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Old 02-25-2002, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how much should I load up a 1500?

Ok, since my truck isnt stock, i dont think stock answer will do.. although, I think I should have bought a 3/4 ton. Now, I have a 1996 1500 reg cab short bed, 318 auto 4x4, with a 3" rancho lift (spacers front, add a leafs rear -note, stiffer springs). Now how much can I load up the bed before i should say I need to make 2 loads, and how much should I tow behind it? I am guessing pirimid-ing concrete to be leven with the top of the cab is too much (my buddy did that.. maybe it is why he is on 10 bolt #3).. but how much is too much? And also, can, or should I say, should i tow a car trailer with only like 250-500 tongue weight, but with a 6000 lb truck on the trailer? Shoudl I just spring for air bags now? Remember, 98% of the time, I run unloaded, just a tool box with some junk in it.
So what do you guys recommend? thanks Garrett
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Old 02-25-2002, 10:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, i'd think you should have no trouble with that trailer, but how far are you going?
And with the concrete, i'd load 'er up until you started to get some noticeable sag.
I used to have an F-150, and i once had 1.5 tonnes in the bed consisting of a skid of flagstone, and a whole bunch of bags of screenings (finely crushed gravel). And the bed was sagging quite a bit, and the tires were buldging slightly, but it rode just fine.
And remember, the 1/2 and 3/4 and 1 tonne ratings are meant to mean that you could carry that amount of weight around ALL the time with no problems. So over-doing it once in a while is ok, as long as you drive safely, and a whole lot slower than normal. An of course, just watch your breaking distance!!
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Old 02-26-2002, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Also watch what the tires are rated at.. They like to fail sooner when they are overloaded and they take the side of the bed when they go..
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Garrett -

Had 1/2 yard of 3/4" salt-n-pepper rock (full bucket load from front end loader) in the bed of my Ram with a 3" add-a-leaf in the rear and it was about 1-2" from the rear bump stops. Truck pulled it fine, but I was very nose high. Steering and braking sucked. At least I only had to go 2 miles. Not sure if I would want to do it again. Truck has a slight lean now.

I was also running aired up D rated 16" tires (3250lb rating each).

I have not towed anything heavier than 5000 lb (trailer plus 3500lb of concrete block) with out a problem. Truck squated bit, but nothing significant. Pulled and drove just fine, even getting on the highway.

I was pulling a yard of ready-mixed on time and blew out my factory trash-lok in a turn.
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Old 02-26-2002, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How much do you like to change wheel bearings in that rear? How about axleshaft seals? Main difference between 1/2 ton and 3/4-up is full-floating rear axle. Regardless of how stiff your springs are, I think that's really the limiting factor. I've had a few big loads on my '96 Chevy K1500 without breaking anything, but now one of the axle shaft seals drools 90wt into the rear drum - even after replacing the seal. I know that the 9-1/4 has bigger bearings, etc. and that Ford and GM have both made light-duty 3/4 tons with semifloaters, but for carrying much weight they are junk, IMO. Match the axle/vehicle to what you want to do with it. Years ago I rebuilt a D70 in a big motorhome for a guy, had a TH413 and 727 in front of it, and weighed 10,000 lbs EMPTY. He'd load it up big-time, then tie on a 5-horse trailer and head into the Sierras with it, knowing full well that all the weight ratings were exceeded by more than 50%. Well, that 413 had mashed the shims out from between the carrier bearings and the differential case, and chewed them up. It was making noise and starting to shed teeth because the thing was rattling around loose between the bearing caps. I put in new gears, bearings, etc. but told him (because of the way he insisted on using it) that he only got a taillight guarantee (it'll last for as long as I can see the taillights). Overloading anything is asking for trouble.
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Old 02-26-2002, 02:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The 9.25" in the Ram is rated to GAVW of 3900#
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Obviously Lloyd makes a lot of valid points.
But PW, how often are you talking about carrying these sorts of heavy loads? I was under the impression that it was like a one-time thing, but looked back and you never specified.
So, if this is only a rare-occassion, that the truck can handle lots, but if you're doing it often, watch the weight limits.
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Old 02-27-2002, 11:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, it is occasional that I haul stuff... lately it has been like once a week, once every 2 weeks... making hauls from San Jose to Morgan Hill, or something like that... Or just around town... I have yet to need to haul a car.. but I have a feeling, as time goes on, it will only get more frequent... Makes me want to put a new tranny in my 77 2wd so that i can haul with that... if the 8.25 leaks, who cares? hmm, something i have to think about.
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have 97 with a 360 and bfg's 285/75 r16s muds in almost the same configuration. I loaded it up with almost 1800 lbs of steel and it drove just fine. I am looking at a Chevy 2500hd soon though. I just don't like that much weight in the back of a short bed 1/2 ton.
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Old 03-08-2002, 08:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I just bought a 2500hd and put 1.2 tons in it just to see what it would do and it barely touched the overloads. I think trucks are typically underated and once or twice a year is okay for extra heavy loads but I wouldn't do it once a week.
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I ocassionally load my 1500 up till it is bouncing off the bumpstops hauling gravel etc. But this is only a couple of times a year. It has done fine so far(100K miles). I also regularly toe my Toyota(4K) and Jeep (3.5k) on a 1500lbs trailer with no Problems. I use trailer brakes and I have done a few mods to increase power, but it does do fine. This all ends in a month or so when I am buying my Dad's 93 w250 Cummins 4x4!
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