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A photo of a rescue skid on a UTV at a carnival event.

As a first responder, knowing what your equipment can do is crucial for tackling any lifesaving operation. Understanding UTV weight specs and skid unit weight specs ensure you can build up a fire truck or UTV safely without the risk of overloading the vehicle.

We are going to take a brief, but deep dive into vehicle weight specs and how they impact your choice of fire or rescue skids.

Learning the Basics

You’re probably already familiar with curb weight, which is the weight of the vehicle with fuel and oil included, but without any passengers or cargo. Likewise, vehicle payload tells you how much weight the vehicle can safely carry.

However, these aren’t the only numbers to keep in mind when choosing truck or UTV skids. Let’s start with the three most important terms: GVWR, GCWR, GAWR, and Cargo Bed Capacity:

  • GVWR: Stands for “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating,” the maximum total combined weight of the entire vehicle, including fuel, cargo, passengers, and tongue weight if you’re towing a trailer.
  • GCWR: Stands for “Gross Combined Weight Rating,” which represents the maximum total combined weight of the vehicle and any trailer attached to it. Like GVWR, GCWR also includes all passengers and cargo in both the vehicle and trailer.
  • GAWR: Stands for “Gross Axle Weight Rating,” the maximum load supported by each axle individually. The front and rear axles usually have different ratings, depending on your UTV or truck’s setup.
  • CARGO BED CAPACITY: Determines what the actual cargo bed (where your skid unit will be) can handle. This is one of the most important weight factors when researching if the UTV is compatible with a specific skid unit.

How to Determine Vehicle Payload

A quick way to find out your vehicle payload is by subtracting its curb weight from the GVWR. If your truck has an 11,000-pound GVWR and a 6,000-pound curb weight, then subtracting the two would give you a payload rating of 5,000 pounds.

There’s also bed capacity to take into account. This isn’t the same as payload capacity since manufacturers have to take passengers and cargo into account.

It is important to note as the weight of certain UTV skids, including fire skids, can double or triple when filled with water or foam.


We know all these numbers can be confusing. You can count on KIMTEK CORPORATION to steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding the right skid for your UTV or truck.

Use our fit guide to match one of our FIRELITE, MEDLITE, or LEOLITE skids with your UTV or truck model. Contact us today to learn more.

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