Winter is coming! Where do I put my sand?

brumie824brumie824 Member Posts: 3
I've heard conflicting ideas on where to place
sandbags in the bed of pick ups. I have a full
size Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4X4 with the short bed. My
main question is where exactly in the bed should
sand bags be located - behind the rear axle,
directly over the rear axle, or ahead of the rear
axle? Also, how much weight is enough to gain
traction without sacrificing mileage?


  • crosley4crosley4 Member Posts: 295
    Why would you need sand in your bed because it is winter?
  • katsohiskatsohis Member Posts: 83
    what have 4wd!!
  • devontiedevontie Member Posts: 35
    The best place to put the sand is over the rear wheels or as close to the rear wheels as possible.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Crosley & katsohis,
    I hope you guys are kidding.

    I'm with devontie, as close to directly over the wheels is best for balance. The idea is to put as much weight on the drive wheels as possible without putting weight where it might be a control liability (too much weight too far back might give your rear end too much inertia and be harder to control when braking/turning). Only problem with putting the weight directly over the drive wheels is that it is not as convenient putting the weight in and taking it out, and might be more of a hassle to deal with in the narrowest part of the bed.

    I have a canopy now, and I think the weight of it gives me pretty good balance. Therefore, I haven't been loading up any extra weight back there. I always used to put it in the very back, mainly just for the convenience.
    Drive safe.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    There is one thing that you have to consider before putting anything in the truck bed.

    Where is the object going to go when you stop abruptly?

    Be careful guys and drive safe.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    on the beach and move to Florida or California for the winter. Just kidding, over the axle is the right answer.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    as far back as possible, 500lbs good, 1000 better. high polar moment of inertia is good, will make the truck less twitchy....
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    but then aren't you unloading the front end?
  • brumie824brumie824 Member Posts: 3
    The consensus seems to be directly over the axle. I plan on using the slots in my bed and 1X6s to make an box so the weight doesn't move around.

    I DO have 4-wheel drive, however, I'm looking for weight for stopping as well as traction. I wonder though, would the weight actually do more harm then good.

    My firs vehicle was a rear wheel drive Buick Regal. The 240 lbs. of sand in the truck did make a difference. That was when I was living in PA. Now that I'm in Missouri the tough winter driving is only occasional. I never used any sand in the 4X4 Ford Ranger I had but am wonder about the Dodge. I did notice that the Ranger would spin out a lot even on just wet roads, and braking going down an incline was touchy at times.

    I know cautious driving is the common sense approach to all of this, but I've been told sand bags are a must for winter driving. Thanks for all the posts so far and those yet to come!!!!
  • crosley4crosley4 Member Posts: 295
    I guess I will mention that i live in Arizona.

    Don't see much snow around Gilbert area.
  • briguy2briguy2 Member Posts: 4
    brumie824 -

    I bought 6 60 pound sand tubes at Home Depot, and I keep 4 right over the rear axle all winter. The other 2 I throw in when we are expecting a big storm. I have a 2 wheel drive F-150 and with this arrangement I never had any trouble.

    Some method of securing this to the truck bed is a good idea to keep it from sliding around or from flying out in an accident.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    on each axle is desirable....

    most trucks are wayyyy heavy on the front, putting the sand far back transfers some of the front weight to the rear....
  • BrutusBrutus Member Posts: 1,113
    I've never used sand in the bed of either of my 4x4s. However, it will definitely give you better traction when you are not in 4wd, which could probably be more often with weigth in the back. I'm amazed at the difference from 4wd to 2wd. In 2wd, I have to be extremely careful accelerating, whether it be from a dead stop or just getting up to hwy speeds. If you break traction in 2wd, the backend can fishtail and send you into the ditch, or worse yet, into another vehicle. But in 4wd, I can get on it pretty good at a light without any problems. Even if I break traction with all four tires, the backend doesn't fishtail. It just follows the frontend.

    As far as where to put sand bags, I've always heard over the axle, but I can also see putting them at the back of the bed being as effective. Either way, you're pushing down on the rear axle. If you put the bags in front of the rear axle, some of the weight will be absorbed by the front axle, which defeats the purpose.
  • bobs5bobs5 Member Posts: 557
    Over the rear axles worked the best when I had a 2wd 1983 Ranger.

    Originally tried weight all the way in the back of the bed.
    The first time that traction was lost going around a corner, it did a 720 degree spin.
    Luckly it stayed on the road and did not hit anything.
    Seems that there is more centrifugal force when the weight is all the way back.
  • y2ktrdy2ktrd Member Posts: 81
    just throw it in 4wd!!
  • dave40dave40 Member Posts: 582
    Winter is coming! Where do I put my sand? In your Ashtray
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    Hey next time please buy your sand in a tube from menards ok. Sorry gotta plug menards i work there. If your not in the midwest u have no clue what it is but in the midwest its bigger than home depot

  • edd4edd4 Member Posts: 22
    put the sand behind the rear wheels. It should be placed directly over, or just slightly ahead of the rear axle. A heavy weight out behind the rear wheels will want to pivot around the rear wheels when cornering. Also it would tend to lift the front wheels. Think about it. I read this in a manual put out by a major stabilizer (sway) bar manufacturer.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Now here is the second question to add: How much weight for a half-ton?

    I always put 600-700 pounds in my two-wheel drive, depending on bag breakdown, in a half and always got around ok. In my 4x4(yes, too light in back for my comfort) I would place less than 500 lbs.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    I only put 80-100 lbs in mine and it is fine. Any more than that destroys the ride. I have coil over shocks in the back for towing and still need a lot less than 500 lbs. Keep a full tank 25+ gallons which itself gives 150+ lbs right in the middle of the truck.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    80-100lbs? Why bother? Load that puppy down I say. 100lbs doesn't offer any weight at all for any half-ton.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    23?? What's going on?
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen". It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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