In certain weather conditions, trucks can be slightly hard to maneuver given the way they are built. In order to resolve these issues, truck owners often add weights to their truck bed to balance the truck’s weight distribution and create a smoother ride.
The question is, what can you use as a truck bed weight?
Why Do You Need Truck Bed Weights?
Structurally speaking, truck beds are built with all intents to carry and transport heavy loads in their beds in the back.
In the absence of cargo, most of the weight is displaced towards the front which can lead to loss of traction and, thus, difficulty in maneuvering the vehicle.
The effects of the loss of traction can be further emphasized by certain weather conditions such as rain and snow.
To remedy this, many truck owners have taken to placing weights of different forms in their beds to, in a sense, mock the weight of cargo. This balances out the weight distribution and allows for better traction and smoother rides.
What Can You Use as Truck Bed Weights?
There aren’t really “proper” truck bed weights. They’re more of a quick fix kind of thing and each truck owner may have his or her own preferred weight.
In general, a car that weighs around half a ton or 450 kilograms requires a weight of 240 to 300 pounds (109 to 136 kilograms).
While those that weigh three quarters to a whole ton or 680 to 907 kilograms will require a weight of 300 to 400 pounds (136 to 181 kilograms).
You can even use common household items that you can grab a hold of if you ever find yourself in a pinch. To give you an idea, take a look at this list of items that you can effectively use as a truck bed weight.
Sand bags are often the most commonly used items as truck bed weights. This is because they are cheap, placed in secure packaging in the form of sacks, and can provide a steady and pre measured amount of weight.
They can either be readily found in your garage or in the nearest hardware store for a relatively cheap price.
In case you no longer need the extra weight, it is also extremely easy to dispose of these things. You can either find a way to repurpose them around your house, or give them away to someone else who might need a couple bags of sand.
These things aren’t just for your furry little pal to do their business on. Bags of kitty litter can also be a great truck bed weight in the absence of other materials.
In addition to being great weights, you can also sprinkle them on the ground, near your truck’s wheels during snowy winter days to aid in traction and get you moving faster.
It is also easy to obtain, reuse, and recycle especially if you already have a cat in the house.
If you’re more of a green thumb, then potting soil might be a good idea for a truck bed weight. Like most other options here, they are cheap, conveniently packaged, and can easily be found as well as reused within the household.
They can also be really handy to have with you especially if you live in areas with lots of snow.
If your car or truck ever gets stuck, just pull some of this out and sprinkle it on the ground to allow your vehicle to gain traction.
Full spare gas tanks can also function great as truck bed weights. Aside from the fact that they can be quite heavy, they are also made of sturdy plastic that is comparatively less sensitive to the elements as opposed to sacks of plastic or burlap.
Plus, this makeshift truck bed weight hits two birds with one stone as you not only get a weight, but also spare storage of fuel that you can use in case you unexpectedly run out while on the road.
Heavy duty tool boxes can also be used if you only need a small amount of weight to balance out your ride.
Most trucks usually already have this resting in the backs of their trucks. However, keep in mind that if you do choose to place this in your truck bed, you should make sure that it is securely fastened and tightly closed.
This is done to avoid tools and other hazards from flying off your truck bed and causing a road accident.
If you live in snowy areas, you can also make use of snow as a natural makeshift truck bed weight.
While snow may feel light, when packed in tight piles in the bed it can still exhibit some weight that may be sufficient enough to stand as a temporary fix.
However, this is not recommended as snow can either melt or fly off your vehicle creating a potential road hazard for surrounding vehicles.
What Are Some Considerations for Truck Bed Weights?
There are a lot of things that you can consider as truck bed weights. However, there are still some things you must consider before you choose your desired item.
One, you need to be able to securely fasten your chosen weight to the truck bed to avoid it getting thrown out of the vehicle. Especially when driving at high speeds or rough roads.
Some truck owners simple place their chosen weight on top of the bed while others go as far as building a small compartment specifically for their truck bed weight. There are no rules to this so long as you can assure the safety of those around you.
Two, you need to make sure that it will be able to withstand whatever elements that you may encounter on the road or else face a mess of a clean up.
It’s best to double wrap sacks or bags or opt for items that are made of plastic or weather resistant material.
Three, you need to check if your car’s built in system won’t be disturbed by your chosen weight.
If driving an RWD, you need to ensure that your weight does not exceed the maximum payload of your truck. Ensure that you load on just enough weight to avoid skidding or fishtailing while still maintaining fuel efficiency and power.
However, if you drive an FWD or AWD, best skip adding the weight altogether as these vehicles have built in systems that the weights might interfere with thus affecting the overall performance of these trucks.In this case, it’s best to invest in a good set of wheels made for the terrain you’re traveling in.
Truck bed weights aren’t really a necessity for all trucks but can be life-saving for those that do need them. It’s a good thing that there are so many options for you to choose from. Some may even serve purposes other than just a simple weight.
Whatever your choice, ensure that it serves its purpose and allows you and others to drive safely.