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Putting weight in my truck for winter

Somebody told me that with the new pickup trucks, you dont have to put any weight in them for the winter because they are "balanced" so they get around ok. I just bought a 2004 F-150 2WD and dont believe that its true. I was wondering if anybody else heard this or not. If its not true, how much weight should I put in the back? (how many sandbags?) thank you.
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Comments

  • edited November 2008
    The truck is definitely not balanced. Weight in the rear, directly over the axle will help. I use at least 200lb of weight to be effective though.

    Last winter I didn?t bother putting any weight in my Dakota because I use it so much for hauling crap, and it did ok as long as the snow was not too wet. I?m probably going to put weight in it this year, but I?m thinking of bolting a heavy steel plate down to the bed instead so I don?t take up any space in the bed.
  • edited November 2008
    Newer model trucks are set up better than in the past because manufacturers know a lot of pickup owners never carry anything in them. That being said, they are still light in the rear and ballast will certainly help. I've always found my trucks ride and handle better with some weight in them. The concern with ballast is that it can't become a dangerous projectile if you get into an accident. I like tube sand. It comes in convenient shape and weight, can be spread for traction if necessary and is easily removed if the need arises. They come in 60lb size here and so I use about 4 of them placed over the rear axle.
  • edited November 2008

    They may be set up better then they use to be...but they are still very light in the rear-end. Good snow tires are a MUST. Adding weight is a good idea if you see a lot of snow. Make sure the weight won't shift around or it will be worse then having nothing.
  • edited November 2008
    Sand bags are great. However do not place at way rear of vehicle since you have the weight balance far back making the vehicle easier to fish tail.

    The best part of sand bags is you have instant traction (if not frozen) when you get stuck.

    It will take some talent and finesse with 2wd pickup in the snow. Winter tires are best however good all-seasons (at least 4/32" if not more tread left) are needed. Also waiting till they plow works really well.
  • edited November 2008
    Putting weight over the rear axle will certainly help. The old standby, bags of sand will do nicely. If your truck has it, turn the traction control off before you drive in snow or ice, since you *will* get alot of wheelspin and the TC will just freak out and cut the fuel or spark. If were buying another truck it would defiantely be 4WD. The difference in fuel mileage isn't much, and they hold their value better. With that said I made it through the blizzard of 96 in a 1974 F-100 2WD with a 390 4bbl, 4.11 gears, and 3 on the tree. There were some white knuckle moments.
  • edited November 2008
    If you are planning using your truck off-road in snow you boughtthe wrong truck(2wd vrs 4wd)

    If you are planning using your truck on plowed city streets, I don't think you need anything but good all season tires and prudent driving technique.

    I understand that weight over the rear wheels increases traction but it also increases overall vehicle weight.

    In off-road (low -traction) use I wanted the lightest vehicle possible, low weight means lower power required to move it, lower power required ment I could move in lower traction situation.

    I think the best use of carrying the sandbags is that you can empty them on the ground, increasing the traction

    Carrying a old piece of carpet (say 4x8) can be put down and it will allow you to move the vehicle onto a better surface (helped me more than ever carrying sandbags)

    BMW's are some of the worst performing vehicles in low traction conditions,many people (including me carried 200lbs of sand in tubes in the trunk)I cant say it helped.

    I have a 2004 F-150 and don't plan on carrying any weight

    Think of the gas mpg you will loose carrying the extra weight,and for what benifit

    People post here all the time in much distress over a 2mpg decline.
  • edited November 2008
    2WD needs about 400 pounds or more. The truck was designed to carry a load. The ride will improve too. A $700 plastic bed cover will help the ride too. That way, you can keep some useful things in the back instead of just dead weight.
  • edited November 2008
    If you are planning using your truck on plowed city streets, I don't think you need anything but good all season tires and prudent driving technique.
    Plowing in a 2wd vehicle??? Maybe in Texas. Not in the North East. The big sanders are 2wd..but they have about 5 tons of weight on the rear wheels.
    I understand that weight over the rear wheels increases traction but it also increases overall vehicle weight.
    I take it you don't drive in snow much. And extra 200-400 lbs in the rear will help GREATLY. Been there done that.
    Carrying a old piece of carpet (say 4x8) can be put down and it will allow you to move the vehicle onto a better surface (helped me more than ever carrying sandbags)
    Good for the 4-8' you need to travel. Might take a long time getting home away in the middle of a snow storem if you live 5 miles.
  • edited November 2008
    If you want a balanced truck, jack it up in the center, between the front and rear wheels, add weight to the bed until the front and the rear of the truck hang (balance) at the same level.
  • edited November 2008
    How do you conclude I advocated plowing with a 2wd truck? I you read I said "if you are planning to use your truck on plowed city streets" How did you conclude I said "planning to plow city streets"?

    These snow driving questions always turn into one person saying the other person doesn't have snow driving experience. My experience was gained is Kalispel MT 3 winters, 9yrs driving in snow conditions in Switzerland, 3yrs in WI and numerous visits to the White MT's here in AZ for elk hunts, never found it helpful.

    My comment about the carpet was, in my experience once you get out of the predicment you are stuck in and back on the road you don't need the extra weight.

    The best advice about driving in the middle of snow storms,is don't, wait it out at home or hotel.
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