GM announced recently that it will use real base curb weights for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Silverado/Sierra 1500 pickup trucks when calculating maximum payloads. Following Automotive News reports about how some manufacturers push the boundaries of common sense when calculating maximum towing and maximum payload numbers, there seems to be a push toward a more trustworthy apples-to-apples standard.
This practice has been going on for years (and probably decades), and Automotive News has done an excellent job of exposing the differences in calculation practices by all the full-size heavy-duty truckmakers.
Many knowledgeable truck enthusiasts know not to trust promotional materials when figuring out exactly what their truck can actually carry (there's too much at stake). They know that they need to weigh their pickup truck with the gas tank full and subtract that number from the vehicle's factory-listed gross vehicle weight rating. For the most accurate calculations, you might want to add the weight of a passenger or two as well.
According to Automotive News, GM will no longer remove any optional delete parts (parts that a customer might not want included in their new truck but are typically included on most pickups) when calculating the base curb weight of its 2015 midsize and half-ton vehicles.Instead GM will use its actual trim-level base-model curb weights to calculate maximum and listed payloads to stay in line with industry practices. Ford, which also deletes certain parts when calculating towing and payload numbers, has not said it will stop the practice.
We would suggest that if you want to know your vehicle's exact capabilities that you rely on the specific vehicle's door sticker (required on every truck produced in the U.S.),which identifies the specific truck's maximum payload number as it relates to the pickup’s tire load ratings and exact options list. If you want to know all the specific options on your Chevy or GMC vehicle, GM's option code information is listed on a decal in the glovebox. Additional information about carrying cargo, camper shells and weight distribution can be found in the owner's manual as well.
To download a pdf example of an applicable GM owner's manual, click here.
Cars.com images by Mark Williams
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