What is Payload Capacity For A Pickup Truck?

Are you thinking of getting a brand new pickup truck? There are a lot of essential factors to look into, including its payload capacity. It is critical to study its payload capacity so we can find out how much weight your truck can carry. Today, we will be going over what payload capacity is. Also, we need to understand why it’s so important, and how to calculate your max payload.

Payload capacity is the weight that your truck can carry – without towing. In other words, it is the amount of weight the vehicle can take within its cabin or on the truck bed.

So, why would it be essential for you to know your truck’s payload capacity? For your safety, you need to have full control of your truck. Including an enlightened understanding and view of what your truck’s limits are.

Any item you have in your truck, no matter how big or small, is going to contribute to the payload. Everything in the truck’s bed and compartment establishes its payload. This weight will get without a doubt high when you add to the truck a compartment full of passengers and gear in the bed.

The most central limit that you must know for your truck is that of payload capacity. Unlike a heavy-duty truck, a light-duty truck has a much smaller payload capacity. But, if you do go above your vehicle’s payload capacity, you will put unwanted pressure on your vehicle.

Now we are going to go over the payload capacity of popular pickup trucks. Next, we will learn how to calculate your truck’s payload capacity. Then how to increase it, and finally, what would happen if you exceeded it.

Payload Capacity of Popular Pickup Trucks

Based on my research, I found the three most popular pickup trucks. They are the Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the Ford F-150. I will now tell you the payload capacity of each truck, so it will be easier for you to figure which truck you want to buy.

Ram 1500

Ram brings an impressive slate of pickups to the table. Ram brings an outstanding slate of pickups to the table. In 2019, Ram revamped its 1500 light-duty widespread model. The new truck takes large steps in terms of technological standpoints. Ram 1500’s most enormous payload capacity comes in at 2300 lbs.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The legendary Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers a well-rounded pickup truck. Its high payload rating is part of the deal. The Silverado’s most massive payload weight is 2250 lbs.

Ford F-150

For 40+ years, the Ford F-150 has been the most popular pickup truck in the United States. When it comes to payload, Ford is the king among pickup trucks. F-150’s most enormous payload capacity is an impressive 3270 lbs.

How to Calculate Truck Payload Capacity

Overloading a truck can be dangerous. If you plan to transport items in your truck bed, it’s essential to know your truck’s payload capacity.

You can’t guess what your truck’s payload capacity is. You should also never determine what your truck’s payload capacity is based on the information you found in advertisements. The commercials only current the numbers for when the vehicle has only a driver in it except any passengers or cargo. This form of scenario is no longer practical. You will probably have passengers in your truck, as likely as equipment.

The best way to find your truck’s payload capacity is to read your vehicle’s handbook. You can also go online to the official manufacturer’s website. Be 100% sure that you’re looking at the same make, model, and year of the truck as in the handbook.

You can also calculate your max payload by getting two things. They are your truck’s curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating. Well, are you not sure what that means? Read on.

Curb Weight

Curb weight is a measurement of how much your vehicle weighs with no passengers or cargo inside. This includes a full tank of gas. As well as any other fluids that you need to keep your vehicle functioning.

One way to find out is to weigh your truck. To do so, determine what fluid amounts you need for your truck via the owner’s manual. Fill your vehicle under this information. Next, take your car to an auto garage. The people there will weigh it, without any added cargo or accessories. That will give you the curb weight of your vehicle. Next, you will need to find your gross vehicle weight rating.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR)

The greatest amount of weight that your vehicle can hold is your GCWR. It contains the liquids necessary for the truck (gas, diesel, oil, etc.) plus any passengers and cargo.

It contains the weight of the passengers, cargo, and curb weight. The curb weight is all machinery that composes your truck. The kit consists of a filled gas tank, but not cargo and passengers. Usually, weighing every single piece of equipment and every passenger is the most efficient way to find the real number of the payload capacity. You can also look online, your owner’s manual, or on the vehicle’s door frame.

So What’s Our Payload?

Remember, how much stuff your truck can carry after you filled the tank with gas is your payload capacity. Including putting oil and diesel in your truck.

It is effortless to calculate your max payload. It would be best if you subtracted the curb weight from the gross vehicle weight rating. Here is the formula: GCWR – curb weight = truck payload. That’s how much available weight you can add to your vehicle. Including how many passengers, accessories, and cargo.

For example, if your truck’s GVWR is 8000 lbs, and your truck’s curb weight is 4500 lbs. 3550 lbs would then be its load capacity.

You should never exceed the payload of your truck once you discover it. Omit, that’s how much you know the amount of weight your pickup truck can carry.

How to Increase the Payload Capacity of Your Truck

There are five ways that you can increase the payload capacity of your pickup truck.

Upgrade the Rear Springs

There are two types of rear springs — the coil spring and the leaf spring. Both types can give more support for a more substantial amount of load once their quality improves.

With higher grade kits you can from an auto store, you can replace your existing leaf springs with higher quality ones.

Then the next step is to replace the coil springs with thicker coils. The truck will then be able to support its payload capacity.

Add Coil-Over Shock Absorbers

Another way is to have an auto store install coil-over shock absorbers. From that alone, most of the unsteady movements coming from your truck will never occur again. With these absorbers, your truck will no longer sway and vibrate when it reaches its peak load.

Install a Longer Truck Bed

The third way to install a longer truck bed. The longer the truck bed you have, the more you will be able to level out the weight of your vehicle.

Attach a Trailer

The fourth way to increase payload capacity is to attach a trailer. With the trailer, the truck will get towing capacity as well.

In some cases, the extra towing capacity can double the vehicle’s payload capacity. Towing capacity is huge for pickup trucks. The vehicle itself doesn’t even pull much of the trailer’s weight. The trailer does not rely on the strength of the truck, and it rather runs on its own wheels instead. When the truck is heading uphill, that is the only time a trailer will draw on the truck’s strength.

Add Bed Racks

The final way is to add bed racks. Bed racks mount to the vehicle on one side and serve as bunk space to pull multiple items. It will help you maximize the current payload capacity. Every time you place something on a bed rack, you need to be careful. You do not want the contents to surpass the payload capacity of your vehicle.

What Happens if You Exceed Your Truck’s Payload Capacity?

If you dare exceed your truck’s payload capacity, whatever happens next could be your worst nightmare. Depending on the truck’s excess weight, you will find that maneuvering the truck is harder. You can easily lose all control of your vehicle and crash when you are driving uphill, downhill, or on wet, slick, icy roads.

Which is why it’s also illegal.

And if that is not enough to scare you from going past the payload limit, consider what damage your truck will receive.

Your risk for a tire blow also greatly increases. Tires have weight limits (you can find and read them on their sidewalls), and going over them is always a terrible idea. Without the excess payload, you might be able to control your truck when a tire blows out. Yet, getting off the road safely may be impossible due to excessive payload. Also, any sudden movement of people or cargo could transfer all of its weight to only one side of the vehicle and stay there. The sudden shift in weight will then cause the truck to roll over and perhaps cause a fatal accident.

Again, that is why it is so vital that you know what your max payload capacity is. I do not want any of you to destroy your pickup truck nor hurt yourselves.


Omit, it is crucial to know what payload capacity is and why it is significant for your pickup truck. Otherwise, it can lead to severe damage to your truck. As well as putting your own life and others at risk. If you enjoyed this article and would like your friends to know about it, too, please share it on Facebook. If you have any questions or insights, leave a comment down below, and I’d be more than happy to help out. Otherwise, thank you for reading, and good luck with getting the right pickup!



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