Gross axle weight rating

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The gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is the maximum distributed weight that may be supported by an axle of a road vehicle. Typically, GAWR is followed by either the letters FR or RR, which indicate front or rear axles respectively.


Road damage rises steeply with axle weight, and is estimated "as a rule of thumb... for reasonably strong pavement surfaces" to be proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight.[1] This means that doubling the axle weight will increase road damage (2x2x2x2)=16 times.[2][3] For this reason trucks with a high axle weight are heavily taxed in most countries.

Examples of GAWR on common axles.

Axle GAWR (Max) Manufacturer
Dana 30 2,770 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 35 2,770 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 44 3,500 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 50 5,000 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 60 6,500 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana S 60 7,000 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 70 10,000 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana 80 12,000 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Dana S 110 14,706 lbs Dana Holding Corporation
Ford 9-inch axle 3,600 lbs Ford Motor Company
Ford 8.8 axle 3,800 lbs Visteon
Sterling 10.5 axle 9,750 lbs Visteon
10.5" Corporate 14 Bolt Differential 8,600 lbs American Axle
11.5 AAM 10,000 lbs American Axle
10.5 AAM 9,000 lbs American Axle
Saginaw 9.5-inch axle 6,000 lbs American Axle

Maximum weight laws[edit]

In the EU and U.S. legal maximum load restrictions are placed on weight, independent of manufacturer’s rating. In the EU a tractor can generally have 10 tonnes (22,000 lb) on a single axle, with suspension type and number of tires often allowing slightly higher loads. In the U.S. weight restrictions are generally 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) on a single axle, and 34,000 pounds (15,000 kg) (less than two single axles) on a tandem. The primary factor is distance between axle centerlines, also used to measure bridge formulas. A bridge formula does not reduce axle load allowances, rather Gross Vehicle Weights(GVW), which can affect load distribution and actual axle weights.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Hjort, Mattias; Haraldsson, Mattias; Jansen, Jan (2008). "Road Wear from Heavy Vehicles: An Overiew" (PDF). NVF committee Vehicles and Transports. p. 17+36. ISSN 0347-2485. 
  2. ^ "Equivalent Single Axle Load". Pavement Interactive. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Truck Weights and Highways" (PDF). South Dokota Department of Transport. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Guidelines on Maximum Weights…Criteria (EU)" (PDF). Road Safety Authority. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Freight Management and Operations: Bridge Formula Weights". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Freight Management and Operations: Size Regulations". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 25 Jun 2013. 

See also[edit]