Truck Towing Capacity

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 15:00
ThreadID: 139314 Views:10486 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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Hi all, i have a 3t caravan and considering purchasing a light truck hopefully a 10 speed Mazda/Ford trader type. For eg. If the carrying capacity is say 3.5t how do I work out the townig capacity or is it the same? Also any experiences with the 10 speed over the standard 5/6 speed trucks of today. Read a previous comment/s that trucks today are predominately designed for city use and not suited to highway towing. i'm hoping the older style splitter box will give me more or sustained momentum up hills. your thoughts and experiences please.
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Reply By: Joe G2 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 19:34

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 19:34
Carrying capacity is your pay load not your GVM (gross vehicle mass). GVM is the max weight of the truck and it's load.
The truck should have a GCM (gross combined mass) rating on the compliance plate. Basically this is your overall weight of the truck and trailer loaded.
You have to take into consideration your towball weight.
In most states I believe your loaded trailer cannot be heavier than the towing vehicle.
Their is always a lot of debate around this subject and this is my understanding of it. I'm happy to be corrected.

AnswerID: 628646

Follow Up By: Gordonk - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:03

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:03
Thanks Joe, that clears it up for me. GCM is what I need to know when I am purchasing the truck for my needs. And yes, the tow tug definitely needs to be heavier than the van. Thanks again.
FollowupID: 903125

Reply By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 20:13

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 20:13
Any of the light trucks I’ve used have had no more than 3500 kg tow rating.
If it has a 3500 kg payload you’ll either have to have a LR/MR license or derate to 4495 kg GVM which will leave about 1500 kg payload. I don’t rate light trucks for towing at all in comparison with modern 4wd’s at the weight you are talking unless you also need plenty of payload.
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Follow Up By: Gordonk - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:15

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:15
Hi Gbc, I should have mentioned I have a HR licence so I'm ok in that respect. I am more interested in your thoughts and experiences with your comment about your preference to tow with modern 4wd's. I know the truck is heavier and larger etc is it because of their lack of power. I am steering towards a 10 speed hoping it would give me the ability to split the gears when going up hills when towing; however, I have never driven one of these trucks yet. Hoping you have some experience in this area. Secondly, I too would prefer to tow with these newer 4wd's, unfortunately I can't afford even a second hand one and I want to have the freedom of carrying some extra weight without exceeding my GVM. Many thanks for your comments, it all helps.
FollowupID: 903126

Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:53

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:53
I’ve never driven the 10sp ford so Cant help you there. 3.5 canters etc with the 6 sp, yes. They will get to 100 towing a bobcat (3.5 t) but rev hard to get there. 90 kph is a much happier for the jappies. They will all tow no worries, just not quickly which is ok too. My ranger tows the same bobcat stronger at highway and stops better as well. Also uses heaps less fuel to do so. No doubt it won’t last as long though. 6 yo and 170km on it and it is still going ok. Hope that helps?
FollowupID: 903128

Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 20:29

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 at 20:29
Check your the towing capacity of what ever you buy eg, my Isuzu nps 300 has a towing capacity of 3500kg but it not legal with a 50mm tow ball, has to be a pintail hook to get 3500kg. with a 50mm ball its only legal to 2850kg Not many truck owners are aware of this law the bigger the truck the lower the tow capacity with a 50mm ball
National heavy vehicle regulator (VSG-16)
AnswerID: 628648

Follow Up By: Gordonk - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:22

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 10:22
Thanks Vince, wasn't aware of that rule. Will definitely get the pintail hook or is it pintle hook as I need the 3500kg towing capacity. My van is 2950kg fully loaded. Vince do you tow loads up to 3500kg with your truck, if so, in your opinion how does it perform over both flat and hilly roads.
FollowupID: 903127

Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 11:51

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 11:51
I tow up to 4500kg with it (there is other rules that allow this) as mine has the supa singles & are a bigger diameter it is a dog in the hills @10 ton fully loaded with max trailer & its higher geared due to the larger wheels, it’s a lot better with the std wheels but rougher to ride in etc.
But in general this all depends on how much weight you load on the truck & expect to tow @ 6.5ton truck & a tow of 3 ton it’s not too bad if you no Mount Owsley (Wollongong area) it will hold 60klms to the top but if you get caught be hide someone you will be down thru the gears & come up at 40klms (Hense the sign on the back, I may be slow but I’m in front of you) If I have the truck at 5ton & trailer at 2.85 ton I can set cruise control (98klms) out of Sydney (Hume hwy) & it will only kick out twice to Melb
My truck has a lot done to it & is far from Std & is treated like a big landcrusier, its used for work & play & suits what I use it for, has a large slide on motor home on the back & some trips tows the toys, but it’s a truck cab over & rides like one, mine has different suspension etc., It’s been around oz., cape York, Simpson etc. & remember they HATE driving on sand it will do it but it’s not as enjoyable as in your cruiser or Patrol & when you bog it everything works harder, the truck, winch, straps, max tracks, shovels & the misses & you.
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Follow Up By: Gordonk - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 14:47

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 14:47
Thanks Vince, a lot of useful info there for me to consider. If I go the truck option in the future will have to get one of those stickers too haha. I just got this caravan (Cheap) and my current SUV is unable to legally tow it. So my options are light truck, 100 series L/Cruiser or Pajero. Trouble is the diesels are very expensive as they hold their value and too scared to go the Petrol option due to the lack of economy especially at that weight. Thanks again for taking time and effort to reply.
FollowupID: 903131

Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 15:05

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 15:05
G'day Gordonk,
You wrote "So my options are light truck, 100 series L/Cruiser or Pajero. "
I've an NT Pajero, great vehicle but realistically it can't tow 3t. Above 2.5 t the ball weight is restricted to180kg. Not sure what has an ATM of 3t and a correctly loaded ball weight of 180 or less, a boat trailer? Perhaps a 4.2 Patrol might be cheaper than a 100 Series L/Cruiser if you can lay your hands on one. It would be a slug towing 3t though.
NT Pajero
2007 Goldstream Crown

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FollowupID: 903132

Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 16:31

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 at 16:31
I have had & still have many 4x4 & some of the petrol's get better fuel economy whilst towing E.g. the old 4.8ltr petrol patrol gets better fuel economy than either 4.2 patrol or cruiser diesel towing 3ton (boat) on the hwy, but don't take it to the city & if I was looking for a cheap reliable tug that would be my choice & my old Dodge V10 petrol pick up will out tow them all & will get better fuel economy towing than either the diesel Patrol or Cruiser on the hwy, but in the city it will not let you go past a service station without stopping to fill it up, but it’s nice to be able to overtake like sports car even with 4 + ton on the back, but its Yankee crap & if you add in repairs who knows how much it really costs but I love the beast
2nd hand trucks can be cheap but repairs are NOT Truck rego, insurance etc. etc. are all dearer & you are limited to max 100klms 40klms down a lot of hills even if no load, lot of streets/ bridges are off limits & now a lot of weight stations are 4500kg & above are pull in’s & that can be a rego check every time as well as the weight check so make sure all is above spec or you will be stranded
Good luck
FollowupID: 903137

Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 10:20

Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 10:20
You could try the Iveco Daily 50c. Good spec, 8speed auto, 3.5 tonne towing, and about 2 tonne load capacity.

Iveco Specs
AnswerID: 628683

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 at 14:23

Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 at 14:23
Gordon - The Mazda/Ford T-series 3 tonne trucks were fitted with the 4 cyl 3.5L and the 6 cyl 4.1L engines.

The 4 cyl is useless for towing, and the 6 cyl is not much better. The 6cyl only makes 100HP (74.5Kw).

They are getting pretty old now, and most have corrosion in the cab. The "splitter" section in the transmission will give you trouble, if you start towing with them.

Far better to look for a 4-5 tonne Isuzu, an FSR400, FSR450 or even an FSR 500.
These trucks were powered by the 6 cyl, 6.5L, 6BG-1 engine, which produces 160HP and lots of torque.
They are also one of the toughest, longest-life, Jap truck diesels built. You can turbocharge them to 185HP.

I have an '89 FSR500 5 tonner, it can legally tow 6.5T and it tows a 4.5T trailer with ease.
Mine is fitted with the 6 speed transmission, it's a very pleasant and easy-handling truck to drive - and it will do (sshh! - 130kmh) - much more than the speed limit.

These engines will last for a million kms without overhaul, so don't be put off by high kms. Just look for corrosion in the cab, particularly in the floors (leaking windscreens cause this).

My truck had done 700,000kms when I bought it as salvage (it had been lightly damaged in the front).
I repaired the panel damage (easily done, and parts are plentiful and reasonably priced), fixed anything else that needed fixing, and it cost me under $6000, all up.

If you can't find one of these in reasonable shape, look for the later FSR's with the 7.1L 6HE engine (these have vertical exhausts fitted, an emission laws requirement that the earlier trucks didn't have to comply with).
These trucks are just as good, and there's probably more of them to choose from.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 628694

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