One of the great things about a pickup truck is its utility. You don’t need to hire someone to drive your trailer across the country, nor do you need help hauling heavy loads across town. However, that doesn’t mean you are free to do heavy hauling however you please. Here are several things you should consider before hauling heavy cargo with your truck.
How Tough Is Your Truck?
Want to know how much your truck is capable of? You should be able to calculate your towing capacity by subtracting its curb weight from its gross weight, or many trucks come with its towing or hauling capacity in the owner’s manual. Either way, you should always check your truck’s capacity before any heavy hauling.
The best trucks for hauling heavier loads will be newer makes. Older trucks tend not to have the right ‘bells and whistles’ that strengthen the vehicle and increase its capacity for heavy lifting. However, if you want greater hauling capacity for your truck, you can always give it a nice upgrade with a better exhaust system and programmer.
Getting Around the Highway
Hauling huge loads on the highway is not as simple as accelerating down the freeway ramp. Before you do any heavy hauling on the highway, you need to make sure everything is tied down properly or else your haul could fly into the cars behind you—which is not a good situation to be in, for you nor for them. Furthermore, you will want to plan your route as meticulously as possible so that you can avoid traffic, low bridges, narrow or steep roads, and bad road conditions.
Additionally, depending on the size of your trailer, you may need to anticipate an additional step to the process. If your trailer is big enough you could need a USDOT number. This is practically a safety permit that shows you are registered to haul heavy cargo on the interstate.
To legally haul a trailer, you may need more than a USDOT number. Depending on the state you live in or the states you plan to drive through with your heavy load, you may also need special markings to alert and caution drivers. Since every state is different, you will want to research these regulations in advance. Some common markings include reflective “oversize” banners or flashing lights. These are especially critical if you plan to drive during the night.
Following legal and safety requirements is a critical part to responsibly using a pickup truck to tow heavy loads. No matter the freedoms you get from being able to haul heavy loads with your truck, you have to do it the right way. Doing so will protect you and those driving around you.
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