Actually the question is never asked that exact way… because most guys starting out don’t understand what GVWR means, and the significance of staying under 26,000. But the question of running a regular pick-up truck and a 2-car wedge trailer is frequent.
The truck in the photo is a 2006 GMC 2500 with a single wheel rear axle. GMC specifications list a total GVWR of 9,200 pounds with a rear axle specification of 6,084. What that means is the maximum physical weight for the rear axle cannot safely exceed 6,084lbs. The truck has a somewhat surprising total towing capacity of 12,000 pounds.
When you attach a “wedge” style trailer to the back of any pick-up truck, by design a significant portion of the trailer rides up and over the truck bed. The advantage of this design is to shorten the total length of the combination…with numerous driving advantages. However, to support the weight of the car loaded in the top position (over the truck bed) you need a rear axle GVWR of at least 7,500 lbs. Which means a dually rear end 1-ton truck. Most of the newer 1-ton dually’s now boast a rear end GVWR of 9-10,000 lbs. or higher.
The physical weight of a combination is measured by 3 weights, the steer axle, the drive axle and the trailer axles, which are added together to equal the total weight. It is very possible with a “Wedge” trailer to be under the total rated weight for the combination, but OVER the rated weight of the drive axle, because the drive axle is supporting the truck, the trailer and most of the weight of the top car.
If this truck (as shown in the photo) runs over a state run scale with even 1 car in the top position… the driver is looking at a nice fine for over grossing his drive axle by probably 600-1000 pounds. Over grossing the drive axle is dangerous, and a commonly overlooked consideration in hauling cars with wedge trailers. Even a casual observation of the photo shows a significant "dip" on the rear of the truck.
The solution for this driver would be to switch to another style 2 car bumper pull trailer that is NOT a wedge, where the majority of the payload weight is behind the truck and riding on the trailer axles.