Determining front axle capacity

Discussion in '<a href= target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Joseph Meidling, Feb 22, 2001.

  1. Joseph Meidling

    Joseph Meidling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    How do you determine the weight capacity of a front axle? I found the specification on the vehicle information sheet, but I do not know how to determine what the maximum allowable plow weight should be. I have not yet purchased a truck but am in the investigation phase.

  2. T-MAN

    T-MAN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Joseph take a look in the owners manual. Dodge specs the total plow weight allowable for each model. Allthough to fore warn you it is lower then anything the plow companys make. You can also go to western web site and e-mail them.
    They will need the front axle spec though.
  3. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    Joe-if your loking new-get the commercial truck brochure-they list all the important things we look for when buying a truck.I have a 2000 brochure from Ford and Gm,but i dont have one from Dodge-im not sure if they make one.You can also just write up the truck the way you want it,if the configuration will be to heavy on the front end-the computer will not let you order a snowplow prep-so if you cant get the plow prep-forget the truck,that means it cant handle the weight of it.If the truck is on the lot,open the drivers door,look on the door jam or the door post,the front and rear axle gross weight limits,along with GVWR will be listed on there,its the law it has to be there.Good luck
  4. MusGuy

    MusGuy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    Just load it... When it snaps or you see the pumpkin behind you, you know you have hit its limits
  5. Plowboy

    Plowboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Right on MUSGUY load it full, put what ever plow you want, remember that all manufacturers include a safety cushion.
  6. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 691


    They are just kidding. Your best bet would be to look at the sticker on the door of your truck. It will list the MAX. GAWR for both the front and rear axles. Let's say you have a 4000-lb. Max. FAWR, you have to account for the 2500-3500-lbs. that is already on that axle due to the weight of the truck.

    Safest way to go would be to go get the truck weighed. Find out how much weight is on the front axle, the total weight of the truck, and how much is on the rear axle. This will give you the information you need to figure out how much plow your particular truck can handle.

  7. MusGuy

    MusGuy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    I wish I was kidding, we have a plow on our crew that is a F150 with a 9 foot meyer.... now that is a heavy plow... and I know that is over weight , but so far so good... In all seriousness you need to be careful
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    The reason that truck manufacturers don't offer or recommend a snowplow prep package on extended cabs and crew cabs is due to possible over loading of front axle when cab has one occupant per seat belt AND a plow on the front. Not sure what they use for an "average" body weight, but say its 175 lbs. That would be (6 people) 1050lbs on a crew cab or extended cab with a front bench seat. with front buckets (5 people), it is 875 lbs. Now on a snowplow prep truck, it would only be 350 lbs (2 people). Thats 700 lbs between crew and standard right there! How often do you go plowing with 5 other people in the cab? I have had a BOSS V on my '90 Extended cab long bed K3500 SRW since '95 and have had no axle problems. I could not order a snowplow prep package for the extended cab in 1990. The manufacturer just has to cover their butts just in case someone DOES load 6 200+ lb guys in a crew cab and go out plowing! This formula also holds true for anyone looking for capacities for a slide-in-bed camper body.

    Hope this clears things up.

  9. Joseph Meidling

    Joseph Meidling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    Thanks for the info guys! I am only looking for a standard cab, but want to be sure I can fit a plow to it. Since I will be using this truck fo transportation to and from work I have a vested interest in gas mileage, that is why I am looking at 1/2 ton trucks.
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    Do yourself a favor and go with a 3/4 ton. They don't cost much more new or used and will not get any different milage than a 1/2 ton. Plus you are thinking of plowing. Today's 1/2 tons are not like the ones from the 70's and 80's. They are NOT designed for plowing. If you are going into this purchase KNOWING that you are going to plow, go with a 3/4 ton. If you already have a 1/2 ton and want to add a plow, yes, it has, and will continue to be done with some success. But, believe me 3/4 tons have many advantages over a 1/2 ton.


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