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Old 07-27-2021, 12:01 PM   #1
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CAT scale payload numbersÖthis canít be right, Can it?

Alright- Iím doing this solo and need some help. These numbers just arenít making sense to me, and Iím wondering what Iím missing. Need to re weigh? Fix my hitch? Get rid of the WDH? It seems like I should be able in theory to tow this trailer with my TV without issue (but these numbers say otherwise).

My Ram 1500 eco diesel crew doesnít have great payload allowance so I wanted to make sure I knew the load. TT is an 1800BH, ~3600 lbs dry. These readings were with the fresh tank full (~258 lbs) and all gear loaded in the truck and trailer. Nothing extreme, few backpacks, upgraded mattress, camping chairs, TT hookup gear and tools, 2 kayaks in the truck was the most of it. 3 passengers with me.

Notes:

RAM provides tow and payload number by VIN, picture attached of that.

I tried to line it up so that the hitch was squared over the second scale, but with my short box and short trailer most of the trailer ended up on the second scale, too.

Looks like weight came off the front axle with the TT attached, instead of distributing over it, which concerns me.

I wasnít on the scale on the truck-only weigh (had to get out snd push the button, snd she weighed before I got back in), so thatís another ~110 lbs.

I have a blue ox weight distribution hitch, this was the first time I hitched up by myself, spring bars were attached as instructed and I took the whole hitch off for the truck weigh.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:11 PM   #2
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**addl note here, willing to consider a bigger truck… that solution is under consideration, but would really like to get it right with the one I have in the meantime**
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:17 PM   #3
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Yep. You can't have the trailer axles on the same scale as the truck's rear axle (need a redo, don't worry about centering on the scales, just get the axles on the right bits). Nevertheless, you can get the weight of the trailer from the differences in the total weight with and without the trailer. (4660 lbs). It looks like you could maybe adjust your WDH to project a bit more weight forward if you wanted, but you only lost 120 lbs from the front axle with the trailer attached (which isn't awful). Looks like you have about 850 lbs of cargo capacity left for the trailer tongue load (comparing total truck weight without trailer vs GVWR). This generally seems like good news.

Edit: I just noticed your comments about removing the WDH for the truck-only weight and not being in the truck for that one as well. These change the numbers above (complicate things a bit), but generally I think you're probably okay and if you reweigh you'll find your rear axle load is better. Your WDH is likely doing some good... you just might need to fine-tune it a bit. People often don't get ALL the weight back onto the front axle (but it's a good goal).
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:20 PM   #4
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So the trailer wheels (it’s a double axle) were on the third scale, truck bed and hitch were on the second scale. But the whole front of the trailer, everything ahead of the wheels, was also on the second one.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
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So the trailer wheels (it’s a double axle) were on the third scale, truck bed and hitch were on the second scale. But the whole front of the trailer, everything ahead of the wheels, was also on the second one.
Unless some part of the trailer was TOUCHING the second scale it doesn't matter if it's just hanging over it. You may want to try again and try to center the wheels a bit, but I doubt that it would make much difference.

Doesn't that ticket 'say' that the truck is squatting in the back with the trailer hooked up and starting to raise the front wheels? Not a LOT, but enough that it's beginning to take weight off the front axle. I would assume there'd be some extra bouncing in the front if you were to be driving over a rough road, or one of those bridges with the joints spaced 'just so' to cause a bounce in the vehicle.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:38 PM   #6
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Okay, embarrassing light bulb moment… you’re right, the trailer wasn’t touching the second scale, the wheels were on the third scale. So that “front of trailer over the second scale” note is irrelevant. So now I need to re weigh and make sure all 4 truck tires are definitely on scale #1, correct? I think they were but now I’m second guessing.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:18 PM   #7
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**addl note here, willing to consider a bigger truck… that solution is under consideration, but would really like to get it right with the one I have in the meantime**
If you need a bigger truck, most of us would need a bigger truck. Unless you’ve added several FLA batteries to the tongue, your tongue weight should be 500-575, and you should have enough payload. Put front axle on first scale, rear axle on second scale and trailer axles on third scale.

I was able to solve my weight problem (mostly) by weighing on a bathroom scale everything in truck bed, and moving the heaviest stuff to the pass thru. Now just using truck bed for light stuff and mounting bikes over the tonneau on crossbars. If you’re not in truck during weigh in, it’s ok as long as you’re standing on the scale next to the truck.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:20 PM   #8
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It’s pretty obvious that the front trailer axle had most of its weight on the same platform as the truck’s rear axle. I’m guessing you were just a tad too far forward. A reweigh should make things look much better. Likely will have trailer axles closer to 4000 (and a nice reduction in the truck’s rear axle load).
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:44 PM   #9
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And before the re-weigh... get the smartphone app and setup a payment account online at home before going to the scale.

https://weighmytruck.com/

Then you can do the entire process from the app and not have to get out to push the intercom, etc.

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Old 07-28-2021, 10:00 PM   #10
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Here in WA, there are plenty of friendly grain elevators with scales that are happy to let you weigh. Ask around in OR you may find some.


Also some hiway truck scale are always on, just look in the window.
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:57 AM   #11
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Love the app idea thank you! It was a bigger pain than expected to call in for each weigh from the scale.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:23 AM   #12
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Love the app idea thank you! It was a bigger pain than expected to call in for each weigh from the scale.
I've used it a couple of times. When loaded for a trip and stopping for gas at a truck stop I'm able to just drive on the scale and using the app quickly grab a weight with all on board and a full tank of fuel to know my real weight.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:24 PM   #13
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It is the load on each axle of the truck that is important so have the front wheels on the first pad and the rear wheels on the second pad and the trailer on the third pad. Then you will know the load on the rear wheels of the truck with the trailer attached and the weight of the trailer with whatever is inside.

You do want the tongue properly loading the hitch even if this means buying an adjustble hitch and adjusting the ball height so the tongue is level. Probably not needed in your situation but etrailer (good source of advice) sells ones that allow you to adjust the height as needed.

https://www.etrailer.com/Drop-Hitch/...w/MT70067.html
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:00 AM   #14
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Great insight. My Blue ox weight distribution hitch has adjustable height settings so I may try and lower the hitch one notch on the truck. Tedious to do weighs at different settings to see the difference but may just spend a weekend afternoon on it. Any benefit to getting a hitch weight scale? I see a Sherman one on Amazon that people seem to like, though I’m not sure it can be used with the wdh engaged so maybe it’s not much help.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMouse View Post
Great insight. My Blue ox weight distribution hitch has adjustable height settings so I may try and lower the hitch one notch on the truck. Tedious to do weighs at different settings to see the difference but may just spend a weekend afternoon on it. Any benefit to getting a hitch weight scale? I see a Sherman one on Amazon that people seem to like, though I’m not sure it can be used with the wdh engaged so maybe it’s not much help.
The first goal is to get your trailer level while towing. While on level ground, measuring the distance from the ground to the bottom of the frame rail (at the back and near the front) should allow you to confirm it is the same or just slightly lower in the front (nose slightly low is better than being slightly high for stability). The torsion axles share the load equally when the trailer is level. If the front is low, the front axle will take more of the load. If the front is high, the rear axle will take more of the load.

The next goal is to project tongue weight forward onto the steer axle of your truck. It takes a little trial and error to do both of these things well.

You actually looked pretty close to me already regarding weight distribution. If the trailer is level currently, I wouldn't adjust the position of the hitch (higher or lower). You could try adding a washer to the hitch head to project a little more weight onto the front axle (if you feel it is needed).

The Sherline will give you the tongue weight for your trailer. You use it with the trailer level and detached from the truck (so WDH has no impact on this). You can also just do the with/without CAT scale measurements as before. The difference in the truck weight with/without the trailer will be the tongue weight applied to the truck.
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Old 08-06-2021, 01:30 PM   #16
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My Sherline tongue weight scale got delivered yesterday so I stopped by the 2100BH this morning on my way to work and weighed the tongue with pretty much everything we take in the trailer, except food, bottled water and clothing. Got a tongue weight of 550lbs. The manufacturer's empty tongue weight is 430lbs. This gives me a lot of piece of mind, given that I have not been to the CAT scale yet, and I have logged about 1400 miles. I worked out the rest of my numbers with mostly exact weights (people, dog, water, propane, tools, air compressor, griddles, etc.), but some estimations (clothes, dishes, hoses, chocks, cleaning supplies, levelers, etc.), and was happy to see that I apparently still have some payload for a few things over and above the people, dog and hitch, and that I am right around 11.5% of the loaded trailer weight (4800-5000).

The only issue with the tongue weight scale was getting it high enough to place it in the coupler while keeping the trailer level. The 2100BH has a high ground clearance an larger tires, so the coupler is comparatively high off the ground. I did not have any thick wood blocks, so I used my hydraulic lift, even then I had it raised as high as it could go and placed the scale right on top of the ram. I may have been an inch or so shy of being completely level, so I think I'll use a 2x6 and put the lift on that so I can make sure I get the trailer perfectly level. Sherline also suggests taking the weight from the tongue jack too, for what appears to be a check on the weight at the coupler. They say the weight at the jack should be .95 of the weight at the coupler.

My question is whether, armed with my tongue weight, do I really need to go to the CAT scale. The weights I am missing are the exact loaded trailer weight, the exact loaded truck weight, and the weight on the truck axles and trailer axles, but given the weights I have and the payload of the truck I am fairly confident that I am within the gross weight ratings of the truck and trailer axles. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2021, 02:06 PM   #17
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Fresh and waste water is going to weigh roughly 8 lbs per gallon so having a cushion in terms of trailer weight will make it easier to fill up and hit a dump station when it is convenient.

The scales on the hitch are more for use by people with dump trailers where the load can vary considerably day to day.
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