hauling with a gmc1500

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by northmichigan, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    i use my 1989 gmc 1500 to haul a dual axle 6x12 trailer with a single axle electric brake. i mostly haul 3000 to 4000 lbs. of payload. do you think that this is a safe rig? i'd like to up my truck size but not this season.
    thanks for any response in advance!
  2. Triple L

    Triple L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    I pull 5000 with my 93 gm 1500 5.0 liter every day, I think 1500's can do quiet a bit of work. New 1500's can do something like 8000 pounds.
  3. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    i have the 350 engine.what kind of trailer do you haul? the reason i only haul 4000lbs. max is in michigan any rig over 10,000lbs. gvw needs a commercial liciense.
  4. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    I had the identical setup years ago: a 1989 GMC C1500 truck with 12' trailer.

    My gearing was 3.08:1 with a 4.3L V-6 engine. It was a dog, and nearly ruined the transmission. I swapped the gears for 4.10:1 and WOW like night and day it really woke that dog up.

    You really need to be at 4.10:1 if you have a V6, or 3.73:1 for a V8.

    Brakes, you are fine esp if you keep your trailer brakes in good working order.

    Suspension, you are a little weak. You may want to "add a leaf" or get a JC Whitney set of heavier rear springs. Or, air shocks if you are on a beer budget.

    Transmission cooler: helps on any truck, especially a small truck like a 1500.

    You have the 700r4 transmission, if it is automatic. That trans has a very weak overdrive and lockup torque converter. You should avoid overdrive while towing, except maybe on long flat stretches of highway. Only engage overdrive over 60 MPH, and do not attempt to acclerate at all in overdrive.

    For example, if you are cruising 60 in overdrive and want to go to 65, manually yank it into D3 first as you squeeze into the gas.

    Be very careful towing with this trans its easy to smoke!
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    You might want to double check that.

    Here in IN, it's any single or combination with a wieght *rating* of 10,001 or more pounds. I believe this is based on federal DOT regulations. Makes no difference what the actual wieght is.

    Unless you've got 1500 pound axles, you're over that 10,001 figure.

  6. green814

    green814 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    You do not need a commercial license unless your truck (vehicle only) has a gvwr of 10,001 lbs. or more, or if the gcwr (combined w/ trailer) of 26,001 lbs. or more.
    Check it out on sec. of states site: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127--21609--,00.html
    Thought you would like this info. :)
    Just check your gear ratio, but as long as it is at least a 3.55 or so you should be ok. You may want to think about a tranny cooler if you don't have one. As far as the suspension, if the trailer is evenly loaded and the rear of the truck is still sagging, add some helper springs. You can get an add-a-leaf kit (need to split you factory leaf springs to add but cheaper) or helper springs which just bolt on but more money. I have been told the helper springs ride better empty because they don't "kick in" till you load the truck up.
    My truck is a 2000 Chevy 1500 ecsb 4x4 4.8/auto and I pull a travel trailer that weighs just a little over 5000 lbs no problem. Wont win any races,but pulls no problem.
    Hope this helps.
  7. B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc

    B&B Lndscpng & Lwn Srvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I use a 1996 GMC K1500 4x4 Z71 ext cab 5.7 v8 235,000 original miles. I pull a 6.5' x 18' trailer one brake axle. I added a weight distribution hitch and increased my towing limit to 10,000 lbs from 6,000 and 1,000 lbs tongue weight from 400 lbs. Been running this setup for 3 years now. Fixing to purchase a superlawntruck.
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I'm sorry! I don't know why I missed that.:)

    What I meant to say was that by INDOT regulations (and again, I assume these are based on federal regs) any single or combination with a wieght *rating* of 10,001 or more pounds needs to be registered with the DOT and display an assigned number, if the vehicle(s) in question is being used for commercial purposes.

    Here, you don't need a CDL until the towing vehicle meets or exceeds 26,0001 GVWR, OR the GCVWR is 26,001 AND the towed vehicle has a GVWR of 10,001 lbs or more.

    There was a thread in the landscape forum several months ago where a lot of this was discussed. Try a search, look for a thread titled "Trucks and trailers" or something similiar. I posted a few times, you can try searching under my name as well. Basically (as far as licensing) we figured out that each state is different as to the requirements. However, I'm fairly certain that the DOT number requirement is federally mandated.

    When it doubt, ask the authorities!

  9. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    thanks for the advice. i have the v8 350 but it is slow on hills with a fully loaded trailer.
    are you near u of richmond in 1975; now there is a fully landscaped campus.
  10. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    thanks for the reply. you are saying that its the trucks rating that detrimines commercial licience not the actual load present when pulled over?

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