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2004 Silverado 3500 Max Weight

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by handydog, May 25, 2004.

  1. handydog

    handydog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I just bought a 2004 Silverado 3500 with dual rear wheels and a dump body, with a posted GVW of 12,000 lbs. My question is: how much can I weight it down with breaking it or abusing it too much? Here in NC we can weigh whatever the license tag permits. One dealer told me 18,000 lbs would be a practical limit, while another one recommended a max of 15,000 lbs. I'm a newbie, have never had anything larger than a small pickup, and would appreciate any answers and advice you can give.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    What do you mean ?

    As for payload wise I would say 6000lbs would be the max payload you would want to put in a 1 ton truck so that would mean 3 yards of gravel. Grossing a 3500s gvw anymore than 14,000lbs isn't too good you will run out of braking power you will also run out of tire capacity.

    I assume the truck has LT225/75R-16 so your rear tire capacity is 9880 if your running E rated rubber its down to 8600lbs with D rated rubber.

    Say your running D rated rubber all around you have a tire capacity of 13,278 so you really can't gross your weight more than that. If start exceeding tire capacity then you run the risk of blow outs.
  3. handydog

    handydog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for your reply and the info Gravel Rat. To clarify my question, my 3500 (with a steel dump bed and wood sides) weighs 9,000 lbs empty, and I have E rated tires. I realize that any weight over the 12,000 GVW wt posted on the door frame is "technically" overweight. But I know people routinely drive around safely at weights above that. My problem is determining what max gross wt I should observe. Is it the 14,000 lbs you recommend, the 15,000 lbs one chevy dealer recommended, or the 18,000 lbs a 2nd Chevy dealer recommended??
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    To be safe why bust the truck overloading it are you making big money for overloading the truck ?

    For the ocasional load sure you can gross the truck to 15,000lbs max but doing it on a regular basis you are going to really stress the truck.

    I think the dealer that said grossing the truck to 18,000lbs doesn't know what he is talking about or he's looking at you buying another truck in 2 years.

    I have been working with 1 ton trucks for 10 years have had some real heavy loads on the trucks. The biggest thing is having good braking power you can beef up the suspension to carry the load but if the brakes can't stop the load thats dangerous.

    You also have to keep in mind if the DOT catch you overloaded I hope you have a fat wallet to pay the fines. If you get in a accident and it comes back you were overloaded your insurance can be null and void and you maybe charged with operating a unsafe vehical.

    Good luck I hope the truck works out for you
  5. handydog

    handydog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks again, Gravel Rat. I think I'll try to abide by your 14,000 lb recommendation,

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Banner Elk, Hills Hills Hills Watch those brakes.
    Tell DOT that you can run up to the plate limit even if you overload the truck and he will laugh.

    One other question, If GM said 12000# why do you think they are wrong. If you put more than 6000# on it please do not drive it to Mooresville. I have a lot of family and friends that I dont want run over by an overloaded truck.

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