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Old 09-16-2017, 02:36 PM   #1
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The Great Payload Mystery

I drive a 2004 Suburban, the 1500 level, not the heavy duty, and I'm trying to figure out what the payload might be.

Here's the sticker ... I'm sure payload is hidden there, somewhere, but a mystery to me.

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Name:	Suburban 2004-THE GREAT PAYLOAD MYSTERY.jpg
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ID:	295039

Can any decipher the code?
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:40 PM   #2
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It's not going to help much, but the payload is 7,000lbs minus whatever the vehicle weighs (with a full tank of gas).

The weight of the passengers would be part of the payload.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:42 PM   #3
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Some times its in the glove box sticker.Stated curb weight is 5546lbs
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:09 PM   #4
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Curb Weight 5323 lbs.
Gross Weight 7000 lbs.
Maximum Payload 2086 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity 8400 lbs.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:35 PM   #5
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You'll want TARE weight. Get the app and take it to a Cat Scale. Max fuel, driver plus whatever tools or gear kept permanently aboard. This is the lightest weight of your particular vehicle for any planning purposes.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:57 PM   #6
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Strictly speaking, you can't determine the actual payload of YOUR specific vehicle equipped with YOUR specific options from that sticker because it doesn't list the curb weight of your truck, just the gross weights. The curb weights being shown in posts above are probably close enough for your purposes but they are approximations with respect to your particular vehicle and it's various options.

I don't know if they were doing this back in 2004 but on current vehicles like my 2017 F150 you will find a sticker like the one shown in the picture below that lists the actual payload number. If you could find a sticker like that on your Suburban then not only would you have your payload, but you could also calculate your curb weight by subtracting it from the GVWR on the sticker in your picture.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:02 PM   #7
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Axle limits are the concern. Payload is just barely relevant.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
I don't know if they were doing this back in 2004 but on current vehicles like my 2017 F150 you will find a sticker like the one shown in the picture below that lists the actual payload number. If you could find a sticker like that on your Suburban then not only would you have your payload, but you could also calculate your curb weight by subtracting it from the GVWR on the sticker in your picture.
Alas, no such info on the sticker on my 2004 rig.

I've seen the payload spelled out on new vehicles.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:10 PM   #9
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You'll want TARE weight.
TARE weight ... that's a new term. Have to look that up.

Always learn plenty on Airforums.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:11 PM   #10
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Curb Weight 5323 lbs.
Gross Weight 7000 lbs.
Maximum Payload 2086 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity 8400 lbs.
How did you find the curb weight?

A ton of payload ... wow. And we travel light, so ... payload to spare.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Curb Weight 5323 lbs.
Gross Weight 7000 lbs.
Maximum Payload 2086 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity 8400 lbs.
Not sure how this computes. GVWR (Gross Weight) - Curb weight (dry) - 20 gal (a guess) Gasoline @ 6 per = 7000-5323-120 = 1557

If these are the generic numbers for the vehicle they can only be achieved with the correct package(s). If your truck doesn't have the passengers and cargo (commonly called payload) sticker in the door, the best way to tell is weigh the truck and compare to the axle ratings, but this does not consider the engine, transmission and brakes.

Any payload must be subtracted from maximum towing capacity

Al
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:32 PM   #12
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My dad had a trucking business, I grew up with this stuff. When he would haul a load of grain to the elevator for sale he would weigh the loaded truck at the elevator. After unloading the grain he would weigh it again, that was the tare weight. The weight of the grain was the payload.

"Payload" as now used by manufacturer's and posted in the door jamb is their suggested and approximate weight you can load in your vehicle without going over GVWR. GVWR is a suggested and approximate maximum weight the vehicle "should never exceed".

The axle rating is the hard number each axle can carry safely (during the life of the vehicle). It is possible to be under GVWR/payload and overload an axle when carrying a heavy hitch weight and a bunch of stuff in the back of the vehicle. If you don't want to overload your axles, quit losing sleep over payload numbers and take your loaded vehicle and trailer to the CAT scale to see if your axles are loaded safely. That's what matters.

If not, you may have a poor weight distribution setup or simply too much stuff. Get them right. It will also help your steering control and braking when you need them most. Weight distribution and a hitch setup capable of doing it for you are very important.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:13 AM   #13
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There should be another sticker on the door jam that tells you the payload. The info on the sticker you show is also helpful with regards to proper tire pressure and how much weight each axle can carry.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Not sure how this computes. GVWR (Gross Weight) - Curb weight (dry) - 20 gal (a guess) Gasoline @ 6 per = 7000-5323-120 = 1557

If these are the generic numbers for the vehicle they can only be achieved with the correct package(s). If your truck doesn't have the passengers and cargo (commonly called payload) sticker in the door, the best way to tell is weigh the truck and compare to the axle ratings, but this does not consider the engine, transmission and brakes.

Any payload must be subtracted from maximum towing capacity

Al
Towing "capacity" has more to do with trailer design (aero + suspension), height and frontal area over weight (where the expectation is highway travel). One can design a 3000-lb trailer no giant pickup could pull at highway speeds with any degree of satisfaction, much less relative safety.

TT weight is only one of a number of considerations and FAR from the most important.

Axle/wheel/tire limits are an easy enough gauge to work with. TARE weight on a combined and per axle basis covers it.

A 1000-lb TW will, after tensioning WD, leave about 400-lbs per axle to carry. It's only the smallest vehicle that can't. Leaving a variety of TV types or classes for research.

And in that, solo duty spec is supreme. Best stability in any role leads the class. Design safety.

Is a Suburban good? Sure. But it's not as good a design in stability as the competing Expedition.

Neither would be as good as a Chrysler 300 or some other sedans.

Stability, size and wheelbase make it a default TV.

Where other types deviate -- smaller or larger -- make for compromise.

Same is true for an all-aluminum, independently-suspended, fully aerodynamic trailer: all other types are compromised.

Etc.

Have a starting point. It isn't "weight". Its DESIGN.

(There are those who've never towed with anything but a pickup design. A generally lousy experience at the wheel, but decent for those carrying huge amounts of gear on full-time or extended trips. And there are those of us who've covered North America and Mexico with cars pulling these trailers, 28' and longer. Load clothing, food and go. See ya in three weeks).


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Old 09-17-2017, 09:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Towing "capacity" has more to do with trailer design (aero + suspension), height and frontal area over weight (where the expectation is highway travel). One can design a 3000-lb trailer no giant pickup could pull at highway speeds with any degree of satisfaction, much less relative safety.

TT weight is only one of a number of considerations and FAR from the most important.

Axle/wheel/tire limits are an easy enough gauge to work with. TARE weight on a combined and per axle basis covers it.

A 1000-lb TW will, after tensioning WD, leave about 400-lbs per axle to carry. It's only the smallest vehicle that can't. Leaving a variety of TV types or classes for research.

And in that, solo duty spec is supreme. Best stability in any role leads the class.

Is a Suburban good? Sure. But it's not as good a design in stability as the competing Expedition.

Neither would be as good as a Chrysler 300 or some other sedans.
Stability, size and wheelbase make it a default TV. Where other types deviate -- smaller or larger -- make for compromise.

Same is true for an all-aluminum, independently-suspended, fully aerodynamic trailer: all other types are compromised.

Etc.

Have a starting point. It isn't "weight". Its DESIGN.


.
I must respectfully disagree.

My truck has axle WEIGHT ratings, not axle design ratings. These ratings define the capability of the truck to carry weight.
My truck also has a maximum trailer weight rating, a gross vehicle weight rating, and a gross combined vehicle weight rating. These ratings define how much weight the engine and brakes are designed to safely handle.
These ratings have nothing to do with the design or aerodynamics of the trailer. They are, pure and simple, weight limits, and you exceed them at your own peril.
Aerodynamics and design can affect trailer stability and/or fuel economy, which in turn can affect the whole towing experience, but they have no influence on your tow vehicle's rated capacities.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:08 AM   #16
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You missed the part about about obtaining TARE weight and axle/wheel/tire limits, huh?

Or how design is applicable?

And I'll bet you've never used a car, have you?

So take it easy, new guy. There's hope.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:28 PM   #17
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Interesting.

I'm not looking for towing capability but rather how much weight in people, fuel and cargo the Suburban can carry, within the Chevrolet specs.

I will get it to a CAT scale one day, but until then, seeking some realistically accurate numbers.

An Expedition might be the greatest, but ... that's not what's sitting in the driveway. For now, I'm behind the wheel of a 2004 Suburban.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:52 PM   #18
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Are you towing something? What are you planning to tow? Maybe I missed that.

Every suburban I ever had no problem with 7 passengers and cargo, and a small trailer. Depends on what you're towing.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:30 PM   #19
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Interesting.

I'm not looking for towing capability but rather how much weight in people, fuel and cargo the Suburban can carry, within the Chevrolet specs.

I will get it to a CAT scale one day, but until then, seeking some realistically accurate numbers.

An Expedition might be the greatest, but ... that's not what's sitting in the driveway. For now, I'm behind the wheel of a 2004 Suburban.
Guesstimates are worthless. And playing with payload or tow numbers isn't very important anyway. A detail. Not a determinant. No ones ever gotten a good TV playing with a spreadsheet.

It's why you've been asked to get the TARE weight. At a Cat Scale (get phone app), with max fuel, driver and gear/tools permanently aboard, what is:

Steer Axle weight? (Against 3200-lb limit)

Drive Axle weight? (Against 4000-lb limit)

Gross combined. (Against suggested vehicle limit.


Fill up the fuel tank when you get there. Driver only aboard otherwise.

Your vehicle has limits on Axle/tire/wheel. The above will be your adjusted lightest weight (versus published shipping weight).

The difference between weights per Axle and ratings, etc, is what you have to work with.

What trailer? And you'll need to research for representative tongue weight numbers; factory and loaded.



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Old 09-17-2017, 06:57 PM   #20
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A very handy site.....may not be 100% for ALL applications, but helpful none the less.

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