You may be tempted to squeeze as much stuff as possible in your vehicle when relocating. However, your car is designed to only hold a certain amount of weight. When this amount is exceeded, it can cause tire blowouts, suspension issues, and poor fuel economy. Also, your insurance coverage will be voided if you have an accident with an overloaded vehicle.
Here are some steps that you can take to avoid overloading your car and the problems it can cause.
Check Your Car’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight that a car can safely handle. You can find your vehicle’s GVWR on a sticker attached to the driver’s side door or in your car’s manual. One way to check if your car’s loaded weight is still within its GVWR is to take it to a truck weighing station with all the items and passengers in it the day before your moving day. However, this way may cause you more stress if you find out that you have exceeded your car’s GVWR. You may find yourself hiring movers at the last minute.
A better approach is by getting an idea of how much extra weight your car can handle or its payload capacity. To do this, take note of your car’s unloaded weight along with its GVWR. You can find this labeled as curb weight on the same sticker where you can spot the GVWR. Once you have these two pieces of information, simply subtract the unloaded weight from the GVWR. The resulting number will be your car’s payload capacity.
For example, if your car’s GVWR is 2,700 kg and has an unloaded weight of 1,990 kg, the safe payload capacity would be 710 kg. The total weight of your items and passengers should not exceed 710 kg to keep your car from overloading.
The step mentioned above will only give you an estimation of your car’s payload capacity. If you think you’re on the verge of overloading your car, getting it professionally weighed is worth doing.
Check Your Tire’s Load Index
Load index is the maximum weight that a tire can support when properly inflated. To check your tire’s load index, look at the digits and letters located on its sidewall. The load index is the last two or three digits as shown below:
These digits correspond to the tire’s maximum weight capacity which you can check using this Tire Load Index Chart from Goodyear.
A simple test that you can also do to keep your tire from being overloaded is by checking the gap between the car frame and the top of the tire. There should be at least a 2-inch gap between the frame and the tire.
Put Heavy Items in The Middle
Put heavy items in the middle of your car far away from the tires. The closer these items are to your car’s wheels, the more stress they put on your tires. By putting the heavy items in the middle of your car, you’re spreading their weight across all the tires.
Spread The Weight Equally
If you need to put heavy objects on the sides of your car, try to distribute the weight on either side of your car as equally as possible. This will prevent uneven tire wear as equal pressure is being exerted onto each of the tires.
Hire a Moving Company
Moving is a strenuous task. Although you can do it all by yourself, it is still best to ask for help from a full service moving company like Humboldt Storage and Moving. Not only does it guarantee that your car won’t be overloaded, but it also takes some of the other stressors of relocating off your shoulders.
If you’re planning to move houses and want to avoid overloading your car, contact us here.
This article was contributed by Mike Skoropad, Founder and Lead Technician at United Tires