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Weight capacity of open tailgate?

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Old 06-06-2011, 03:05 PM
mwsF250 mwsF250 is offline
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Weight capacity of open tailgate?

They are clearly very strong, but how strong?

Have you ever loaded an open tailgate to the point where it failed? What did it take?

I am planning to haul my 600 lb motorcycle (BMW R1200RT), and debating whether to hang the ramp off the tailgate, or to remove the tailgate and set ramp on edge of bed.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:17 PM
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Most tailgates are "RATED" for between 200 and 300 pounds depending on the truck. I would expect the superdutys to be 300 pounds.

That said I have put 400lbs+ on my tailgate many many many many times.

Also, I have hauled motercycles, quads, buggies, you name it, all using ramps on the tailgate, you will be fine. Just be sure to secure the ramps to your bumper with a ratcheting strap.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:28 PM
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I havent loaded my bike in the 350 yet, but my ram took the 800# bike with my 330# fat @ss on it and didn't give.

I have had myself, (330#) GF (130#) and the dog (70#) for over 500#'s on it...
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:30 PM
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I sit 300+ pounds on the tailgate all the time. Never even thought about what it was rated for.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:54 PM
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We'll load sleds in the bed with a ramp - 600 lb sled, 250 lb rider - so about 850 lbs across them and have never had problems, I sure wouldn't leave that much weight on it for a period of time though... Just be gentle on the throttle so your not adding any undue stress as you break-over the top.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:50 PM
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I routinely load my 4wd ATV in the bed of my truck using ramps to the tailgate. The ATV weighs 650lbs + my 200lb self. I've never had any problem.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:08 PM
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Appreciating the first hand stories! I have ridden our quads up, but they are under 400 pounds. If I dropped the scooter, it would be ugly. Maybe even grounds for divorce? It was our 13th anniversary gift to each other....

I recall reading about someone driving their Rhino onto tailgate, so that is promising.

My thought is to get 9' ramp for the bike, and then use one of my existing ramps for me to walk up alongside. The bike ramp will be on tailgate, maybe put the walking ramp on bumper just to minimize load.

And thank you for mentioning straps. Very important.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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If you balanced the motorcycle on the tailgate then climbed up and jumped on the tail gate you might have an issue, but remember, you're never putting all 600lbs on the tailgate. The ramp will have some when you first roll it up. Once the front wheel is past the tailgate the truck is supporting 300lbs. You should have nothing to worry about.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mwsF250 View Post
Appreciating the first hand stories! I have ridden our quads up, but they are under 400 pounds. If I dropped the scooter, it would be ugly. Maybe even grounds for divorce? It was our 13th anniversary gift to each other....

I recall reading about someone driving their Rhino onto tailgate, so that is promising.

My thought is to get 9' ramp for the bike, and then use one of my existing ramps for me to walk up alongside. The bike ramp will be on tailgate, maybe put the walking ramp on bumper just to minimize load.

And thank you for mentioning straps. Very important.

I have a couple 800# "Ramp Parts" Aluminum ramp heads on a 2' wide, 8' plywood ramp that I made just for the bike. It is a 1" piece of plywood cut into 3 even pieces, 8' long with the ramp tops on the end and the entire thing held together with about 12 Bolts.

Served me very well for around 4 years now. I usually back up to a hill so the angle isn't too bad, and unload there, so all I have to do it put the kickstand down, "walk" it up the ramp, set it, step up, and drive the rest of the way in. Only close call I had was in the rain, but caught it wit help.
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:40 AM
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I remember reading somewhere that the official rating is 500 lbs but I don't remember the source so I'm not sure how reliable that info is. I have had my 500 lb. lawn mower plus me and my dad standing on it for a total of about 850 lbs and it held up fine
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:02 AM
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Borrow or rent a trailer. It is less costly than to drop a bike or to have an anchor point or tail gate fail unexpectedly.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:05 AM
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I see you have a '99. Keep an eye on your tailgate cables. If one rusts through or stretches inordinately you won't notice it because the other one will carry all the weight. But then when you load the bike having only one good cable might not be enough.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by blueiron View Post
Borrow or rent a trailer. It is less costly than to drop a bike or to have an anchor point or tail gate fail unexpectedly.
Great advice, but the travel trailer is coming with us.

It is flat wrong to haul a BMW in the truck, and I am mighty embarrassed to even consider it. They are motorcycles, not trailer queens! I'm thinking I may put a cover with Harley logos on it to avoid the public humiliation.... We usually go on a week long wanderbout on the scooter for our anniversary, putting anywhere from 2 to 4K miles on it. But this year, my wife would like to stay in some places where hotels are scarce, so we're going to take the RV and then take day rides. We have done quite a bit of camping on the bike, but hauling the camping gear means hauling less personal stuff. And she likes the luxurious life on the anniversary week!
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:15 PM
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I called Ford Customer Service and the person there could NOT find any rating for the tailgate...

There has to be an official one somewhere cause if you took it in to dealership after setting 1000lbs on it and said hey my tailgate doesn't work right I bet they would come up with a number right quick.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwsF250 View Post
Great advice, but the travel trailer is coming with us.

It is flat wrong to haul a BMW in the truck, and I am mighty embarrassed to even consider it. They are motorcycles, not trailer queens! I'm thinking I may put a cover with Harley logos on it to avoid the public humiliation.... We usually go on a week long wanderbout on the scooter for our anniversary, putting anywhere from 2 to 4K miles on it. But this year, my wife would like to stay in some places where hotels are scarce, so we're going to take the RV and then take day rides. We have done quite a bit of camping on the bike, but hauling the camping gear means hauling less personal stuff. And she likes the luxurious life on the anniversary week!
Sounds like a toyhauler may be in your future!

My motorcycle is no where near the weight yours is (XR650L, ~350lbs) but when loading it, it's tricky, and I can only more so with a heavier bike. Anything you can do to lessen the angle makes a HUGE difference. I hated loading my XRL into my old truck (6 1/2" lift with 37" tires). It was scary but the angle between my driveway and the street made it easier.

If you're worried about it, just take off the tailgate and strap the ramps to the bumper. It's easier to strap the ramps to the bumper than it is to the tailgate. Also lessens the angle some as well. I don't think you'd have any issue with it at all but that's easy for me to say as I'm not loading a beemer into the back!
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