Weight of tub versus tray

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 21:13
ThreadID: 135790 Views:36088 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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I am assuming that if I replace the steel tub on my Ford Ranger dual cab with an alloy tray, I'll have greater carrying capacity (in terms of weight) - particularly if the drop-down sides and back are removed . Am I correct?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 22:04

Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 22:04
Tubs are pretty light weight nowadays. Because I either have toolboxs or my camper on my twin cab Dmax my tray is only a frame with no sides or deck.
AnswerID: 614566

Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 22:48

Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 22:48
Can't help with the Ford Ranger, you would need to have a look at their specs.

However for the latest Hilux turbo diesel auto in SR level, the cab chassis is quoted as having a Kerb weight of 1955 kg, while the pick-up or tub body is quoted as 2080 kg.

Therefor I would assume the Toyota tub weighs around 125 kg. What the replacement aluminium tray would weigh, I guess you could ask the manufacturer.

As I said, for the Ford you would need to compare their specs but I would think the difference would be around about the same.

AnswerID: 614568

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 23:40

Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017 at 23:40
Nicky, is your vehicle weihgt carried an issue ?
I ask because my PK Ranger has a trip empty weight of 2325kg (inc mods like canopy, nudge bar, second battery etc), and a fully loaded desert trip weight of ~ 2850kg to 2900kg (loads of fuel and water, supplies, gear etc).
The GVM of my Ranger is 3019kg, so easy to keep under this normally.

You may have newer Ranger but pretty sure they have similar good load capacity on the later model too.

Maybe you have a huge family and really do need to shed the possibly 100kg or so for other use, but as pointed out above by Pop, the savings in reality might not really be much.

What model Ranger is it and do you know weight as it is normally of the road without trip load . . . vs trip weight . . . vs GVM ?
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 11:04

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 11:04
I would expect it would be lighter and the drop down sides weight virtually nothing the biggest advantage is a flat floor for easier storage and you would probably be able to fit a couple of under tray tool boxes for even more storage and maybe even an under tray water tank there's lots more extras you can add with a tray. But remember if the tray has a reasonable amount of rear overhang try to place heavy items towards the front don't get carried away with how much extra weight you " think " you can carry now or you might make the bent or broken chassis club.
AnswerID: 614580

Reply By: Member - RobnJane(VIC) - Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 13:38

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 13:38
A really good question, that I think needs to consider a couple of other factors. As already mentioned probably not a lot of difference in weight,however you need to be careful of the additional overhang that is often part of the tray. This can be a major issue if you will tow anything with a higher than modest ball weight.
The other issue is twofold,ie extra flat floor space may lead to carrying more stuff so the potential to overload is easy, and of course the floor height of the tub is raised a lot with an increase in the centre of gravity for the whole vehicle so when fully loaded and in tricky terrain the vehicle handling may be compromised.
Making the choice should be dependent on what you need/want to achieve rather than 'just' the weight.

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AnswerID: 614582

Reply By: nickycohen - Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 13:57

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 13:57
Really helpful advice from everyone, for which I am very grateful. Thank you!!
AnswerID: 614583

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 17:28

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 17:28
Obviously dependant on brand & length but as an example of twin cab trays.........
125 kg light duty Al
139 kg Heavy duty Al
223 kg light steel
246 kg HD steel
AnswerID: 614585

Reply By: splits - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 12:30

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 12:30
If you have to consider the weight difference between the tub and a tray, it sounds like you intend loading the car to the max, If that is the case then you have to fully load its three load carrying areas with exactly the right amount of weight in each one. Assuming the car has no optional accessories, you fill the fuel tank, you place five heavy adults in the seats then you put the rest of its capacity out the back with the heaviest items as far forward as possible.

The seats are the biggest problem for most owners. Manufacturers don't design them to carry no more than the weight of an average size mum and dad with three little kids. They have to allow for the weight of five big people. That means a load of close to 500 kgs when you allow for their body weight plus their clothing etc.

If you load the car up with a couple of hundred kilos under that in the cabin, you can't put the rest in the tub without overloading the rear end. If you do that and lift the rear with heavier springs or air bags, the car will sit up a little higher and look good from side on but it is still overloaded at the rear.Suspension alterations can't move objects further forward.

To make matters worse, many of the items you place in the tub will be behind the axle. The further back each one is the more leverage it will place on the rear of the chassis, axle housing, wheel bearings, wheel studs and wheels. All of those have been known to fail, particularly in the bush.

As an example, Land Rover says on their web site that 150kg on the tow ball of their Defender places 206 kg on the axle housing. A 150kg object on the end of the tub or tray may place a little more or less than 206 on the axle depending on whether it is ahead of or behind the tow ball.

All of this is leverage on the far end of the chassis, It will go down and the front end of the car will go up placing an increased amount of stress into the chassis near the axle. The chassis will have been designed for this but it can't take more than it has been designed for.

That will be static weight only. The moment the car is put into motion and bounces up and down on uneven road surfaces, the forces acting on the axle housing, chassis etc will be much higher. This can easily be the result.

Bent Utes
Bent Photos

The advertised carrying and towing capacities for cars are usually for sealed roads only and should be reduced as road conditions deteriorate.Check with a dealer and if they don't know, as them to contact the manufacturer or do it yourself. They usually have a customer information service on their web site.
AnswerID: 614598

Follow Up By: nickycohen - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 13:33

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 13:33
Thank you. Good advice. I've calculated that, with a slide on camper on an alloy tray, plus all the gear and other add-ons, we should come in at about 200 kg below the GVM. We're still going to have the suspension attended to by ARB, so hopefully we'll be okay.
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Follow Up By: splits - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 22:04

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 22:04
I've calculated that, with a slide on camper on an alloy tray, plus all the gear and other add-ons, we should come in at about 200 kg below the GVM

There are plenty of examples on the net of cars well under GVM that have still bent their chassis. It is not the weight that does it, it is mass ( the material in something ) and where that mass is located in the car. Slide ons are the worst offenders because all of them weigh so much when empty. By the time you put a few things into them, they are usually way over the car's limit for loads right down the rear end.

As an example of mass and the forces generated by mass in motion, place a brick carefully on top of an ordinary drinking glass. The glass should not break. Pick the brick up about 100 mm and drop it onto the glass and the glass will shatter. The weight of the brick did not increase but the material in it fell building up momentum as it went down and the glass was unable to withstand the impact when it tried to bring the brick to a sudden stop. That is what the end of a car chassis is trying to do with the material that is sitting on it.

If you are making these suspension alterations to support the load on the rear end then the car must be overloaded. The standard suspension does not need any assistance to support the load it has been designed to support.

The DVD in the link below shows what excessive but slow motion leverage applied to the end of a chassis in cab/chassis vehicle can do to the chassis. It was pulled down by the cable running down from the top of the jib. Too much heavy material sitting well back behind the rear axle will do the same thing when the end of the chassis has to constantly lift it suddenly or stop it falling suddenly, particularly when the back of the car is rising and falling when the car is being driven on unsealed roads.

When you see ARB, ask them to explain how their suspensions move heavy material further forward and how it supports the far end of the chassis when the back can go down and the front of the car lifts up. The rear axle is a pivot point in situations like this and the springs just compress and tilt with the chassis.

Tow truck
FollowupID: 885246

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 22:56

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 22:56
Yes, tracks = more care needed with loads and loading.
Heavy stuff over or forward of the rear axle as much as possible.
Equally important, drive to conditions.

Never heard what model Ranger, but the new PX on from about 2011 are pretty solid, a lot moreso then previous generations of crew cab utes.
The BT50 PX equivalent in the google pics per splits link was dropped or forked, that was taken in Malaysia, most likely a loading or unloading muck up.
FollowupID: 885248

Follow Up By: Nicholas C2 - Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 23:06

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017 at 23:06
The Trayon Camper that I'm intending to carry weighs 370 kg (plus 110 kg with water tank filled). The basic Ranger Crew Cab (2017 model, 3.2 ltr XLT), with steel tub, has a payload capacity of 1095 kgs. I'm assuming that the base of an alloy tray weighs significantly less than the steel tub I'm replacing, so it seems to me that the vehicle (with upgraded suspension) should be more than capable of dealing with this load.

Of course I will also be carrying other gear (and fuel in a long range tank), but most of it will be packed forward of the rear axel; much of it in the rear of the cab (2nd spare tyre on alloy roof rack), and I won't be towing anything.
FollowupID: 885250

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 07:27

Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 07:27
Nick, I wouldn't be counting on it being significantly less than a tub.

The tub is very thin high tensile steel and the biggest weight saving would be not having a tailgate. The aluminium tray will have chassis rails, cross members and loading backboard which add weight. The tub gets its strength from the the way it is pressed.

FollowupID: 885251

Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 09:47

Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 09:47
Personally I wouldn't put that much weight on a twin cab to much rear overhang you may not have any problems but then again it could end up a costly exercise. The super cab would be fine the rear axel is in a much better position for supporting weight and you wouldn't need as heavier suspension up grade as the dual cab it would be a more stable ride, a safer way to carry a heavy load and better to ride in when empty.
FollowupID: 885253

Follow Up By: splits - Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 14:33

Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 14:33
The Trayon Camper that I'm intending to carry weighs 370 kg (plus 110 kg with water tank filled).


That is 470 kg before you put anything else in it. I would be putting the water in the rear of the cab. I think from memory you can buy rubber bladders that fit the shape of the floor.

You can also consider having a camper made that bolts directly to the chassis. You don't need two floors so why carry the tray? You have legs to lift the camper off. The tray could have the same.

On my single cab, I removed its 130 kg aluminium tray and bolted on a camper that weighed 220 kg empty. The car weight increased by only 90kg. The camper has all my wife and I need inside it including a permanent double bed, fridge, toilet and a shower that can be assembled in seconds. All heavy items are across the front wall. There is next to no weight down the back under the bed. The overall height allows it to be driven into a normal height garage while a smaller than floor area pop top roof allows us to stand up full height.

The car is stock standard and has been driven over thousands of ks of desert roads and remote tracks plus many tracks in the Great Dividing Range.

I would consider buying a slide on for a single cab ute but not for a dual cab. Anybody should be able to design and have made a camper to suit their needs that would not even come close to overloading the rear end of a dual cab.
FollowupID: 885259

Follow Up By: Batt's - Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 15:18

Friday, Oct 27, 2017 at 15:18
Don't forget the extra weight from the long range tank depending on how big it is all up you might be adding 500 kg just to the rear springs not a lot of the total weight will be shared with the front axel. Make sure you pump the tyres up as well, good luck with it.
FollowupID: 885261

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