The Factory Truck Wars Are Stupid – Rookie Drivers Have No Business Towing What They Haul

The Factory Truck Wars Are Stupid – Rookie Drivers Have No Business Towing What They Haul

Last week Brian wrote about how Ford and Ram are still battling it out for overall truck supremacy, and that both are getting dangerously close to the magic 1000 lb ft of factory torque. They just keep making more power, putting bigger components behind the power, and outfitting them so they can haul more and more weight. And while all that strength and power is cool, I think these factory truck wars are stupid because most of the people that own them have no business towing what they are capable of. And despite Brian saying “They’ve been on a serious ramp-up for years, because both sides want to lay claim to being the final say in a pickup truck that doesn’t require a CDL or a move to the medium-duty class to own.” this is not necessarily true. Because of the size of the trucks themselves, and their ability to haul such loads, a lot of states do in fact require a CDL to tow anything more than 10,000 lbs with one.

This is a prime example of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” It’s like the guy that goes and throws his credit card down at Jegs or Summit and buys everything he needs to bolt a Fox body Mustang together that will run 8’s. You think I’m joking? Hire a shop to put a cage kit in a Fox body and then bolt on an ass load of speed parts and running 8’s is no big deal at all. And the guy who owns it doesn’t need to know a damn thing about driving something that fast to go out and make hits at his local track. These are the guys that oil down the entire track, bounce off walls and each other, or run into the side of a seasoned racers because they don’t understand that the throttle pedal works both ways. People are their own worst enemy.

The same goes for big giant trucks. I live in an area with an insane number of Super Duty Ford trucks. I’m talking a huge percentage of the people around me own them. They haul horse trailers, giant toy hauler RV trailers, gooseneck trailers, and all kinds of stuff. But 90% of the time either the wife or husband is driving it back and forth to work or to grab groceries and haul kids around. That is until the weekend comes along and they stuff a 40 foot toyhauler full of a sand car, quads, motorcycles, food, beer, ice, and enough water and fuel to keep them going for a weekend or longer in the desert. These toy haulers weigh more than 14,000 lbs unloaded. UNLOADED!!! Now before you go all “But RV’s don’t require a CDL Chad!” know that this is true of a lot of states, but NOT all. And because the weights are getting bigger and bigger, some states are changing those laws so that the biggest of RV trailers might require a CDL.

Take the RV trailers out of the equation though. Instead hook a stacker, or 48 foot gooseneck car trailer up to your new F-450. The truck has a GVWR of 14,000 lbs. If your trailer is rated for more than 12,000 you have to have a CDL. And if your trailer doesn’t have a GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs, but you overload it like most racers and weigh over it’s GVWR, you can be in real trouble. And I doubt that most of the folks around me have a clue as to how much their junk all weighs together. And I bet most racers don’t really know either. Who cares how much it weighs when you have a truck that can pull a condo down the street?

It sounds funny to say, but when trucks didn’t have the power to pull too much, or to stop it, we were probably a bit safer than we are now. Sure the trucks are better, but the drivers certainly are not.

So whether a CDL is required or not, the towing capabilities of these new trucks far exceeds the skill and experience level of most of the people pulling trailers with them. How do I know this? Ford developed a system to make backing up a trailer so easy anyone can do it. They did this because drivers said they wanted it. They said they wanted it because they don’t know how to back up trailers. They don’t know how to back up trailers because THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS PULLING ONE!!!

WTF people?

And that’s not the only feature added to these trucks that is squarely aimed at the novice. The exhaust brake every serious truck guy is all happy about? Yeah, not for you. That’s another attempt to keep novices from hurting themselves. Since they have no clue that it takes way longer to stop a 25,000 lbs combined weight than it does to stop the empty 7,000 lb truck, these big trucks need all the help they can get. Having the truck slow itself down when you lift off the throttle is helping save the family of 6 that is riding along in the minivan in front of this giant truck and trailer combo.

There are plenty of examples of people driving things they are not qualified for at any even we go to. You know you can think of dozens of them right off the top of your head. And for some of you reading this, you are exactly the person that should not be driving one of these truck and trailer combos. Buy a 1500 pickup and an open trailer. Throw some tools and stuff in the back of the truck and haul your Camaro to the races. Once you can back that sucker up three blocks, around corners, without backing up and going forward 10 times, you might be ready to move up, but probably not.

Just my 2 cents.

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35 thoughts on “The Factory Truck Wars Are Stupid – Rookie Drivers Have No Business Towing What They Haul

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Thankfully in the UK our roads aren’t clogged with good ol’ boys and their goose neck RVs as we have our own very much slower caravans (trailers) that do that job very nicely thank you…

  2. BS

    Some new changes coming to the weight/cdl game this month too. I think a lot of racers will find themselves with cdls, edls, and dot numbers.

  3. jim

    Need to add motor homes to the list. I can’t count the number of times i’ve seen people with really nice, long, fancy motor homes and they have no idea how to safely drive them. Then some are pulling a trailer and they must be thinking they are driving a Prius. Then when they stop and some little old man that can barely walk is the one driving. Time for a CDL test.

    1. Stephen Dunham

      Did you know you can make a tractor trailer in a camper and no air endorsement or CDL license needed or log book

  4. beagle

    So what’s the thrust here? We should all drive hybrid pedal powered and rubber band Prius with Nerf surrounding it until we’ve proven we can handle our credit rating?

    Just because you worked your ass off to build something with a 1000 lbs of torque instead of running out and buying it doesn’t mean you know how to drive it any better.

    Sorry, but when every other page is all about bigger faster more powerful, I’m not sure I get this one.

    1. Mouse

      What he’s saying in a round about way is this.
      Quit dicking around people, if your going to own that vehicle …what ever it is… take the time to learn to drive it properly!

    2. Joe P

      It’s more about knowing how to drive what you have regardless of how you got it. But going out & buying it makes it a lot easier for those that don’t know. Living on LI I see a lot of it, between RV trailers & boats people driving with the rear bumper 2″ off the road.

  5. El Martillo

    Many (most) owners never register their trucks for the weight properly either. I believe the sellers are afraid of jeopardizing the deal if they mention licensing fees jump substantially once vehicle is plated for 10,000 lbs +.
    Health cards are required if vehicle is used commercially even if under 26,000 lbs.
    Power hasn’t really been an issue for me but braking has. Air brakes soon?
    Crazy that any blue hair can drive a pusher RV while towing.

  6. Joe Hand

    We just sold an old dump truck at work, ’91 TopKick, 3126 diesel, dump bed with salt spreader, and 14 foot plow. It was a rust bucket, but still ran. I hate to guess the combined weight of truck and snow equipment, but I know it was plenty heavy. The hauling company showed up with a 25 to 30 foot goose neck trailer hooked to a four door Chevrolet 1 ton duramax powered truck.

    It was loaded, tied down and off on a 200 + mile trip. At just under 13 feet high, anyone with any sense could tell the truck and trailer wasn’t big enough.

    I have no doubt the truck could pull the weight, stopping was my big concern, and the driver, didn’t have any concerns in the world!

  7. bob

    Skillful driving is a lost art. From semi’s to bicycles. If you are under 50, you probably suck at driving skills, social skills, common courtesy & common sense. Flame away.

    1. Pontiac drag racer

      THIS! No truer words are spoken here. In the city I live in, the snob cars try to rule the road. Cutting of people, super excess of speeds and not staying off of the phone while doing it all.

      One morning I was driving a long, keeping up with traffic that was already exceeding the 60 MPH speed limit. An import car driver behind me just had to go around us all. By then he was going at least 80, just as he passed an unmarked police car. No telling what the ticket was worth. In a construction zone on top of it. Not enough of the types of clowns get pulled over in my opinion. Worse part, they think that the laws of physics don’t apply to them. They become a hazard to everyone. You should see our guardrails too. If they aren’t bent to hell, the look brand new because they just got replaced, again. If they made Dzus fasteners for guardrails, I’d be in the business and do very well!

  8. Sterling

    Unfortunately I am over fifty. And I agree with Bob. Vehicles now are made with too much equipment so the shitty drivers can use them. I say, if you need all the electronics to steer straight, brake when you have to and avoid hitting shit you should NOT be driving.

  9. Philip Mac Duffie

    Im not sure the CDL is the grace of god you are thinking. I have a CDL and a big stupid dually and a overloaded race car trailer. While most of my stuff is far from new that doesnt guarantee I will drive it better.

    What I think you are asking for is personal accountability but your advocating more government bureaucracy. Remeber the bad drivers you hate so much passed a driving test to drive a regular vehicle. How?

    If you make a new barrier like a CDL for thier weekend toy; \”schools\” will open and hand out CDLs. It will only be a financial barrier nothing more.

    When Johnny Thundercock in his new Ram DuraPowerStrokeMax dui rolls his rig into that minivan he should be in jail for his actions.

    So what you should be advocating is the persecution of crime and enforcing the law. The problem with that is its easy to get people all riled up to pass a law, but enforcing it in todays age seems to be impossible.

    1. Schtauffer

      I think we’re in agreement. Of the drivers that bring trucks into our shop to unload, I’d say about 20-30% are not qualified.

      There should be several levels of a regular private license, based on the weights of vehicle and towed vehicle. That license should be much more difficult to get, much more easily lost, and fully tested every year for knowledge and skill.

  10. D.Wells

    Have a buddy who went to Sturgis, towing a M/C trailer. 2100 miles each way and he NEVER backed up. Sat at one gas station over and hour waiting for traffic to clear so he could drive out. When I tried to help him by suggesting he put hand on bottom of wheel and steer in direction he wished to go while using mirrors, he loudly claimed but I didn\’t learn that wa, he said this, 3700 miles into a trip where he had never backed even a foot.
    Ought to be a law against towing without training.

  11. Dave

    Another old guy here. Back in the late 80’s, I drove a non-turbo diesel f250 pulling a 20′ enclosed trailer. This was for work. Trailer had heavy stuff inside and weighed around 8500. Truck was a super cab long bed and weighed around 6500.

    Going and stopping were dicey. I often had to maneuver that thing inside refineries and chemical plants. Backing up 100 yards or more was a common occurrence. It was nerve wracking and scary all the time, and I knew how to drive it well. I drove that rig 75000 miles in one year.

    Chad has a point about drivers being in over their heads. 25k pounds? 1000 lb/ft of torque? I stay as far away as I can from those oversized RV rigs on the highway.

  12. Charlie Mike

    I tried to read this, but as I tried all I could hear in my head was a 12-year-old girl crying about how her friends have nicer things than she has. Sounds like the \”author\” thinks he\’s the only one on the planet that can drive.

  13. Patrick

    Wow, what an a**hole article. Thought I might have clicked on The Sierra Clubs website by accident. This from a website that promotes modifying cars to stupid performance levels, wants to restore old pos Duallys and crew cabs that don’t stop for sh*t with worn out motors and doesn’t mind street racing or Hoonigans. Don’t worry, the way the world is going you will be safe in the electric car you aren’t allowed to drive , forget towing anything. No trailers, no more desert toys or boats in the name of preventing global warming. Nice ultimate tow rig article on same page. Think this site has run its course anyway.

  14. tw

    I see a lot of trucks with fully loaded trailers on the side of the road with a blown tire, They drive at 70+ mph and never look in the mirrors ,most of the time it`s other drivers that let them know that something `s wrong .

  15. CJ

    I visit this site every day for neat articles and great Drag racing photos. Sh!t posting like this should not be allowed on Bangshift. I know how much my rig weighs and drive accordingly as do most racers i know. Lose the rants, this isn\’t Facebook.

    1. James Starks

      That’s funny, this is on my facebook. And I have seen ALL of the bullshit that was covered in the article. CDL holder for 40 years with several million miles in all sizes of cars and trucks. 4 wheeler drivers mostly suck, too. Especially when they are in their FU-450 with their over-loaded trailer with half the mirrors that they need to see what they have just side-swiped.

  16. familyguy81

    I see the California, more regulation, libtard mentality has infected this story. You know, because more regulations solve all problems….like drugs…..and gun control….

  17. 71C10SWB

    This conversation ranks right up there with “I can’t remember where I parked my Bentley”. Not a concern for me.
    Am I afraid that some tool will buy one and lose it because of the power?…maybe. But, no less that some tool buys a 4-cylinder Mustang or Camaro with posi and skates it into my lane during the first snow.
    Yep, not going to argue the point that we should all know how to drive our vehicles and have proper certifications. I’ll remember this conversation the next time I’m driving up I-65 and see a trucker texting on his cell phone. The certification (nor anti-lock brakes or collision control, or yada-yada-yada) don’t make better drivers. Miles and experience makes better drivers.

  18. Dennis

    I’d be more satisfied if safe following distances were strictly enforced for all types of vehicles. I get the gist of the article but people in my neck of the woods follow too closely and run yellow lights all the time.


    I’m smellin’ what you’re steppin’ in but man, this is just advocating for more government oversight. I think we all have had enough of that crap.

    and just for fun…here is AZ’s CDL rules…

    A Class A CDL is required to operate a combination vehicle (truck and trailer) if the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is 26,001 or more pounds when the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the trailer, which is added to the GVWR of the power unit (the truck), is 10,001 pounds or more.
    A Class B CDL is required to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. A trailer may be towed if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 pounds or fewer.
    A Class C CDL is required to operate any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or fewer if the vehicle is required to be placarded to transport hazardous materials or if the vehicle transports 16 or more passengers, including the driver. An applicant must also have a passenger (P) or hazardous materials endorsement (HME) to obtain a Class C CDL.

    Also, if your rig is a 1 ton or better you have to declare GW and pay a fee .

    1. Threedoor

      That’s the basic federal CDL rules. Written by people who don’t drive and only applicable if you are making money. It’s a simple barrier to entry for a job and needs to go.

  20. Disappointed

    Normally I enjoy Chads rants but this one comes across like Rosie O\’Donnell claiming no private citizens should own guns. Except for her security of course.

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