The legal payload of a vehicle is very simple to ascertain. The vehicle identification plate is stamped with a GVM which stands for Gross Vehicle Mass. This is the amount the manufacturer has deemed to be the maximum loaded weight of the vehicle. To find the legal payload, you simply drive to a weighbridge and weigh the vehicle then deduct the weighbridge weight from the GVM stamped on the ID plate. Sounds simple enough!!
So why can't the vehicle manufacturers get it right. The payloads stated on their websites and on their brochures are rubbish and I can't understand why they have not been taken to task by some government regulatory body. We weighed one new vehicle with an advertised payload of 1300kg and when we deducted the weighbridge weight from the GVM the actual payload was just under 1000kg, AND the vehicle did no have a tray fitted yet! Admittedly the driver was in the vehicle when it was weighed and it did have half a tank of fuel but there is no way it could have made 1300kg payload. Might go close if you took the wheels off.
Now the dealers who sell the vehicles should take some responsibility here, however they mostly just quote figures off the brochure. When questioned further on the payload they often avoid eye contact and say they are not sure or something similar. A few have said, off the record, that they know the advertised payload to be bullshit and that it is significantly less.
I wonder if you were weighed by the authorities and found to be say 200kg overweight if you could take the manufacturer to task and make them pay the fine and supply you with a vehicle with the correct payload. Yeah Right.