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D

Deleted member 9101

Guest
I hear a lot, in general, some say "changing suspension does not change GVWR..." or something to that effect.

If that were true, wouldn't a Power Wagon rate the same as a Tradesman 2500 rather then much lower? They list as 1/2 the payload. Same chassis & brakes I believe.

Nothing that you do as the owner can change any of the ratings on a vehicle.
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Aspects of vehicle design which will likely affect how the Manufacturer assigns GVWR value:
  • Spring rates
  • Intended ride height
  • Engine (mass, torque)
  • Transmission (torque handling capability, etc.)
  • Transmission ratios
  • Axle assembly (load capability)
  • Final drive ratios
  • Brake system
  • Tire diameter, as it relates to drive ratio and braking performance
  • Tire width and compound, as it relates to braking performance
  • Tire construction, as it relates to load capability of the tire
  • Tire pressure, as it relates to load capability of the tire
  • Market segment
  • Legal Segment (Light vs Heavy Duty, driver certification reqs, etc.)
  • Tax Laws (commercial tax deductibility for vehicles above a certain GVWR)
  • CAFE Standards and the mix of other vehicles from same manufacturer (depending on market category)
  • Supply chain (component availability and cost changes over time)
A change to any one of those things (and probably some I've missed), can cause the manufacturer to increase or decrease the GVWR according to whatever mix of risk/reward ratio the bean counters tell them is "worth it".
 

jadmt

ignore button user
on my way back from camping and decided to pull into the CAT scale. my gvwr is 8565 and front gvwr is 4750 and rear is 6200. really did not seem like I had that much stuff adds up fast. I weighed on the same scale with just the GFC camper a while back. 9B8BE0A0-31B1-40D1-987D-BB695D665901.jpegFC8A14A6-5324-4AF4-AFCB-9007DB9E2B64.jpegF870AD33-EAAB-44D9-B31A-7E46E951694C.jpeg
 

Thinman

Well-known member
Nothing that you do as the owner can change any of the ratings on a vehicle.
There is nothing surprising about your statement. A rating is just that, a rating. In order to produce a rating, you must pass through the rating process by the rating party.

Still does not answer the question though.

What made the rating party rate the one rated vehicle lower then another off the same assembly line? In the case of the Power Wagon, it is obviously the suspension.

So with that said, if you removed that suspension and replaced it with the factory suspension from the Tradesmen, it stands to reason you would also effectively obtain the same rating should you be put through the rating process by the rating party.

Easy stuff?
 

ramblinChet

Well-known member
I continue to be amazed by the masses who believe if "it feels ok" overloaded when they drive under nominal conditions then everything is perfectly fine. The truth is most vehicles will feel just fine significantly overloaded during normal driving.

It is the emergency handling that becomes a matter of life and death.

While driving a company truck today another driver literally pulled right out in front of me and froze. I stood on the brakes, glanced at the mirrors and lightly steered around him with inches to spare. My truck was within the factory limits and it did well. If I had been overloaded I doubt I would have been able to avoid plowing into him broadside and most likely killing him. I would expect that an investigation would take place and I would be appropriately charged and convicted with negligent homicide.

We have a responsibility as drivers to operate within certain parameters and constraints. If you are knowingly driving a vehicle outside of the manufacturers design limits no matter how it "feels" you are endangering others besides yourself. Define your load and buy the truck that will safely haul it.
 

jbaucom

Well-known member
There is nothing surprising about your statement. A rating is just that, a rating. In order to produce a rating, you must pass through the rating process by the rating party.

Still does not answer the question though.

What made the rating party rate the one rated vehicle lower then another off the same assembly line? In the case of the Power Wagon, it is obviously the suspension.

So with that said, if you removed that suspension and replaced it with the factory suspension from the Tradesmen, it stands to reason you would also effectively obtain the same rating should you be put through the rating process by the rating party.

Easy stuff?
No, not easy stuff.

Ratings are based on suspension, spring rate, cooling system, braking system, tire size, engine, transmission, axles, the capability to meet internal handling and safety standards, etc. It's an entire vehicular package that is rated.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Yes, "but".

While a MFG can opt to down-rate a rating for marketing/legal/tax purposes, they'd be straight-ass stupid to over-spec the rating based on the components. In other words, there are plenty of trucks out there that can likely safely haul more payload than what's on the door sticker, but there are also plenty of trucks where the GVWR is meaningful and a correct representation of the limits of the equipment.

My nominally 8-passenger van, for example, has a 6100lb GVWR and a 3100lb GAWR in the rear. That rear axle is an Astro/Safari-specific (wide) version of the GM 7-5/8" 10-bolt. For all practical purposes, I'm running the rearend from a Camaro. There's no amount of specmanship that's going to make that thing safely haul 3400+ lbs over the rear suspension.

Yeah, we are on the same page.
And is exactly my point, when I say that Toyota has typically run more conservative with their ratings.

What you are referring to is the margin of safety.

And is also 100% why I refuse to run anything but a 3/4 or 1-ton, with a full float rear axle.

The actual Sterling/Visteon rating for the rear axle itself in my superduty, which is under essentially every 3/4 and 1-ton SRW trucks, has an actual rating of nearly 10,000lbs
Though Fords GAWR for this truck is roughly 6,500lbs as I recall. Id have to check. But I'm not worried about it one bit. Its pure beef, with e great reputation of being impossible to destroy.

Off the assembly line the limiting factor for full size pickups is typically tires.

A SRW with this axle has a GAWR of 6-7k lbs.
Whereas the same axle in DRW configuration is considerably more.

And surprise, the typical OEM size load E tire has a load rating of 3,000 to 3,500lbs per tire
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
There is nothing surprising about your statement. A rating is just that, a rating. In order to produce a rating, you must pass through the rating process by the rating party.

Still does not answer the question though.

What made the rating party rate the one rated vehicle lower then another off the same assembly line? In the case of the Power Wagon, it is obviously the suspension.

So with that said, if you removed that suspension and replaced it with the factory suspension from the Tradesmen, it stands to reason you would also effectively obtain the same rating should you be put through the rating process by the rating party.

Easy stuff?
I believe what @EcoBoosted is saying is if you swapped all the Tradesman gear onto the Power Wagon, you may be able handle the same weight as the tradesman, but it won't change the number on your door sticker.
 

Thinman

Well-known member
Yeah I agree, but isn't that obvious? Only the factory changes that sticker. That is why I noted "effectively" in italics.

Most of us want to carry more and do so as safely as possible and the sticker doesn't have a lot to do with that with regards to after-market modifications.
 
D

Deleted member 9101

Guest
Yeah I agree, but isn't that obvious? Only the factory changes that sticker. That is why I noted "effectively" in italics.

Most of us want to carry more and do so as safely as possible and the sticker doesn't have a lot to do with that with regards to after-market modifications.

The funny thing about aftermarket mods designed to help a truck better haul or tow better is that they subtract from the payload rating...lol.

Example: I could "upgrade" my F150 with the 9.75" rear axle, springs, and hitch from a "max tow" F150 (frame, brakes, sway bars, and tranny are the same) and while I would be better equipped to tow all I would have really done is reduce the amount of payload I can legally carry.
 

Thinman

Well-known member
Therein lies the 'confusion'. Legally is a loaded word and I do not believe anybody has posted either a Penal Code or Motor Vehicle Code reference supporting this statement (inside the US).

While insurance companies have a ton of lawyers on the books to protect their interests, their coverage decisions are based on Policy, not law...given many of those policies are indeed based upon laws.

So back to the case of the Power Wagon v Tradesman RAM2500s, we have documented proof, from the manufacture, that if you replace everything that makes a Power Wagon a Power Wagon with Tradesman components, you will have effectively built a factory Tradesman and it is very easy for us to obtain what the rating *would be* had it come off the factory floor that way.
 

jbaucom

Well-known member
We have a 2008 Silverado 1500, non-lifted with Helwig helpers and Bilsteins. It carries a FWC Raven shell with dual propane tanks and a heater. The GVWR is 7000. GAWR Front and Rear are 3950. With a full tank of gas an extra 5 gallon can, a few things we never pull, including compressor and safety gear plus both of us, we’re at 3400 front and 3600 rear, for 7000 total…unloaded.

Depending on where we go, we bring various things. In the winter we carry front and rear chains. If we’re going to Hart, The Steens or Death Valley, we bring an extra spare. We occasionally carry 2 E-Bikes. Of course we bring food, water, etc.

Because it’s a shell and we’re the second owners, I just assumed we’d be at or below spec when loaded. We’ve used it that way for over a year. It drives fine both on road and even semi-technical off road. We load the bulk of our gear in the back seat of the crew cab, so the load is balanced. I only weighed it because I was thinking about replacing the bed with a deck for more storage (not gonna happen now!)

I know every Tacoma with a FWC is overweight, probably by a lot. I’m just wondering how concerned we should be and if there’s anything more we can/should do to mitigate the situation.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
Bringing this back on topic for the OP...

The only way you can legally increase your payload is to remove weight from the vehicle itself. Do you use the back seat for passengers? You wrote that you load the bulk of your gear in the back seat. If you don't use the back seat for passengers, then you can remove the seat itself to pull some dead weight out of the truck. When it is time to replace your tires, there are multiple load range E options that weigh 50 lbs or less, saving you 40-50 lbs in tire weight. If there's anything in the truck or camper that you never use, remove it (unless it's safety gear). I don't know if you carry jumper cables, but good ones are pretty heavy. A quality booster pack, such as those from NoCo are smaller, lighter, and permit self sufficiency because no other vehicle is necessary to jump start your truck. Once the truck is running, the pack can be recharged from a 12V outlet.

Watch your axle weights and pay close attention to your tires to ensure you catch any issues before they become problems. Use your loaded axle weights and a load/inflation table to ensure that you are running proper inflation pressures for the load you are carrying.

The GVWR issue is only contentious because so many people want to do what they want to do, with the vehicle they want to do it with, and enforcement is lax when it comes to personal/recreational/non-commercial vehicles, especially in the USA. Helper springs, or entirely new spring packs, cannot increase the payload of your vehicle, but they can improve the ability to support the payload (less sag & sway), which has benefits when operating near the limit.

Enjoy your truck, it's a good looking rig! You're asking the right questions and appear to be acting prudently considering your truck and load. Sorry that your thread went so far off the rails...that usually happens around page 2.
 

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