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Re: Tow vehicle

I ( said:

>rear axle ratio.  This is the single most important determinant
>of towing capacity.  Most trucks come with a choice of
>a low (around 3:20), a medium (around 3:73), and a high (around
>4:10).  The higher the ratio, the worse the mileage but the
>better the torque and towing capacity.  For example, on a
>little 1/4 ton Dodge Dakotah pickup, the medium axle can tow
>4,000 pounds, but the high axle can tow 7,000, with exactly
>the same engine.  (I don't know if you get 4x4 whether you
>still have a choice of rear axle ratios.)  For your little
>2-horse, you might be able to get away with a low ratio truck.
>Medium would be better.  High would be kind of overkill.

I've thought about this some more and I'm not sure I agree
with myself.

If you might be getting into tough places that require 4x4,
it would be better to get at least a medium ratio, if not
a high.  Snow plow pickup trucks, for example, are always
4x4's with 4:10 rear axles because of the exceptional traction
they provide.  If you're going to pay extra for 4x4, it seems
kind of dumb to go with a low ratio (3:20) truck.  The
downside, of course, is that 4:10 trucks have *lousy* mileage.
So medium might be a reasonable compromise.

Uh, I also may be using the terms "low" and "high" in reverse
of the way they are generally applied.  Know the actual ratio
and where it ranks on the equipment available for that truck.

Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA

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