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Air Bags, Overload Kits, Helpers Springs and your GVWR

Will an air bag suspension kit or helper springs increase my trucks GVWR?  If the back of your pickup sags and you’re considering adding some load support with helper springs, you may have not noticed the fine print “do not exceed vehicle's GVWR”. This is a commonly asked question by people looking to add extra load support to the rear of their truck or SUV with air bags or overload springs.  The short answer is no, any form of load support will not increase your trucks GVWR. 

Why won’t air bags increase my GWVR? First let’s look at what GVWR is. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating and is determined by the manufacturer. It is the total combined weight of your truck and the trailer, including all passengers, fuel, water, dogs, cargo, etc.

There are many factors that go into determining your trucks weight rating and this is why an overload kit will not “up” the weight rating. When a vehicle is engineered they take into account many factors like frame strength, drive train, braking power, stability, performance, etc. So, for example if add an air bag kit that has a 5000 lb. rating, it may help with the stability and performance, but it will not increase your vehicles breaking power and therefore your vehicles GVWR will not increase.


To be sure you choose the right truck for towing, you should find one with a tow rating high enough to meet your needs.  It’s typically a good idea to get a bit more capacity than what your currents needs are so you have a buffer if you want to tow more in the future. Always make sure the towed load and tongue weight are within your vehicle’s capacity.

An air bag kit or suspension overload kit will help level your load, reduce bottoming out and increase stability, but it will not change your vehicle GWVR. If you have any questions about towing and your GVWR you can call Michigan Truck Spring at 1-800-358-4751.

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