If you own a pickup truck, there are times when you just want to relax and sit in your truck’s bed or even on your tailgate.
Whether you’re on a camping trip or working on a project at your home, you may think it’s no big deal to sit on a tailgate.
Can you sit on a truck tailgate?
The average modern truck tailgate is designed to support between 1,400 to 1,700 pounds, meaning it can safely support a person sitting on it. Tailgates are designed to evenly distribute the weight from the front of the bed to the tailgate.
Keep reading to learn more about the loads that truck tailgates can handle!
Can I sit on my truck’s tailgate?
Even if you weigh a few extra pounds, the good news is that you won’t have much to worry about if you decide to sit on your truck’s tailgate!
Just as it is with your truck’s bed, your tailgate is also built to support very large amounts of weight.
Since auto manufacturers know pickup trucks will be used to haul furniture and many other heavy items, they are made to support well over 1,000 pounds.
In many cases when you would be hauling heavy items in your truck, your tailgate may be left down.
To ensure the tailgate and the truck bed will be able to support the heavy load, your truck’s manufacturer constructed the tailgate so that the weight is evenly distributed from the front of the bed all the way to the tailgate.
Unless you plan on putting something in your truck that would literally weigh a ton or more, you should experience few if any problems should you decide to sit on your truck’s tailgate.
How Much Weight Can You Put on a Truck Tailgate?
Rather than worry if you are going to break your truck’s tailgate by putting too much weight on it, it is best to learn early on just how much weight you can put on a truck tailgate!
Most modern trucks can hold between 1,400 – 1,700 pounds, but these will vary by manufacturer, model, and trim.
This is done so that when you would be loading or unloading various things such as an ATV, furniture, or other heavy items, the extra weight that is applied to your truck’s tailgate would not result in it breaking due to an overload.
Many factors will come into play regarding how much weight your truck’s tailgate can take, with the most important being the tailgate cable strength.
These cables, which are used to hold the tailgate to your truck, can sometimes vary in terms of the weight load they will support.
Thus, while you should be able to sit on your truck’s tailgate without any problem, pay close attention to the specifications found in your owner’s manual in regards to the total amount of weight your tailgate will support.
Also, it is a good idea for you to replace your tailgate cables if they are older, appear to be showing visible signs of wear and tear, or are damaged in any way.
If you don’t, you may risk not only getting hurt if you try to sit on the tailgate, but also risk having your tailgate and perhaps your truck’s bed getting damaged as well.
If you assume all makes and models of trucks have tailgates that come with the same weight capacity in terms of their tailgates and beds, you would be mistaken!
In fact, the difference can be quite large between smaller and larger trucks that are designed for heavy-duty use. For example, a typical Ford Ranger has a tailgate that weighs 70 pounds and has a load capacity of 650 pounds.
Yet when you look at a Ford F-250, its tailgate actually weighs less at only 60 pounds, yet the tailgate has a loading capacity of 1,500 pounds!
As for the trucks that have the heaviest tailgates and loading capacities, this honor belongs to the GM 1500 and 2500. Both of these trucks have 95 pound tailgates and loading capacities of 2,500 pounds, meaning you can sit on these tailgates anytime you like.
To keep your tailgate in good condition, there is one thing you definitely should not do in regards to your tailgate cables, and that is looping the cables around the tailgate’s latch striker, which is the hook where the cables are attached.
This is done by drivers who want to keep their tailgate open only halfway. However, when the cables are looped around the latch striker, this creates a large amount of stress on the cables.
Over time, this will stress the cables, wearing them down and eventually causing them to break.
Can I Sit on a Specialty Tailgate?
On many of today’s trucks, tailgates are made so that they can open up and be foldable in various ways.
While this is great if you are working on a project or need some added flexibility in other situations, this can make these tailgates less able to support large amounts of weight.
Depending on the type of truck you have and the tailgate it has on it, you should look over the owner’s manual to see if it has any dos or don’ts regarding your tailgate. If your owner’s manual states you should not sit on it, do as it says.
Should you ignore the warning and wind up with a damaged tailgate, you will be spending more money than you imagined to get it repaired. On average, expect this type of repair to cost $1,200 or more.
Is It Bad to Sit on a Tailgate?
Unless you find yourself weighing close to a ton or more, chances are it will not be bad for you to sit on your truck’s tailgate.
But as stated earlier, we do recommend you look over your owner’s manual to see if any special restrictions apply, especially if you have a foldable tailgate.
In most cases, your tailgate will suffer far more damage from being left open while driving or having its cables looped around the latch striker than it will by having you sit down on it.
Therefore, when you want to relax and get off your feet, feel free to use your tailgate as a bench.