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Thread: Towing with 1/2 ton

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    Towing with 1/2 ton

    Was reading another thread about towing capacities etc., and brought this to mind: What are your thoughts on towing a small skid (under 6000lbs) with a half ton? Would be short in town, job to job, job to home trips. No highway or high speed travels. Was thinking of picking up one of those 12' dump trailers so I can haul the loader as well as the loads. '00 Chevy Silverado 1500, 4wd, 8cyl (forget the size just now). Thoughts? Comments?

    Glen

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    Senior Member bill onthehill's Avatar
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    If you are going to tow with a 1/2 ton you better have some good trailer brakes. That skid and trailer are going to push it around. If your terrain is mostly level ground you should be alright. Check your local regulations for trailering and the max trailering capacity on your truck. I have a 98 3500 and would not hesitate to do it but a 1/2 is a lot lighter in driveline. What rear ratio are you running? Mine is 4.10.
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    Senior Member roadrunner81's Avatar
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    Dont do it, I sell truck accessories and have people coming in all the time telling me how much their new truck can pull. New trucks are overrated on towing capacities. Now one takes into account what the tow vehicle weighs compared to load. Your 1500 probably weighs 5K maybe 5500, your load will be 6k plus a dump trailer, at least 3k, thats 9k. That much weight will be throwing your truck around not to mention burning up brakes, tranny and stering parts. I have a 12' dump trailer(14Kgvw) and when I tow it with our company 2500 Dodge or my old 76' highboy the trailer can push the rear end around, like say when turning from a highway onto a gravel road, not to cool. Our 3500 on the other hand weighs 8600lbs and is a lot smother sailing.

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    Its not what you can tow, its what you can stop

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    i have seen guys pull an s185 bobcat with a 1/2 ton a s250 bobcat with a half ton and a guy tried to come get a t320 with forestry cutter with a toyota tundra 1/2 ton and a two axle steel deck trailer with no trailer brakes that machine alone weights 10,000 plus all the extra protection put on and the cutter your around 14,000 -15,000 and our rental counter asks us should i let this guy pull this with this set up? Um no. yeah its done and to a degree ok but some guys really push the envelope and as said before "Its not what you can tow, its what you can stop"

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    It's not just what you can tow or what you can stop.

    It's about what happens in an emergency, like a blow out, someone cuts you off, accident in front of you etc and so on.

    If you have to swerve to avoid a pedestrian, a vehicle, an object like a refrigerator of fifty five gallon drum of whatever, anything too big to hit, and the trailer has more than the tow vehicle, you're overloaded. You've also put everyone and everything else around you at risk, including everything you own or might own in the near future.

    It's not just about starting and stopping. It's also about control under even under the most unlikely of circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 74inchShovel View Post
    Its not what you can tow, its what you can stop
    A garden tractor can pull a boat on a trailer.
    As conditions change, so does the overall towing picture.
    As they say: safety first.

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    I would say its not worth risking it. You're responsible for keeping your truck and trailer under the legal limit. You get in any kind of accident, small or large, you're screwed.

    Just because the trailer wieghs more than the truck, doesn't mean its over wieght. Whats the towing capacity of your truck?


    My ten wheeler was in the shop one day and had to tow with my tak with my pickup. Tell me that doesn't scream pull me over
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    trucking

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Bell View Post
    Was reading another thread about towing capacities etc., and brought this to mind: What are your thoughts on towing a small skid (under 6000lbs) with a half ton? Would be short in town, job to job, job to home trips. No highway or high speed travels. Was thinking of picking up one of those 12' dump trailers so I can haul the loader as well as the loads. '00 Chevy Silverado 1500, 4wd, 8cyl (forget the size just now). Thoughts? Comments?

    Glen
    I think someone else said it first, in another tread
    Dont do it, the people that are going to sue you, when you get in accident, will love you. Your owners manual should tell you this isnt a good idea.
    I would buy a dually and then you got to watch out what you tow, then you have the CDL thingee
    Be careful, you are asking for trouble

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    Senior Member Lil' Puss's Avatar
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    FWIW,
    Towing capacities or GCW ratings by truck manufacturers are purely arbitrary and subjective because there are currently no SAE or ASTM standards to measure by, but you must use a little common sense to avoid the tail wagging the dog. If you try to argue with Archimedes I guarantee that you will eventually lose.

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    Ok I'm a little confused by the tow ratings, can someone explain how to figure out exactly what you legally are allowed to tow with a particular vehicle?? I have a 1995 F-350 dually with a steel flat bed dump (12 ft bed I believe) and I want to tow a 2001 Case 1845C skid-steer, I have 16,000 lbs tags on the truck. What ratings do I look for, GCWR, or GVWR???

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    I tow a 8k lbs skid steer in my 10k lbs gvw 12' long dump trailer with our 2002 f250. I had to put 1 ton springs in the rear just so it did not sag so bad that I was just asking for trouble with the cops. I can tell you that I know that I am over loading the trailer, and I know this is not that safe. But I only go a few miles down the road. I think the problem with these dump trailers is there lenghth, they put alot of weight on the tonge. I have pulled the same load with my buddys trailer a 18' flat bed trailer. And it towed like a dream with my truck.
    But in my opion you work with what you got so good luck!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lil' Puss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caseaddict01 View Post
    Ok I'm a little confused by the tow ratings, can someone explain how to figure out exactly what you legally are allowed to tow with a particular vehicle?? I have a 1995 F-350 dually with a steel flat bed dump (12 ft bed I believe) and I want to tow a 2001 Case 1845C skid-steer, I have 16,000 lbs tags on the truck. What ratings do I look for, GCWR, or GVWR???
    What you can legally tow will vary by state but the bridge formula applies to all states: http://www.randmcnally.com/pdf/tdm/Federal_Bridge.pdf
    The 16,000 lb. rating is for the single truck only.
    I have a class 3 '08 F-350 4x4 dually 6.4 diesel that is rated for 16,000 lbs GVW (which is contradictory of the class code for this model) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_classification) also, and the hypothetical GCWR is 22,000 lbs. It is rated somewhat less than the 4x2.

    Anyone that alters the suspension, axles, tires and wheels from OEM or OEM equivalents or "type accepted" is just begging for disaster - personally and/or financially.

  14. #14
    Senior Member KSSS's Avatar
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    I would consider taking down the following information the towing specs of your half ton including the weight of the truck, dry weight and capacity of your trailer and the weight of what you are hauling and stop in at your local DOT or State Police/Highway Patrol DOT enforcement office and talk to them. Everyone can offer their advice, but your local enforcement agencies will have the last say. I do this when I need to as well. When licensing dump trucks or tractor trailers I take my measurements in and go over it with them. Several advantages to this, one they see and get to know you which is not a bad thing. They are the ones that will take enforcement action if it is necessary. Having them get you lined out at the begining gives you some additional piece of mind.

    I was pulling a 6K pound roller with an 08 half ton Chev. as needed. Handled it fine. I did this by necessity not as a rule of practice. I prefer not pulling anything with a half ton. If possible I would get a 3/4 ton for that load, just for an addded level of comfort.

    However honestly I don't think it would give any problems, I doubt it would be illegal.

    Not sure where the arguement of the load weighing more than the power unit comes into play. I think it is very common that the load will outweigh the tow unit and the trailer.

    What is amazing is the headaches you will endure pulling a 6K skid steer. A 75 year old man will hook up a 32' pull behind RV up to Tundra and travel across the US like that with zero interference from L.E.
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    Senior Member Yellowdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSSS View Post

    What is amazing is the headaches you will endure pulling a 6K skid steer. A 75 year old man will hook up a 32' pull behind RV up to Tundra and travel across the US like that with zero interference from L.E.
    you know that guy too? I'm related to him. pulls a heavy 27' rv with an expedition. Scares me but I guess it's legal.

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