Talking Trucks Tuesday: Weighty Matters

Misc 6A II

By G.R.Whale

For years, conscientious pickup truck manufacturers have had additional requirements for towing over a certain tongue weight with a conventional, bumper-pull trailer. These may include (working) trailer brakes, weight-distributing hitches, sway control or some combination thereof. Weight thresholds that call for this equipment vary by the size and weight of the pickup, any factory heavy-duty or towing options, and whether it has a single or dual rear wheel. This makes it difficult to know the exact ratings and requirements for your pickup.

Further complicating matters is the fact that our 50 states have their own laws regarding towing requirements. And recently, the word "recommended" joined the towing vernacular, suggesting manufacturers might think following their suggestions is a good idea but you don't really have to. Regardless, if a legal entity or manufacturer require it and you don't abide by it, rest assured, the law is not on your side.

As you might suspect, many pickup owners simply can't be bothered with figuring out which towing equipment they need, while others use the additional equipment even when not required. Ask 10 pickup owners who tow about rules and regulations, and you'll get 15 different answers.

Today, some pickups are so big and stability control is so advanced, weight-distribution and sway-control requirements are not as necessary as they once were. Knowing that, do you use the legally required hardware? Or do you just assume you're not at or above the recommended weight because the back of your pickup dropped only 2 inches when you hooked up the trailer?

We want to know how you decide what's safe when you're towing. Do you make it a habit to weigh your truck and trailer before heading off? Do you have a special way of calculating tongue weight? Do you know the limits of your truck's tongue weight or payload capacity? Let us know how you handle towing requirements in the comments section below.

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Comments

I knew all the specs when I ordered my truck. When it showed up I was within 100 pounds of my calculated legal towing rate.

The raw data said 11,300.00 max towing. With my options I went with 11,100.00. Final data was 11,200.00.

It's the cargo weight that will limit many people.

Four years of reading the comments at PUTC leaves me less confident than ever with regard to my fellow travelers on the highways, especially those who might be driving a pickup.

The rated Max on your truck does not mean that your truck can actually be safe at that limit. It probably is not. Weather, speed, traffic and other conditions dictate that drivers show some common sense. Good luck with that.

Being rated to tow a certain amount and actually towing that amount differs truck to truck. Take the F150 for example, it may have a higher tow rating than most competitor but when towing 9k, the much heavier Tundra for example handles that weight better without getting push around as much per all the reviews so far about towing. Numbers are just numbers, reality is still king.

RAM is the only brand not caught lying about their ratings and the only brand first certified over all classes. RAM is the only brand that I believe the ratings. I also know that towing 10,000lbs with a 1/2 ton is a lot more white knuckle than towing 10,000lbs with a 3/4 ton.

RAM wins 2017 Canadian Truck King Challenge.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtj6T-WI3Dw

RAM is the only brand not caught lying about their ratings and the only brand first certified over all classes. RAM is the only brand that I believe the ratings. I also know that towing 10,000lbs with a 1/2 ton is a lot more white knuckle than towing 10,000lbs with a 3/4 ton.


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 28, 2017 10:43:21 AM

No ram is the only brand that is just weak. And correct me if I'm wrong Ram is the only company that was caught lying about their diesel emissions, sales data(FBI raid) hiding death and injury data (federal investigation) not performing recalls when necessary ( record setting fines). Yea keep bragging about j2807 when your company has been raided by the FBI and under federal investigation for falsifying documents. Didn't I see FCA in the forsale adds in Craigslist again?


I like what GM has done by bumping up their 1/2 ton max tow rating to 12,500 lbs knowing full well that their platform can do it safely and confidently. Ford hasn't responded.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 28, 2017 11:14:24 AM

Jeepers, that is about as much towing as a GM 3500 with a diesel. And about twice as much as a ram. Let me know when GM can step up their game


http://m.fleetowner.com/equipment/ford-2017-super-duty-payload-towing-data-released

Guys,
Max towing is only part of the equasion. The key is GCWR. Subtract you required tounge weight from the vehicle GVWR to get at the real number you can weigh considering the combined weight of truck, trailer and cargo.
Don't ignore that very important fact. That represents the true combined weight capacity.
I've towed my TT with a proper hitch, LT tires and added a rear sway bar - rock solid in my '13 F150

Nitro - exactly!! There is more variation then you think depending on equipment/options of truck AND trailer.

Nitro is right and most people don't know. I don't see me ever towing more than 3K or hauling more than 3K or doing both at the same time. I know the towing is WELL within the trucks "rated" or even more accurately stated "ADVERTISED" limit and the cargo capacity demands are only slightly more. I also know that the frequency of either happening is remote and both happening together is VERY remote. Its all about what you need out of it and getting those needs met safely and efficiently.

@Clint, the problem is, the people that dont know(GMSRGREAT) dont care either, until they rear end someone and cause injury, good luck telling the cop that your Chevy is rated for 12K so you are good.

Clint, the problem is, the people that dont know(GMSRGREAT) dont care either, until they rear end someone and cause injury, good luck telling the cop that your Chevy is rated for 12K so you are good.

Posted by: Nitro | Feb 28, 2017 12:41:23 PM

It is a good job Ford doesn't try and match GM. Ford with their squishy, squating suspension and horrific poor brakes.

http://autoweek.com/article/recalls/ford-f-150-investigated-loss-braking-power

Cue the Google search brand bashing....
Look if I had time I'm sure I could find lots of negative articles on ANY truck... we get it. Give the brand bashing nonsense a rest for once

Here is an idea for a "Talking Trucks Tuesday" to come. How can you legally increase payload on your truck? Some simply think adding more or stiffer leafs increase payload legally.

Well this has been an informative set of comments. What I've learned so far is that Chevy is no good, Ford is no good and that Ram is no good, but that they are all bettter than one another for some ethereal reason. Also, that the freeways and highways of this nation are covered with an un-ending number of wrecks and carnage due to exceeded tow rating. Way to raise the IQ of the forum guys!

Never mind we cover that 6 years ago.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/12/can-you-boost-your-payload-ratings.html

I even solved Ford's squat problem back then too!

you guys are to high tech cut yah some four by fours stick em on the axle and frame haul all you want then for cheap i have to do that with a ford cause the leafs suck buy a chevy if you wanna haul not a ford
Posted by: johnny doe | Dec 3, 2011 1:19:41 PM

@johnny, totally incorrect....adding leafs or air suspension INCREASES weight and actually lowers the rating, remember you cannot "change" the yellow sticker on you truck, it is what it is. This sticker is located on the door frame on the drivers side, and is more accurate than the brochure as it pertains to the actual truck

@GMS. again you have nothing to input on a subject you know nothing about, not surprised.

Yeah that's what I was saying.


Here is an idea for a "Talking Trucks Tuesday" to come. How can you legally increase payload on your truck? Some simply think adding more or stiffer leafs increase payload legally.
Posted by: johnny doe | Feb 28, 2017 1:51:43 PM

It was mostly a joke toward oxi.

"Here is an idea for a "Talking Trucks Tuesday" to come. How can you legally increase payload on your truck? Some simply think adding more or stiffer leafs increase payload legally.
Posted by: johnny doe | Feb 28, 2017 1:51:43 PM"

I have seen the issue discussed several times already and the consensus seems to be that the only laws on loading a private truck are the ones that limit you to 20,000lbs per axle. That is kind of irrellevent since few people would try that on any pickup. So the discussion of keeping it legal is moot because there are no laws saying that it is not legal now. Smart? No. But legal? Yes.

You can increase payload by adding more leaf springs but the riding quality will be rough and there are still limits to how much you can haul. Years ago I broke the leaf sprints on my Mighty Max and I had extra leaf springs added which made it a 1 ton. At the time I was building a house and hauling a lot of stuff. I had to add heavy duty shocks and had to raise the front of the truck up as well. It did haul more than most trucks but when I tried to load the bed up to the top with pavers I soon learned the limits of what it would haul. The back of the truck almost bottomed out and the tires were bulging under the load, I decided to unload some of the load and come back for it. I hauled a lot in that little truck and for the most part it took the loads well but you learn what the limits are. I drove that truck for 14 years and 200k miles. That was at a time when I could not afford a heavier truck but it did do the job.

@GMSRGREAT - "Ford with their squishy, squating suspension and horrific poor brakes...."

Yeah but they have that new "tone-technology"! Here is a video of Ford engineers developing the "tone-technology"....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBx4J2HAwg8&t=52s

Doesn't it almost makes it sound like the F150 has a real engine?

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but I tow a wide variety of loads up to and over 20,000 with my RAM 1500. It's all about experience and understanding how your vehicle will act. As a farmer, I tow equipment and trailers that aren't street legal every day, but I do so carefully and on roads with zero traffic. With farm implements, this is still considered legal. With a licensed trailer it of course is not legal.
Every pickup available today can safely haul far more than the legal ratings, but only under proper conditions.

@Daddy doe, What do you own?

My 1978 Ford F100 rated at 4200 GVW crossed the scales at 8000 pounds when the gravel pit loader dumped a full load into the bed. The springs were bending backward and the tires were squashed but the truck made the 2 miles home slowly.

@chillpill, It's Amazing what these American Trucks can do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEFEQ7O2RCw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q454f-IMBf8

the truck can handle the weight but the tires can't
just get 10 ply (load range D) tires and put 80 psi in the tires and your 1/2 ton truck can haul the same weight as a HD truck

I haul coal, fire wood, dirt, ashes, shale , bricks, lumber, scrap metal (scrap metal is up now $$$ )
coal is the heaviest I haul I get 3000 lbs (ton and 1/2)
the guy at the coal yard running the front loader shakes his head "No" and I wave to him "put MORE on!
That guy at the coal yard thinks i'm a really cool guy for wanting my truck overloaded and I bet he's really impressed with me.

@Daddy doe, What do you own?


Posted by: HEMI V8 | Feb 28, 2017 8:48:12 PM

I own you! How's your dealer queen doing? Ram dealer still has good donuts and coffee? Last in CR reliability, last in JD power reliability.

I can't believe what I'm reading in the posts here.

Adding springs does not make a 1/2 ton, 1 ton capable....

You did not: increase the strength of the frame, increase the load strength and size of the axle bearing, increased the size of the brakes, upsize the transmission cooler, steering system, shocks, tires, suspension bolts, U-joints...etc

Can a 1/2 ton hold a 1-ton truck type load, yes..... Can it do it without damaging or fatiguing the truck..... umm probably not for very long.

Use common sense people!



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