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3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck

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4hmom

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Subject : 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-12 7:36 PM
Post #20497

Hi,

I'm new to all of this, my daughter has gotten into 4-H and barrel racing, so I of course have been providing the transportation. My question is I have a 1997 GMC 1/2 ton 5.7k, 3.73 ratio with the towing package - trans cooler and a gooseneck set up.  The owners manual states 6500 lbs. max trailer weight, but this is for a bp.After doing a ton of shoping for a trailer I have found one the whole family can agree on. It is a three horse gn weight 3900. I don't really plan on hauling three horses probably two at the most. Please help.


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hosspuller

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-12 10:42 PM
Post #20510 - In reply to #20497

Welcome ... But what's the question?
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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-12 11:29 PM
Post #20513 - In reply to #20510

Will my truck pull this trailer? I won't be driving more than 35 miles one way on paved highway.
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rotag

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 5:09 AM
Post #20518 - In reply to #20497

The question isnt will it pullit. Of couse it will you could add firestone air bags very cheap 350.00.

The question is should you. As long as you are willing to assume the liability if something goes wrong. Once and acciden occurs if you are over the weight the manufacture suggest you will be hammered.
Looks like you have about 2,500 lbs to play with 3 horses and you are at the max. And that dosent include tack feed water etc.


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hosspuller

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 9:14 AM
Post #20534 - In reply to #20497

Originally written by 4hmom on 2005-02-12 6:36 AM

My question is I have a 1997 GMC 1/2 ton 5.7k, 3.73 ratio with the towing package - trans cooler and a gooseneck set up.  The owners manual states 6500 lbs. max trailer weight, but this is for a bp.After doing a ton of shoping for a trailer I have found one the whole family can agree on. It is a three horse gn weight 3900. I don't really plan on hauling three horses probably two at the most. Please help.

The major issue 1/2 ton trucks have with a GN trailer is the hitch weight.    They just squat their suspension with the weight. As a guesstimate, the hitch weight will be 20% of the loaded trailer weight.  Compare that with the payload rating of the truck minus passengers and stuff weight. 

With the limitation of only local flatland trips. The truck will pull it.  The transmission and suspension wil take a beating.  Keep your tires correctly inflated for max load. 

But, I wonder why this truck has a GN hitch in it.  Did the former owner's try a GN and decide it wasn't satisfactory?  You may be headed down that same road.


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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 10:54 AM
Post #20547 - In reply to #20497

So if I understand what I've been reading in past threads and here, it is better to use a bp than a gn. I had thought a gn was more stable, better weight dist. The truck was used with the gn, it has hd gas shocks and heavier leafs in the rear.


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hav2ride

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 11:00 AM
Post #20549 - In reply to #20547

No, it is always better to have a GN over a BP but it is not advisable to tow 3 horses with 1/2 T.
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MBRA518

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 11:06 AM
Post #20550 - In reply to #20497

I asked this same question when I was looking for a new rig... I ended up buying a 3/4 ton and I'm glad I did.

My father had a 3H BP and a friends asked to borrow it, hauled it with a 1/2 ton - they blew the engine. It was an 1989 steel so it was on the heavy side... but they were only hauling one horse. I think 3H especially a BP is just a little too much for a 1/2 ton.

Like mentioned above, it will haul it... but you run the risk of truck problems with the strain and liability issues if something goes wrong. 99.9% chance you will have no problems that will cause an accident - but if it happens a 1/2 ton will be less likely to get you out of a hairy situation - not to say a 3/4 ton will - but you'll have a better chance or getting away with evasive manuvers. Now saying that we did haul a 4H head to head GN for years with a 1/2 ton and didn't have any problems... it's really up to you and the risks you are willing to take.

As for the "only" 35 miles... don't count on it  - things like "horse shows" (and anything horse related) have a way of getting bigger, better, more expensive and farther away LOL.

If I were you I'd go for an aluminum - or other version of light wieght 2 horse - or a bigger truck. JMO


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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 11:58 AM
Post #20555 - In reply to #20497

Wish I had the money to get a bigger truck and the trailer, but can only afford one truck and one trailer payment at a time. Have to have the bigger trailer so my claserphobic(sp) horse will load.
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cowgirl98034

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-13 9:50 PM
Post #20579 - In reply to #20497

I bought a nice used 3 horse gooseneck because my horse initially needed the extra room (and I wanted to live a long a healthy life, if you get my drift :) Now that he's a confident hauler, I can pick up a friend/s and we can all go together. I have a 3/4 ton truck 6.0 Liter with towing package and a 3,800 lb 3 horse goosneck. I haul 1 horse in most of the time. I think I could get away with a 1/2 ton just hauling the 1 horse, but the truck's tranny or engine life would be short. Of course, there are alot of BIG hills here, and mountain ranges to cross if you want to go east. I would think that if you have relatively flat terrain you'd be okay with 1 or 2 small to average size horses. The total load your truck can accomodate includes your trailer, horses, saddles, equipment, feed and don't forget the human passengers too. Coming close to your weight capacity is kind of like gambling in my opinion. How much risk are you willing to take and for how long.
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gabz

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-14 11:40 AM
Post #20607 - In reply to #20555

You've gotten quite a few answers - but I bet you don't feel like you have the answer to YOUR question do you? No one here can say "yes" do it. 

Is the truck one that you have owned all along and you know its history? Or is it being sold with the trailer?  Is the trailer at a dealer or nearby location where you can test drive it?  Hook it up and see how much it "squats"?? 

How much cargo / passengers do you expect to have in the truck when towing? How much extra stuff will be in the trailer besides the horses?  Are you in a hilly/mountainous area or completely flat? Can you drive at 55 mph on the "highway" or do you have to do 70 mph to avoid trouble? These are some of the other factors to consider if you expect to load up to the maximum with horses that are top-heavy and shift.

If you are hauling just the trailer, tack and MAX 2 horses (at 1100 pounds or less) and 1 passenger and you have an extended cab truck, flat terrain, 55 mph, excellent brakes on both the truck and trailer and correctly adjusted brake controller, you could be perfectly fine.  If you have a regular cab, put 3 adults in there, plus 2 or 3 bales of hay and large coolers filled with ice and food and beverages, 30 gallons of water, etc., etc, plus 2 horses and tack, it all adds up and can create a very unsafe situation - plus put you over your gross combined weight rating so that if you had an accident, you would be at fault for being over-loaded. 

Bottom line - it's not just if the truck can move it, it's how WELL the truck can HANDLE it.  Depending on some other factors, you could be just fine ...  but without knowing all the details, it's hard to say.

Good luck.  


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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-14 5:21 PM
Post #20634 - In reply to #20497

I have had the truck for about two years. I've not had any trouble with it. Right now I am hauling a small ( really small ) 2 horse bp. I can haul the 2 horses in it without any problems. I need to ba able to haul my thrid horse (only at fair time) about two miles,but she will not load in the small trailer and I hate to borrow someone else's trailer or bum a ride for the horse. As I stated before I can't afford another truck payment and a trailer payment besides the one I already have.


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MBRA518

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-14 7:12 PM
Post #20640 - In reply to #20634

Originally written by 4hmom on 2005-02-14 6:21 PM

I have had the truck for about two years. I've not had any trouble with it. Right now I am hauling a small ( really small ) 2 horse bp. I can haul the 2 horses in it without any problems. I need to ba able to haul my thrid horse (only at fair time) about two miles,but she will not load in the small trailer and I hate to borrow someone else's trailer or bum a ride for the horse. As I stated before I can't afford another truck payment and a trailer payment besides the one I already have.

 

Well If I were you I'd buy the lightest 3H gooseneck I could find and know your limits... you wont be hauling through the rocky's with it :D  But stay below your ratings and you should be ok for the amount of hauling you're planning... Stay up to date on all your truck maintenence and maybe in a few years you can go for the bigger truck. - That's what I would do anyway


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RES1

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-15 6:37 AM
Post #20649 - In reply to #20497

I did this for a year until I could afford a 1-ton.

I had a 1998 Ford F-150, 8 ft. bed with extended cab, 4X4. My max. allowable G-neck weight was, according to the owners manual, 6,900 lbs. I was a little over that at times. I had to be very careful. Experiance helps. For example, and I don't want the ladies out there to get upset with me because I will be using my wife as an example only because she was in-experianced with towing a trailer. She could not operate the 1/2 ton with the G-neck. It was to much for her. Now we have the 1-ton she has no problem. Its alot more stable.

Bottom line is you know your own limitations on what you can handle. Just be careful.

Good luck.


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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-15 4:46 PM
Post #20699 - In reply to #20497

res1

if you dont mind my asking what exactly do you mean your wife couldnt operate the 1/2 ton but has no problem with the 1 ton?  and i coulndnt agree more with "know your limitations"


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RES1

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-16 6:18 AM
Post #20730 - In reply to #20699

chadsalt

The lack of stability is what she had trouble with. She did not feel comfortable/safe operating the 1/2 ton with the G-neck. She never pulled a trailer with anything before, let alone something that was a little shaky.

Then again some individuals limitations are that of walking, if you know what I'm saying!

The is more confident with the 1-ton pulling the trailer, as she should be because its the proper set up.


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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-16 7:20 PM
Post #20788 - In reply to #20497

thanks, and i know what youre saying
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gbl

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 11:39 AM
Post #21058 - In reply to #20497

I've had alot of experience pulling a 3h GN with a 2002 F150 (1/2 ton) Supercrew.  I'm a structural engineer and I ran all the numbers on it.  That said, it wasn't much fun....stressful.  Never broke anything and never had an accident.  We were only going to use it for short little pulls.  They got longer and longer.  Now we do about 12 weekends worth of competitions along with at least another 60 short trips each year.  We pull it now w/ a Dodge 3500 srw diesel.  Much better (except I wish it had 4wd). 

From what you've described my two bits worth is to fix the horse.  It can be done.  I know I don't know the whole story but there's been more than a few times where a few of us have nearly picked up the back end of a horse to get 'em in.  Get someone who can work with the horse and unless it's brain dead the horse WILL learn.  It's much cheaper, too.  Good luck!


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ND COWBOY

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 1:20 PM
Post #21066 - In reply to #20497

From what I have seen on this site everyone here thinks the only thing you can pull a horse trailer with is a dually. I think that is completely nuts!!! A 3- horse gn is a piece of cake behind a 1/2 ton.
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hav2ride

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 1:34 PM
Post #21070 - In reply to #21066

No, we figure out the weights of the truck and trailer and go from there.  We recommend duallys because of the safety and stability issues.  You don't need a dually to pull a 3H with dressing room but it does make it safer.  Can you legally and safely haul a 3H with a 1/2 T?  Well, that depends on the trailer and the amount of weight you haul.
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robdnorm

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 1:37 PM
Post #21071 - In reply to #20497

Considering the truck already has the heavy duty shocks and springs, this will help keep the truck from setting too low.  All in all, if you are only going 35 miles and are traveling on flat ground you should not have any troubles.  If the truck is already has the hitch and brake controls I would hook to it and see how it handles.  I know the challenges that many parents face with getting their kids and animals to shows each year.  I am an extension agent in charge of 4-H for my county, and I am constantly seeing every configuration in transporting all types of livestock.  In most cases, the shows are mainly local and you do not have that many in a year.  I would not want to haul all three horses at once for a long period of time.  However, if you are only moving them down the road to the fairgrounds, you should make it just fine.  Hope ya'll have a good show season. 


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ND COWBOY

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 2:02 PM
Post #21077 - In reply to #20497

I agree most newcomers would be scared-to-death after reading this site. You will get along just fine with your 1/2 ton.
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ND COWBOY

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 2:14 PM
Post #21078 - In reply to #20497

A 3-horse gn is going to be easier to pull than your 2-horse bumper. If you are comfortable with your 2-horse you will love your GN 3-horse.
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hav2ride

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 4:27 PM
Post #21092 - In reply to #21078

Yep, she will love a GN but will she be legal?
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MBRA518

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 4:38 PM
Post #21094 - In reply to #20497

I will agree with you that often it is the opinion of many on this site to over truck... which is fine, nothing wrong with that... I don't agree that you NEED to over truck, but I would never advise someone to go over tow ratings... they are there for a reason, yes there are safety factors built in - but why mess with those numbers. And yes I have driven a 1/2 ton that was over weighted and no nothing happened... but I certainly wouldn't advise it.
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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 7:27 PM
Post #21107 - In reply to #20497

nd cowboy youre exactly right. id say a majority of this site think anything less than a dually is unsafe. which i agree is crazy. no there is nothing wrong with being "overtrucked" but there is nothing unsafe with being "adequately trucked". why stop with the class 2 or 3 trucks? why not go on up to the class 5 or 6 ? im sure someone will answer that.

she needs the trailer gn weight and the trucks payload cap. and then go from there. it looks like it would be close on the payload of the truck but who knows.

now this may be a little thread hijacking but heres something for anyone who might have been scared off the smaller tow vehicles to think about. my bumper pull 2h slant w/ front dress is 3500# empty, with my 2 horses and tack,saftey equip.,etc. it comes in just under 6000# with a tongue weight of 730#. i am one of the so called "dangerously undertrucked" as i pull this with a 2002 chevy trailblazer, i have a proidgy brake controller and an "equal-i-zer" brand wd hitch. the suv sits one inch lower at the rear fender when loaded, does not sway and stops just fine. it will run down the interstate at 60mph with the engine turning a little over 2000rpm with plenty of power in reserve, oddly enough im not being blown off the road by 18 wheelers, swerving all over because my horses are moving around or any of the other "dangerous" stuff you may read all over this site about bumper pulls and suvs. now this is JMO but i say do the math, if the manuf. says it will pull it...it will. experience makes all the difference and theres only one way to get it, so get out there and be carefull.
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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 8:16 PM
Post #21111 - In reply to #20497

I wanted to thank everyone one for their replies, and to let you know we picked up the gn this weekend. The truck pulled it over parley pass just east of Salt Lake City without problems. The next day to test  it out we loaded all three horses and pulled them to the town east of ours where my daughter does her barrel racing. It towed b
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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-21 8:21 PM
Post #21112 - In reply to #20497

I meant to say it towed great. I don't plan on hauling all three horses to the barrel racing. It was my husband's idea to load all three. My daughter only uses one for racing, so that will probably be the one I haul. Maybe one more. I checked with the salesman who sold me the truck and he told he 7500 lbs. was the towing capacity of the truck.
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HorseTrainersHusband

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-22 7:40 AM
Post #21124 - In reply to #20497

As for the Dually Comments - Why do Tractor Trailer Rigs have duals in the rear?? More stability, more load capacity??

I know people that have goosenecks and use srw trucks to pull with. Heck, i've even seen a ford ranger pulling a 5th wheel camper. I just want to state one thing - "god protects fools and children".

If you feel comfortable pulling a 3 horse gooseneck with a 1/2 ton truck, then by all means do it. Most peoples opinions on the subject come from experiance themselves or they know someone who has been in a situation that has changed their minds. Its not whether the truck will pull it, the truck can and it will, but for how long?? First you'll start to notice that transmission is acting funny, maybe not shifting as it should, shifting late or not shifting at all. Then you'll start to hear engine noise you didn't hear before, maybe some pinging in the valve area of the engine, maybe a knock. Had a chevy 2500 ext. cab long bed and pulled a Bee 2 Horse BP that weighed in around 4k lb. and after pulling it for 3 years started to hear pinging, just as the warranty was about to expire, got rid of it and got a dodge diesel dually. Traded the BP for a 01 Exiss 4h gooseneck and love pulling it. Goosenecks pull much easier than bp i think. It also makes the ride much smoother cause the weight is in the bed and not on the bumper. My trailer is all aluminum, but it doesn't matter, with aluminum trailers you have add more material to make the same strength of steel which is thinner. Do you really save weight by getting an aluminum, yes, but not much in my opinion. I don't think i would have tested the 5.7 in the chevy with this exiss gooseneck. I don't about ya'll, but when a horse moves around in my trailer i feel it up in the truck. If you are going to stick with this combo of truck and trailer, i suggest you get maybe some air adjust shocks or maybe even some more leafs in the rear.

just my $.02.
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ND COWBOY

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-02-22 9:41 AM
Post #21130 - In reply to #20497

Again don't let these people scare you you have an excellent combo with your 1/2 ton and 3-horse GN. Have fun!! And haul those horses!!
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gbl

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-03-07 10:02 AM
Post #21954 - In reply to #21066

When I said I have a 3500 Ram I also said it has srw (single rear wheels)...not a dually.  We wanted a srw because we use it for non-towing about 70% of the time.  It's a crew cab with a short bed.  Easy to use around town, absolutely no different than a 1/2 ton.  We avoided the dually's as they are a pain around the city.

We went from the supercrew to a 3500 srw for the following reasons:

1.  With some additions we made on the 3H GN we were exceeding the Supercrews GVWC from the goosenecks post loading.  Also, the trailer manufacturer's estimates of the post load on the truck without any additions was....low.

2.  The brakes on the 1/2 ton scared us badly a few times.  As with all truck/trailer setups the initial braking capacity of the truck is vital.  The 1/2 ton brakes are simply smaller.  Yes...the trailer brake system is vital, also...but you need the truck brakes to get it all going.

3.  We decided with the high mileage we were putting on the truck it was worth it to go with a diesel.  If we went with a Dodge 2500 that had a diesel we found the legal carrying capacity of those trucks (2200#) only helped the carrying capacity of the Supercrew (1840#) by a 360#.  (From those numbers you have to subtract any extras and passengers you have in the truck)  It's sad but true.  Look up the numbers.  Yes, it will pull more load with a diesel, but you take up a lot of carrying capacity with the added weight of the diesel and it's trans.  Consequently, once you decide on a diesel, and you want to be legal pulling a decent gooseneck, you end up leaping over consideration of the 3/4 ton trucks.

The Chevy towing capacity as you've listed showed 6500#.  This includes the weight of the horses, trailer, passengers in the car, tack, hay, extras on the truck, etc.  With a 3900# trailer (manufacturer's estimate...lol), two horses...say 2300#, tack+hay+water+buckets, etc (300#), passengers in truck (say 200#), you're right at the limit.

There's a point when the 1/2 ton won't work anymore.  You've got to make that call.

Good luck!


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4hmom

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-06 6:01 PM
Post #23512 - In reply to #20497

We had the trailor weighed with all the tack in it, and it weighed 3960. So I guess the manufacter was really close on the weight they posted. We have used the trailer a few times and have had no problems. Thanks for all the replies.
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crowleysridgegirl

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-07 9:48 PM
Post #23555 - In reply to #20497

4H mom-I don't want to disappoint you,because I've been where you're at.Bought a 3H steel GN and only had a old 1/2T Chevy.We did it-for a while.Then the tranny went out.Plus.the worst and closest call,tried to stop at a little incline intersection in the hills one rainy PM with 2 horses in the back,and couldn't.Just kept right on going out in the road.Like the guy said,God protects those...Finally realized we had too much trailer for the truck.It felt like an ant pulling a bale of hay.We got a 3/4T GMC.Now have 3/4T F250 powerstroke.It's a hassle to get THAT thing around town.I can't tell you the close calls I've had turning into a lot with a dropoff on the passenger side that I can't see.When we got our 3H LQ,I told hubby if this won't pull it,forget it.No dually.No LQ.There's also a point where you have to say,enough is enough.
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crowleysridgegirl

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-07 10:05 PM
Post #23556 - In reply to #20497

4Hmom-I agree w/GBL.We have a gelding who would not go in 2H.Would NOT.We worked with him using some methods of John Lyons,also like Pat Parelli's methods too.One day,in he went,but he worked up to it-nose in trailer,chest at trailer door,one foot on,foot off,ect.We got him in with feed.I didn't think he'd ever go in,but he will.He is pretty smart,but I think sometimes that's not always a good thing!We were patient and consistent,and he'll go in the 2H now.Yours will,too.
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2qh1jack

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-08 5:09 AM
Post #23559 - In reply to #20497


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2qh1jack

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-08 5:22 AM
Post #23560 - In reply to #20497

Sorry about the above post, accidently sent it before writing, oops.  I can attest to the dangers of hauling a horse trailer in the mountains/not having big enough brakes on the 1/2 ton truck.  Last year we were going to Bristol, TN and got bad directions from the individual putting on a clinic we were attending.  Wow, we ended up on really steep cut backs, which actually intersected with the Appalachian Trail.  We have a 2 horse bumper pull and a 1/2 ton truck (chevy 5.7L/3.73 rear axle ratio).  Thank God we survived.  Near the end of the mountain, we were going down and could not stop at all.  Right when we were about to freak out, a dirt road appeared on the right and we were able to turn down it.  Finally, after about 30 yards, we stopped.  Our friends, who were driving a 3/4 ton with there 3H gooseneck did fine, but said they had trouble as well.  Since we live at the coast and never drive over 55-60 mph, we had not experienced any trouble with our truck/trailer combination before.  But if I had it to do all over again, I definately wouldn't have went down 421 in Tennessee, but I would have purchased a 3/4 ton truck.  This was one of the most scariest moments of my life.     
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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-08 11:53 AM
Post #23572 - In reply to #23560

Originally written by 2qh1jack on 2005-04-08 5:22 AM

Sorry about the above post, accidently sent it before writing, oops.  I can attest to the dangers of hauling a horse trailer in the mountains/not having big enough brakes on the 1/2 ton truck.  Last year we were going to Bristol, TN and got bad directions from the individual putting on a clinic we were attending.  Wow, we ended up on really steep cut backs, which actually intersected with the Appalachian Trail.  We have a 2 horse bumper pull and a 1/2 ton truck (chevy 5.7L/3.73 rear axle ratio).  Thank God we survived.  Near the end of the mountain, we were going down and could not stop at all.  Right when we were about to freak out, a dirt road appeared on the right and we were able to turn down it.  Finally, after about 30 yards, we stopped.  Our friends, who were driving a 3/4 ton with there 3H gooseneck did fine, but said they had trouble as well.  Since we live at the coast and never drive over 55-60 mph, we had not experienced any trouble with our truck/trailer combination before.  But if I had it to do all over again, I definately wouldn't have went down 421 in Tennessee, but I would have purchased a 3/4 ton truck.  This was one of the most scariest moments of my life.     



im sure the OP appreciates your experiance, but i dont follow your reasoning. the 1/2 ton was probably close to the max with the 2h while the 3/4 probably still had some capacity left. brake fade/failure can occur on any rig when pushed to the limit....max load, steep grades etc. im glad everything turned out alright, but this sounds like a training/experiance issue not a truck or saftey issue.

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Terri

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-08 1:43 PM
Post #23583 - In reply to #23560

Originally written by 2qh1jack on 2005-04-08 5:22 AM
Our friends, who were driving a 3/4 ton with there 3H gooseneck did fine, but said they had trouble as well.  

How was bigger better there if they had trouble too?  My husband drove an 18 wheeler for a few years and said even the big trucks have problems on some of those hills.  He called me one day and said he was stuck in traffic because a trailer (18 wheeler trailer)was on fire.  The guys brakes had overheated and caught fire.  So much for the load of hay he was carrying.  He said the guy probally didn't have his jake brake on. 

As long as you are within your trucks ratings, what's the problem?  I used to have a F250 and lost my brakes in San Antonio, no trailer just the truck.  Shot right through a stop light on 1604 and Potranco.  Lot's of traffic and I'm glad everyone was paying attention to my horn.  I have never been so scared.  I just kept pumping the brakes until going up the next hill slowed me down enough to put that sucker in park and jumped out.  The cop that was trying to pull me over for running the light was very understanding when he realized I couldn't stop and called a tow truck to move the truck. 


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2qh1jack

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 5:54 AM
Post #23602 - In reply to #20497

Sorry if my post sounded confusing, I did it right when I first got up for work. I think that you are right about part of my problem with that mountain road was an experience issue. I've only been pulling horse trailers for a few years and this was the first time I had ever pulled in the mountains. Where we live, it is amazingly flat for miles and miles. The road was rediculously steep with cutbacks, so I had no business on this road at all. We went down this road never traveling it before, but took the interstate back and did fine (just taking it really slow up inclines and coasting down declines-up the incline). My reasoning for my post was that if my 1/2 ton truck had trouble with my 2h bp, wouldn't a 3h trailer be even more taxing-we still had difficulties even on the interstate, taxing the truck. I had come to the conclusion that my truck/trailer combo was ok for where I live, but could be dangerous in the mountains. I may be wrong, because I'm still green and growing when it comes to this subject. I just couldn't help but think about my experience, when I saw that the OP was using a 3h and 1/2 ton truck, in mountainous area. I thought initially, "wow if I had trouble with 5680 lbs/2h bp, how will she manage with a 3horse trailer". Thanks for responding to my post and for your good points-experience, trouble that even larger trucks have (Terri's post).
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2qh1jack

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 6:06 AM
Post #23603 - In reply to #20497

Quick clarification, the 5680lbs is the total weight of our trailer with horses, tack, hay, and trailer's weight.
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headhunter

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 10:18 AM
Post #23610 - In reply to #20497

I'm jumping in kind of late on this thread, but wanted to share that my concerns with towing vehicle capacity isn't so much about engine power as it is about braking capacity and transmission overload. I have pulled trailers with 1/2T, 3/4T and 1T trucks, and while they all could do it (1/2T only pulled 2H BP), my best experience has been pulling our 33' 5th wheel travel trailer with the 1T. The 5th wheel is 9000 lbs empty, a whole lot more when you figure it holds 40 gallons fresh water, two 35gallon grey water tanks and a 40 gallon black water tank, plus everything else (dishes, food, clothes, two TV's, washer/dryer, etc.) I plan on using the same 1T to pull a 3 horse gooseneck and know without a doubt it has the transmission and brakes to handle it.

Most 3/4T and 1T trucks have transmission coolers, and just plain heavier duty transmissions and brakes than 1/2T trucks and SUV's. I used to own an Expedition that was my daily driver, based on the 1/2T Ford truck platform. I lived on a very steep hill, required continuous braking the last 1/4 mile home or so. I would manually shift down the automatic transmission (from drive to 2nd, sometimes even 1st) to take advantage of engine braking, yet I had to replace the brake pads on that vehicle every year - and I only put 15-20k miles on it annually. That Expedition only pulled a trailer once its entire life. So that's something to think about. Your maintenance costs and potential repair bills will be much higher with a 1/2T than a 3/4 or 1T truck.

Nobody here is trying to scare anyone into thinking that the only proper tow rig is a 1T dually. Most people on this board are just sharing what they have learned from their experiences, which comes down to just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. My thought is if you can't afford the appropriate towing rig then you need to scale down your trailer. Your life, your horse's life, your children's lives, and everyone on the road with you is trusting you to have a proper towing rig.

One last thought - if you look around at the parking lot at any major horse show, check out the rigs the professionals and trainers drive, and the non-pro's that haul all over everywhere competing for year end awards. Even the light aluminum 3 horse goosenecks are pulled by 1T trucks. I think the best lessons can be learned from those who have been there and done that.
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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 10:56 AM
Post #23612 - In reply to #23610

Originally written by  My thought is if you can't afford the appropriate towing rig then you need to scale down your trailer. Your life, your horse's life, your children's lives, and everyone on the road with you is trusting you to have a proper towing rig.

that was a good post but again at the end you appear to be putting a "saftey" spin on it.  yes a 1/2 ton will have more brake pads and tranmissions used up in the same distance compared to a 1 ton. this is not a saftey isssue, it is a maint. issue. added to that you can buy a lot of brake pads, and transmissions for that matter, compared to the inital and operatining cost of haveing a 1 ton for a daily driver.  and yes all the shows will have the big rigs, some of them are status symbols, some need them and some just want them. there is nothing wrong with any of those reasons. i have yet to see anyone debate bigger is better, only is bigger necessary to be safe. which is of course not. and its not necessary about being able to "afford" a larger truck either, i personally could have a f 550 sitting in my driveway by the end of the day if i so desired. i choose to tow with a mid suv.


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headhunter

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 12:37 PM
Post #23615 - In reply to #23612

Maintenance issues become safety issues if you don't keep your towing rig in tip-top condition. Because you will have more and more frequent maintenance issues with a lighter rig, you run the risk of something giving out sooner and unexpectedly. That was the point I was trying to make. A heavier-duty towing rig will go longer with fewer surprises. Especially a rig that doubles as a daily driver, you will have more rapid wear and tear on the brakes and tranny, and putting the additional load of a horse trailer on top of a 1/2T platform is a higher probability of unexpected failure.

As far as a 1T being a daily driver, I agree, that would be overkill. But there is always the 3/4T compromise for a 3H gooseneck. As I mentioned, they have the heavier duty trannys and brakes, and many have tranny coolers. I personally think the 3/4T is a good compromise and know lots of people that just pull a few weekends a year that use 3/4T trucks without any problems.
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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 3:52 PM
Post #23617 - In reply to #23615

Originally written by headhunter on 2005-04-09 1:37 PM

Maintenance issues become safety issues if you don't keep your towing rig in tip-top condition. Because you will have more and more frequent maintenance issues with a lighter rig, you run the risk of something giving out sooner and unexpectedly. That was the point I was trying to make. A heavier-duty towing rig will go longer with fewer surprises. Especially a rig that doubles as a daily driver, you will have more rapid wear and tear on the brakes and tranny, and putting the additional load of a horse trailer on top of a 1/2T platform is a higher probability of unexpected failure. As far as a 1T being a daily driver, I agree, that would be overkill. But there is always the 3/4T compromise for a 3H gooseneck. As I mentioned, they have the heavier duty trannys and brakes, and many have tranny coolers. I personally think the 3/4T is a good compromise and know lots of people that just pull a few weekends a year that use 3/4T trucks without any problems.

 

i agree with some of that, but maint. is part of saftey. so youre saying drive a bigger truck so you dont have to check things as often? and what exactly do you expect to fail unexpectedly?  even if you dont do proper maint.  brakes squeal and transmissions slip, and an auto trans is a wear item anyway. and i dont see much of a price diffence between a 3/4 and 1 ton as they are generally structurally similar if not identical with the exception of a dually.


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MBRA518

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 6:32 PM
Post #23621 - In reply to #20497

 Well for brakes - i've lost the brakes on my Totota Tercel on a mountain - it wasn't towing anything - they just over headed and would slow us down but not stop us... scariest thing ever - the hair pin turn at the bottom we were on 2 wheels... I did drive over that mountain for years afterwards  - so it can happen to any vehicle.

To the frequent brake change comment - my Jimmy was the same - both before and after I started towing with it - actually I didn't notice any worse brake wear after I started towing with it. That is more of a "north american " manufacturer issue - the big 3 tend to have these issues with all their vehicles - it's an issue with under sized brakes componants and poorly selected materials... but I could do on for days on that PITA issue. But with any vehicle you are using to tow with, no matter what the cargo, you need to do more frequent checks on the vehicle to ensure no abnormal wear. 


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headhunter

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 7:35 PM
Post #23622 - In reply to #23617

i agree with some of that, but maint. is part of saftey. so youre saying drive a bigger truck so you dont have to check things as often? No, not that you don't have to. You just run a lesser risk if you don't check. I check my oil level at every fuel fill up, and have my brake pads checked with every tire rotation, which is every other oil change. Most people don't.


and what exactly do you expect to fail unexpectedly?  Based on the stories shared here, brakes would be a good example. What if you do take a wrong turn in the mountains and end up on some windy steep mountain road that does tax your brake system?

Here's another analogy to help make my point: Just because your tachometer says your engine red lines at 6500 RPM's doesn't mean you should run it at 6499 RPM's continuously and expect it to hold up. It means you should shift to a higher gear. Most times you shift long before you hit the red line. Along the same line of thinking, if you are approaching the maximum tow weight with your truck/trailer combo, you should be thinking of upgrading the towing vehicle, or shifting to the next higher gear or vehicle. A maxed out towing vehicle is taxing the transmission and braking system just like running at maximum RPM's taxes the engine. Does that make sense?

The original poster's question was about whether a 1/2T truck could pull a 3H gn. I don't think proof of compatibility is in one trip, I think its over the life of the vehicle. Brake or tranny failure would be a catastrophic failure. I believe high maintenance expenses over a period of time are also proof of incompatibility. But other than the manufacturers of both trucks and trailers establishing maximum weight loads and ratios, there isn't much data for the gray area of what works but isn't optimal. The original poster turned to the experience of those on this board and got a variety of answers based on a variety of experiences. Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't seen anyone post a reply saying they have the exact same setup (3h gn w/ 1/2T truck) and are happy with it - we've seen alot of posts regarding SUV/bumper pull combo's, but no 1/2T truck and 3h gn combo's.




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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 9:22 PM
Post #23625 - In reply to #23622

Originally written by headhunter on 2005-04-09 8:35 PM

i agree with some of that, but maint. is part of saftey. so youre saying drive a bigger truck so you dont have to check things as often? No, not that you don't have to. You just run a lesser risk if you don't check. I check my oil level at every fuel fill up, and have my brake pads checked with every tire rotation, which is every other oil change. Most people don't. and what exactly do you expect to fail unexpectedly?  Based on the stories shared here, brakes would be a good example. What if you do take a wrong turn in the mountains and end up on some windy steep mountain road that does tax your brake system? Here's another analogy to help make my point: Just because your tachometer says your engine red lines at 6500 RPM's doesn't mean you should run it at 6499 RPM's continuously and expect it to hold up. It means you should shift to a higher gear. Most times you shift long before you hit the red line. Along the same line of thinking, if you are approaching the maximum tow weight with your truck/trailer combo, you should be thinking of upgrading the towing vehicle, or shifting to the next higher gear or vehicle. A maxed out towing vehicle is taxing the transmission and braking system just like running at maximum RPM's taxes the engine. Does that make sense? The original poster's question was about whether a 1/2T truck could pull a 3H gn. I don't think proof of compatibility is in one trip, I think its over the life of the vehicle. Brake or tranny failure would be a catastrophic failure. I believe high maintenance expenses over a period of time are also proof of incompatibility. But other than the manufacturers of both trucks and trailers establishing maximum weight loads and ratios, there isn't much data for the gray area of what works but isn't optimal. The original poster turned to the experience of those on this board and got a variety of answers based on a variety of experiences. Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't seen anyone post a reply saying they have the exact same setup (3h gn w/ 1/2T truck) and are happy with it - we've seen alot of posts regarding SUV/bumper pull combo's, but no 1/2T truck and 3h gn combo's.

brakes failing is a different situation than brakes wearing quickly.  "failing" is caused by a part breaking(which an earlier post in this thread had a failure with a f250 and no trailer) or by operator error such as overloading or overheating (not refering to your tercel MBRA).

the "6500" analogy is a fine example but not entirely applicable to this situation as most people are not towing "continuously". the max weight limits set by the manuf. are still going to give "resonable" service life for that vehicle.  added to this most people considering towing with a smaller vehicle are not going to be towing enough to worry about the extra wear or they will eventually size up.

how about this analogy, say a resonable vehicle life is 150000 miles with no trailer, with trailer in tow is only 75000. now if i drive 12000 a year and only 2000 are with a trailer how will this affect the life of that vehicle? i belive some manner of math is in order. so with no trailer the truck should last 12.5 years and with the trailer in tow 2000 a year we would be looking at 10.7 years. now my math may not be perfect and some may tow more than that but the pricipal is sound.

and did you say you "have" your brakes checked? implying you cant/dont do that yourself?

and the exact combo (3h GN 1/2ton)is not realavant only the weight limits.  the op claimed a tow rating of 7500, why does it matter if its a 3h 3900 + 2 horses or a 4h at 5000 and 1 horse? it wont.

one of the reason i make such a big deal about the smaller vehicles is so the new people wont be scared off.  most of the people on this forum are experianced and highly interested in the horse world. but this is probably not a broad enough representation of the picture.  i went for a trail ride today and actually took the time to count trailers in the parking lot.  out of 20 half the trailers were BP and of the other half GN one third of those were pulled with 1/2 tons. these are the people who dont do this for a living theyre just out having fun, of course go to a show and all youll find are the bigger rigs. its just silly to say the smaller rigs are unsafe or wear out to fast.....there are just to many people doing it. JMO


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headhunter

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 9:43 PM
Post #23627 - In reply to #23625

Originally written by chadsalt on 2005-04-09 7:22 PM

Originally written by headhunter on 2005-04-09 8:35 PM

i agree with some of that, but maint. is part of saftey. so youre saying drive a bigger truck so you dont have to check things as often? No, not that you don't have to. You just run a lesser risk if you don't check. I check my oil level at every fuel fill up, and have my brake pads checked with every tire rotation, which is every other oil change. Most people don't. and what exactly do you expect to fail unexpectedly?  Based on the stories shared here, brakes would be a good example. What if you do take a wrong turn in the mountains and end up on some windy steep mountain road that does tax your brake system? Here's another analogy to help make my point: Just because your tachometer says your engine red lines at 6500 RPM's doesn't mean you should run it at 6499 RPM's continuously and expect it to hold up. It means you should shift to a higher gear. Most times you shift long before you hit the red line. Along the same line of thinking, if you are approaching the maximum tow weight with your truck/trailer combo, you should be thinking of upgrading the towing vehicle, or shifting to the next higher gear or vehicle. A maxed out towing vehicle is taxing the transmission and braking system just like running at maximum RPM's taxes the engine. Does that make sense? The original poster's question was about whether a 1/2T truck could pull a 3H gn. I don't think proof of compatibility is in one trip, I think its over the life of the vehicle. Brake or tranny failure would be a catastrophic failure. I believe high maintenance expenses over a period of time are also proof of incompatibility. But other than the manufacturers of both trucks and trailers establishing maximum weight loads and ratios, there isn't much data for the gray area of what works but isn't optimal. The original poster turned to the experience of those on this board and got a variety of answers based on a variety of experiences. Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't seen anyone post a reply saying they have the exact same setup (3h gn w/ 1/2T truck) and are happy with it - we've seen alot of posts regarding SUV/bumper pull combo's, but no 1/2T truck and 3h gn combo's.

brakes failing is a different situation than brakes wearing quickly.  "failing" is caused by a part breaking(which an earlier post in this thread had a failure with a f250 and no trailer) or by operator error such as overloading or overheating (not refering to your tercel MBRA).

the "6500" analogy is a fine example but not entirely applicable to this situation as most people are not towing "continuously". the max weight limits set by the manuf. are still going to give "resonable" service life for that vehicle.  added to this most people considering towing with a smaller vehicle are not going to be towing enough to worry about the extra wear or they will eventually size up.

how about this analogy, say a resonable vehicle life is 150000 miles with no trailer, with trailer in tow is only 75000. now if i drive 12000 a year and only 2000 are with a trailer how will this affect the life of that vehicle? i belive some manner of math is in order. so with no trailer the truck should last 12.5 years and with the trailer in tow 2000 a year we would be looking at 10.7 years. now my math may not be perfect and some may tow more than that but the pricipal is sound.

and did you say you "have" your brakes checked? implying you cant/dont do that yourself?

and the exact combo (3h GN 1/2ton)is not realavant only the weight limits.  the op claimed a tow rating of 7500, why does it matter if its a 3h 3900 + 2 horses or a 4h at 5000 and 1 horse? it wont.



I think we are down to splitting hairs here. Someone said early on that each individual must make their own decision based on their own equipment and own situation.

And about your last question, does it matter if I can check my own brakes or "have" it done? How is that relevant to this discussion? To give you the benefit of an answer, I have my brakes checked when I have my vehicles serviced. I don't do my own servicing...its too hard on my nails and I can afford to have it done.

FWIW, before I get a big lecture about not knowing what I am talking about because I don't service my own vehicles, I am a former Goodyear Service Manager.

Signing off this discussion.


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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 10:00 PM
Post #23628 - In reply to #20497

crap then i wont get to talk about service managers.

been nice talking with you.

bye.


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MBRA518

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-09 10:08 PM
Post #23629 - In reply to #23622

Originally written by headhunter on 2005-04-09 8:35 PM

i agree with some of that, but maint. is part of saftey. so youre saying drive a bigger truck so you dont have to check things as often? No, not that you don't have to. You just run a lesser risk if you don't check. I check my oil level at every fuel fill up, and have my brake pads checked with every tire rotation, which is every other oil change. Most people don't. and what exactly do you expect to fail unexpectedly?  Based on the stories shared here, brakes would be a good example. What if you do take a wrong turn in the mountains and end up on some windy steep mountain road that does tax your brake system? 

No I don't think everyone needs to drive bigger vehicles - quite the opposite actually - I do think that people should not over weight the truck - anything big enough or bigger than required is great as far as trucks go. But if you are hauling a lot I think you should at least keep up regular maintence (no matter how big your truck)- whether you do it or have it done - as long as it is done, because you are taxing your vehicle more that the average user it just makes sence to ensure everything is working well. Professional drivers need to do a safety check before every trip - any one hauling anything should do the same - even if minor (check the light work etc.)

Well but definition I don't "expect" anything to fail unexpectedly - but sure brakes would be the obvious but anything can go, some may be caught by a regular inspection (garages often offer "X" point inspections with your oil change). And some will go without warning - crap happens and you can't prepare for everything. And for the wrong turn... if you have not over exerting your truck and know how to drive in those conditions (ie shifting down) then you will be fine - if you are not prepared for the conditions you should be taking extra precautions - maybe stop frequently to rest the rig and cool the brakes would be an option in that situation - which would be similar to driving slow in snow if you are not prepared for the conditions.

Chadsalt.. I was 17 with that tercel.. "operator error" was definatly at least a factor in that situation

 

 


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Terri

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-10 12:34 PM
Post #23637 - In reply to #23622

Correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't seen anyone post a reply saying they have the exact same setup (3h gn w/ 1/2T truck) and are happy with it - we've seen alot of posts regarding SUV/bumper pull combo's, but no 1/2T truck and 3h gn combo's.

 

I have a 20ft featherlite 4horse trailer w/dressing room and a 2003 ram 1500.  I have had this truck for 3 years (got it new).  After 9,000 miles of not using it for towing I had brake problems that were fixed by the dealer twice.  I started checking on the internet and found that a lot of people with the 20" tires were having this same problem.  I got rid of the 20's and got 17's and started towing with it.  I have been towing my trailer with 3 horses (8200lbs on the scale and everything under limits) with no problems.  My truck came from the dealer with a tranny cooler, oil cooler, a HUGE radiator, brake controller connections and fuse spaces for trailer connections.  I have never had a problem starting or stoping.   I just pay attention and don't speed.


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chadsalt

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-10 5:32 PM
Post #23641 - In reply to #23629

Originally written by MBRA518 on 2005-04-09 11:08 PM

[Chadsalt.. I was 17 with that tercel.. "operator error" was definatly at least a factor in that situation

 

 

been there done that.


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Shari

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Subject : RE: 3 horse gn - 1/2 ton truck
Posted : 2005-04-10 9:09 PM
Post #23651 - In reply to #20497

We have a 03 dodge 1/2 ton also. We pull our all alluminum 3 horse with small living quarters (week end package). Usually only haul 2 horses haven't had any problems.No problem stoping, like you we're careful. But would drive the same way if we had a bigger truck.
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