What Does Payload Capacity Mean for Pick-up Trucks?
A pickup truck's payload capacity is the difference between its curb weight and its gross vehicle weight rating. The curb weight of a truck is how much it weighs without anything in it, and the GVWR is the total weight of the vehicle, passengers and cargo and necessary fluids.
Subtracting the curb weight of a truck from its published GVWR yields a number that represents the total safe weight of all of the cargo, passengers, tools and other items the truck can carry. Payload capacity is not to be confused with towing capacity, which is usually higher and refers to the amount of weight that can safely be hauled on a trailer.