Weight plays an important part in vehicle performance, and golf carts are no exception. Whether you get a smooth, quiet ride or a buzzing, stalling mess banks on how stuff like terrain, vehicle power, and weight interact. It’s better to go into this with a decent idea of those factors.
Golf carts usually fall around 800 to 1200 pounds, factoring seating capacity, battery weight, and body modifications. Dry weight is the weight of the cart sans a lot of components, while curb weight is the effective measure of your cart. Weight noticeably affects how your ride goes, so choose carefully before settling on your purchase.
Your ride experience will be altered drastically depending on which end of the range you’d prefer to settle on. It’s not that cut and dry though – there are two (technically three) different definitions on golf cart weight. Mistaking one for the other could end up with your vehicle up to four hundred pounds off from your initial expectations.
Dry Weight vs Curb Weight vs Towing Weight
Below are some comparisons of different model weights for reference, followed by a breakdown of what each specific weight type entails.
|General Models||Dry Weight||Curb Weight||Towing Weight|
|Standard Golf Cart||550lbs||940lbs||1340lbs (2 occupants)|
|4-Seater Cart||805lbs||1250lbs||2050lbs (4 occupants)|
|6-seater Limo Cart||1010lbs||1530lbs||2730lbs (6 occupants)|
|Yamaha G22 Gas||670lbs||927lbs||1327lbs (2 occupants)|
|E-Z-Go Express S4||984lbs||1210lbs||2110lbs (4 occupants)|
|E-Z-Go Express L6||1066lbs||1558lbs||2758lbs (6 occupants)|
Dry weight is simply the weight of your cart without most of its features. It can best be comparably seen as the chassis weight of your ride.
This excludes modifications like extra seating or club racks. Even some components crucial to the carts’ functioning like tires and the cart battery are omitted from this value.
Dry weight normally falls to around 600 to 900 pounds, which is comparable to the average weight of certain types of motorbikes. Dry weight is usually listed by the manufacturers alongside expected curb weight.
Curb weight is the weight of your cart with every component included. This is the value that effectively determines how well your ride will go, so pay more attention to this in the catalogs. The normal range for this value is about a thousand pounds. That’s about seven cubic feet of cinderblocks or one adult moose!
Some carts have much heavier dry weights than others. Accessories can further this difference, with extra rear seats or club racks being the most common contributors.
A good rule of thumb to approximate curb weight is adding three to four hundred pounds to the listed dry weight of your golf cart.
Try to get an approximation of this for your cart before buying – they usually round that value up out of prudence. Bear in mind that curb weight does not take passengers or cargo into account.
Lastly, towing weight is just curb weight combined with passenger and cargo capacity. This changes with seating capacity. Simply add two hundred pounds per seat in your vehicle.
That should be more than enough to accommodate a person and their equipment. A six-seater cart would have twelve hundred pounds tacked onto its curb weight in this case.
Seating and Carrying Capacity
One of the biggest determinants of weight ranges for both electric and gas-powered carts is seating capacity. The weight range is huge, so it would be wiser to compare different seating capacity carts from the same manufacturer.
In practice, that means adding an extra pair of seats equates to another one hundred pounds to that model’s total. It’s not the most significant factor, but the change is at least standardized enough to take note of even across different types.
Most personal carts are two passenger units, but if you’re splurging with friends or buying them to fill out your golf course, it’s important to note the difference. That extra hundred pounds can alter your experience on the cart.
What makes a more significant impact is carrying capacity. Every two seats added to your cart effectively provides an additional 400 pounds to that limit! Be sure not to surpass the seat count with passengers even if they’ll fall under the value, as that practice can easily lead to accidents.
If your cart begins to travel at a notably slower pace, you’ve bogged down the engine with your carry weight. Making a habit of this will damage your cart’s power systems.
Travel and Performance
The difference between golf carts and normal cars isn’t all that huge. A lot of the same rules apply when it comes to handling. The choice mainly boils down to personal preference.
Lighter carts have more responsive turning, better fuel efficiency, and put the engine under less strain. You won’t need as much maintenance compared to a cart that’s more heavyset. It also has a much easier time navigating slopes and other uphill terrains common in golf courses.
Heavier carts are known to have much smoother rides, as the added weight helps offset any bumps or imbalances you might encounter. They also have greater traction and provides a less nerve-wracking time going downhill. More weight and bulk mean better cushioning for impact as well.
It’s also important to note that the automotive industry is trending more towards lightweight materials and designs, and that reflects in the golf cart market as well. It’s much easier to resell a light cart secondhand compared to heavier models. You’re also more likely to get a better price given its engine will have sustained less attrition damage over your usage.
In short, light carts are cheaper, more efficient, and easy to resell. Heavy carts have smoother rides, less bounciness, and are much safer in the event of collisions or other unfortunate incidents.
Gas vs Electric
Gas vs electric is a common vehicle debate, and this extends even to golf carts. Both have their own advantages and tradeoffs. It’s up to you to decide which type you find more appealing.
Gas-powered golf carts have miniature car engines, with engine performance great for their size. They’re very fast, easy to refill, and can handle greater cart weights. We’d recommend going for gas-powered carts if you plan on buying a heavier model with multiple seats.
This comes at the cost of more emissions which badly affects the environment. Gas carts are also much louder than their electric counterparts. Storing or maintaining them could also pose a potential health risk, as carbon monoxide is a hazard in enclosed spaces – especially ones with poor ventilation. They also require more regular maintenance to keep in decent shape.
Electric golf carts make use of batteries to supply power. They’re cheaper, quieter, and are entirely emission-free. They’re also slightly easier to source and much more manageable to maintain. The battery recharges are also far less expensive than refueling. Topping off before trips is an easy habit to develop that mitigates the risk of running out of power.
The batteries on electric carts are notably bulky and can weigh as much as seventy pounds. Electric carts’ power capacity is less reliable to gauge than fuel readers. Charging stations are also less accessible, so getting stranded will require towing more often than not. Lastly, the batteries might be set up in a way that’s difficult to remove without practice.
Between the two options, gas-powered carts have the advantage in terms of performance at the course. You pay for that in higher upkeep and maintenance needs.
Electric carts are less of a headache to manage, but might not give a comparably comfortable ride. Both are competitively valid – it’s just a matter of picking between tradeoffs.
It would be recommended to pick gas-powered carts if you’re leaning more towards the heavier end of the weight range. The engine there packs more power to handle the strain, and refueling will be a lot simpler to handle.
Picking lighter electric models plays to both of their strengths, and is much more forgiving on your wallet. It’s just a matter of learning how to quickly remove and charge the battery, but that should come quickly with practice.
Golf cart weight has a direct effect on their performance, and it’s pretty easy to forget what kind of weight the catalogs might be referring to. Picking between light or heavy carts impacts your ride experience. Choose wisely and hopefully find a ride you won’t regret.