Axle load capacities are often overlooked

Axle load capacities
Axle load capacities are often forgotten when people are looking at their weights or are in the market for a new tow vehicle.

People quite often think about GVM, TBM, ATM & GCM but forget to look at axle load ratings. I have weighed 4×4’s even with GVM upgrades that have failed axle weight ratings. Vehicle manufactures have maximum ratings for both front and rear axles on their vehicles.

We occasionally see front axle weights overloaded but much more common with the rear axle weights. When we consider that weight applied to the tow ball (TBM) is multiplied by 140% – 150% to the rear axle we can see why. Also, passengers, luggage, fuel etc. all contribute to axle weights.

When purchasing a new or used vehicle to tow a caravan or large trailer, axle weights should always be a major consideration. If you are getting a GVM upgrade ensure that axle capacities are being increased as part of that upgrade… not all are.

A lot of people say to me… I will have to get a RAM. Something to consider with the RAM is axle load ratings…the earlier 1500 RAMs had a maximum axle load of 1770kg that has now been increased with the newer models to 1860kg, still not great for a vehicle that has a braked towing capacity of 4500kg.

They still get into trouble with rear axle weights when hitching a van and putting a few things in the ute tub. But its not just the RAM, the Chev Silverado 1500 LTZ has a maximum load rating on the rear axle of 1724kg (even lower than the RAM).

Previous generation Ford Ranger Wildtrack is 1850kg rear axle capacity, same generation Ford Raptor is 1580kg rear axle capacity but also a reduced towing capacity. Isuzu Dmax and its twin the Mazda BT50 (2023) rear axle capacity is 1910kg. Toyota LC200 series Landcruiser has a rear axle capacity of 1950kg.

I have weighed several LC200 series Landcruisers with a GVM upgrade that have still failed their rear axle ratings as their axle load rating had not been increased as part of the GVM upgrade. Draws, fridges, tow ball mass (TBM), fuel, people all contribute to the load on the rear axle.

Finding these axle capacities can be very difficult with some manufactures and, in some cases, almost impossible. So do your homework before that expensive purchase.

This blog is not designed to give you all the information regarding all different vehicles but rather to make you think about rear axle capacities. Something that I hope you will give serious consideration.


Safe Travels


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