Originally Posted by mack-in-nc
The phrasing of my original questions seems to led some folks in the wrong direction...so allow me to get in here with some clarification..
I have no intention of pulling a nine thousand lb plus AS down the road with a TV that has no business pulling more than ...say...seven or eight thousand...I shudder at coming down out of the Blue Ridge (or worse yet, the Rockies...) while wondering where my brakes went...
I am not trying or thinking of trying of circumventing the law...I am wondering if there is a 'built in' safely factor..."this thing can really tow 10K but let's say nine, just to be on the safe side.."
For sure... there is lots of leeway in failure specifications. Your truck isn't going to implode because it's 100lbs over spec on the hitch. What is 'safe' is kind of relative... I tend to be a cautious driver, and my trailer is 3000lbs lighter than my truck can tow. I still leave a lot of space around me so I have time to react and not unbalance the whole thing.
And, I'm not telling people to break, or not break, the applicable law(s)... I'm just saying that accident investigators always look for the 'point of failure', whether that is some mechanical issue, driver error, or some combination of factors. An overloaded vehicle is just a very big factor when something goes wrong... whether is actually caused the problem, or just exaggerated it.
Take a look at airplane accident reports that involve CofG or overloaded conditions... people get away with it all the time, until something else changes - maybe it isn't anything that is their 'fault' - but it magnifies their error.