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Old 11-11-2020, 01:54 PM   #1
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Calling all Load Distribution Geeks 😊

Here’s my first CAT Scale weight. I’m towing with a 2019 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4x4. Trailer is a 2020 28 International RBQ. Using an Equalizer hitch rig. No tail sag and the unit tows very nicely.
My question is does this load distribution look good or should I have more weight on the front axle?
Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
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To really know you need 3 passes

1. Truck only loaded for camping

2. With trailer no weight distribution

3. With trailer with weight distribution

That way can look at loading with and without all influences. What can’t tell from the one ticket is how much weight was removed from front axle.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:42 PM   #3
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I agree with JonDNC that you need a 3-pass set to understand how the trailer is affecting the truck's weight and weight distribution.

I'd also point out that (at CAT scales) after the first pass, subsequent passes on the same day are $2.50 each (or perhaps within a certain number of hours, it's been a while since I've done multiples)
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:48 PM   #4
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Great feedback - thank you guys.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:10 PM   #5
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As the others have said 3 passes would be best, 2 is better than one. But this along with a rough guess at payload can still tell you quite a bit. Your front to rear distribution is good. Fully loaded ideal front to rear difference is about 1200 lb for that vehicle. The trailer axle weights look good so we can infer tongue weight is in a good place.

So we can't say with precision, but we can say nothing looks concerning. With a payload estimate you could zero in on tongue weight and then infer WD load return, but as the others say, the three weight scale tells the whole story.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:41 PM   #6
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Good news - thanks
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:05 PM   #7
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I do 4 weights. A max WD to help gauge where the ideal setting will be. Usually done at the beginning of the Season to confirm pervious settings.👍

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Old 11-11-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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In my limited experience, getting the front axle back to the "unhitched but fully loaded" weight seems very stable. In other words I don't try and transfer any of the tongue weight to the front axle with WD, just get it back to where it was prior to hooking up trailer.
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
In my limited experience, getting the front axle back to the "unhitched but fully loaded" weight seems very stable. In other words I don't try and transfer any of the tongue weight to the front axle with WD, just get it back to where it was prior to hooking up trailer.


I agree. That’s where the ‘front end shop’ sets the toe, camber, and caster at that weight.
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:56 PM   #10
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In addition to the weigh scale information, measure how much squat you have in the rear and how much lift on the front axle. One inch squat and zero to 1/2 inch lift on the front is a good target.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:38 PM   #11
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Based on the front axle weight I'm guessing you have a gasser. My diesel comes in about 1000 pounds heavier on the front axle and about the same on the rear. As stated above, get 3 (or 4) weighs to see where you are really at.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
In my limited experience, getting the front axle back to the "unhitched but fully loaded" weight seems very stable. In other words I don't try and transfer any of the tongue weight to the front axle with WD, just get it back to where it was prior to hooking up trailer.
The Ram HD owners manual specifically says 50% FALR (height measurement at the wheel well should be half way back to unloaded).
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:56 PM   #13
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Be aware though that the 50% guidance is to reduce risk of oversteer and it applies when towing at the stated max limit. When one is well under the max tow, oversteer instability is not a threat and more FALR generally improves ride quality, sway damping, steering response and handling performance.
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:27 AM   #14
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Be aware though that the 50% guidance is to reduce risk of oversteer and it applies when towing at the stated max limit. When one is well under the max tow, oversteer instability is not a threat and more FALR generally improves ride quality, sway damping, steering response and handling performance.
Interesting. This is the first time I’ve heard that. Not that I doubt you or anything, but do you have any documentation on that? I like to be well educated on subjects that can effect my lifespan!

I’ve got nearly 9000 pounds of towing capacity (about 700 payload) left, so I’m definitely well below max.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:40 AM   #15
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There are two published engineering papers on the subject that date back to the 1980's. The ASE also has a paywalled paper on it they still sell. All three papers are focused on the hazards of overloading the vehicle rear axle with trailers that were fundamentally too large and then attempting to correct the issue by redistributing the excess load to the front axle and trailer axles. They supply the formulations, graphs and test data so you can see, compare and contrast WD effects on underloaded vehicles also, particularly the theoretical effects but the papers do not directly address FLAR settings for vehicle combinations that remain in understeer (inherently stable). They don't because the purpose of the papers were to warn automotive engineers against advising heavy tow limits using too large trailers with light tongue weight and then not advising tongue weight limits or worst suggesting excessive WD can be used to alleviate rear axle overloading. As a consequence you have dig into the details to fully appreciate the point about use of WD well below max tow limits.

One of the papers has been linked on this site numerous times in the past year. Let me know if you are still interested. I have not found any authoritative papers directly addressing this question though.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:19 AM   #16
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I see these Cat scale postings all the time here and IMO they miss an important weight measurement.

It is important to know the the difference of weight on each axle on the trailer. For example on a 7000# trailer the front axle weighs in at 4000# and the rear is 3000#, that is a huge imbalance and affects towing, tire wear, tire temperature, etc.

When I help someone adjust their WD system for TV and trailer, it sometimes can take a couple of hours. I'm fortunate here in Oregon because there are many unmanned scales here for agriculture carriers.

Many factors are to be considered when setting up the WD.

I start by taking axle weights of the TV alone, then individual axle weights of TV and trailer connected without the WD, then all individual axle weights with the WD. That is the starting point. From there heights of ball, trailer and TV at critical points to bring to near level.

I just had to replace my WD head due to a new TV that was taller than my old one. The old WD head didn't allow me to lower it enough for me to make adjustments. I started out with a 2 inch difference between the front and rear of the trailer. I was able to get it level but on a recent return from camping, I stopped by a scale on the way home and measured about a 800# difference between the trailer axles. I haven't had time yet but I'm going to have to head to a scale near me to fine tune the WD.
As I said earlier, I'm fortunate to have scales near me that I can take the time to make several passes and room to pull off the the side for adjustments. Just my thoughts, but I've been able to help many improve their towing experience by "this looks about right" set ups often by trailer dealers that have neither the tools or time to dial in the WD system.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
In my limited experience, getting the front axle back to the "unhitched but fully loaded" weight seems very stable. In other words I don't try and transfer any of the tongue weight to the front axle with WD, just get it back to where it was prior to hooking up trailer.
You can actually call the weight anything. (TW, receiver weight or load) It doesn't really matter.
The goal is to return to the front axle the weight that was removed by hitching up your trailer. Both the trailer and AS being 'fully loaded' for camping and LEVEL.

POI...as long as "Cloudsplitter" is level the individual axle weights have been within 60lbs frt to rear. Side to side is more difficult to correct but has been within 85lbs. 17 Seasons SFSG


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Old 11-12-2020, 11:56 AM   #18
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Wow..17 ram 4x4 6.7 short box..crew cab ..3820
3880
13 31’ Classic. Fully loaded. 7700
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:03 AM   #19
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I agree. That’s where the ‘front end shop’ sets the toe, camber, and caster at that weight.
I'm a little confused by your statement but "get it" that the objective is to return the front TV axle back to the baseline load (weight) it has when loaded with passengers and cargo prior to hitching up the trailer.

My thinking being that the front-end alignment shops set toe, camber and caster to manf. spec. which would not normally include the TV being pre-laden with passenger(s) and cargo.
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