Today Ford released the highly anticipated gross vehicle weight ratings for the upcoming 2021 Bronco. The data table provided by Ford (link) addresses some of the questions posed by reservation holders and enthusiasts over the last several weeks.
It is important to note that Ford derives these calculations for Bronco using an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standard which provides a level playing field. The SAE standard, “Performance Requirements for Determining Tow-Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating and Trailer Weight Rating,” is known as J2807.
For example, SAE J2807 requires the manufacturer to use a vehicle equipped with options found on at least 33 percent of the vehicles produced for that model. It also factors in the equivalent of a 150-pound driver and passenger and a full tank of fuel.
When looking at the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Product Information available from FCA, you will see in the fine print, that Wrangler’s towing capacities are not derived using J2807. One obvious example is the use of one 150-pound passenger instead of two underscoring the difference in approach.
Let’s look at a real–life example to further illustrate. You and your family are going camping in your 4-Door Black Diamond Bronco. Assuming you are a 200 lb. driver, with a 130 lb. spouse, and two kids with a combined weight of 170 lbs, that’s a total of 500 lbs. Lets add in another 150 lbs. of luggage and gear along with a trendy 50 lbs, Yeti cooler you are now at 700 of your 1,161 leaving you a margin of 461 lbs.
Keep in mind that each modification like a light bar, bike rack, or roof top carrier, or added cargo eats away at your payload margin if it falls below the threshold of being a popular option on 33% or more of the models. If you are pulling a trailer, the tongue weight of the trailer is also added to this calculation. Typically, a good rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight is the approximate tongue (e.g. trailer hitch) weight. When properly equipped, a Bronco can two up to 3500 lbs, or 350 lbs of tongue weight reducing your 461 lbs to 111 lbs.
While these calculations done at home before your adventure are not particularly challenging, the math for manufactures is far more complex which ignited the debate online when Ford gave customers access to Build and Price.
It is important to keep in mind that when Ford calculates max payload, they have to account for the full capacity of the vehicle. This includes up to 4 passengers at 150 lbs for a 2 door and five passengers and their cargo (77 lbs), plus factory options. Unfortunately, most build and price sites lack the dynamic ability to account for each of these variables in real-time. For instance in the build and price tool Ford does not know how many passengers you’ll be carrying so it assumes the maximum and subtracts this from the GVWR.
BRONCO VS. WRANGLER
For comparison, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler max payload for 4-door models ranges from 1,136 (Sport 3.0L Diesel) -1,351 lbs (3.6L Manual) – depending on configuration – while the Bronco ranges from 924 lbs (First Edition) – 1,452 lbs (Big Bend 2.3L Manual). Please keep in mind that these numbers are driven by how the vehicle is equipped. More standard equipment, the higher the curb weight.
Below are definitions and descriptions for some of these important calculations. We’ve also provided a link to all the data by series and will be providing towing details in an upcoming article.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the Base Curb Weight plus actual Cargo Weight plus passengers. It is important to remember that GVW is not a limit or specification – it is the actual weight that is obtained when the fully-loaded vehicle is driven onto a scale.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable weight of the fully-loaded vehicle (including passengers and cargo). This number – along with other weight limits, as well as tire, rim size and inflation pressure data – is shown on the vehicle’s Safety Compliance Certification Label, located on the left front door lock facing or the door latch post pillar. The GVW must never exceed the GVWR.
Gross Axle Weight (GAW) is the total weight placed on each axle (front and rear). To determine the Gross Axle Weights for your vehicle and trailer combination, take your loaded vehicle and trailer to a scale. With the trailer attached, place the front wheels of the vehicle on the scale to get the front GAW. For rear GAW, weigh the towing vehicle with trailer attached, but with just the four wheels of the vehicle on the scale. Subtracting front GAW from that amount gives you rear GAW.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is the maximum weight to be carried by a single axle (front or rear). These numbers are also shown on the Safety Compliance Certification Label. The total load on each axle must never exceed its GAWR.