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Old 12-10-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
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Where to put the weight

We were walloped by our first snow yesterday and it amounted to a heavy, wet 18 inches of snow. Today our temps have dropped to the single digit high of 3, which is too cold for salt to work. Our streets are snow packed and icy. Even the slightest incline causes vehicles to spin out and lose traction. I was stuck behind a semi that couldn't get moving up a hill. I was finally able to get around him and offered to help. I've un-stuck a few large vehicles before, but being a loaded tanker, the driver convinced me that there was no way I could move an 80,000lbs truck. He was probably right. I did dump all the sand I was carrying for traction on the road for him, which got him moving. So I can still claim the hero moment. But that meant, I needed to refill. As I was shoveling sand, I began to think.

Where's the best location in the bed to add weight?


I drive an '06 Access Cab TRD Off Road. If it were not for stop lights and signs on hills, I would be fine without weight. I don't want to take the hit in mpg by driving in 4-wheel drive all winter.

I carry sand in sealed barrels. Right now I have two 30l barrels on one side and a single 60l barrel on the other. I'll probably swap the 60l out for two more 30l as 60 liters of sand is damn heavy. If my math is right, 120l of sand is about 400lbs of weight.

Should I carry it near the tailgate for optimal leverage or can I push it toward the cab wall for better handling? What are people's opinions/experiences?
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
Usually you want it as close to right over the axle as possible. If you move it toward the tailgate it becomes another moment force to make spins that much worse. Toward the cab and the effect of the weight is diminished.
+1

also that much weight behind the axle will reduce your grip in the front. Right over the axle if possible, forward is second best if necessary.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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Sorry gang, but let's look at the truck like a lever. The front end of the truck is much heavier than the back end. Putting weight on the axle is the plan, but putting weight behind the axle means that the weight has greater leverage on the axle and in effect, applies more weight than if it were over the axle.

The Tacoma can pull 6000lbs, that means with common towing practice, the Tacoma is designed for 600lbs of tongue weight. My 400lbs isn't going to cause me to spin out and I'm not an idiot when it comes to driving, so I won't be initiating any spins.

The question is, will I appreciate that much weight as far back (greatest amount of traction), or can I get away with it further forward? I want to carry that much sand, so I'm not reducing the weight, but where should i carry it?

Anyone from a location with snow want to weigh in since LA and FL have spoken?
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:07 PM   #5
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i always put my weight against the tailgate...easy to secure there too
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nermalgod View Post
Sorry gang, but let's look at the truck like a lever. The front end of the truck is much heavier than the back end. Putting weight on the axle is the plan, but putting weight behind the axle means that the weight has greater leverage on the axle and in effect, applies more weight than if it were over the axle.

The Tacoma can pull 6000lbs, that means with common towing practice, the Tacoma is designed for 600lbs of tongue weight. My 400lbs isn't going to cause me to spin out and I'm not an idiot when it comes to driving, so I won't be initiating any spins.

The question is, will I appreciate that much weight as far back (greatest amount of traction), or can I get away with it further forward? I want to carry that much sand, so I'm not reducing the weight, but where should i carry it?

Anyone from a location with snow want to weigh in since LA and FL have spoken?
First off as a physics teacher, I have a great appreciation for when people are well versed in the terms associated with physics and general mechanics (I am printing this post out to show to my class to prove that people do actually use physics in every day life).

Now onto the placement of the sand. As I've been told and understand it, the truck is designed to carry weight, such as tongue weight, and cargo that is put near the end of the bed. So from my experience and from what I've been told by others, it is best to put the weight directly over the axle.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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Ditto that. And I'm not even a physics teacher!
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:43 PM   #8
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So many NY people in this thread!!!
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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i had an 8" snow this weekend (alot for us southerners) and i put it right over the axel, 200 lbs of bagged salt lol
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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FWIW, I would put it up against the front of the bed.

--weight behind the rear axle will tend to make your truck balance like a barbell--heavy at both ends. Not good if you spin.

--weight secured against the front of the bed isn't going to come through the back of the cab like weight farther back that breaks loose in an impact.

Sand or kitty litter works well for traction in ice conditions also, if needed.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nermalgod View Post
Sorry gang, but let's look at the truck like a lever. The front end of the truck is much heavier than the back end. Putting weight on the axle is the plan, but putting weight behind the axle means that the weight has greater leverage on the axle and in effect, applies more weight than if it were over the axle.

The Tacoma can pull 6000lbs, that means with common towing practice, the Tacoma is designed for 600lbs of tongue weight. My 400lbs isn't going to cause me to spin out and I'm not an idiot when it comes to driving, so I won't be initiating any spins.

The question is, will I appreciate that much weight as far back (greatest amount of traction), or can I get away with it further forward? I want to carry that much sand, so I'm not reducing the weight, but where should i carry it?

Anyone from a location with snow want to weigh in since LA and FL have spoken?
You are the one who asked the question- so if you know the answer and want to be a smartass- Why bother??

BTW-I learned how to drive and spent 8 years driving in upstate NY and MA/CT in a full size pickup before I moved to Florida- So I'm pretty sure I know 1) How to drive in snow and 2) a little bit of what I'm talking about.

And lets look at the truck like a lever- But instead of looking at it adding a little bit of weight by using the moment force created by sliding your sand bags to the tailgate to better plant the rear tires lets look at adding alot more weight by sliding those same sand bags to the tailgate and then remembering that your front tires are likely to be the ones that stay put (the fulcrum)- so if you get close to spinning (thru your own fault or thru conditions-like hitting a spot of deeper snow or shush) you'll spin faster and it'll be far harder to control. I'm not saying that at the tailgate will make you spin...but if you do-it will be that much worse.

The weight is meant to plant your rear tires....If you place the weight over the tires- the force is directly down and in turn works to plant the rear rubber. I understand that the truck can hold the weight- but tongue weight and snow/ice driving weight are different- Tongue weight is lower/further back/and the trailer changes your lever analogy even more.

BTW- Suretrax which makes a water bag for truck beds builds them such that they straddle the rear axle...
Do whatever you want tho...Hope it works for you.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nermalgod View Post
Sorry gang, but let's look at the truck like a lever. The front end of the truck is much heavier than the back end. Putting weight on the axle is the plan, but putting weight behind the axle means that the weight has greater leverage on the axle and in effect, applies more weight than if it were over the axle.

The Tacoma can pull 6000lbs, that means with common towing practice, the Tacoma is designed for 600lbs of tongue weight. My 400lbs isn't going to cause me to spin out and I'm not an idiot when it comes to driving, so I won't be initiating any spins.

The question is, will I appreciate that much weight as far back (greatest amount of traction), or can I get away with it further forward? I want to carry that much sand, so I'm not reducing the weight, but where should i carry it?

Anyone from a location with snow want to weigh in since LA and FL have spoken?
As others have said, it's not that you're going to lift the front end off the ground or anything, but if adding 400 lb of weight gives you 600 lb of extra downforce on the back axle then you're getting 200 lb less on the front than you'd have without the wieght exactly because the truck acts like a lever (and because total downforce can't exceed total weight without fancy aerodynamics, and if you're moving fast enough for those to work on snow/ice then downforce is the least of your problems).

If you really want leverage onto the backaxle, why be limited at the tailgate; you can always get a cargo box that fits in the reciever and fill that with your barrels. I wouldn't reccomend it, but if that's wat you really want to do then the only thing I can really do about it is be glad I'm not sharing any local streets with you this winter.

That's why you want the weight over the axle when possible, it gives the most benefit to the back without reducing grip in the front (keep in mind most of your braking is in the front and the back drums may be more prone to locking even with ABS).

If you're using barrels (or for those using metal or bricks/cinderblocks) there is also the potential (as others have mentioned) for

Also, just cause I'm in L.A. now doesn' mean I've never seen snow. I spent the first half of my life in Colorado and western Montana (learned to drive in MT) and while I didn't have a pickup in HS, I did drive a front-engine RWD (74 Maverick specifically) with similar balance wintertime traction issues.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:26 PM   #13
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Just stick the weight anywhere it will be secured properly.
The only concern you should have is if these will become projectiles upon impact!!

other wise just put it in 4x4, if your worried about mpg, get a smart car
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