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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Jul 2006
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    88
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    SW Arkansas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4320 Cab

    Default How much weight can I haul???

    I have a 70PI tandem axle utility trailer with an 18foot bed GVWR 7000#GAWR 3,500#. Both axles are 3,500#. I'm modifying this trailer to a goosneck pull style.

    Can anyone tell me how much weight this trailer will be capable of hauling?

    Thanks,
    ArkLaTexSam

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    581
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Tractor
    1998 JD 770 & 2004 Toro LX417

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    Reconfiguring the trailer from a tow to a gooseneck does not legally change the amount of weight your trailer can carry. In fact, it may actually reduce the weight because the gooseneck conversion will probably increase the weight of the trailer. For example, if your trailer weighs 1,500 lbs now you could legally carry 5,500 lbs. If after your conversion it weights 1,800 lbs, you can legally carry only 5,200 lbs. By legally, I also mean safely.

    If you wish to carry more than the GVWR minus the trailer weight as it exists, you're better off selling this trailer and buying a higher GVWR Gooseneck trailer.'

    Some others will probably disagree with me, but you can't change the legal GVWR once it leaves the factory. Keep in mind that the brakes, tires, bearings, frame are all engineered for 7,000 GVWR.

    Just my opinion.

  3. #3
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    7,514
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    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    Quote Originally Posted by ArkLaTexSam
    I have a 70PI tandem axle utility trailer with an 18foot bed GVWR 7000#GAWR 3,500#. Both axles are 3,500#. I'm modifying this trailer to a goosneck pull style.

    Can anyone tell me how much weight this trailer will be capable of hauling?

    Thanks,
    ArkLaTexSam
    Before you get out the slide rule, hire an engineering staff, and start booking loads from coast to coast, look at your TIRES. There's always a weight rating on them. Generally, that'll end up being the weak link in everyones chain. Combine rated weight capacity of all trailer tires and that's all you can scale on the trailer axles if that number is LOWER than your axle rating.

    At best, you've got a 7,000 GVWR trailer. You'll be scaling SOME weight on the truck. You need to deduct the weight of the finished trailer from that 7,000 (OR tire rated carrying capacity), You can deduct tongue weight carried by truck.

    Just a wild guess, but somewhere LESS than 6,000, probably closer to 5,000 lbs cargo. Whole lotta "IFs" and "maybe's" in the mix right now.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    581
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Tractor
    1998 JD 770 & 2004 Toro LX417

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    "You can deduct tongue weight carried by the truck." I believe that does not affect the GVWR for the trailer. That still loads the frame, etc. True, the load carried by the truck is not carried by the tires, etc, but I'm pretty sure that's still part of the GVWR.

    Altering a tow behind trailer to a gooseneck will put stresses on different parts of the frame. While he can probably doe it and make it work, I still think that he's better off traiding in the trailer for a heavier duty.

    I guess what I'm saying is what's the advantage to a gooseneck that only carries about 5,000 - 5,500 lbs over a slightly lighter tow behind that tows the same or maybe a little more? He may end up with better turning and ease of backing into tighter spaces.

    Load the finished trailer in excess of it's rated GVWR, especially after a home made modification (an excellent job not withstanding) have an accident, and stand by for the lawyers to sue.

    Again, just my opinion.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. How about some before and after pictures, the cost and number of hours it took.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    88
    Location
    SW Arkansas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4320 Cab

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    Thanks the information you have provided that I haven't thought about. I have 8 ply radial tires rated at over 2000# each so the tires are taken care of(little over-kill). I have hauled my 4320 cab tractor w/rear tires loaded, 400X FEL, and MX5 Bush-hog many miles over pavement and gravel with this trailer.

    The trailer seems to handle this load well even though I know it's close to being maxxxed out. However, my 2000 Chev Z71 sits rather low on the backside and I know the bumper weight is applying too much stress on the frame, rear-end etc. So in order to reduce the stress on my truck I'm making this trailer into a gooseneck.

    I have no ideal what all of my equipment weighs but I'm guestimating it's close to 6,000# which is the max load for the axles. As I indicated before the trailer handles the load but the truck could do better.

    The guy that is frabricating this set-up will be using a 20 foot piece of I-Beam and other stuff to build the gooseneck. He quoted me $500 for the trailer work and $125 for the hitch reciever. He builds all of this stuff himself and I know his work is all quality.

    The pics will be forthcoming next week.

    ArkLaTexSam

  6. #6
    Elite Member George2615's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    3,973
    Location
    Central Square, NY
    Tractor
    LS XR3037HC

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    As Joe1 said before. If you have a 7K trailer now that weighs 2K you can haul 5K. If you alter it by adding 800# more steel to make the gooseneck the trailer will weigh 2800# lowering your trailer capacity to a 4200# load. The only benefit may be the gooseneck will distribute the weight more evenly to the truck. You won't increase the capacity of the trailer since you still have 2- 3500# axles which are limited to 7K.

    In NY if you were to modify or change a tow behind into a gooseneck AND you upgraded the axles and springs to 5 or 6K units you would have to have the trailer weighed and reinspected at the local DMV to have them approve it for a higher weight class. Much paperwork involved with the state and very hard to do since it is then classified as a custom or homemade trailer. If it a brand name trailer now they would frown on altering it to a higher weight capacity than the factory intended. Plus any welding would have to be done by a certified welder. Just because you have higher rated tires does not make it legal to haul a higher capacity either.

    If your guess is correct that your tractor weighs 6000#, I highly doubt your 7K trailer only weighs 1000# so you are overloading it.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
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    Jul 2006
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    88
    Location
    SW Arkansas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4320 Cab

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    I'm glad that I live in the south were government hassle is less. Where I'm from it only takes about 2 minutes to go from factory to homemade legally and the only vehicles that get weighed are commercial. I never wanted to increase my weight capacity. I just wanted to know if goosenecking would increase, decrease, or make absolutely no difference.

    It makes sense to me that adding a gooseneck will increase the weight of the trailer. It also makes sense that the gooseneck will more evenly distribute that weight since that's what goosenecks do and my truck will be much happier.

    The City that I live close to has used this same welder to convert a couple of their utility trailers to goosenecks. They haul small trackholes(excavators) and everything under the sun on them. I will entertain the thought of upgrading my axles and will look into that in the future.

    Thanks,

    ArkLaTexSam

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    175
    Location
    Central, Mn
    Tractor
    JD 585

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    If your Z71 is a half ton truck, your done right there. Half ton trucks are NOT rated to haul gooseneck or 5th wheel trailers. Becouse Chevrolet never intended or rated a 1/2 ton to haul a GN/5th wheel, there is no factory rating for it, so you are automatically illegal. I thought I heard/read somewhere that the new (2006) Ford 1/2 tons are now rated for 10,000 GN/5thwheel, but I don't know for sure.

    Your better off towing the trailer the way it was meant to be towed, with a weight distribution hitch. If the rear was sinking low, chances are you had too much tongue weight.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Jun 2003
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    581
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Tractor
    1998 JD 770 & 2004 Toro LX417

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    I agree with Neverenough. The best way to better handle your trailer IMO would be to go with a good weight distribution hitch. Increasing the trailer capacity won't help on an overloaded 1/2 ton pickup. You might have plenty of power, but stopping and handling will not be up to par, even with trailer brakes.

    It sounds like you need a trip to the scales with the truck empty, with just the trailer on and with it loaded. Adding more weight to the trailer by converting to a gooseneck will only make the overloading worse.

    Your pickup has a gross vehicle weight rating which might be exceeded by a loaded gooseneck hooked up. The pickup also has a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR). That's the truck, fuel, passengers, trailer and whatever the trailer has on it.

    As an example: A truck may have a tow rating of 9,000 lbs and a GCVWR of 14,000 lbs. If the truck itself weighs 6,000 lbs loaded without the trailer, then the tow rating is reduced to 8,000 lbs plus the truck weight of 6,000 lbs to not exceed the GCVWR of 14,000.

    You mentioned this individual welder has done quality work for the city converting their trailers to Goosenecks and that they haul backhoes and everything else. What GVWR trailers did they start with and I bet they use at least a 3/4 ton truck to tow them.

    Where you live, the laws may be "relaxed", but you can't cheat the laws of physics for long and get away with it.

    Your project sounds interesting, buy your safety and that of those around you are the most important thing.

    Good luck

  10. #10
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: How much weight can I haul???

    All Z71s are half ton trucks. If you have 6000 lbs of tractor then you have overloaded a 7000 lb trailer. While possibly within the trucks tow ratings I would imagine that the truck will be working its butt off. You say the rear end is squatted with the tongue weight as it stands, well, a properly constructed gooseneck will place 20% of the total weight on the truck which is double what the bumper pull model did. Distributing heavy tongue weight is done with a WD hitch for way less money than a GN conversion.

    I am all for using a truck within its ratings but I see two problems. Overloaded trailer before and after the GN conversion = waste of money, and possibly overloaded truck since 6000 lbs tractor plus 2500# trailer is 8500+ which exceeds the tow ratings typical of that era.

    In 2000, the Z71 was only available with a 5.3 liter V8 which has less torque than my 350. I tow a 7000 lb trailer (4500 lbs cargo) and would not want to throw 1500 more lbs in there.

    Your original question was how much weight you can haul. To answer that you need to visit the scales to see what that Z71 weighs empty and also how much the trailer weighs empty. Then you need to find your ratings, all axles, all GVWRs and the GCWR of the truck. Until you get your numbers then all you can get is opinions and my opinion is that you are asking too much of the truck and trailer.

    But hey, it would be a cool project. Let us know and show some pics.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

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