Dodge Nitro: Vehicle loading - Starting and operating - Dodge Nitro Owner's ManualDodge Nitro: Vehicle loading

Certification Label

As required by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations, your vehicle has a certification label affixed to the driver’s side door or B-Pillar. This label contains the month and year of manufacture, Gross VehicleWeight Rating (GVWR), Gross AxleWeight Rating (GAWR) front and rear, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A Month-Day-Hour (MDH) number is included on this label and indicates the month, day, and hour of manufacture. The bar code that appears on the bottom of the label is your VIN.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

The GVWR is the total permissible weight of your vehicle including driver, passengers, vehicle, options, trailer tongue weight, and cargo. The label also specifies maximum capacities of front and rear axle systems (GAWR). Total load must be limited, so GVWR, and front and rear GAWR are not exceeded.

Payload

The payload of a vehicle is defined as the allowable load weight a truck or any given vehicle can carry, including the weight of the driver, all passengers, options and cargo.

Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)

The GAWR is the maximum permissible load on the front and rear axles. The load must be distributed in the cargo area so that the GAWR of each axle is not exceeded. Each axle’s GAWR is determined by the components in the system with the lowest load carrying capacity (axle, springs, tires, or wheels). Heavier axles or suspension components, sometimes specified by purchasers for increased durability, does not necessarily increase the vehicle’s GVWR.

Tire Size

The tire size on the label represents the actual tire size on your vehicle. Replacement tires must be equal to the load capacity of this tire size.

Rim Size

This is the rim size that is appropriate for the tire size listed.

Inflation Pressure

This is the cold tire inflation pressure for your vehicle for all loading conditions up to full GAWR.

Curb Weight

The curb weight of a vehicle is defined as the total weight of the vehicle with all fluids, including vehicle fuel, at full capacity conditions, and with no occupants or cargo loaded into the vehicle. The front and rear curb weight values are determined by weighing your vehicle on a commercial scale before any occupants or cargo are added.

Loading

The actual total weight and the weight of the front and rear of your vehicle at the ground can best be determined by weighing it when it is loaded and ready for operation. The entire vehicle should first be weighed on a commercial scale to ensure that the GVWR has not been exceeded. The weight on the front and rear of the vehicle should then be determined separately to be sure that the load is properly distributed over front and rear axle. Weighing the vehicle may show that the GAWR of either the front or rear axles has been exceeded, but the total load is within the specified GVWR. If so, weight must be shifted from front to rear, or rear to front, as appropriate until the specified weight limitations are met. Store the heavier items down low and be sure that the weight is distributed equally. Stow all loose items securely before driving. Improper weight distributions can have an adverse affect on the way your vehicle steers and handles, and the way the brakes operate.

CAUTION: Do not load your vehicle any heavier than the GVWR or the maximum front and rear GAWR. If you do, parts on your vehicle can break, or it can change the way your vehicle handles. This could cause you to lose control. Also, overloading can shorten the life of your vehicle.

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