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Who has acctually weighed their truck?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by One Way, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. One Way

    One Way Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hi all. This is my first post, so let me give you some background.

    I have a ' 99 Dodge 2500 dsl QC 4x4. I have plowed in the past using a former company's truck. I just started my own company in January and have decided to plow this winter.

    I purchased and installed a Meyer CP8 (poly). I must say that the product is wonderfull. Meyer included every single item needed for the install (minus tools, of course) and it is a very well thought out system.

    My problem... The Meyer dealer said that the plow would fit my truck. And it does. However, I went to a local scale to weigh the front axel with the plow attached and it came in at 5400 lbs. My axel is only rated at 4850 lbs.

    Question... I had no balasts loaded. How much balast should I istall and how much will it actually help. I will be carying a walk behind snow blower on a hitch mounted platform that will weigh around 200 lbs. Also, how many people have actually weighed there truck with the plow attached? Reading specs is one thing, but real life is another. Is it acceptable to be a little overloaded?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    that's interesting...i would like to see who has as well!
  3. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    I've weighed my truck but never with the plow on it. If I were you, I'd start with putting weight equivelant (sp?) to your plows weight behind your rear axle. Then, weigh that and see what you get. I put at least 700 lbs behind my rear axle when I put my 550-650 lbs snoway on. My axle is 4800 too. Before I bought plow, I checked front axle and believe I was somwhere around 4300-4500 lbs no plow.
  4. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    I'm a little confused as to how you can measure just what's on the front axle... :confused:

    Are you sure that measurement isn't for the entire truck? If I remember correctly...my chevy 2500HD, ext cab, short box, w/8L gas with nothing "extra" in the bed (just toolboxes, myself, passenger, and miscellaneous stuff in the cab) scale showed me around 6-6.5k#'s.

    Please explain I'm very curious. :nod:
  5. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Truck Weight?

    Oldmankent--is Correct place Aprox same weight in rear of Bed! as Your Plow Weighs--a Little More won*t HURT!--but--Make SURE! its Stationary & Can NOT Move Around! I Build a BOX Out of 2X8s just behind My Rear Wheel wells & Load It w/ Cement Blocks--a Double Row!--Easy to Move when Necessary--& My SNOW Blower climbs Over Them Pretty Good!--I have a Fisher 8 ft on an 88 Dodge 4X4 short Bed--Fisher YELLOW in Front--Flat BLACK in Rear!--Easy on MY EYES!--& Steering Tires All Round!--Don*t Like the Noise of Aggresive Snow Tires & Don*t Need E*M--I*M in MAINE & We get Our Share of the White Stuff!--a Tire TIP I found OUT--in referance too Super Tires in SNOW!--when Looking for TIRES?--LOOK streight Down on the TREAD!-& BUY the Ones That have a TAPERED Tread Pattern--Explanation!! They Should Be a little Wider at the Bottom of the Tread--where the Tread Meets the Tire Body!--NOT SQUARE!--as Tires Allways RUN a Few Degress Warmer than the Road Surface!--& a Warm Tapered Traded Tire Will Clean Itself in SNOW Every Revolution--the SNOW will Fall Out-- Giving YOU a Clean BITE Every Revolution!--Ole Truckers know This!--Especially Owner Opeators!--just Thought? YOU would Like to KNOW!--as thats the Name of this SNOW Plowing Game RIGHT? HELPING ONE Other!--& just So YOU know! I*M a NEW-Bee HERE & have Learned a Few Things All ready!--& THANKS GUYS!-- Ole JIM--
  6. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    DJL, not quite sure sure what you are asking. But, if you weigh in on a registered cat scale there are two different scales for the steer axle and the drive axle. That will give you each axle, and then you just add them to figure out the total. If you go to a scale that is just one scale, then you just drive on one of the axles and weigh them seperately. My truck dry weighs in around 7000 lbs. The 7.3 adds a lot of weight to the front. Last time I went across the scales and remember the weight, I had rack, cap, and tools in the truck. GVW was 9200 lbs. I think the front axle was carrying around 4500-4600 and the rear was 4700-4600.
  7. One Way

    One Way Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for all the replies.

    DJL: I weighed the truck at a local quary by driving just the front axle onto the scale (5400lbs), then the whole truck (8400lbs).

    My truck weighs in around 7700lbs empty, so it is a heavy plow. I will try to put some balasts on and see what happens. It's raining here today so I may have some time to fool around. If I can get to it, I will post results.

    In the meantime, I would love to hear some actual results from people who have physicly weighed their trucks.
  8. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    This is a long running problem with Dodge diesel powered trucks (other brandsl too) and you have found out what some others have long known that for reason of front axle weight, they do not make good plow canidates. Not much you can do here. Rear ballast (a lot of it) will help some in better balancing vehical. If you are so inclined or motivated you could swap out the front axle from a 03 or newer Dodge as it is a much stronger unit and rated at about 5600 lbs too. Your current axle will not break but it will wear out prematurely if you carry plow alot because there was a problem with them in 97 to 02 models and why Dodge did a quiet upgrade in 03 without a recall.
  9. crashz

    crashz Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Back when I plowed for my my father I had my own company truck. It was an 86 GMC 1 ton dump with Airflow SS 2 yrd spreader and 9 foot Fisher Speedcaster. We used to stock our own salt and sand, however one year we ran out and I had to go to the local material yard to pick up a load. Pulling in on the scales the tare weight was just a hair over 11K lbs.with the plow on and empty spreader. The GVW of the truck was only 10K lbs. Pulling out of the pit, the loaded weight was 14K. This is how we loaded it every time, so it must have been overloaded every time we used the spreader.

    The truck handled the weight pretty well. The brakes and suspension were both very strong. The axles never needed any attention. But almost every one in the company blew a transmission in it. The only person not to was me because plowed in 4Lo.

    Point is, if the truck is only about 10% over the GVW (or either axle), then your pretty safe. But being 40% over the GVW is going to cause major problems. In fact we were lucky that the transmission was the weak point and not other things like the brakes, the frame, springs etc. Also the DOT will have a field day when you get caught overloaded to that point.

    BTW- we quit using the 1 ton for salting after that. We have a couple single axle Macks and an old International 4x4 with 10 yrd sander bodies. Too much liability and repair costs on the 1 ton.
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    That old one ton had a D60 up front that is pretty solid up to about 4800lbs or so but you run a D60 in a Dodge front end at 5400lbs and more you are shortening its life expectance and the first thing to go will be the axle balljoint/pivot studs because in 03 this area was greatly redesign for more strength and wear resistance and new axle is made but AAM not Dana. You would have to go up to a Dana 70 to simulair beef in these areas. Lot under a 03 or newer dodge and a older one and the difference is night and day in appearances and beef.
  11. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    My truck weighed in at 7840lbs no plow, just empty truck!
  12. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343


    Thnks for your reponses, you did answer my question. :nod:

    However, I'm still confused as to how it is just the weight on the front axle. Sorry, not trying to start an argument...well a constructive disagreement perhaps. Sorry the engineer in me is coming out.

    Woudn't some of the orginal weight 5k+#'s be distributed to the rear axle since the frame ties the front AND rear axles together? Wouldn't the correct thing be something like 90% of the front axles weight measurement is actually on the front axle while the remaining 10% is distributed to the rear. Also, wouldn't you ned to make sure you pulled exactly down the 50% mark of your vehicle? Sorry, am I just splitting hairs here and being a complete ass? If I am I apologize :waving: .
  13. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    The weight sitting on the front tires is the weight on the axle. Period.
  14. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    First of all the front end of a Dodge with a Cummins is very heavy before you even add a plow. (if this was a gas powered truck you would probaly be at or under rated capacity with a plow attached) When you add the plow you add the plows weight and some of the rear weight of truck to front axle as well because the plow extended off of the front end acts like a lever and the axle as a fullcrum to the added load is making it carry even more weight yet. Your plow might only itself weight only 700lbs or so all together but because of this "leverage" it will add at least another 1100lbs or more total weight to front axle when plow is lifted. Savey?
  15. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    The weight would be from the contact points on the ground not the center.
    Kind of like an ovel car you would have 4 scales to get the weight on all corners and you would move weght around the get the best balance.

    I would be worried about stopping since all the weight shift to the front and put that much more weight on the axle.

    The nose of the truck must drop a ton when you pick up the blade.
  16. One Way

    One Way Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    OK... I weighed my truck some more, today, and have some more info.
    Below you will find a series of wieghts as follows:

    A: Listed axle ratings as found on door panel of truck.
    B: Empty readings from local scale. (Truck was empty except for tool boxes w/ tools. I have no idea how much they weigh)
    C: Loaded readings from local scale (Plow attached, 800 lbs of sand stacked at very rear of bead, and snowblower sitting on platform attached to rear hitch (200 lbs est.))

    Front + Rear = Total
    A: 4850 + 6087 = 10937
    B: 4360 + 3340 = 7700
    C: 5240 + 4500 = 9740

    The empty and loaded reading were measured at a local quary that I deal with so they may not be 100% accurate. I measured the front axel by driving as far onto the scale as possible before rear tires hit. Then by driving the entire truck onto the scales. Subtracted the two numbers for rear axle weight.

    As you can see, even with roughly 900 lbs of balast, the front axle is still over by 8%. The balast did help alot with the handling. The truck drives fine and seems to stop fine. It does squat about 1.5 inches with the plow up. The balast doesn't reduce front squat, but it does help the truck sit more level.

    To add to the delema... Although the axle ratings add up to 10937 lbs, the GVW listed on the door states 8800lbs. So I am over any way that I look at it. I guess there isn't too much else that I can do.

    I am still encouraging everyone to try to weight there rig when they get a chance. I have a feeling that there are more people that are over weight than one may realize.

    Thanks for all your help, everyone.
  17. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    You have the right set up going. Man, that plow is heavy. Just keep an eye on your front end throughout the winter. Your aren't over the ratings of the tires right? I think that is the main concern. I've got my truck registered for 10000 lbs, because it is so easy to just go over 8800. I don't run it at 10000 nearly, but I definitely go over the 8800. If you've got a commercial plate, you may want to upgrade it to a higher GVWR. Then of course you're spending more money. Good luck. By the way, what was the weight of the rear axle with no ballast and the plow on it?
  18. One Way

    One Way Junior Member
    Messages: 5


    Thanks for the encouragement. I don't like being too hard on my truck so it hurts a little to be over weight on the axle.

    The tires are fine, BFG all terrains rated at a about 3200 a piece.

    The weight on the rear axle with plow attached and no ballast was around 3300 lbs. I didn't write it down so I am going off memory. But it makes sence because the only weight added to the truck was up front so, theoreticly, it shoud have weighed the same, or less than, the truck empty.
  19. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    SO you put 1160 Lbs in the rear to take off 160 Lbs off the front that almost a 10 to 1 trade off.

    That plow must hang way off the front.

    Have you tryed to move the toolbox back since it could be about 200 or 300 pounds more on the front axle?

    I think there is a way to help this I just need to think :sleeping:
    Something from the dragracing world that might work.

    I just need to know what king of rear springs are on that truck leaf or coil?
    Just thinking :waving:
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  20. One Way

    One Way Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Leaf in rear, coil in front. I agree that there is an awfull lot of weight in back just for a small change up front. But my truck does drive better with the ballasts. It is much better ballanced.

    Before you start thinking too hard, remember that I am in Virginia and will only plow four or five times this year. I don't want to neglect the fact that I normally use the truck for pulling a 14000 lbs dump trailer. It is completely opposite of a snow plow.