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I am working on improving an English Wikipedia article which was initially translated from German. The phrase "7,5 t hz Gesamtmasse" has led to the English nonsense phrase "a total mass of 7.5 t hz" and I am trying to understand the meaning of the "hz" here (if it wasn't simply a mistake).

In context, the overall phrase clearly refers to a Class C1 vehicle, colloquially known as "a 7.5 tonne van" in the UK. But out of an abundance of caution when editing the article, I would like to understand the "hz".

My working:

  • My internet searches have often been confounded by SEO-spam and the SI unit of frequency (which makes no sense here)
  • I also cannot find it on lists of common German abbreviations
  • LEO suggests it means late Bronze Age Europe
  • ChatGPT draws a blank
  • Bard suggests it means that "The natural frequency of a class C1 vehicle is typically around 7.5 Hz"(!!!)

There is a remote possibility that the origin is actually Hungarian but for various reasons, I think this unlikely.

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    Do you have the links to the relevant wikipedia pages, possibly the German original for extended context? Jun 5, 2023 at 9:14
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    @planetmaker en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgenland_corpses_discovery and the German translation thereof. I didn't add them to the original question due to their distressing nature.
    – Dan
    Jun 5, 2023 at 9:18
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    Very interesting first question! Hope to see more of them :) Jun 5, 2023 at 10:43
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    Actually being native German, I never heard of that "hz" before! The relevant hint seems to be the Austrian background ("Burgenland").
    – U. Windl
    Jun 6, 2023 at 13:28

2 Answers 2

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I did not know that abbreviation. The commonly used abbreviation is zGM for "zulässige Gesamtmasse", but the Wikipedia article mentions hzG as an abbreviation used in Austria for "höchstens zulässiges Gesamtgewicht", and you can also find hzGG, e.g. here..

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Some searching around seems that an abbreviation often used is hzGG for 'höchstes zulässiges Gesamtgewicht' (highest permissible overall weight). That would fit perfectly the context of 'hz Gesamtmasse' for the exact same translation.

That's the weight the vehicle may not surpass including all freight, people and whatever in it. It's one of the numbers indicated in the papers you get along with the vehicle and indicated also in the papers you might have to show police.

You find this for instance used extensively in this table for masses of vehicles and related permissions.

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    +1 Thank you for your answer. It was difficult to chose which to accept!
    – Dan
    Jun 5, 2023 at 11:39
  • (American) English has a near-exact equivalent in "Gross Vehicle Weight Rating", almost always written GVWR.
    – hobbs
    Jun 7, 2023 at 2:00
  • Note that this means the hz does make a legal difference. Without it this would refer to the actual weight of the vehicle. If it is there it refers to the maximum weight the vehicle legally could have.
    – quarague
    Jun 7, 2023 at 11:07

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