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  #1  
Old 07-25-2007, 09:54 AM
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Towing Overloaded?

This is a sensitive question, but has anyone towed more that their truck can handle?
I have just added helper springs to my 01 Supercrew to get the clearance I had when the truck was new, (it bottomed out on me last summer with the same gear as when new). How much leeway is engineered into the the trucks, namely an F150 or a F250?
What I am getting at is the GCWR of a truck with the 3.73 axle is about 2000 lbs less than the GCWR of the 4.10 axle on an F250 with the 5.4 L engine. What is the difference aside from the axle ratios that limits the towing capacity?
My dad used to have a 1980 Chrysler Newport with the 3.23 axle and tow package, and it could tow 8000 lbs. Why is it today that we can't tow that much unless we have a special tow setup on our trucks?
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2007, 10:14 AM
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The higher axle ratio makes the trans work harder. There's a lot of consideration and engineering involved in how they determine tow ratings and the manufacturer's have determined that these are safe limits - safe for trailer control and safe for not tearing the guts out of your truck.

I doubt the Newport was rated to tow 8000#, especially in the early 80s. Like today, many people used to pull considerably more than their vehicle is rated for. With the way lawyers and the police are today, stay within the rated limits. You are just asking to spend a lot of money overloading.
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2007, 11:00 AM
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Bryndon, you got to my post before I could correct it, the Chrysler Newport was in fact a 1968 model and not a 1980 as I stated in the first post. My mistake. Dad had a 7000 lb travel trailer that today would weigh in at about 4 - 5 k. The materials in those days were heavier than what is available today. And I agree with you on the laws as in our countries as to legal towing limits. My question was to find out if anyone has at one time towed more than the truck could handle, and whether a difference in thed two axle ratio's makes a one ton towing difference.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2007, 11:15 AM
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IMO, GCWR is nothing more then a 'performance' rating set by the manufacturer... That is why you will see a higher GCWR on rigs with lower rear gear ratios....

Running 'overloaded' is when you exceed your particular trucks gross weight figures on any of the axles or the GVWR of the truck itself..

Now, how you interpret them is up to you.... You won't instantly break if you exceed your trucks GVWR by a couple hundred pounds, but IMO, you are still technically 'overloaded'....

I run 'overloaded' all the time when I tow a #5000 TT. My trucks GVWR is only #6250, yet when I hitch up my TT, I know I exceed this by several hundred pounds.... Yet, my GCW is #1500 UNDER my trucks GCWR..

So, where does this leave me?? I tow/haul what I want and when I want because I know my truck and what it can or can't handle...

My truck handles my #5000 TT great and I have all the performance I need for it... This is with 175,000 miles on it as well.

Towing back in the 'old days' was not the same as now, because back then, it didn't matter to folks if you only got 5 mpg and slowed to 20 mph going up the hills.... Today, folks want 20 mpg and want to go 70 mph up the hills!!

If you are comparing a F150 to a SD F250, then the difference is night and day, even with the same 5.4 engine.... The SD has bigger EVERYTHING in terms of frame, axles, brakes, etc....

If you are comparing a 'standard' F150 to the 'light duty' F250 (#7700 GVWR) then, the diff is only slightly different in terms of parts....

So, unless you look 'obviously' overloaded, you won't get bothered by anyone... If your a$$ is dragging and you have wayyyyy too much trailer for your truck, then it'll draw some attention....

I can bore you even more with real life stories of mine, but I'll stop now...

Mitch
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2007, 11:57 AM
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A 68 with a big block, most likely. I saw a lot of seriously overloaded stuff back then - heck, I once loaded my 72 F250 down with three tons of hay in the bed!!! Nothing but bumpstops, Baby!

The axle ratio will make a noticeable difference at or near the max load. Empty, no one is likely to notice the difference. Your trans will definitely know the difference when loaded down.

I think the manufacturer's build their number based on long-term reliability. Remember, back in 68, we expected to get 100,000 miles out of a vehicle. Now we think if it didn't make 200,000 it was a lemon.

Just to touch on Mitch's point, even if you load nicely and everything looks level, I have seen people pulled over to check. I have a friend that was hauling landscaping block a couple weeks ago. Pallet in the bed and 2 on the trailer. Loaded very nice. State boy pulled her over and threw the scales out... she got lucky, 20# under weight. I don't know what the real fines are, but she said he told her $500 per pound!!! I'm sure she misunderstood, but even if it was $500/100#, it could be real painful, real fast.

The other thing you need to watch in most states is your license plates. Most have a weight limit. In Wisconsin, if you have a farm, you can get Farm or Dual Purpose farm plates - no weight limit if you are doing farm work... RV would not count.
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:55 PM
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Hey Brandon,

What was the weight limit your friend was being questioned about? Was it the axles, GVWR or GCWR of the truck?

Seems really odd that someone that is 'non commercial' would even be looked at if they 'looked' okay? I ain't saying that it wouldn't happen, but just rare IMO... I know a lot has to do with the particular state you are in and such, but WA state does not really care unless you are obviously overloaded or commercial..

Anyway, I'm not trying to advocate that it's "okay" to run overloaded.... It all depends on the circumstances and what you are doing... Heck, I will load up my truck at the local home improvement place and go a couple of miles, but I would not do the same thing if I had to go 50 miles.....

For all these "new" RVers out there, it's really SCARY in what they think and what they want to tow!! I seem to 'sway' from being very conservative to being very liberal when it comes to this subject.... Depends on the question and the 'feeling' I get from that question from the OP....

If I feel they have a sense of what's 'real world', then I'm a bit more 'liberal' in my comments. If I feel they don't have a clue, I go a bit more 'conservative'...

Anything can happen to anybody, so nothing is absolute.... Take my BIL for example... He's about 6 years younger then me, a Lawyer, and very smart, but not very mechanical at all.... I would not really feel comfortable at all about letting him take my rig out on the road (truck and TT)... But, to me, it's just another trip down the hwy.... I LOVE towing my trailer and wish I could do it more...

It's all speculative and personal preference for the most part, so all we can do is give our opinions and see what happens!

Mitch
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2007, 04:00 PM
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Both GVWR and GCWR, and while they were at it they checked the plates to make sure they would handle what the truck would - they have enough portable scales in the trunk to do the whole job. It was a 1-ton Chev with a skid steer trailer. No commercial markings, although she has a landscaping company.

Problem is, you never know when or if they will hit you.

I won't say I have never run overloaded, but I avoid it like the plague. There's state boys around here that will stop you for 3 over the speed limit (I know I got the ticket and paid the fine), so if they see a juicy ticket possibility, there's no doubt in my mind they will take you down.

While they were at it, they also checked my friends lights and trailer brakes... he was itching to write something. I think she was lucky, very lucky.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2007, 04:58 PM
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Wow.... That's clamping down on things a bit too tight I'd say... Guess I ain't going to Wisconsin anytime soon!

Best of luck to ya with the "Man"...

Mitch
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:10 AM
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Hell, the man has me driving the speed limit anymore. Figure I can find better ways to spend my disposable income than some middle management government agent with a bad combover!
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:10 AM


 
 
 
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