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truck capability vs. trailer weight

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  • truck capability vs. trailer weight

    Another hauling thread, I know, sorry...

    First off, let me say I understand the stopping power vs. hauling power issue, and all the reasons you need a big truck to haul big heavy trailers, not just safety, but wear and tear on haul vehicle, etc etc.

    I'd just like to do some crowd sourcing on this particular scenario.

    I have a 2006 Chevy 1500 with the off road package (4X4, etc), and currently haul a heavy (wish I knew how heavy, but I really don't) large steel two horse, extra tall, 5 foot dressing room, loaded up with two heavy horses, comfortably.

    I found a trailer that I love online, two horse slant, aluminum, built on a three horse slant's frame, but with the third horse room's use going towards an extra large dressing room (I'm addicted to huge dressing rooms, what can I say?) Weight on that trailer is 4800lbs. I'm concerned that, not knowing the weight of my current trailer, but guessing its around 3500-4000, this new trailer would be pushing it, weight-wise. I currently do not haul my trailer with weight-distribution bars.

    I have the option to go check out the trailer and hook it up and see how it hauls. (wish I could stick two horses in it! But the trailer is 3 hours from me...)

    What do you all think? Personally, would you do it? Too heavy for my truck? Loaded up with two horses and gear, it would probably be around 7000 lbs, right? That's too much, right (I am pretty sure my truck's "max" hauling capacity is somewhere around 7000- 10,000 lbs, obviously would check on that, plus check on the weigh max of the hitch, etc...)

  • #2
    you really need to know the numbers for your truck -- 7-10 is a big range -- if it was 7,000, then, yes, you'd be pushing it. 9,000, no.
    You need to get the exact specs for the truck you have (including rear axle ratio, engine, 4wd etc) and then look up the capacity. If you have the manual there should be a chart in the back that lists the capacities for all "varieties" of that model. I have a slightly older Chevy 1500 and have looked in the manual - -there are several pages of towing capacity as the various options, engines, 4wd vs non4wd all have different weights.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

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    • #3
      Is this a gooseneck or a bumper pull?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        trailer is bumper pull.

        Found this chart in my manual, and for my model, it gives various max trailer weights according to axle ratio. I'm not sure what this means. Here's the info:

        axle ratio 3.42 = 7,700 lbs
        axle ratio 3.73 = 7,700 lbs
        axle ratio 4.10 = 8,700 lbs

        how do I determine what the axle ratio is? Presuming its the lesser of the weights listed, and my fully loaded trailer with two horses and gear comes to around 7,000- would that be too close for you, personally, to feel comfortable with?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by breakthru View Post
          trailer is bumper pull.

          Found this chart in my manual, and for my model, it gives various max trailer weights according to axle ratio. I'm not sure what this means. Here's the info:

          axle ratio 3.42 = 7,700 lbs
          axle ratio 3.73 = 7,700 lbs
          axle ratio 4.10 = 8,700 lbs

          how do I determine what the axle ratio is? Presuming its the lesser of the weights listed, and my fully loaded trailer with two horses and gear comes to around 7,000- would that be too close for you, personally, to feel comfortable with?
          Look in the glovebox of your truck. There is a sticker with a list of "RPO" codes. These codes list the options the factory installed when they built your truck. You'll have to search the internet for the RPO codes of the model year of your truck. (They may change based on model year)
          Equus makus brokus but happy

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          • #6
            Try calling a service manager at your local Chevy dealer....have your VIN number handy. They should be able to go into their system and find out
            the axle ratio. Or take it in and maybe than decipher some of the codes on the sticker for you. That's what I did to find the axle ratio on our new-to-us
            2007 Dodge pickup. We even had the original window sticker but it wasn't
            on there.

            Comment


            • #7
              3.73 is my guess on the axle ratio.

              Don't forget those weights assume an empty truck, so anything or anyone else riding along needs to be subtracted.

              Best bet is to get to a scale.

              Comment


              • #8
                3.73 is the gear ratio most of the Chevys come with. The 3.73 gives you better mileage but you sacrifice towing power. I had to search for a year to find my 3/4 ton Suburban with the 4.10 gear ratio, and the dealer tried to talk me out of it. I have a trailer book from Chevy I got in 2003, but it probably won't apply to your 2006. (My Suburban is a 2003, 3/4 ton, 4.10 gear ratio, 4wd, rated to tow about 12,000 lbs, probably more like 11,000 because of the weight of the 4wd equipment.)
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                • #9
                  As for the question of 'how much does my current trailer weigh', there should be a plate on the hitch frame that lists its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). If you can't find the plate, then look at the registration paperwork; registrations and licenses are based on GVWR in most states.

                  *star*
                  "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                  - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks everyone- all this is very helpful! I tried to read the trailer plate for my trailer weight, but it's illegible. I'll check the title and see what that says.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                      As for the question of 'how much does my current trailer weigh', there should be a plate on the hitch frame that lists its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). If you can't find the plate, then look at the registration paperwork; registrations and licenses are based on GVWR in most states.

                      *star*
                      This plate will give you the max. the trailer can legally weigh; it does not tell you what it does weigh.

                      The easiest way to find true weights is to go to a truck stop and spend $25 for a weight on the CAT Scale. Do this for both truck and trailer. Then you can calculate fairly closely the legal weights you're dealing with.

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                        This plate will give you the max. the trailer can legally weigh; it does not tell you what it does weigh.
                        GVWR = Maximum total weight of your vehicle, passengers, and cargo in order for you to avoid damaging the vehicle or compromising your safety

                        This is the more important number than the curbside (unladen) weight of the trailer. People rarely pull around empty horse trailers. When matching a new tow vehicle to a trailer (the subject in question), you need to be looking at GVWR of the trailer and matching that to the towing capacity of the truck. How much the trailer weighs empty is a 'nice to know', not a 'need to know' number.

                        *star*
                        "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                        - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                          GVWR = Maximum total weight of your vehicle, passengers, and cargo in order for you to avoid damaging the vehicle or compromising your safety

                          This is the more important number than the curbside (unladen) weight of the trailer. People rarely pull around empty horse trailers. When matching a new tow vehicle to a trailer (the subject in question), you need to be looking at GVWR of the trailer and matching that to the towing capacity of the truck. How much the trailer weighs empty is a 'nice to know', not a 'need to know' number.

                          *star*
                          The empty weight of truck and trailer are critical numbers to know. You start with the empty weight and then weigh the stuff going in to get your loaded weight.

                          In the alternative, you can load up the truck and trailer with horses, forage, fodder, tack, water, etc. and then weight the combination on a CAT scale.

                          Either way works.

                          You also need the GCVWR of the truck and tow. You find this in your owner's manual. While this number does not vary between vehicles of the same type and equipment the empty weight of vehicles does, as does the "load out" on any one trip. Most folks would probably be very suprised to find that the "tow rating" of their vehicle (loudly touted in advertising) is not really what can legally be towed at any one time.

                          So do it from empty weight plus add ons or load it up and then weight it. Either way works (although I find the former easier).

                          What will get you killed is taking the attitude, "Don't worry 'bout the mule, just load the wagon."

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                          • #14
                            Hook up your trailer and take it to the nearest weigh station. You weigh the truck and trailer, then unhook and weigh the truck by itself. Then figure the difference. That will give you the true weight of the trailer you are pulling. Chances are, an aluminum trailer is going to be lighter than an old steel trailer, but weighing it will tell you for sure.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post

                              This is the more important number than the curbside (unladen) weight of the trailer.
                              Yes, and no. For some trailers you might actually be able to get to that number. For others no way. Our 2+1 has two 8K axles and a GVWR just under 19,000 pounds. We would have to put 10 horses in it to get to the GVWR...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by airhorse View Post
                                Yes, and no. For some trailers you might actually be able to get to that number. For others no way. Our 2+1 has two 8K axles and a GVWR just under 19,000 pounds. We would have to put 10 horses in it to get to the GVWR...
                                The GVWR is the weight of the trailer AND the horses AND the stuff you put in the trailer. This is the maximum load you will be able to have and is relevant to the tow vehicle selection. Mating a tow vehicle with the tow capability of 10,000 lbs to a trailer with a GVWR of 12,000 is begging for trouble ....

                                *star*
                                "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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                                • #17
                                  More or less good advice on this thread, but as usual a bit of tunnel vision.

                                  An alum 3H should be ~18' on the floor, about 4000lbs (4800lbs really?). Intended as a 2H, assuming proper axle placement, we're looking at a loaded trailer under 7000lbs TW ~1000lbs.

                                  Any modern V8 1/2 ton will pull it fine. A 4.10 with WDH will pull it better than a 3.42 on the ball, but it is certainly not outside the realm of reason either way.
                                  Disclaimer;
                                  Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                    The GVWR is the weight of the trailer AND the horses AND the stuff you put in the trailer. This is the maximum load you will be able to have and is relevant to the tow vehicle selection. Mating a tow vehicle with the tow capability of 10,000 lbs to a trailer with a GVWR of 12,000 is begging for trouble ....

                                    *star*
                                    Like I said, if you could actually get it to 12K then yes. There is no way we could physically fit enough horses into our trailer to come close to the GVWR, so in our case, it is just about meaningless. Yes, I know to the pound what our rig weighs loaded, and it is well below what our truck can handle.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You should be able to find an plate either on the side of the drivers door or the frame around the door that gives the specs for your truck.
                                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by airhorse View Post
                                        Like I said, if you could actually get it to 12K then yes. There is no way we could physically fit enough horses into our trailer to come close to the GVWR ...
                                        I have seen assorted idiots load horse trailers with not-horse things, like hay and pieces of farm equipment, and greatly exceed the GVWR of the trailer and the towing capacity of the truck .... with the predictably ugly results: hitches that failed, trailer frames sprung, axles bent, engines blown. Paying attention to the numbers would have saved them lots of money and created fewer grey hairs.

                                        *star*
                                        "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                        - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

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