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Any Farmers? Towing Gravity Wagons


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#1 Mertz

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:12 AM

Hey all-

Got any farmer types pulling gravity wagons? My granddad is still farming a little at the ripe old age of 80, and he hauls his grain to the elevator. He's got 2 circa 1991 3/4 ton pickups with the 350 that he is using. They are good trucks for him, but not well taken care of. I try to help during harvest when I can, and must say that driving those things scares me a little. The brakes and steering are not all they should be, but he doesn't notice or care.

The wagons hold 225-250 bushels or so, and that equates into 14,000-15000 pounds per load. I know that this is way past what those trucks are rated for, but he does it none the less. When loaded you only go 20-25 mph, so definitely no race car driving!

My question is, what would be the trouble trying to haul these loads with my 2005 1/2 ton crew cab? I think the ratings on my truck are at least as good as what those old 1991 3/4 tons are, and I've definitely got more horses under the hood. I've also got one of those Convert-a-ball cushioned receivers that I would use. It is also a 6-7 mile trip to the elevator.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.
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#2 Z71xSilverado

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:16 AM

Hey all-

Got any farmer types pulling gravity wagons? My granddad is still farming a little at the ripe old age of 80, and he hauls his grain to the elevator. He's got 2 circa 1991 3/4 ton pickups with the 350 that he is using. They are good trucks for him, but not well taken care of. I try to help during harvest when I can, and must say that driving those things scares me a little. The brakes and steering are not all they should be, but he doesn't notice or care.

The wagons hold 225-250 bushels or so, and that equates into 14,000-15000 pounds per load. I know that this is way past what those trucks are rated for, but he does it none the less. When loaded you only go 20-25 mph, so definitely no race car driving!

My question is, what would be the trouble trying to haul these loads with my 2005 1/2 ton crew cab? I think the ratings on my truck are at least as good as what those old 1991 3/4 tons are, and I've definitely got more horses under the hood. I've also got one of those Convert-a-ball cushioned receivers that I would use. It is also a 6-7 mile trip to the elevator.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

If you like your truck, I wouldnt be towing 14-15 thousand pounds with it. Id get a 3/4 or maybe even a 1 ton Diesel for the farm.

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#3 hoorders

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:38 AM

Hey all-

Got any farmer types pulling gravity wagons? My granddad is still farming a little at the ripe old age of 80, and he hauls his grain to the elevator. He's got 2 circa 1991 3/4 ton pickups with the 350 that he is using. They are good trucks for him, but not well taken care of. I try to help during harvest when I can, and must say that driving those things scares me a little. The brakes and steering are not all they should be, but he doesn't notice or care.

The wagons hold 225-250 bushels or so, and that equates into 14,000-15000 pounds per load. I know that this is way past what those trucks are rated for, but he does it none the less. When loaded you only go 20-25 mph, so definitely no race car driving!

My question is, what would be the trouble trying to haul these loads with my 2005 1/2 ton crew cab? I think the ratings on my truck are at least as good as what those old 1991 3/4 tons are, and I've definitely got more horses under the hood. I've also got one of those Convert-a-ball cushioned receivers that I would use. It is also a 6-7 mile trip to the elevator.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

Just a guess, but I think those 91 3/4 ton trucks probably have more towing capacity than your 1500........I bet the frame and suspension are beefier.......but you certanly do have more ponies................I wouldnt tow that kind of weight with my 1500..................but if you do.......take some pics.......... :cheers:
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#4 asilverblazer

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:44 AM

It is just pulling and stopping right? Those trailers do not put any weight on your truck, correct? If so, your brakes are as good or better, plus more horsepower. The only thing is the transmission isn't as stout. I would tear up someone elses truck before my own. Plus, that is what the owner has been using all this time to begin with.
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#5 Silv.4X4

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 11:15 AM

I have to agree, if the trailor can stand by itself then it wont put a whole lot of weight on your reciever. most of the weight is supported by the trailors axles, the only difficult part would be taking off and stopping (not that that is easy with 15,000 pounds) but i know ive pulled a tractor and sprayer on a jump trailor before, and thats a lot of tongue weight. so Id say go for it if the trailor can stand by itself and take most of the weight off of your tongue..but hey its your truck...otherwise i would say ask your grandpa to borrow his truck lol.
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#6 ken1mod

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 11:15 AM

Gentlemen,

The main concept here is that the speeds are low and it will not take much horsepower to pull this load. I do not believe this will strain anything. Now to do this in an over the road situation, that would be different.

I would not be afraid to do this based on the speeds involved. I have done far worse.

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#7 kritter9992

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 12:11 PM

should be no problem whatsoever , unless its hilly, other than that we use our trucks to pull all types of s**t on our farm, i pull 3, 500 bushel wagons empty all over and they weigh about 3000 kgs a piece, i always used my tow haul switch, and never had any problems, but with my brand new truck, i am not pulling a d**n thing, that truck is going to pampered big time

#8 saltwater_addict

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 12:26 PM

Ive searched the site and couldnt find it, but maybe someone here remembers this. There was a memeber on the site with a 3/4 ton 6.0 whose neighbor hauled firewood for a living with an f450. the f450 blew up and he got asked to do it, and was a good neighbor, so he agreed to do it. it was 150 miles away i believe, anyhow when he got there it was already loaded trailer, and they had loaded some more. long story short, he suspension was totally maxed out, was revving to high heaven just to go 35-40 mph, and so he had it weighed. Truck and trailer=48,000 lbs. now that would be freaking crazy. if anyone remembers this thread, id love to read it again/
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#9 Bobslob

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 05:08 PM

You should be alright with only one wagon but only one and no bigger than 300 bushels, because then you'll have to worry about your hitch because those wagons are hard on them. So no racing and you will be fine. :cheers:
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#10 brif

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:50 PM

From the replys here, it is obvious that most do not even know what a gravity box is. Not flaming anyone, just having towed many gravity boxes down the road with a pick-up loaded I would say you would be nuts to even consider it. With a wagon the load isn't distributed on the truck at all. Plus it would be attached to the truck with a pin. This pin has slop. The wagon will be jerking constantly. Starting and stopping would be issues. Four wheel drive may be required to even start out. This is if you're on a paved road. Depending on the "gear" on the wagon it could be trailer like a snake. This causes problems too. Pulling the wagon out of the field, forget about it. Only 6-7 miles to the elevator, take the tractor.

#11 carneyman

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:16 PM

From the replys here, it is obvious that most do not even know what a gravity box is. Not flaming anyone, just having towed many gravity boxes down the road with a pick-up loaded I would say you would be nuts to even consider it. With a wagon the load isn't distributed on the truck at all. Plus it would be attached to the truck with a pin. This pin has slop. The wagon will be jerking constantly. Starting and stopping would be issues. Four wheel drive may be required to even start out. This is if you're on a paved road. Depending on the "gear" on the wagon it could be trailer like a snake. This causes problems too. Pulling the wagon out of the field, forget about it. Only 6-7 miles to the elevator, take the tractor.


Or, just buy an old GM grain hauler truck. Those things work great, are cheap, and are easy to work on. Heck, if you wanted to, you could even use it to pull the wagons.

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#12 Bobslob

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:50 PM

We've got two of those old trucks, one is a 73' C65 with a 427, ally combo w/air brakes and pretty much every thing has been replaced on it exept the tranny. The other is a 76' C60 with a 366 big block and a 4+2 tranny, and that thing is a total dog, I would never try to pull even a small wagon with it because it can barely get its self moving or stopped for that matter because it doesnt even have air brakes, and the 73' doesnt have a hitch.
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#13 Mertz

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 12:32 PM

Hey guys, thanks for all the input. A gravity flow wagon does not put any tongue weight on the truck. Like someone said it is all pulled by a pin in the receiver hitch. I think that a lot of that shock will be taken out by the cushioned receiver I've got. Biggest challenge is traction if I had to guess. Yes you do need 4WD to get started out sometimes. Of the 7 mile trip, only 1.5 miles are on blacktop, the remainder on gravel roads. By the time you hit the blacktop you are all ready rolling a couple mph, so some of that shock is also alleviated.

As Brif said, I would prefer to use a tractor myself, but the return trip is happening around 40 mph. I guess when I've got limited time to help, I'd rather get it done faster too. By the way, he is all ready doing this with his trucks, so it can be done. As I said above it's about the traction getting out of the fields.

I think I might try one out and see how it goes this fall. From what some of you have said, you've done worse right? It'll be worth it to me if it does work, anything would be better than driving his trucks the way he takes care of them. I'll take some pictures too if I get it accomplished, and hopefully not talk about my dropped tranny!

Thanks again, keep the opinions coming if you have more too! :crackup:
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