5 Tips to Increase Payload Capacity of Your Vehicles

Concept to increase payload capacity

There are several ways you can increase payload capacity. Unfortunately, the most common methods are not effective enough to make a significant difference.

So, what’s the solution?

We’ll give you the answer below. But first, let’s learn the details of payload capacity, including how to calculate it and why it is crucial to your business.

What is Payload Capacity?

Payload capacity refers to the carrying capacity of your van or truck for transportation or delivery. The maximum amount of cargo (packages, products, boxes, etc.) you can load onto your vehicle and transport over a distance is considered to be your payload capacity.

concept of payload capacity. Commercial delivery vans with cardboard boxes. 3d rendering

How to Calculate Payload Capacity

Calculating payload capacity is pretty simple. Just subtract your truck or vehicle’s curb weight from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and the result will be your payload capacity.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – Curb Weight = Payload Capacity

Formula to calculate payload capacity

You may find the curb weight and GVWR details on a sticker inside the driver’s side door.

Typically, you should find this number in the owner’s manual. It is expressed in pounds (lb) or tonnes (t).

What does GVWR and curb weight mean? Let’s find out.

What is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)?

GVWR refers to the maximum weight your vehicle can carry. The GVWR considers the following factors to determine how many pounds the vehicle can support.

  • Items inside the cabin
  • The unladen vehicle weight, including fuel and engine fluids
  • Cargo on the vehicle or in the truck bed

What is Curb Weight?

Curb weight refers to the actual weight of your vehicle without cargo or non-factory installed items other than what came on the truck, including brake fluid and coolant. It includes rearview mirrors, seats, factory-installed accessories, and everything else a vehicle requires to function, from the windshield washer fluid to gas.

Adding off-road tires, roll bars, larger wheels, winches, and other accessories increases the vehicle’s curb weight, reducing the amount of payload your truck can carry.


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What Happens If You Exceed Payload Capacity?

Overloaded vehicles make drivers vulnerable to road mishaps and invite hefty fines for risking their safety and the safety of others.

Here is what could happen if you load your vehicle more than its capacity.

Loss of Vehicle Control

Overloaded vehicles cannot accelerate quickly enough to keep up with traffic. The increased pressure on the shocks and suspension system make steering difficult.

It may slide in turns during bad weather conditions. And most importantly, it may take a longer distance and duration to complete a stop.

Incur fines

You will be at fault and penalized if anything happens to your overloaded vehicle while on the road.

For example, if your vehicle’s transmission fails due to overloading and you start blocking traffic, you’ll have to pay towing expenses and get a ticket before you clear the road.

Vehicle Failure

Your vehicle’s frame, suspension, and tires will be under strain if overloaded. The vehicle’s engine and transmission will work much harder than usual. That’s a lot of wear-and-tear on the parts, which could make them fail early.

In the worst-case scenario, they could even fail immediately.

Increased Repair Costs

If your vehicles fail early, they will require more repairs, and repair costs will increase. Plus, if your vehicle gets damaged due to overloading, it voids the car insurance policy. As a result, you must pay the entire repair costs from your pocket.

A young mechanic is working under a car in a garage repair shop. He is wearing blue overalls. He is looking up with an inspection lamp to check the possible damage that has been sustained to the exhaust.

How to Increase Payload Capacity of Your Vehicles

Below are ways to increase payload capacity.

Optimize Packaging

Optimize packaging processes to include more products into boxes and put more boxes on vehicles.

However, it won’t increase your truck’s payload capacity even though you can fit more cargo. And exceeding a vehicle’s payload capacity is unsafe and can cause severe and costly maintenance issues.

Use a Route Planner to Optimize Delivery Capacity

A route planner factors load capacity while planning routes. It ensures your vehicles are filled with as much cargo as possible without exceeding their load capacity.

Route4Me route planner can help with both pickup and delivery capacity optimization. You just have to import pickup and delivery addresses with order capacity requirements and add capacity constraints into the system.

The route optimization software will then plan well-optimized routes accordingly to make pickups and deliveries on time.

Route4Me’s multi-stop route planner comes with a truckload capacity optimization feature that can help both Full truckload (FTL) and Less-than-truckload carriers.

For example, Route4Me’s vehicle routing software helps FTL shippers maximize vehicle utilization to help them use as few vehicles and drivers as possible.

Similarly, the delivery scheduling software enables LTL shippers to specify custom load capacity constraints.

Route4Me even comes with a Mixed Fleet Optimization feature that considers the varying capacity of your vehicles and utilizes them efficiently.

Route4Me’s delivery route planner helps your drivers complete more deliveries in less time so you can increase your fleet’s delivery and payload capacity.


Learn how a route planner can help you with load planning and optimization.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Increase Payload Capacity of Your Vehicles?

Whether you want your drivers to make pickups and deliveries on time, complete deliveries quickly, or maximize vehicle utilization… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


Reduce Weight to Increase Payload Capacity

Try removing additional doors or seats to put another box or two. The downside is you cannot increase payload capacity significantly. You can add as much weight as you can remove from the vehicle.

Plus, even after modifying your vehicle, laws and industry regulations may force you to depend on truck manufacturers’ payload rating and capacity.

Add a Tow

Another option is to start towing a trailer or upgrade the size of your existing one. However, this cannot increase your vehicle’s payload capacity. If your truck already carries maximum cargo, the additional weight will affect its towing capabilities.

Plus, overloading your vehicle for a more extended period can reduce lifespan and lead to costly mechanic charges a warranty may not cover.

Do Order Batching

You can merge multiple orders into a single delivery run with order batching. This is particularly helpful during peak delivery periods, such as Christmas or Black Friday when you need to increase delivery capacity to meet demand. Plus, the order batching delivery method is less expensive.

Typically, you must group multiple orders based on the delivery date, time, ETA, and drop-off destination. It helps reduce the number of delivery runs because drivers don’t need to return to the pickup location after each drop-off.

Final Thoughts about Increasing Payload Capacity

Manually increasing payload capacity isn’t feasible. But an advanced route planner like Route4Me can solve the payload capacity problem.

A route optimizer increases the number of deliveries your drivers can complete, and you don’t have to worry about increasing your payload to do it. Your vehicles will be loaded efficiently, and you can plan the routes weeks or months in advance.

Opt for our seven-day free trial with zero obligation to see how Route4Me route planner can increase your delivery capacity.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Increase Payload Capacity of Your Vehicles?

Whether you want your drivers to make pickups and deliveries on time, complete deliveries quickly, or maximize vehicle utilization… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.