Anyone know how much weight you can set on the tailgate of a new (2012) SD without buckling the tailgate?
I know a guy that needs his gun safe moved and I may offer to help him. I believe the safe weighs 1200 lbs. I've moved many safes in my day, as I used to deliver them for customers, some heavier than this one. I used to just tip the safe back against the open tailgate and use the edge of the tailgate as a fulcrum and pick up (with help obviously) the bottom of the safe and lift it up and in. This is the easiest way to transport a safe without a full blown moving van and tommy lift gate.
Problem is I used to do this with my old 74 Dodge Powerwagon 3/4 ton 4x4. I knew the tailgate would take the weight as I'd done it many times before with safes, big block engines, etc.
Now I have a new SD, and at least the outer fender sheet metal is noticeably thinner. Not so sure about the inner tailgate panel or top edge of gate buckling when we fulcrum lift it up and in. I'm not worried about the inside of the bed getting dented or scratched or anything. I just don't want to crush or buckle my tailgate, or have the stay cables break and drop the whole safe to the ground.
So, anyone know the weight limitations on placing loads on the tailgate itself?
I don't know if I've ever seen published specs. I would guess it's at minimum 5-600lbs sustained weight. I've seen 3 200lb guys sitting on one so it should be able to take that much.
So long as you never have all 1200lbs sitting on the tailgate at once I think you'd be fine. Like you say just use it as a fulcrum and you should never have more than 1/2 of the total weight at any one time on it. If you're concerned, you could stick a couple pieces of lumber under the lip to reinforce it.
I'll put it this way: I certainly wouldn't do it with my truck. Use a little trailer or something instead. That's what I did when I brought my big ol' 50-gun safe home, and it worked out great. Low loading height, no worries about screwing up your tailgate.
Ya agreed on the trailer thing. Much easier to walk them up onto a trailer with the drop gate with the appliance dolly. Easier on the safe finish too. Just leave it strapped to the dolly lay er down ratchet strap the hell out of it and go.
Slowpoke Slim, did you check out the specs section on this site? It may very well be listed there with some slothful digging?
Either that or remove the tailgate put it in there and put it back on. Then no worries about breaking it. I have had close to 1,000 pounds on mine with my weight and my salt bags for winter with no issues.
I'm still pretty new to the site. I'm afraid I have no idea where the "specs section" would be?
The main reason for using the truck is to be able to fulcrum the safe. That way you're not dead lifting the entire weight from the ground. If we laid it flat on a trailer, we'd be lifting 1200 lbs for most of the lift to stand it up, and you almost can't get enough guys around it to get that much lifting power. I do have a car trailer but that would be like killing ants with a sledge hammer, and I don't have the right kind of ramps for that. Mine are the "open" style of ramps.
I've tried moving safes without a tailgate before and you run into difficulties at the end of the lift as you can't keep your feet directly under you since you're reaching past the bumper. Very hard on the lower back.
I was hoping there was a spec somewhere so I don't have to call the dealer. Not sure they would know or freely offer up the info due to liabilities or something.
Maybe there's an "official spec" somewhere? I looked in my manual, but didn't see one. Maybe I missed it?
The main reason for using the truck is to be able to fulcrum the safe. That way you're not dead lifting the entire weight from the ground. If we laid it flat on a trailer, we'd be lifting 1200 lbs for most of the lift to stand it up, and you almost can't get enough guys around it to get that much lifting power.
What? I'm not sure you're thinking about that correctly. Pretend your truck tailgate was only 2 feet off the ground. Go through the same procedure, except now you don't have to lift it much before you can tip it over loading it, and then again unloading it. It's much easier and better. You don't know anyone with even a simple utility trailer? Clearly it doesn't have to be big.
I've helped move two gun safes (yeah, the big floor models) but both times I had a sheet of 3/4 plywood on the bed and had it extend over the tailgate to make sure. I didn't have any problem. We put a couple of layers of cardboard (washing machine delivery box) down to make it easier to move the safe on and off the truck.
Biggest concern was when we unloaded (we loaded from a loading dock), tipping the safe over the tailgate to lower it to the ground...no problem.
I thought I read/heard that 500lb was the max on a Ford tailgate (presumably evenly distributed). No way would I put an entire 1200 lb gun safe on it. I would think an ATV/snowmobile trailer or U-haul trailer would be perfect for this.