How Much Weight Can You Put On A Ford Ranger?


The Ford Ranger went through a significant redesign in 2019, when it returned to the US market after an eight-year hiatus. Multiple engine choices were gone, replaced by the sole 2.3L turbocharged inline-4. The manual transmission also disappeared. Instead, the Ranger comes with a 10-speed automatic. A smaller engine and no manual transmission left many wondering if the Ranger is a good working truck. Let’s find out. 

How Much Weight Can You Put On A Ford Ranger?

The Ford Ranger has a maximum payload capacity of 1,860 pounds in the SuperCab 4×2 configuration. The lowest payload capacities are 1,560 pounds in the SuperCrew 4×4 and 1,430 pounds in the Tremor SuperCrew. There are many trim levels, but potential buyers have to choose between the SuperCab and SuperCrew options. 

The SuperCab offers seating for four. Passengers in the front have two bucket seats. A smaller bench can fit two; plus, access is through the main door. In the SuperCrew, there’s a bit more space. 

Three passengers can fit in the back, thanks to a larger bench. Also, access is easier since the SuperCrew offers full doors. This difference means that the bed is shorter. In total, it’s five feet in length, compared to the SuperCab’s six-foot bed.

The difference between the two options, when it comes to payload, boils down to weight. Because the SuperCrew has two additional doors and bigger seats, it’s heavier. Thus, the payload capacity reduces in these models. 

The following table shows the difference in payload capacities between Ranger models. It’s important to highlight that the Ford Ranger Tremor is a special off-road version with softer springs. These increase the car’s ability to articulate but reduce payload capacity. 

ConfigurationMaximum Payload Capacity in pounds
SuperCab 4×21,860
SuperCab 4×41,650
SuperCrew 4×21,770
SuperCrew 4×41,560
SuperCrew Tremor1,430

What Is Payload Capacity?

Two performance figures are prevalent in conversations about pickup trucks. You hear about towing and payload capacity. We’ve covered towing before in this article, where we talk about the best Ford Ranger for the job. 

So, now, it’s time to talk about payload capacity. A truck’s payload capacity is the maximum amount of weight you can put in without damaging it. You have to add this weight to how much the vehicle weighs in itself. 

Two terms will help you know what your vehicle’s payload capacity is. First of all, let’s talk about the GVWR. 

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It’s how much your vehicle can carry inside.  This rating includes the driver, passengers, and any cargo. The Ford Ranger has a GVWR of 6,050 pounds. 

Then, there’s the vehicle’s Curb Weight. This number includes all the fluids (brake, transmission, etc.), a full tank of gas, but no passengers or cargo. The Curb Weight is different between the SuperCrew and the SuperCab. 

If you subtract the Curb Weight from the GVWR, you find out how much weight your vehicle can carry. But it would help if you took these figures with caution. For example, the Ranger has a GVWR of 6,050 pounds and a Curb Weight of 4,145 pounds. 

This subtraction would give a payload weight of 1,905 pounds. But this is for a vehicle with no driver, passengers, or cargo. 

These are less than ideal situations, and they rarely occur. So, manufacturers adjust these numbers to a slightly more realistic scenario. 

That’s how we get to 1,860 pounds of payload capacity. Still, it’s for a SuperCab 4×2 Ranger with only one driver. The more you put into your truck, the less you can haul. 

How Much Gravel Can A Ford Ranger Haul?

It’s essential to highlight the difference in cargo space’s cubic feet between the SuperCab and SuperCrew. 

Due to the larger seats in the back, the SuperCrew has 43.3 cubic feet of cargo space, while the SuperCab has 51.8 cubic feet. But, you can’t go loading the Ranger to the brim, as what you’re carrying might be too heavy. 

The following table shows three everyday products you might haul, including gravel, dirt, and dry clay. These are the maximum cubic feet you can carry with each version’s payload capacity. 

ConfigurationCubic Feet of GravelCubic Feet of DirtCubic Feet of Dry Clay
SuperCab 4×222,124,518,6
SuperCab 4×419,621,716,5
SuperCrew 4×221,123,317,7
SuperCrew 4×418,620,515,6
SuperCrew Tremor17,018,814,3

As you can see, the most versatile Ranger for hauling is the SuperCab 4×2. Because it’s RWD, there’s no front differential or transfer case, which means less weight. Thanks to its softer suspension and bigger cabin, the Tremor has the least payload capacity. 

Is The Ford Ranger’s Payload Capacity Better Than The Competition?

Ford boasts that the Ranger has a class-leading hauling capacity. So, let’s compare it to the competition. We’ll use each of the competition’s most capable models when it comes to the payload. 

There are plenty of Ranger’s competitors. These include the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and Jeep Gladiator. 

MakeModelPayload Capacity in poundsStarting Price
FordRanger1,860$26,105
ToyotaTacoma1,685$27,575
GMCCanyon1,620$27,595
JeepGladiator1,600$35,210
HondaRidgeline1,580$37,665
ChevroletColorado1,550$26,395

As you can see, the Ford Ranger outdoes its competition by a considerable margin. Its payload capacity is almost 200 pounds more than the second-place Toyota Tacoma. Also, it’s the cheapest of the group. 

These are the versions that have the highest payload capacity. But, if you select other packages, the numbers might decrease. This table isn’t a good reference for off-roading ability, for example. 

What Happens If you Overload A Truck?

All this discussion leads us to a critical point of a vehicle’s payload capacity. As we saw in the table above, you could pack the bed with gravel, but that would exceed the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. What happens when you do so? 

The first possible point of impact is your vehicle’s mechanical components. The suspension could reach a failure point. The transmission could heat up and damage internal gears, and the brakes might overheat. 

Since the Ford Ranger only comes with an automatic transmission, the temperature is vital. Automatic transmissions share the cooling system with the radiator. 

When a vehicle is overloaded and going uphill, air passing through the cooling system is much less. Even in the latest trucks, this can lead to quick overheating. If you only do it once, your vehicle might seem fine. But, damage can occur in seals and gears. 

Exceeding the truck’s payload capacity can also lead to a more unstable vehicle. Steering is compromised. With overheated transmission and brakes, your vehicle moves slower. So, you have less of a chance to react to possible hazards. 

Even if you exceed your vehicle’s payload capacity just once, you could permanently damage your truck. Axles could bend or break, translating into costly repairs. 

A vehicle that is exceeding its intended capacities can also break the law. States have rules and regulations in place, and you could be violating them. We’ve covered this topic in another article where we spoke about exceeding towing capacity. 

Finally, you could damage your cargo. If your Ranger is heaping with stuff, the chances of it falling over are higher. In the end, overloading your car isn’t worth it. 

Towing With A Ford Ranger

This article answers how much weight can the Ford Ranger carry. The most capable version has a payload capacity of 1,860 pounds, while the least capable version hauls only 1,430 pounds. 

The best configuration for the most payload capacity is the SuperCab 4×2, thanks to its reduced weight and a larger bed. This version carries 51.8 cubic feet, compared to the SuperCrew’s 43.3 cubic feet.

The largest bed can haul up to 24,5 cubic feet of dirt or 22 cubic feet of gravel. These numbers make the Ranger a versatile work vehicle. But, there are no other engine options for the moment. The only powerplant available is the 2.3L turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine. 

This lack of options might put off some potential buyers, as some of the competition does offer various engines. Speaking of competitors, Ford claims the Ranger leads its class in payload capacities. 

This statement is valid for the most capable version. But other trims and specialized models might not outperform the competition. For example, the Ford Ranger Tremor is geared more towards off-roading enthusiasts. 

This model comes with softer suspension, which helps the Ranger articulate more in challenging terrain. But the Tremor version hauls less than the least capable of competitors, the Chevrolet Colorado.

One of the Ranger’s strong points is the starting price, in addition to the payload capacity. It’s the cheapest of the group, and very capable. 

We hope this article helps you better understand the Ford Ranger and its payload capabilities. While it’s one of the newer of the bunch, Ford has worked hard to provide a competitive pickup in an already saturated market. 

So, if you’re looking to buy a pickup truck that’s small, affordable, and capable, check out the Ranger.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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