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Posted By: Chevy's till I d 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Tue Jul 20 2021 02:18 PM
I'm going to be hauling firewood and I don't want to overload my truck. Since I'll have to guesstimate how much wood I'm loading up in the forest. I'm cutting green western juniper which weights between 3500-4000 pounds per cord so two cords would be the maximum. How close from the rear axle bumpers to the axles should I load it. On my Silverado I always leave around 3 inches clearance but it's a lot smaller truck. Anyone have any input
Posted By: Mike B Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Tue Jul 20 2021 05:34 PM
Is this a first or second series?

What size and what ply are the tires?

What does the truck weigh empty?

What bed is on the truck and Is it a dump bed?

Will you be driving on the road or just on the farm? I think 2-cords would be a FULL load, how are the brakes and tires...is everything new?

Mike B smile
Posted By: Chevy's till I d Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Tue Jul 20 2021 08:58 PM
First series 6409 stake racks with dump bed, 2 speed rear axle, tires are 8.25x20 all new 14 ply, curb weight is 5855 lb without dump bed mechanism, rated load is 10100 lb. I'm hauling firewood with the truck. 78 miles round trip, 24 miles of that is on a narrow dirt road with a 7 mile climb up a fairly steep grade. Other than the hydrovac which I had Cordoned industry rebuild I replaced all the brake components with new including relined shoes. I'm guessing the dump bed adds around 1000 lb so I should be good at 9000 lb payload if the springs are in good shape. I don't want to stack the wood in the bed neatly and measure it so I'd like to be able to judge the weight by how much the bed squats.
Posted By: Mike B Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Wed Jul 21 2021 01:13 AM
If it were me I think 3-4" away from the bump stops would be a good first load starting point. Filling the bed with thrown in fire wood you will be real close to 2-cords when the wood is level with the bed sides (assuming they are 42" tall).

Let us know what your real world research comes up with!

Mike B smile
Posted By: Chevy's till I d Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Wed Jul 21 2021 02:03 PM
I have another question. How much engine braking can I expect? I have a completely rebuilt 261c.i. with the Muncie sm420, 2 speed axle. Coming down off the mountain there's a couple pretty steep sections, probably 8 or 9 % grade. My first trip down I plan on having one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the door handle. Lol I may do a lighter load the first time just to make sure I don't lose the brakes, take a few breaks to let the brakes cool. Another question, how many miles or hours break in on the engine? I'm using a high quality break-in oil plus zinc. I know the old rule of thumb was 500 miles but with the new synthetic oils can I get away with a shorter period? Can part of the break-in be idling?
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Wed Jul 21 2021 09:32 PM
Chevies till Id My 48 with 7.50x20 good but old tires 1 sp axle handles 8000 rock empty weighs 7000 does fine on the level. In your case on steep downhill stay in a low gear take your time coming down till you learn what it likes,hopefully you can mostly stay off of the brakes. Try not to have other traffic bothering you,if you must could throw off some load. BET IT WILL DO FINE...GOOD LUCK!!!
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Wed Jul 21 2021 09:42 PM
Mike B I don't think my overloads are over 4 inches away empty. Here where we load em to the gills with cornthat is wet may hit 12000 but bins or elevator are close and it's level mostly.
Posted By: Mike B Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Wed Jul 21 2021 11:53 PM
7 miles of an 8-9% grade downhill...WOW, you better have everything dialed in perfect. If it were me I'd do a few practice runs completely empty. Engine braking will work until the ground speed starts overrevving the engine and you have to start up-shifting to keep from blowing the engine up which decreases engine braking and increases ground speed...it's a slippery slope. Is there a run away truck ramp on that hill?

Mike B smile
Posted By: Chevy's till I d Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Thu Jul 22 2021 12:54 AM
Sure, there's a runaway ramp. The problem is that it's near vertical downhill about 300 yards.😂 Like I said, one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the door handle.
Posted By: 78buckshot Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Thu Jul 22 2021 02:01 AM
My truck has a single speed rear end with 7.20:1 gears, 283 and SM420. Engine braking is real good. GVWR is 16000 lbs. I've had only 5000 lbs. payload on it but I can tell it wouldn't have trouble with more.
Posted By: Chevy's till I d Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Thu Jul 22 2021 02:06 AM
That's good to know. I don't think I will have any problems. I'm going to do half a load the first time just to be sure. Thanks for the input guy's.
Posted By: EdPruss Re: 1955 Chevy 6400 weight limit - Thu Jul 22 2021 02:16 AM
The clue is to never use the brakes, because if you overheat them, you are SOL. Wise move to try a run downhill empty, always keep it in lowest gear until road levels out. After some practice plan on using brakes for one stop only-always keep that in reserve.

Ed
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