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Old 03-11-2018, 10:23 AM   #1
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Have you ever tried to make sense of weight ratings?

It's a dreary day here in N.E. Tennessee so I decided to busy myself studying the oft debated topic of weight ratings. What I find trying to work backwards from the Ford Fleet ratings for my 2012 F350 long box gasser is confusing at best.

According the Ford chart I should have a GVW of 11,000 pounds, a Payload of 4,250, a front axle with snow plow package of 6,000 pounds, and a rear axle package of 7,000.

The stickers on my truck show the same numbers for the GVW and the AWRs front and rear, but show the payload capacity of only 3,829 pounds. Now that payload less the weight of 35 gallons of fuel and the weight of my wife and myself leaves 3,274 pounds for the camper and everything that goes with it. In my minds that means those of us running SRWs are pretty limited in choice of TCs. I'm okay with that, just saying.

Then if you are so inclined, go to the component weight ratings for the axles, springs, tires and wheels, etc. and it gets even weirder.

Simply put, it is easy to see why weight issues are so easily confused and how little transparency there is when it comes to the numbers manufacturers publish. The front and rear of my truck components are rated individually to handle vastly more weight than is shown on the door pillar and individual components take it even higher than that.

So should I assume the difference is to allow for safe braking? I do stay within my numbers, but sometimes on a boring day I can't help wondering.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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The sum of the parts does NOT equal the whole

In other words......axles have their ratings which when added are more then GVWR because the GVWR is based on ALL of the components....frame, springs, tires etc

Payload on your data sticker is specific to your truck........not what is published in tow guides, brochures etc
Payload also already includes fuel and 150# driver..........ALL OTHER weights count against payload.

Personally......GVWR is a MFG number for warranty issues. Payload is derived from GVWR.
Axle/Tire Ratings and GCVWR are DOT 'legal' numbers.........those are the ones I stay at or under

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Old 03-11-2018, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
The sum of the parts does NOT equal the whole

In other words......axles have their ratings which when added are more then GVWR because the GVWR is based on ALL of the components....frame, springs, tires etc

Payload on your data sticker is specific to your truck........not what is published in tow guides, brochures etc
Payload also already includes fuel and 150# driver..........ALL OTHER weights count against payload.

Personally......GVWR is a MFG number for warranty issues. Payload is derived from GVWR.
Axle/Tire Ratings and GCVWR are DOT 'legal' numbers.........those are the ones I stay at or under

I understand those things. My point is, if as you say my payload is derived from the axle and tire ratings, how? My axle and tire ratings are in the sky. It looks like I should be able to put an elephant in the bed of my truck.

And, I see so much discussion about payload, but in article after article I see folks forgetting to figure in the weight of fuel and passengers.

The discussions are endless about what will break if ratings are exceeded, but when you actually go into the ratings for the things folks say are going to break, it is impossible to see how that could happen.

And, if I were to order a truck, I am not even sure how I would do it. There is simply no way to align what the spec sheets say and how the truck is badged on the stickers. I can see why there is so much ongoing conversation about weight.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:47 AM   #4
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Never stated 'payload is derived from axle/tire ratings'

I stated payload is based on GVWR ie: GVWR Minus UVW

Payload on the door jamb sticker is specific to that specific truck ----150# driver and fuel already accounted for.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:48 AM   #5
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https://youtu.be/I6RIJrwu9AM?t=44s
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Never stated 'payload is derived from axle/tire ratings'

I stated payload is based on GVWR ie: GVWR Minus UVW

Payload on the door jamb sticker is specific to that specific truck ----150# driver and fuel already accounted for.


I have a GVWR of 11,000 pounds. According to Ford specs, my truck has a curb weight of 6,847 pounds. Add 150 pounds driver and 35 gallons of fuel (220) = 7,217.5 pounds.

That gives me 3,782.5 pounds of payload. That is close to the sticker of 3,829 pounds. Close enough. Is this correct so far?

I did not realize the weight of the driver and fuel were accounted for already in the Payload weight sticker so that is what was throwing my calculations off so far.
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WA Larry View Post
Youtube was good. Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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Went into my owners manual for my 2012 F350 under the section regarding loading. It specifically says the weight of the driver must be subtracted from the payload along with the weight of any passengers. I am not sure if this applies to other manufacturers or other models ("Subtract the combined weight of the driver and passengers -" from page 250 of my owner's manual).
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:41 PM   #9
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GVWR is also very much marketing.

3/4 tons have a GVWR of 10,000. This keeps them a class 2 truck.

1-tons can have a 10,000 GVWR if you want so it remains a class 2 truck. Normally they are 11,000 or 11,500 for SRW. DRWs have more... but not too much because that would cut into... 450 sales.

450s have a GVWR that keeps them into their class.

The manufacturers have to strike a balance between capability, truck classes and not cutting into other lines.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:49 PM   #10
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GVWR is also very much marketing.

3/4 tons have a GVWR of 10,000. This keeps them a class 2 truck.

1-tons can have a 10,000 GVWR if you want so it remains a class 2 truck. Normally they are 11,000 or 11,500 for SRW. DRWs have more... but not too much because that would cut into... 450 sales.

450s have a GVWR that keeps them into their class.

The manufacturers have to strike a balance between capability, truck classes and not cutting into other lines.
What I keep reflecting on are the ongoing discussions about which truck can handle how much weight.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:34 PM   #11
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I’m a bit confused by what the confusion on weight is.

**The Tread Act sticker on the ‘B’ column documents the proper tires and max payload of the vehicle.
**The GVWR/VIN sticker states the maximum vehicle & axle weights.
**There are hundreds (if not thousands) of scales located throughout the country that can remove all doubt about your weight.

My little RAM 3500 SRW short-bed truck has a GVWR of 11,700#
The Tread Act sticker says max payload is 3700#
That means that my truck empty should weigh 8000#

The day I took delivery of my truck I put it on a CAT scale and presto!
It was exactly 8000# (see below)



My truck was registered by the dealership at 12,300# which is the max legal weight I can transport over public roads without being fined.
With the camper on the back, fully loaded with fuel & water she comes in at 11,940#



Thus I’m “DOT legal” but pushing the rated limits of the actual ‘machine’.
However IMHO, the ‘machine’ (the steel) is tolerable to being overloaded well beyond it’s posted limits.
Note that the weak link in all this is certainly the tires.
For a SRW truck the stock LT275/70R18/E/125S tires can carry a max load per axle of 7280# (when inflated to 80 PSI).



So no matter how under-rated the axles are for safety sake, and no matter how much you beef-up the stock suspension, the weak link will always be the tires.

>>> And seeing as how I’m already obnoxiously long here I might as well throw this in too. . .

There is no way to know what the exact payload of your (new) vehicle is going to be until you read the Tread Act sticker on the B column. You can estimate what the payload ‘might’ be but you’ll only know for sure after the truck is built and delivered to you and you see the Tread Act sticker for yourself.
If you buy a new truck off the lot then it’s simple but if you custom order a vehicle then you can not possibly know what that truck’s specific payload will be until AFTER you take delivery.

It’s a scary situation considering new trucks can surpass the $80,000 mark and truck campers run so heavy.
It would be a shame to spend all that cash on a beautiful new truck and then find out upon delivery that it doesn’t have quite enough payload to haul your camper properly.

And to bring it all back to the very first post of the thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Fixit View Post
In my mind that means those of us running SRWs are pretty limited in choice of TCs.
Sir, no truer words were ever spoken. I agree totally.

Great thread starter too!
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:07 AM   #12
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Here is my nagging question having done a ton of research on this issue. What is the actual factor which limits payload or GVWR. It surely isn't the Michleins on my truck. Those things are crazy overkill in comparison to the factory ratings. It isn't axles, it isn't the frame, it isn't the wheels. All that stuff is miles beyond what I would or maybe even could ever put in the truck according to the specs.

Then you go to the printed specs and they say my truck is good for a payload of 4,400 pounds, but my payload sticker says 3,840. Next you subtract our weight (wife and I) per instructions in the owner's manual, so payload less 335 pounds. That leaves us with 3,505.

Now that still sounds like a lot so you start looking at TC dry weights, which again are always published without options just like the numbers in the truck manufacturer's propaganda. Then you add the obligatory 800-1,000 pounds for the everything else you take with you besides just the camper including tiedowns, etc. All of a sudden you are knocking on the door of the truck ratings and it doesn't take a very large camper and certainly not a slide-out to go over.

Does it really have to be this hard? Somewhere along the line it seems like the manufacturer or dealer should tie it all together. It is like you get set up by the manufacturers who then dump it back on the owner with their "never exceed statements", and if you register your truck for more than the stickers say, it does nothing to reduce your civil liability if you exceed the stickers.


End of rant for now.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:21 AM   #13
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A manufacturer sells trucks in different weight classes which have varying equipment, licensing and insurance requirements. Since the vehicle is being sold in particular class, the warranty reflects the the limits of that class. Rather than source or create parts for each variation, the manufacturer will use a common parts bin. If you are willing to research these parts, you will find their original specifications from the builder or cross applications with different ratings. Combining this research, you get an actual working capacity stripped of the paperwork class category. You also start to see what component of an assembly is the weak point resulting lower ratings of the overall assembled pieces - This also you make smart upgrades of the lowest rated parts with higher rated ones which makes the assembly stronger to next lowest rated component.

Legally from DOT, you pay for your weight and don't exceed the design limits of the roadway resulting in damage. Civil cases have to prove that the amount and location of weight you knowingly applied to your vehicle resulted in the damage, injury or death - They cannot simply state that because you willfully went over a rating, you are at fault and that was the cause.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
A manufacturer sells trucks in different weight classes which have varying equipment, licensing and insurance requirements. Since the vehicle is being sold in particular class, the warranty reflects the the limits of that class. Rather than source or create parts for each variation, the manufacturer will use a common parts bin. If you are willing to research these parts, you will find their original specifications from the builder or cross applications with different ratings. Combining this research, you get an actual working capacity stripped of the paperwork class category. You also start to see what component of an assembly is the weak point resulting lower ratings of the overall assembled pieces - This also you make smart upgrades of the lowest rated parts with higher rated ones which makes the assembly stronger to next lowest rated component.

Legally from DOT, you pay for your weight and don't exceed the design limits of the roadway resulting in damage. Civil cases have to prove that the amount and location of weight you knowingly applied to your vehicle resulted in the damage, injury or death - They cannot simply state that because you willfully went over a rating, you are at fault and that was the cause.
Actually I have done a great deal of research on components and cross over applications and can at least say that the major points of contention about what will break or result in injury if you run heavy is not apparent when you start researching axles, brakes, etc. That is precisely why I keep bringing this point up. If the different between an F250 and an F350, for example, is not the axles and not the brakes, and if tires and wheels are not the limiting factors, what is? I'm not saying there is no difference. I just think it would be nice to know what it is.

Actually civil liability doesn't have to prove anything. Having worked as an "expert" in court I found the jury simply has to rule you are at fault. The "facts" can be far reaching, confusing, and irrelevant. In the case of running overweight, if I were working with an attorney, I would simply make copies of the warnings in the owner's manual and the truck camper manufacturers statement about not exceeding your weight ratings and have those read in front of a jury. I bet the case would settle without ever going to court.

And you can't simply say you didn't know. Ignorance is never a complete defense. You can say you were ignorant but that is a weak position. When you get behind the wheel, it is your responsibility to know, plain and simple.

For me this is more than an esoteric point. I believe that part of what drives overweight applications is there is nothing transparent that links manufacturers ratings to real world use. I may be wrong, but I think folks are more likely to follow rules when there is either a consequence or a reward for doing so. Putting too big a TC on your truck results in neither. Just my opinion here.
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