Does Weight in the Bed of Your Ford Truck Improve Winter Traction?

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Ford Trucks

People have been adding weight to the bed of their Ford trucks in winter for decades. But is it really necessary?

We all grew up listening to our parents tell us old wive’s tales and sharing ancient tips and tricks. Some of these sayings and tips have long since been proven wrong. And in other cases, advancements in technology have rendered them useless. But one particularly interesting old trick is the notion that putting extra weight in the bed of your truck helps improve traction in snow and ice. And recently, Ford Truck Enthusiasts member catrasca was wondering – does that still apply to today’s modern trucks? Thus, he headed to the forums to find out.

“Putting weight in bed – yay or nay? Will it do good for traction during the winter? Is the added weight just going to make it worse for stopping? Are there any other means to improve traction in snow?”

Ford Trucks

Quite a few folks unsurprisingly feel like this old trick still works in today’s Ford trucks.

“Chains or cables will increase traction but their use is limited,” said wrvond. “Extra weight in the bed is the preferred method for general driving needs in ice and snow. You can buy tubes of sand at most any feed store.”

“I use studded tires and weight,” added linekin. “Right now I’ve got 6 bags of tube sand back there. I use it to help offset the weight of my plow. I wouldn’t be without either from Dec-Apr. Also, I do not like driving in 4wd on snow, especially wet snow, mainly because of steering issues. Try it and you will see for yourself.”

But others aren’t so convinced that modern Ford trucks need the extra weight. And in some cases, they feel like it’s actually more of a hindrance than a help.

“Adding weight in the bed is only useful for minimizing the significant traction bias between the front and rear axles,” said Lindenwood. “Specifically, it can tame the oversteering tendencies common in most empty pickups in low traction situations. However, in 4WD, bed weight does not help acceleration. Except for correcting said oversteering tendency, it does not actually help total lateral grip or braking.”

“I find engaging 4×4 sufficient,” adds RGPolo. “Although, having driven big trucks all my life, the heavier, the better in foul weather.”

Ford Trucks

If nothing else, it does seem like adding weight to the bed of a Ford truck is helpful when plowing, as George C and many others point out.

“Counterweight is a must when plowing snow. Not because of traction, but rather safety when driving with the plow up. Weight in the bed is only useful if it’s to the rear of the bed in order to lever weight down on the rear axle. I use a plastic pallet to hold tube sand to the rear. Without it, it always slides to the front, where it’s useless.”

So far, opinions on this topic are surprisingly quite mixed. So we want to know what you think. Head over here and tell us if you swear by adding weight to your Ford truck bed in the winter, or if you think it’s just another debunked myth!

Join the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums now!

Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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