Winter weight in the bed of your truck? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Radam3
12-29-2012, 12:41
To those of you in the north that drive pickups.

How much weight do y'all put into your bed to help with traction?

I bought 300 pounds of sand bags this year, and it doesn't seem to be helping at all!

Last year I used two of those concrete parking stops that my dad had laying around, but i didn't like the fact that they took up pretty much my whole bed. I have no idea what they weighed, but they actually helped.

So I'm just lookin for how much more weight I need to add?

G17Jake
12-29-2012, 12:44
I have at least 4 70# bags. Sandbags are cheap enough that I put what it takes.

Still, without good winter tires, it wouldn't be enough. I put snow tires on the back wheels, and that made a difference.

Batesmotel
12-29-2012, 12:50
My truck (dodge 3500 long bed) has a shell and I keep an extra spare tire, tools, wood blocks, jacks, chains Etc so it does ok with the weight it has. Still slips at times but not too bad.

My wife's truck (Chevy 1500 short bed, no shell) has 320 Lbs (4 sandbags) in the bed each winter. I put one in front and one behind each wheel hump so the main part of the bed stays free. Not perfect but really helps.

NeverMore1701
12-29-2012, 12:50
I just have an ex's mom ride in the back, as long as I don't go over a bump and bottom out my suspension, it's all good!

TrybalRage
12-29-2012, 12:52
If you don't have 4WD, in my experience weight in the back doesn't help much without snow tires - studded if possible.

janice6
12-29-2012, 12:54
I have at least 4 70# bags. Sandbags are cheap enough that I put what it takes.

Still, without good winter tires, it wouldn't be enough. I put snow tires on the back wheels, and that made a difference.


I have the same in a 4 X 4 with all season tires. It is strapped to the tailgate. Workes very well. Keep the weight as far back as possible in the bed, and secure it so it doesn't come through the cab.

Berto
12-29-2012, 12:54
I'm reverse mentality on this- I drive a small lightweight truck and just keep my momentum up instead of weighting down.
It's always worked for me when I had to use it in snow (quite a bit).
Now I just drive the Pathfinder 4wd.

FullClip
12-29-2012, 12:56
A lot of times I have 515 pound of Ski-Doo in the back of the truck.:supergrin:

A few hundred pounds of sand bags located over the wheels can help, but be careful how you load it and how you secure it. Sand will freeze and be a like a cinder block if you get into an accident. Since I normally have a load of something on the back, I don't put anything there for specific traction help except when I'm plowing a heavy snow, then I ballast with about 400 pound of sand bags behind the wheel wells to help balance out the weight of the plow on the front.
Several 50# bags of rock salt would be a good idea as long as you can keep them where you want them with cross planks in the bed. Plus it can come in handy if ya' get stuck a little bit.

G17Jake
12-29-2012, 12:56
I'm reverse mentality on this- I drive a small lightweight truck and just keep my momentum up instead of weighting down.
It's always worked for me when I had to use it in snow (quite a bit).
Now I just drive the Pathfinder 4wd.

Without weight in the back my truck would be impossible to drive on snow packed roads.

Berto
12-29-2012, 13:00
Without weight in the back my truck would be impossible to drive on snow packed roads.

I know, I'm going against converntional wisdom here.
It just always seemed to work fine and I had less working against me when pointed up hill as traffic would seize up.
It helps being a manual transmission too.

sheriff733
12-29-2012, 13:09
I have found it better to drive with no weight in the back. If things get that bad, it gets too hard to stop IMO. But, whatever works best for you is the right answer.

:supergrin:

Unlocked
12-29-2012, 13:14
I have sand bags and and other stuff around but a lot of the time I just pitch the snow in the driveway into the back of the truck when I shovel the drive. Usually amounts to plenty of weight. Works out good because it's just melts away eventually and i don't have to unload sandbags etc. Not a good plan if your gonna need the bed of your truck to haul something though.

Hamilton Burger
12-29-2012, 13:23
I have sand bags and and other stuff around but a lot of the time I just pitch the snow in the driveway into the back of the truck when I shovel the drive. Usually amounts to plenty of weight. Works out good because it's just melts away eventually and i don't have to unload sandbags etc. Not a good plan if your gonna need the bed of your truck to haul something though.

I keep a shovel back there too, just in case. :wavey:

Berto
12-29-2012, 13:25
I have found it better to drive with no weight in the back. If things get that bad, it gets too hard to stop IMO. But, whatever works best for you is the right answer.

:supergrin:

Besides, if you do get stuck, it's easier to push.:supergrin:

sheriff733
12-29-2012, 13:27
Besides, if you do get stuck, it's easier to push.:supergrin:

:rofl:

Unlocked
12-29-2012, 13:36
I keep a shovel back there too, just in case. :wavey:

Yup, I throw one in the bed too. I have one of those little collapsible snow shovels under the back seat in my wifes explorer. It's come in real handy (usually helping other folks) too. Also keep a tow strap handy. I make them hook it to their vehicle, but I'll try to help get someone out of a ditch now and then.

janice6
12-29-2012, 13:42
Traction is also a function of the weight (or gravity) over the drive wheels. In the limit, with no weight on the drive wheels you will have no traction and cannot move, even with no snow.

DWavs
12-29-2012, 13:47
I keep 4 fifty pound bags of water conditioner salt in the bed of my Tacoma 4X4. When winter is over, I dump them into the water conditioner.

THEPOPE
12-29-2012, 13:57
I have a rear-wheel driven, single traction , full-size Silverado...200 lbs. in back, over the wheels, to balance it out perfectly for winter sledding...decent regular tires and a life-time of experience....anything less becomes a 'white knuckled' affair...

Of course, 'black ice' is a whole different animal.

Finding the balance is the key for any particular vehicle...and an abundance of common sense ( not so common, these days...)

I would suggest, that in the course of events, if a snow/ice/sleet storm covers your area, get out into an abandon parking lot area, if you can, or a similarly empty-of-obstructions spot, and PRACTICE sliding, stopping, drifting in control, BEFORE you get on the road, see how YOUR vehicle reacts to slippery conditions....

Time well spent, can save some lives, for heading out without knowing how to avoid or control slips , is dangerous at best.

I am out, be safe...:cool:

Atomic Punk
12-29-2012, 13:58
the last few weeks in the snow i have had 28K-34K pounds on the drive tires of my truck :tongueout:

2013 freightliner with a 53ft trailer.

captainstormy
12-29-2012, 14:02
I just turn on the 4wd if I need it. I wouldn't own a 2wd truck unless I lived somewhere that never snows.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

DoubleWide
12-29-2012, 14:04
Don't you just let the bed fill up with snow?

To me, a lot of it is about the tires. There's a lot of all season tires that should just be labeled summer.

Generally with snow, you want thinner tires with bigger gaps between treads. Ice is a little different though.

smokeross
12-29-2012, 14:10
Let's see.....4 tow chains, tow rope, hi-lift jack, hydraulic jack, come-a-long, chainsaw, saw gas, bar oil, ax, splitting maul, extra coolant, engine oil, shovels, and more......don't need to add extra weight.

DanaT
12-29-2012, 14:16
Traction is also a function of the weight (or gravity) over the drive wheels. In the limit, with no weight on the drive wheels you will have no traction and cannot move, even with no snow.

Yes, you need much less forward force if you weigh zero.

fireguy129
12-29-2012, 14:17
I just turn on the 4wd if I need it. I wouldn't own a 2wd truck unless I lived somewhere that never snows.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

My first car was a 2wd chevy S-10. Never, ever again.

stolenphot0
12-29-2012, 14:30
I fill the rear tank. It's usually enough.

Bruce M
12-29-2012, 14:35
However much weight you need in the back, it is probably a good idea to have most of it in beer and food to go with the beer (peanuts, potato chips - light as they are etc.) If you run the risk of getting stuck you might at least be able to have the creature comforts of civility while you are there...

drumr04
12-29-2012, 14:36
When I had my 2wd Colorado i put about 160lbs in the bed. That combined with all terrain tires let me get where I needed to go with relative ease as long as I could keep moving. If I buy another truck in the future it will be 4wd though.

RenoF250
12-29-2012, 14:38
I keep 4 fifty pound bags of water conditioner salt in the bed of my Tacoma 4X4. When winter is over, I dump them into the water conditioner.

Doesn't the salt leach out and corrode the truck?

Good tires and 4WD is the only solution. There is no reason for a 2WD truck IMHO.

fjrdc
12-29-2012, 14:47
94 Ranger 2wd 5spd manual short box ,fairly lightweight truck ,I've found that semi-agressive tires (Goodyear Wranglers ) AND 3 -50lb bags 0f water softener salt between the wheelwells has gotten me thru almost 17 years of Minnesota winters without EVER getting stuck:whistling:

1-2man
12-29-2012, 14:52
I've had a 10 burner commercial stove (around 1,000 lbs or so) in the back of my F-150 for the past couple of days and we've had about 8 inches of snow and haven't had to touch the four wheel drive yet. (It comes out tomorrow after I deliver it.) Probably not the greatest thing for gas mileage. :embarassed:

wizzi01
12-29-2012, 14:53
I had a 2wd dodge ram with and lsd and no weight in the back. Never had a problem.

longhaulcop
12-29-2012, 14:55
I put in 4 50 lb sand bags in my Dodge Dakota (2 wheel drive) that are placed in the middle of the bed with a wooden frame and call it a day. I have done this the last few years and it works great in Iowa at least.

DWavs
12-29-2012, 16:46
Doesn't the salt leach out and corrode the truck?

Good tires and 4WD is the only solution. There is no reason for a 2WD truck IMHO.

Nope....have a bedliner. Been doing it for 10 years.

JLA
12-29-2012, 17:13
600 - 700 lbs of sand across the axle does wonders in my truck while coyote hunting. :)

Glockgeezer
12-29-2012, 17:56
Full tool box across the rear just behind the tail gate and B&W Companion fifth-wheel hitch over the rear dualies. Also a 6500 watt Honda generator and air compressor against the cab, but here in central Florida I hardly need much more.

The Fed
12-29-2012, 17:59
I suggest studying the term "polar moment of inertia" before you add weight to any vehicle.

If you don't want 4-wheel drive at least get a limited slip differental and snow tires.

RonS
12-29-2012, 18:25
Drove a Ford Ranger long bed 2 wheel drive for several years. Got rid of the slick OEM tires and put 4 60lb sand bags in the bed over the rear axle. I used a 2x6 frame to help confine them. My Dakota with a cap didn't need anything, my Cheyenne with cap did, I think I put in an extra 60#s in it.

I hate seeing people with cement blocks, pavers etc in the bed of a truck in the winter, I worried enough about the sand bags coming through the back window once they froze solid, much less something with sharp corners.

Kevin108
12-29-2012, 18:25
I've played it both ways when we've gotten snow. More weight means a longer stopping distance and more traction needed to get going. Keeping good tires seems to be the real answer.

Berto
12-29-2012, 18:33
I watched a guy with a radial arm saw in the back of his truck.....almost went into the back of his head when he needed to slow. Dented cab and big hole in rear window.
I like the snowmobile idea, though.

bigchuck83
12-29-2012, 23:07
regular cab dodge dakota, last two winters never added weight and had cheap tires. even in nice weather on dry roads the tires will slip too easily, added a new set of all terrain tires and two fifty found sand bags. tires grip a bit better on the road now. Hoping i do not need to drive in snow but am at least better prepared than before.

Hummer
12-30-2012, 00:27
To those of you in the north that drive pickups.

How much weight do y'all put into your bed to help with traction?

I bought 300 pounds of sand bags this year, and it doesn't seem to be helping at all!

Last year I used two of those concrete parking stops that my dad had laying around, but i didn't like the fact that they took up pretty much my whole bed. I have no idea what they weighed, but they actually helped.

So I'm just lookin for how much more weight I need to add?

There are lots of good answers here but it really does come down to matching the right tire to the vehicle and road conditions.

The OP didn't say but if he's trying to weight the truck for better traction it's probably because he's driving a 2WD on ice and snow. Most four wheel drive trucks are well balanced for traction, 2WDs are not.

Added weight in a pickup with unsuitable tires could be a detriment resulting in longer stopping distance.

If you drive most winter days on ice and snow, there's no better security than having four studded snow tires, whether 2WD or 4WD. It makes a dramatic difference in control.

When I lived full time in the mountains and commuted daily on snowy mountain roads, I used studded tires which offered excellent control. Now, my driving is more mixed, with higher speed driving on mountain highways. The all season Michelin LTX MS2 do the job, along with 4WD when necessary. A Leer camper top adds ~350 lbs., and a 5 gal. bucket with 4 tire chains and 20 ft. tow chains is another 70 lbs. Four wheel chains on a 4WD Tundra can do amazing work in 2 feet of snow.

The bottom line is that you need to use the right tires for the vehicle and conditions. The wrong tires can get you killed.

F350
12-30-2012, 02:19
Ford F350 extended cab, diesel, dully, extra heavy tow/haul package, 4X4 with semi-off road tires. The dulls tend to "float" on snow and don't get down to something to grab onto without weight. 2 winters ago in Missouri my drive was 1800 feet long, with a rick of wood in the back I was pushing 6" of snow with the bumper with no problem.

The wife and I just made a non-interstate round trip over the Continental Divide for Christmas, I put 1,000 pounds of sand in the back and never slipped a tire even in the fresh snow just after Christmas. Just in case I had 6 space blankets, sleeping bag, 12 Oxygen activated body heaters, 2 four wick emergency heat candles made from coffee cans, insulated coveralls & wool socks, gloves etc for both, 1 case MREs, a dozen of those non frozen microwave dinners and 2 gallons water. If you're prepared Mr Murphy doesn't come to visit.

Hartford
12-30-2012, 07:20
Be careful when adding weight. The truckle will handle better if the weight is centered over the back axle. Hanging a lot of weight behind the rear axle can make the truck slide out easier, and can take weight off the front tires.

Averageman
12-30-2012, 09:31
We dont get that much snow here, but we do get ice storms at least once a year.
It has been my observation that in these conditions it is more a matter of being patient and careful than any sort of weight in the bed of the truck.
On one occasion when I noticed a much larger truck flipped over on its top I mearly slowed down put two wheels in the gravel shoulder and drove 20 mph under the speed limit.
I made it to work only to find out no one had called in a snow day yet. More than once I have told them I will leave earlier and get there when I get there.

Harper
12-30-2012, 09:36
Good tires and 4WD is the only solution. There is no reason for a 2WD truck IMHO.

My dad has a 2002 AWD/4WD Dakota jacked up with some ~35" tires on it. Now that thing will move through the snow. You don't get the wheel spin during a turn like you do with 4WD. On surfaces other than solid ice it's kinda hard to get the tires to spin.

gjk5
12-30-2012, 10:29
I drive a 3/4 ton Chevy crew cab and rarely put it in 4wd on the road (sometimes to get out of my steep driveway in snow). I do have aggressive tires (Wrangler Duratrac) and a few hundred pounds of stuff in the toolbox. I have never put sand or anything else.

rppnj
12-30-2012, 12:02
4 large compressed bags of peat moss. They fill the back of my F150 short bed, are inexpensive and at the end of the season, I just dump them in my landscape beds. Inexpensive too!

Radam3
12-30-2012, 13:39
There are lots of good answers here but it really does come down to matching the right tire to the vehicle and road conditions.

The OP didn't say but if he's trying to weight the truck for better traction it's probably because he's driving a 2WD on ice and snow. Most four wheel drive trucks are well balanced for traction, 2WDs are not.

Added weight in a pickup with unsuitable tires could be a detriment resulting in longer stopping distance.

If you drive most winter days on ice and snow, there's no better security than having four studded snow tires, whether 2WD or 4WD. It makes a dramatic difference in control.

When I lived full time in the mountains and commuted daily on snowy mountain roads, I used studded tires which offered excellent control. Now, my driving is more mixed, with higher speed driving on mountain highways. The all season Michelin LTX MS2 do the job, along with 4WD when necessary. A Leer camper top adds ~350 lbs., and a 5 gal. bucket with 4 tire chains and 20 ft. tow chains is another 70 lbs. Four wheel chains on a 4WD Tundra can do amazing work in 2 feet of snow.

The bottom line is that you need to use the right tires for the vehicle and conditions. The wrong tires can get you killed.

Sorry, forgot to mention that... My truck is an '04 Hemi Ram 4wd, so I don't actually NEED weight, just trying to avoid using 4wd to save on gas.

I got the truck about half way through the winter last year. At that time it had the stock goodyear rubber on it. I have since put on some Cooper Zeon LTZ's in a 305/55/20. So after reading the replies here I think the 305 part of the equation is my problem. I cant afford to buy a second set this year, so I guess I'll just save up for some next year and deal with it this year.

It sounds as is I have enough weight back there compared to everyone else.

Hartford
12-30-2012, 14:45
Go with a narrower tire, unless you plan on being in really deep snow. The narrower tire will get to the surface under the snow better. Wider tires will float on top and float around.

A 255 65 20 would keep the diameter very close but shave two inches per tire off on width. Bet you would see a big difference just with that change.

Radam3
12-30-2012, 15:08
Go with a narrower tire, unless you plan on being in really deep snow. The narrower tire will get to the surface under the snow better. Wider tires will float on top and float around.

A 255 65 20 would keep the diameter very close but shave two inches per tire off on width. Bet you would see a big difference just with that change.

275/60/20 was the stock size, if I recall correctly. So would it hurt if I went skinnier than stock?

"No more judgement day
Only tranquility
Peace signs, protest lines
Mean nothing to me"

sourdough44
12-30-2012, 15:17
At least 2 Blizzack tires would do so much better than adding weight in the bed.

Hartford
12-30-2012, 17:27
275/60/20 was the stock size, if I recall correctly. So would it hurt if I went skinnier than stock?

"No more judgement day
Only tranquility
Peace signs, protest lines
Mean nothing to me"

No it shouldn't. As far as I know going a larger diameter a large amount can screw with the ABS. Narrower or wider shouldn't hurt anything, unless you run into rubbing inner fenders and other stuff at full turn on the wheel. Rubbing won't happen though if 305's aren't rubbing.