCWR)
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
Shopping for a new tow, I'm finding it hard to extract good information and numbers from the dudes on the sales lots.

None so far has ever heard of "payload." Now, I have the salesman send me a photo of the door tag, if I'm not there myself.

But what's included in that payload calculation? Should the weight of the driver be subtracted from that number, along with passengers and gear, or has the automaker already factored that in?

Trust me, if you ever want to baffle a dealer, ask that question.

So with that in mind, let me put the question to the Airstream folks, who understand the issue.

Which manufacturer — Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota — factors in the weight of the driver before establishing a number for payload

Also, what about fuel? Does the manufacturer's payload number factor in a full tank, or do I need to subtract for that as well?

Interesting how payload is considered a key limiting factor ... but the people selling the iron have no idea.
I think anything weighing upon the vehicle, does not matter if it is the driver or rocks, is payload/cargo.

Another way to look at it; The GVWR of any vehicle is what it is. Any weight, regardless of what it is, counts as weight. When the vehicle and load adds up to that GVWR, it does not matter where the load comes from.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
.. how can payload be anything other than all occupants, cargo, etc.? Some imaginary 150lb. driver? Who came up with that?! Maybe I've been around GM trucks too long but as far as I know GM has always indicated payload includes all occupants. All occupants means the driver too! No theoretical 150 lb. drivers - the actual weight of the driver!
I think all agree that actual payload includes everything. The issue is that some published payload ratings include allowances for certain things, and thus use a net number.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:40 PM   #20
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I think all agree that actual payload includes everything. The issue is that some published payload ratings include allowances for certain things, and thus use a net number.
For 2019 GM has added VIN specific load specification stickers to the door jam and glovebox. This example I took today from a 2019 GMC Sierra Double cab with the 5.3 and Max Tow package. Click image for larger version

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