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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One area the Ram 1500 trails the pack is payload as shown by this chart from the PickupTrucks 2013 Light-Duty Challenge (towing is similar).

truck challenge payloads.jpg

The 3L diesel motor is heavy and drops the payload and front axle ratings even further. Payload is based on the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), a number the truck makers provide without documentation about how it is calculated. Given that the GVWR varies so much among brands and models, one wonders how much marketing and politics influence the numbers. Nevertheless, these are official limits that carry strong warnings at least for commercial uses.

Most of us on the forum are private users. We have more leeway with how much we push the limits and how we modify our trucks to improve capabilities. The question is how much should we believe the ratings? They ostensibly represent the maximum safe load on the frame, brakes, axles, suspension, wheels and tires--the last 3 easily upgraded.

What is the weak link in the Ram that makes GVWR so low? Or is Ram just being overly conservative?

overloaded-vehicle.jpg
 
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Good question on what the limiting factor is.

Do know I am researching both helper load bumpers and air bags for inside the rear springs. Both are relatively cheap ( $200 & $100) with easy installation. There is a bit of trepidation with the upcoming 1500 purchase because of this. The engine should be fine. The "little" 1500, for me, will be an adjustment.
 

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I posted this in the thread on air suspension but I guess it was a bit of a hijack.

I appreciate all the talk about payloads for the sake of discussion but does anyone really look at their payloads that closely. When I vacation I hook up the boat and fill the bed with everything we need for a week at the lake. I have weighed my boat and trailer and I have an idea of what the tongue weighs but I do not consider what I put in the bed. I'm it's not like I say well I can't take this cooler and these bikes because I'll be over my payload. I wouldn't go way over but a few hundred would not concern me at all. Maybe because I'm coming from a 3/4 ton but payload does not worry me to much.
 

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LCR, I'm sure 5 lugs can be fully capable, but Ford and I believe Chevy/GMC are now 6 lug. Maybe just a perception thing. Coils can be plenty capable as well as train cars ride on coils. I am inclined to believe Rams are conservatively rated. In the Canadian truck king challange 1000lb payload was used and Ram handled it as well as others. I am planning on airbags inside coils.I have the firestone airbags on my Dakota and they have been great. I have hauled 2000 lbs of gravel (clearly overloaded), but with the auxiliary bags could level the truck. Didn't have far to haul and at moderate speed truck did fine, even up my long steep driveway. I am not looking to abuse new truck unnecessarily, but it probably can handle occasional overload.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
...I appreciate all the talk about payloads for the sake of discussion but does anyone really look at their payloads that closely. When I vacation I hook up the boat and fill the bed with everything we need for a week at the lake. I have weighed my boat and trailer and I have an idea of what the tongue weighs but I do not consider what I put in the bed. I'm it's not like I say well I can't take this cooler and these bikes because I'll be over my payload. I wouldn't go way over but a few hundred would not concern me at all. Maybe because I'm coming from a 3/4 ton but payload does not worry me to much.
Some of us just worry, especially commercial operators who are checked more often and can face stiff fines. But most people probably don't think about load until there is a problem. The load ratings are about safety and durability. An overloaded truck does not handle well in emergencies and may even break down in a bad place. I have seen my share of pickups carrying campers or pulling trailers that have crashed--not a pretty sight. My own limited experience is with a Jeep CJ that had a light payload rating and rather weak frame that I managed to crack in 4 places over a dozen years, and a Grand Cherokee that had rear axle problems.

Back to the Ram 1500. Looking at the axles, especially compared to a HD truck, made me think they might be a limiting factor. However, the Ram's GAWR is 3900 lbs which is similar to the competitors (3800 to 4000) who claim higher payloads.

The coil spring suspension is often cited as a limiting factor but I can't find any proof of that. Coils are commonly used in much heavier vehicles. Also, the 4-corner air suspension did not change the ratings compared to coils, so that makes me think the limitation is something else. It could be that Ram chose a relatively low spring load for the 1500 suspension to improve the ride and handling although I'm just speculating.

I thought the P-class stock tires might be a limitation but they have a combined load rating that exceeds the axles, and substituting LT tires does not increase the load rating from what I can tell. The frame and brakes seem solid for a truck of this class. So, it's a mystery. As the PickupTrucks.com article concludes, we can only hope that an industry standard for ratings is adopted.

In the meantime, probably the best we can do is go with our experience of what actually works in our situation. I have no doubt an experienced, observant and cautious driver should have no problem overloading the Ram several hundred pounds. It never hurts to know more about the truck and what others have learned, though. Thanks for all your inputs. :cool:
 

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Another interesting thing concerning gross vehicle weight rating which impacts payload is the diesel equipped vehicles' gvw is 6950lbs vs 6800 for all gas configurations. I figure this is to help compensate for increased weight of diesel and def system, but what was changed on truck? Spring rate? Something else, nothing? Haven't found any answer yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another interesting thing concerning gross vehicle weight rating which impacts payload is the diesel equipped vehicles' gvw is 6950lbs vs 6800 for all gas configurations. I figure this is to help compensate for increased weight of diesel and def system, but what was changed on truck? Spring rate? Something else, nothing? Haven't found any answer yet.
A mystery. When 4x4 is added the curb weight goes up over 200 lbs but the GVWR stays the same and the front GAWR goes up 200 lbs. With the diesel the GVWR went up but the front GAWR didn't change, and there is now only 600 lbs reserve GAWR on the QC/CC Laramie. There goes the off-road bumper I wanted. :(
 

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The compromise or gamble Ram made was to offer coil springs for better ride and sacrifice payload. Seriously, the Ram side states payload is 1140 pounds for a Laramie, 4 wheel drive, with diesel, is not much at all. 2 guys , a dog are about 500 pounds, and that would leave 640 pounds for a load of wood... that is a joke, 640 pounds would not even reach the top of the wheel boxes.
If you had 4 people going on vacation, figure the people alone would weigh 700 pounds, so that would leave 440 pounds for luggage, coolers, gear, etc... that's not much....

Looking at the Chevrolet 2014 Sierra, 4 wheel drive, payload of the V6 is 1933#, and payload of the 5.3 liter gasser is 1957#, that is 817 pounds more than the Ram 1500 Laramie Ecodiesel that I built/spec on the Ram site...... 817 pounds difference is a heck of a lot.......

I guess the point Bigfoot makes, is you better go into this with eyes wide open, read and understand all of the small print, regarding capabilities....
 

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Folks like Nail, and Bigfoot are buying for a need, which is great, and really that is the purpose of a truck.... I don't have a true need right now, except towing my brother's boat, brother and nephew have 2 Ram 2500s, 2006 and 2012 - so they have the trucks to pull the skid steer etc.

My interest is I like trucks, have had trucks over the years, and family will use.... It will be good to see the reports from those that buy the truck, and I will probably sit back until mid summer before I make a decision....

No doubt it will be a good truck, but the design, and capability, is both it's strength and it's weakness.... A great motor and transmission, good, really good fuel economy for a truck, great quality after Fiat's initial involvement.... a truck for every day, and diesel torque and longevity.
Flip side is low payload, relative low tow rating.

Should be a good rig, with do-it-all capability... One poster, not sure who said "it is not built to tow 6000 pounds every day"... I was pissed when I saw that, and thought who is he to say that.... but really that may be the best of it.... a truck that is a grocery getter, tow the boat on weekends, the quad trailer, the small camper, or tool box, get good economy, good enough to drive every day, and have a nice ride on the road thanks to the coil over back end......

We will see. Marsman
 

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Just my take
I drive. 35k mi a year and need a truck if the ED gets mid to high 20s mpg it will be a big win for me. I have been waiting for awhile for a work truck that will save my wallet in the fuel dept.
 

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My question is, what is an acceptable number. Is i "safe to run right up to rating? Stay 100lbs under? Would 100lbs over be OK? I understand everyone's idea of safety is a little different. For me I feel there is a good 10% safety margin engineered into things. They know the end user is going to push the limits so they set the limit low.
I guess for me I would not think it to be safe to run 500 over but a 250 I wouldn't even think twice about.
 

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Nail, you have a truck, I think anyone who has had a truck has run it up to, or slightly over the limit a time or two.
Try it and see how the truck runs/sits/handles.

Like anything how is a person going to use it, as an only vehicle, with truck capability, and 4 wheel drive, like Kirk said up above, mid to upper 20s is hard to beat.

I'll probably wait a few months, until several are purchased, and folks post their real world mileage, and how the truck runs and performs under load.
 

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My question was more for those that are so concerned with only being able to care 200lbs of lumber and not 300 because they will be over the payload.
I have hauled 2400 skids in the bed of a half ton. Only a few miles and not very fast but we use to do it every 3 months for years. In my truck when I pick up sand or wood bark I never think how much does it weigh and how heavy are the 3 guys with me, I fill the bed. And my my example of my boating vacation, I bring everything we need for the week, hook up the boat and hit the road never giving any thought to my payload and if its under or over it's rating.
Where I live every family has at least one pickup and I have never had a discussion with any of them on not being able to carry things in the bed because it put them over their payload.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
...Where I live every family has at least one pickup and I have never had a discussion with any of them on not being able to carry things in the bed because it put them over their payload.
Some people think Oregon's state car is the pickup. ;) They have gone from basic work vehicles to luxury family haulers and commuters. What most people do not consider is that light trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles for both the occupants and for people outside. Overloading contributes to that through poor handling, long braking distance, higher COG, and a general overconfidence because we are in a big, heavy vehicle.

Of course, trucks have come a long way since the 90s when the Dodge pickup was high on the list of most deadly vehicles on the road. There are now many engineering and safety improvements, and there is much info on how to stay within the vehicle's design capacity. Still, it never hurts to recognize that driving is the most risky thing many of us do in our daily routine.

That said, I just wanted to hear what others think of the load rating numbers because many of you know much more about these trucks than I do. If you think the Ram can easily handle some excess weight I tend to believe you. I have the gut feeling that to some extent the payload ratings were just pulled out of a hat.

One thing I will certainly do when I get the truck is to test it for stopping and emergency maneuvers--unloaded to overloaded. My favorite location is a giant parking lot at the local ski area where I can get up to around 50 mph and go through an imaginary moose avoidance course.
 

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It won't be coils because the 2500s have coils as of the 2014MY. This could sway me to get a 2500.

Ram 2500 HD video shows off new engine, rear suspension - Autoblog

As far as going over, that is all up to you. On the RV forums, there are 3 types of people. 1) Haul it til it breaks, don't care if I am over 2) Know that I am a little over, but still be safe because there has to be a fudge factor built into the truck (That is where I am), and 3) All ratings are the law and you are not suppose to go over any. Usually 2 and 3 weigh there rigs to know where they are at. That is how I know I am 100lbs over GVW on the Jeep, fully ready to camp with the family, but under all GAWR.
 

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Trains use coil springs but they aren't the same ones found on a 1500 or even a 2500. Spring rates vary by applications and the 1500 application is either underrated or it simply has too soft of a spring. there is no way that the 1500 and 2500 share the same coil springs.
 

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Bigfoot your comments are always grounded in solid logic... The payload limit is one thing that will cause me to sit on the sideline for a few months... 1140 pounds.... that's really poor when you think about it..
Sure you can ask, "how many times is there just people only in the car, ie a glorified grocery getter? Vs under load (payload) and also under tow, or under both load and tow?"
If the use is an SUV with a bed, kids to soccer, golf clubs in the back, vacation with beach stuff or camping gear in the back.... then the Ram will be fine... If it 's hauling wood, work with masonry, or something where there are tools, equipment, wood or brick in the bed... then the ram 1500 does not look to fit that bill well... with 4 guys weighing 210 pounds, you have exactly payload left over (for the Laramie that I spec out) of 300 pounds.... that stinks.

I keep thinking about firewood, because I haul it... and the Ram 1500 would be overloaded before the bed was.. My 2008 Duramax and 2006 Ram-Cummins, I could stack it as high as I could stack it, and there was no problem... I put 2600 pounds of floor tile in the Ram 2500-Cummins, and it sagged, but it pulled and drove fine.

Ram 1500 will be a good do it all vehicle for many applications....

When the GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3 and 4 wheel drive has a payload of 1975 pounds, and the Ram 1500 Laramie, Ecodiesel 4 wheel drive has a payload of 1140.... that disparity seems large, when considering overall utility and functionality of a truck.

My company has several operations in Texas, and at any given time, pick up trucks are pretty much all you see, I have driven the F150 gassers (like the 5.0) my 2 diesels, Ram 2500s....
On this truck, I am on the fence too.... because I don't have a need, I can afford to wait... I like trucks, but a better overall value may be a used 2011/12 Duramax..... not sure.... will wait and see....
May end up taking the money and investing in a piece of rental property !
marsman
 
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