Can a 1/2 ton pick-up truck pull a skid steer?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MooseMan89, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. MooseMan89

    MooseMan89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Hi guys and thanks for taking a peek at my thread.

    I recently bought an F150, long bed, ext cab, with the 5.0 L motor, and the wide ratio trans. Truck seems to be a good puller.. But I was wonder if it can tow a smaller model skid steer..

    I see guys around here tow skid steers mostly with f250s and f350s..
    Can my F150 do the job? Would be great if it can, (since I'm thinking about getting one.. Would be better than having to worry about buying a bigger truck just to tow it)... Would rather use this truck to tow my landscape trailer and the skid steer..

    Any input? Here is a pic of my truck..
  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    Yes but a bad idea. Also depending on location the dot might hassle you. I had a boss pull an 870 skid on a 12k equipment trailer. Good trailer breaks and he would take it easy. Still seemed strange to me and dangerous
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  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    yes it will pull it, but stopping it is completely different. More than likely any skid combined with the weight of the trailer is going to be well over the vehicles capacity and unsafe. There is alot more to it than will it pull it. Pulling a heavy trailler with a truck that isn't made for it will cause a lot of head aches. The drive train simply isn't made for that much abuse. You will cause premature wear to the transmision, rearend, transfer case (if 4wd), engine will be forced to run at higher rpms. Stopping will put alot more abuse on brakes, and cause premature wear. Your going to abuse the suspension, front and rear. Add in a little rain and you'll get real nervous. In stop and go traffic you will really notice the work the f150 is doing.

    On top of all that, you have to remember that if you are over weight you are illegal. Here DOT will stp you in a heart beat. Even if it's not DOT, pulling a skid with a 1/2 would cause any local or state officer to pull you over and have you weighting on the side of the road for an hour till a DOT statie comes. They would kneel you with a minimum of a couple thousand dollars in fines and then you would be paying to have your trailer towed back to your lot for you.

    Even worse, if you get in an accident with an overweight trailer, even if caused by the other driver, you may be found at fault for being over weight.
  4. TheCuttery

    TheCuttery LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    How small of a skid steer? Weight?

    I've seen small skid steers that ride fine on light duty car trailers(7000#). That truck should pull 7K alright. Brakes shouldn't be an issue if the trailer brakes are working as they should.

    That 5.0L will be a dog though with 7k on it.
  5. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    As long as you don't exceed the towing specs for your truck you will be fine. Most 1/2 tons are around 7500lbs tow weight, that's the trailer with load. That being said, it would need to be no larger than a Bobcat S100 or similar skid steer. Do yourself, and the rest of those on the road, a favor and stay within the limits of your truck and stay legal. I've read too many stories about a load that should have been fine, only to cause a crash, injuries, and even deaths. JMO
  6. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    The question is, Can it stop a trailer w/ skidsteer?
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  7. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Here are my observations with different trucks and trailers I've owned

    05 F150 Ext Cab Short bed 4x4 - Towed a 7k dump trailer with it. Loaded that trailer owned that truck. Pushed it everywhere and squatted it really bad.

    06 F250 5.4 Ext Cab Long Bed 4x4 - Towed the same 7k dump trailer. Totally different world towing with that truck. Much more stable. Invested in a 14k dump trailer and the truck did ok. 5.4 struggled at high loads and needed to add air bags and an upgraded hitch to feel "ok" with it. But the truck overall did ok.

    08 F350 V10 Crew Cab Short Bed Dually - Honestly don't feel the trailer back there, meaning I'm not getting pushed around. Braking is great and its so much more stable with and without loads.

    I think having a properly equipped truck, I didn't say brand new, is important when towing. I also didn't say own a diesel or gas truck either. The dually gives me much more control over the loads I'll carry and leave room to spare with RGAWR on the truck. Even the 250 handled loads much better. Could a 98 F150 4.6l reg cab short bed tow my dump trailer? Sure, I wouldnt recommend it though. I think the downfall I see with the half tons is in payload and RGAWR. Hook up a heavy trailer with proper tongue load and those half tons want to sit on the bump stops and possibly be over RGAWR. Plus the hitches on my lighter trucks were only rated to 5000lbs and 500lbs tongue weight without weight distribution. My dually hitch is only rated to 8000lbs 800lbs tongue without weight distibution, but I installed a new one. Just stuff to think about....
  8. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517


    A good trailer with good brakes will go a long way, my dad used a old dodge for years hauling treated decking with a slant 6 /manual trans and I think the truck stopped better with the trailer on it. That truck saw crazy abuse and put food on the table for years. However it would have to be a smaller skid steer and a light trailer for me to regularly haul with a 1/2ton.

    I see guys who haul pretty heavy antique tractors around here with trucks and trailers that make ya cringe :hammerhead: But they also go about 30mph tops too....
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    That's about a 1995 and it should have a 3.55 rear. It should have a 4R70W tranny. Supercab. Your gross combined weight limit is 11,500 pounds. Max trailer weight is 7,000 pounds. These numbers come out of my 1995 F150 Owner's Manual.

    I regularly pull a 7.5X16 tandem axle trailer with a total weight (including mowers, trimmers etc.) right at about 4,500 pounds. My truck came with 3.08 gears but I swapped them out for a Traction Lok differential with 3.55 gears. I also have Roadmaster Active Suspension ( with adjustable weight jackers. I don't have any real problems pulling and I have 148,000+ miles on the original tranny.

    Where I think your real problem is going to be is the tongue weight. It doesn't take much to put the bumper on the ground. 1/2 ton is really about all they'll safely take on the rear as a load.

    I've had 1,800 pounds of gravel in the bed of mine. It pushed it down pretty good but it wasn't obscene. I was more worried about the wheels handling the load than anything else.
  10. Tunechi

    Tunechi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I've hauled my T250 with my F150 numerous times with no problem. The back end sank a bit and it would take me a good 5 miles to get up to speed for hwy travel but I kept my speed down to 45-50 mph and stayed very alert and on top of managing my stops and turns. I would prefer to use my F350 Diesel if I still had it but I would use my f150 to do it again. My T250 weighs more than the typical T250 cuz it's got a good 250-300 lbs of muck inside it and it had a 84" bucket on it as well. That's a 9347 lb tracked unit on a big heavy duty trailer just use common sense and if you don't know how to handle ur rig pulling that much weight don't do it.

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