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RE: [RC] Advice on trucks..... - David LeBlanc

Chipnml asked:

am wondering if I really need a 1-ton (I got a really good price on this
one when I bought it new).? I haul a 2-horse slant with a dressing room, but
not built in?LQ.? At the most I would upgrade to a 3-horse slant
with?a?small "weekender" type LQ....but not anything bigger. ?

It's time to consult the towing guide. First thing is 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, full
ton is outdated, and doesn't really indicate anything. Just because it is an
F-250 (or whatever) doesn't say much about what it can handle. In the F-250
line, there can be around 6000 pounds variance. I'm sure Dodge is the same

The key number is gross combined vehicle weight. A trailer like you're
talking about is around 6000 pounds empty for a good aluminum trailer. Add 3
horses, water, hay, and a bunch of stuff, and you're up to 10,000, maybe
11,000 pounds just to be safe. Now figure around 6000 pounds for the truck,
more if it is heavy-duty, another 1000 pounds for people and stuff. Call it
18,000 pounds all together. Now figure that you'd rather not be running this
right at the limit all the time, so add in some safety factor, and what you
want is a truck that can handle a combined weight of around 20,000, and
could maybe get by with something a little smaller.

Something most people don't figure is that the most important part of a
truck used to haul horses is the suspension and brakes. As GCWR rating goes
up, these get better. It's also true that the longer the wheelbase, the
better off you are.

So some F-250's would safely do the job, some would not. I'd bet that some
of the lighter F-350's ("full ton") won't do it. You have to consult the
towing guide for the truck line you're looking at buying. People ask "will
it pull it", when what they ought to worry about is "will it STOP it?"

They say both the 2500 and 3500 Ram trucks can handle a GCWR of 24,000
pounds, so they should be OK.

The other problem you get into is whether the suspension handles the weight
on the axle. When you go to stop a gooseneck, there is a lot of down force
on the nose of the trailer. We have a big Featherlite, and what that did to
our Chevy 3500 was cause the front wheels to violently shake, so I wasn't in
control, and all this while smoke was pouring out the wheel wells from the
brakes overheating. My wife was seriously NOT amused. An F-550 deals with
all this nicely. What tells you about this is the payload capacity. Your Ram
2500 line will handle anywhere from 1.5 tons to 1.25 tons (so much for the
3/4 ton designation). The 3500 line handles close to double that.

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