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Ballast weight

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by BIGGB9, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. BIGGB9

    BIGGB9 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Hey guy just wanted to know how much weight (sand bags) should I put in the bed of my truck. I have a 2010 GMC sierra 1500 crew cab with a western HTS. The plow weight is 412lbs. Oh ya there is no torsion bars on these new GMC 1500s. Thanks Brian
     
  2. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Try 300 lbs and go from there
     
  3. BIGGB9

    BIGGB9 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I have 600 back there now just not sure if that is too much or not enough. I was not sure if there was a mathematical formula to see how much I need.
     
  4. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Western's QuickMatch should tell you exactly what you need after filling in the blanks.
     
  5. BIGGB9

    BIGGB9 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Wow I did not even see that in quick match thank you
     
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    That's a good amount. You want to put it as far back as possible.
     
  7. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    That's a handy tool. It came out to 480 lbs for my truck with a comparable weight plow.

    I have 700lbs up against the tailgate. I also plow in 2 wheel drive whenever possible.
     
  8. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    i did the quick match on the fisher website and for my truck and plow it said i need 260 LBS. i currently have 240 LBS and will also be carrying a snowblower.
     
  9. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    I have a 2008 Chevy 1500 and put about 400 pounds in the back. Seems to help.
     
  10. BIGGB9

    BIGGB9 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Thanks Guys, I put 360 back there seem like it is working good.
     
  11. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    If you've got 600 lbs already I would use it, and like COR said you want it as far back as possible. I have a 2x10 or 12 in the slot behind the wheel wells and have 8-10 70lb bags of sand between there and the tailgate. Anything in front of the axle adds to your front axle weight, which is bad. I feel like I need at least 300 lbs before I even put the plow on to be safe. The real test is using 2wd, if you can't move a little in 2WD you need more weight, because when you slam the brakes on the road your ass is going to be passing you. It amazes me the number of guys driving around with 800lb plows and no ballast because they have a 3/4-1 ton and "it can handle it", without realizing how unsafe it is when it comes to braking and handling. A couple years back my FIL upgraded to a 2500 with 8'-6" HD MM2 fisher from an old f150 with 7-6" conventional. I told him to run a bunch of ballast with that big plow, he didn't listen and ended up with a crumpled rear bumper and tailgate that wouldn't open...he now has about 1000lbs back there. 600 lbs is nothing to any truck, just like 2 of your "big" buddies, as a bonus it's ride nicer too.
     
  12. joshg

    joshg Senior Member
    from VT
    Messages: 141

    What caused this?
     
  13. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Big plow with no ballast equals not much weight on rear tires and therefore not much traction in the rear. I believe his incident was going down a pretty good hill and the rear of the truck passing the front and than leading the way into a tree. Hard braking can lead to the same result even with no hill.
     
  14. joshg

    joshg Senior Member
    from VT
    Messages: 141

    ahh...that makes more sense.

    How much weight is it really safe to trust to your tailgate to hold back?
     
  15. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    That depends a lot on the condition of your tailgate. If you keep the latch mechanism lubed inside the gate, and in the latches themselves, they can hold more than any pickup needs for ballast.

    I've seen fairly new trucks that the gate was junk on. My truck is an '01, and it works like new.
     
  16. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    How is your tailgate holding the weight back?
     
  17. joshg

    joshg Senior Member
    from VT
    Messages: 141

    I was reading that people recommended putting the ballast between the rear axle and tailgate area of of the bed meaning that in S Senca's case above there is 700lbs contained by the tailgate. I was thinking of it being "held" during steep uphill, sharp turns, acceleration, etc. Probably more force toward the cab from rapid braking risk but it has just occured to me as my tailgate needs a careful eye on proper latching....need to take it apart and understand why the mechanism sticks.
     
  18. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    I wouldn't worry too much about the tailgate, the big concern is your ballast coming through the rear window when braking or during an accident. Even under huge uphill accelleration something against the rear of the tailgate can't gain any momentum backwards enough to hurt the tailgate, but in the opposite direction it has a few feet to gain momentum and become deadly. I'm working on my "ballast retention method" as we speak, but my truck is basically a yard truck, don't drive it on the road much, WRX with blizzaks is much more fun and less nerve racking for me, plus gets almost double the MPG.
     
  19. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    You are absolutely right there.
    I know a man that carried 6 ft long concrete marker posts for weight, in the back of his pickup. Each one weighed hundreds of pounds.
    He went off the road and hit an embankment bringing the truck to a sudden stop. His concrete posts didn't stop, until they came over the front of the box, and through the back window of the cab, and broke his neck.
     
  20. Moss Man

    Moss Man Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 535

    My truck calls for only 200 pounds for a ballast with the Fisher 8' HD. I would think the safest place would be right on the reese hitch.