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Old 06-20-2013, 12:38 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by transamz9 View Post
A couple things I see with the video is that one, was the pilot flying operating outside the limits of the plane with it's load? (hotroding)
Hmm...isn't that EXACTLY what we're talking about here? What is the 'operating limit' of your truck? The speedo says 120mph so I guess it's ok to load to the max and go do 120mph on any road you like in any weather.

Oh wait, it's not...So we'd all say that 10mph on a flat dry road in 70f is as safe as you can get, load up and go, right?

That means somewhere between the two is 'the limit'. You truly only know what that limit is when well, you've exceeded it. It's not like I'm asking yuo to pick up 500lbs and you just can't do it at all. It's more like I"m asking you to carry 90lb sack of concrete - you can do it for 10 feet - but how about up a set of steps and another 50 feet? Something may be strained - you'll heal. Or you break something and need medical attention. Or maybe you permanently throw out your back. If you can't make it and drop the bag on your foot you can do damage - or maybe you drop it on another person. You being 'overweight' will hurt that person - a 90lb sack of cement hurts more than a 14lb bowling ball. And if you were not beyond your limit you'd have dropped nothing at all.


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The axles under our trucks are rated on the door at their WLL. Their BLL is much higher. What percentage that is I don't know. I believe the GVWR is a crash test rating put out in that class of vehicle. When they do their crash tests they have limits of damage or injury to the occupants that they go by in that class off vehicle. Each class has a different set of limits they have to meet. All this is saying is that my truck may receive more damage in a crash if I'm over my GVWR than one that is not over it's GVWR. That is not making anyone around me more unsafe because I am over my GVWR it's just saying that my truck is going to get messed up bad in a crash. The test that they do are at about 30 MPH so unless I'm only running 30 MPH down the road, my truck is going to be messed up anyway if something happens. All I can hope for is that my seatbelts and airbags do their jobs.

It's the same with our trucks. "Performance" is figured as part of that limit. I'm sure you've experienced it takes longer/more effort to stop a loaded vehicle than an empty one. Stopping distances are longer. If you add 10 ft to your stopping distance is it a big deal? Depends...is the car in front you more than 10 feet away, or not? In traffic you may have some control over things, but someone pulls out in front of you and that 10feet can mean the difference between a bad word and a bad day.

Also consider I feel safer - loaded or overloaded - in my 2013 sliverado with 6200 miles on it than I do with my 2001 expedition with 236k miles on it. Age - in years and miles - adds a whole nuther layer of things to consider. Had that tanker plane been new it would probably have been fine - but I'm sure age and years of use/abuse/overloading were as much - if not more -of a factor than that load that day the wings fell off.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:08 PM   #32
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The tow rating of how much the trailer can weigh is a point estimate based on the compilation of a number of tests performed under limited circumstances. It includes operation things like flat acceleration and hill climbing as well as mechanical concerns, like transmission wear and axle weights . If you change the parameters of the test, the rating changes. If you are less concerned with acceleration and don't climb mountains, a mechanically robust vehicle can pull more that it rated to.

I have always had TVs that way outclass my small campers, so I don't pay much attention to anything beyond TV ride comfort and trailer balance and axle weight. But the subject is pretty complex and there is a whole bunch of anecdotal advise to be found that does not address anyone but the advice giver. My thought is that you stay within your manufactures limits unless you have specific evidence that your vehicle is capable of more, when and where you are towing.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:17 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by transamz9 View Post
A couple things I see with the video is that one, was the pilot flying operating outside the limits of the plane with it's load? (hotroding)

Second, He was carrying a load that was not stationary (it shifts). If he was loaded to the 175,000# max then I assure you that he went over his wing load when he dropped his nose. I don't know much about planes but I would think they would have wing load ratings just like we have axle ratings.
The aircraft was not a military aircraft, but a civilian fire fighter (FORMER military). The cargo was fire retardant. The aircraft was within limits and operating normally at the time of the failure. The Pilot was NOT hotdogging it. In fact his pull out was well below the limits of the plane.

The crash investigation put the blame squarely on metal fatigue from previous operations (military) beyond the operating limits of the aircraft. IE: The crew that broke it did not die, the one that inherited the broke aircraft did.

The Lesson (if you choose to learn it) is that when you operate beyond the operational limits, damage is done to the machine. How much and when it becomes catastrophic is the only unknown.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:44 PM   #34
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Weight ratings are a really loaded topic. I'm a vehicle dealer and get asked it every day. The manufacturer physically stamps axle ratings and gvwr on trucks. Gcwr is not physically on any vehicle, that is only in an owner's manual or brochure, so it's not law... in fact every paper document from a manufacturer says subject to change without notice. Gcwr is a warranty thing and that's it. If you can insure your load, and keep your tongue weight down, you can be legal to tow anything out there as long as your gvwr and axle weight ratings stay in check. Is it smart? No. But my trucks oem says it can tow a 5500 pound trailer (it's a light 1/2 ton with 7000lbs gvwr) 11000 gcwr. My 26' trailer that is really 31' long, that's a whole nother topic, lol, weighs 5500 lbs empty. Am I at my max for what my oem says, yes. But my tongue load is well within, my insurance company says I can insure for up to 22,000 pounds gcwr... so I'm legal and my truck can handle it. Would my oem make a stink if they found out I went over? Maybe. But, have you ever seen a scale setup in a dealership service department?

To speak to the fatigue on vehicles... well, every vehicle manufacturer has to go through crash tests... not 1 RV manufacturer does. I don't worry that the frame on my truck will fail if I run 300 pounds too heavy... I would on my RV. But all that said, my trailer doesn't know if it's a 1 ton or a half ton in front of it, so too light of a truck can't cause any harm to my trailer
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ridersfan View Post
Weight ratings are a really loaded topic. I'm a vehicle dealer and get asked it every day. The manufacturer physically stamps axle ratings and gvwr on trucks. Gcwr is not physically on any vehicle, that is only in an owner's manual or brochure, so it's not law... in fact every paper document from a manufacturer says subject to change without notice. Gcwr is a warranty thing and that's it.
Caveat Lector...
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:46 PM   #36
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You bring up some good points and as a dealer maybe you can answer me this then...

When shopping for a new TV the silverado can be had with a tow package and without. ADAIK that's the only diff and it damn near doubles the tow rating. I think it ups teh trucks GVWR a wee bit (200lbs or so).

So what makes the difference? Eng?Trans? Same. So it's NOT power to pull.
Bigger brakes? Don't know but you certainly could find out.

Wiring? Easy to add to any vehicle, so that's not it. Hitch? Same thing.

Cooling? This certainly is a big factor in tow ratings. GM has a chart that specifies trans oil life at diff operating temps (i think it's stickied here in fact).

So yes, you can tow your TT with your TV - and be over the tow rating of the manufacturer - and one day you'll face a trans rebuild. Costly, inconvenient at best - if it happens on a trip it's 10 times as much hassle. I've not had it happen to me but have had a few friends over the years lose a trans or engine on a trip far from home, one while pulling a horse trailer...a situation you really want to avoid if you can.

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Originally Posted by ridersfan View Post
Weight ratings are a really loaded topic. I'm a vehicle dealer and get asked it every day. The manufacturer physically stamps axle ratings and gvwr on trucks. Gcwr is not physically on any vehicle, that is only in an owner's manual or brochure, so it's not law... in fact every paper document from a manufacturer says subject to change without notice. Gcwr is a warranty thing and that's it. If you can insure your load, and keep your tongue weight down, you can be legal to tow anything out there as long as your gvwr and axle weight ratings stay in check. Is it smart? No. But my trucks oem says it can tow a 5500 pound trailer (it's a light 1/2 ton with 7000lbs gvwr) 11000 gcwr. My 26' trailer that is really 31' long, that's a whole nother topic, lol, weighs 5500 lbs empty. Am I at my max for what my oem says, yes. But my tongue load is well within, my insurance company says I can insure for up to 22,000 pounds gcwr... so I'm legal and my truck can handle it. Would my oem make a stink if they found out I went over? Maybe. But, have you ever seen a scale setup in a dealership service department?

To speak to the fatigue on vehicles... well, every vehicle manufacturer has to go through crash tests... not 1 RV manufacturer does. I don't worry that the frame on my truck will fail if I run 300 pounds too heavy... I would on my RV. But all that said, my trailer doesn't know if it's a 1 ton or a half ton in front of it, so too light of a truck can't cause any harm to my trailer
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:01 PM   #37
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This is great thread, maybe I can learn something here! The manufacturers numbers are a little confusing to me! I'll start with my truck and the data from ram body builders dot com. 2008 ram 2500 mega cab short box 6.7 CTD cummins. GVWR 9000 lbs. Payload 1580 lbs. base wt. 7422 lbs (9000-7422= 1580). base wt. frt . 4522 lbs. base wt. rear 2900 lbs. GAWR frt. 5200 lbs. GAWR rear 6010 lbs. Therefore why is the payload not (6010-2900= 3110). Why do we need an axle capacity of 6010 lbs. if we will never get close to using it? The most weight this axle will see is (2900 + 1580 = 4480 lbs.) Whats the (6010-4480= 1530 lbs.) for a safety margin?

Now the max trailer weight GVW is 12450 lbs. and the combined GCWR is 20000 lbs. Now if the GCWR is 20000 and the truck GVWR is 9000 lbs. the max trailer should be 20000-9000= 11000 lbs.??? Yet they (bodybuilders) say I can tow max 12450 lbs. What am I missing??

Ok so the 1 ton SRW is the same truck, same engine, same trans, same tires, same axle, same frame, 1 extra leaf spring, so I am told. P.S. I have not researched this to confirm other than reading a lot of blogs on various forums, but the consenses seems to be that they are the same!!

Now 1 ton payload is 2700 lbs. (2700-1580= 1120) 1120 lbs. for 1 extra leaf spring. Assuming the tires are the same for both. So if I go up to 2500 lbs. payload on my 3/4 ton ram what am I stressing on my truck, ok I get it , the suspension?? What if I take some of the load of the suspension and place it on the axle using airbags? I know I am not increasing payload capacity but just saying is it not almost the same thing? Now I am not suggesting we all go out and load our trucks to the max or beyond, but armed with knowledge and common sense we can all be a little safer in towing!

Now look at the new (2013) Rams and the GVW's and payload capacitys, the changes are astronomical! What have they done to these trucks to make this possible? Especially the 1 ton dually.

On another note, the bodybuilders specs on the 2008 to 2012 say payloads and Max trailer weights are estimated values in the note section below the specs, yet when you get to the 2013 specs the notes on the bottom say payload and maximun trailer weights are mutually exclusive.

What the H.. does that mean?

Hoping for more posts on this thread by someone who has the knowledge to understand and explain the rationale behind all these numbers!
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #38
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The Lesson (if you choose to learn it) is that when you operate beyond the operational limits, damage is done to the machine. How much and when it becomes catastrophic is the only unknown.
The lesson that I have learned is that everything mechanical will break, whether you use it over it's rating, under it's rating, or let it sit if it's not taken care of maintenance wise. Oil changes and such is just a small part of taking care of a vehicle. I am religious about my truck but I will also use and abuse it. I do all the work on my truck and know it from the front tow hooks to the ball on the hitch. Someone posted earlier that they feel safe in the new truck than they do their old truck and a say that's their fault. I would put my 8 year old truck up against any new truck with the same axle ratings a hook up and go. I agree, the heavier you run the quicker the wear but these wear parts can be replaced before it breaks. The problem is that when a wreck happens and someone is over weight it is automatically assumed that it's the weight that caused it instead of someone doing a good inspection of their truck. I am required to do a PTI every time I step into a big truck so it should be a requirement for anyone pulling or hauling a load to do one. Sticking an air pressure gauge to a valve stem or running over a scale plate is not a PTI.

Answer me something. The frame of the truck is rated to handle the rawr and the frame is rated to handle the fawr what in your opinion would be the weakest link in the chain? Brakes? engine? Transmission? Cab mounts? Steering wheel? What else is there that is making my truck so un-safe for being over the GVWR? Other than the wheels,tires and axle ratings my truck is exactly the same as the same model year truck that has a GVWR if over 3000# heavier.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:13 PM   #39
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Caveat Lector...
Do you think Toyota was being aware when they pulled the Space Shuttle? It will do it, I seen it on TV.....
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
You bring up some good points and as a dealer maybe you can answer me this then...

When shopping for a new TV the silverado can be had with a tow package and without. ADAIK that's the only diff and it damn near doubles the tow rating. I think it ups teh trucks GVWR a wee bit (200lbs or so).

So what makes the difference? Eng?Trans? Same. So it's NOT power to pull.
Bigger brakes? Don't know but you certainly could find out.

Wiring? Easy to add to any vehicle, so that's not it. Hitch? Same thing.

Cooling? This certainly is a big factor in tow ratings. GM has a chart that specifies trans oil life at diff operating temps (i think it's stickied here in fact).

So yes, you can tow your TT with your TV - and be over the tow rating of the manufacturer - and one day you'll face a trans rebuild. Costly, inconvenient at best - if it happens on a trip it's 10 times as much hassle. I've not had it happen to me but have had a few friends over the years lose a trans or engine on a trip far from home, one while pulling a horse trailer...a situation you really want to avoid if you can.
I think you guys need to pick up a brochure or something that has the ratings and specs.
- I work at a large GMC, buick, chevrolet, toyota, scion dealership as a tech. The tow package (on gm) is nothing more than a tranny cooler, reciever hitch a plug at the bumper and a brake controller pigtail and fuse. You will be hard pressed to find one on a LS( which has a 4.8) and even harder to find a 5.3 with out this. Now the towmax package or whatever its called is totally different. It has a different rearend, gearing (3.73),tranny, engine-6.2, and of course cooling and other minor things like brakes, ujoints, and other little components are different as well. Thats what the main differences are on gm.
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