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Can You Carry A Pallet Of Sod In A Pick-Up Truck?

If you are planning to lay sod in your yard, you may be wondering if you can carry a full pallet of sod in your pick-up truck.

But before you go ahead and make plans to pick up a pallet of sods in your own pick-up, keep reading before making that decision.

Sod is quite heavy. If you are going to install a lush green lawn of fescue, your soil base will be thicker and the whole pallet heavier.

Bermuda grass rolls are smaller and lighter, but if your area gets a great deal of rain before you pick up your sod, the weight may be a big problem.

pallet of sods in a driveway

Can You Carry A Pallet Of Sod In A Pick-Up Truck?

Yes and no. I know that is probably not the answer you are looking for but let me explain. There are a few things to consider before showing up with your pick-up truck at the sod shop. The size of the pallet of sods and its weight will be limiting factors. Of course, safety concerns as well.

But not all pick-up trucks are the same and each one can have weight and size limitations which will make it impossible for certain trucks. The dimensions of the truck’s bed may also be a concern.

How heavy is a pallet of sod?

Not all pallets of sod weigh the same and the weight can vary greatly depending on its moisture content. But on average, a pallet of sod will weigh between 2000-3000 pounds. If the sods are heavily saturated with water, they can weigh up to 4000 pounds which is beyond the weight limit of many pick-up trucks.

How much weight can a pick-up truck carry?

Pickup trucks are divided into classifications and each class has a different weight limit.

Payload capacities are divided into 3 classes.

  • 1/2-ton
  • 3/4-ton
  • 1-ton

The 1/2-ton truck has a payload capacity of 1000 pounds. A 3/4-ton truck has a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds and a 1-ton truck has a payload capacity of 2000 pounds.

It’s important to note that most trucks these days can exceed these limits. Depending on the truck’s design, engine size, and more, most trucks will have higher payloads.

For example:

  • The 2022 Ford F-150 is a 1/2-ton truck that has a payload capacity of 1,310 – 3,270 pounds.
  • The 2022 Ford F-250 is a 3/4-ton truck that has a payload capacity of 2,462 – 4,260 pounds.
  • The 2022 Chev Silverado 3500 is a 1-ton truck that has a payload capacity of 4,353 – 4,572 pounds.

It’s possible that a 1/2-ton pick-up truck can carry a pallet of sods but not likely. You will need a 3/4-ton or 1-ton pick-up truck to safely carry a pallet of sods.

dodge ram pick up truck

What are the dimensions of a pallet of sods?

A pallet of sod starts with a base wooden platform that is 48 inches wide and 40 inches deep. If your truck bed is narrow and you can’t fit a 48-inch wide pallet easily between the wheel wells, don’t haul sod.

You really can’t turn such a pallet and effectively load the pallet in the narrow way because the forklift might not be able to lift the pallet from the skinny side.

To that end, borrowing or renting a truck to pick up sod can also be a poor choice. Forklifts can be hard to line up. If a truck is going to get scratched up by an off-center pallet, you may actually save a lot of cash and headache by letting the sod company deliver the product.

wood pallet on a forklift

What are the dimensions of a pick-up truck bed?

On average, the dimensions of a pick-up truck bed is 6 feet 5 inches long x 5 feet wide. Depending on the truck, these dimensions can vary.

When carrying a pallet of sod, it’s not the length of the truck bed that is concerning. It’s the width. Although the truck bed is 5 feet wide and a pallet of sod is 4 feet wide, you need to account for the wheel wells of the truck.

The wheel wells could prevent the pallet from fitting inside the truck bed.

pick up truck wheel wells

Moisture Concerns

As mentioned, the moisture content of sods can greatly affect the overall weight. One gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Your sod purchase will likely contain at least some moisture to keep the grass alive until you can roll it out over the bare earth.

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Because a standard sod purchase contains 500 square feet per pallet, the weight of your sod purchase can actually vary by quite a lot.

If you can’t get a good estimate of the total pallet weight of your sod purchase from your sod farm, plan on using a 3/4-ton or 1-ton pickup to haul your pallet with 500 square feet of sod.

If you need to cover 2,000 square feet of yard, that’s 4 trips. Working with your sod provider to arrange delivery may be a better use of your time.

stacks of wet sods

What About A Rental?

If you’ve never driven a large pickup before, driving one under the load of a pallet of sod is probably not your safest choice. First of all, a loaded truck can feel sluggish.

It may take longer to get up to speed and it will definitely take longer to stop. Crossing into and out of your driveway or over bumps on residential streets can quickly turn into a bouncy, hazardous experience.

You may also be under enough of a time crunch to take two pallets at a time. In that case, you will need a trailer with a tandem axle to safely manage the weight.

Trailers can increase your stopping speed even more than a loaded truck bed and the risk of sway should not be discounted.

Which Truck Should You Use?

If you can get 1/2 pallets and don’t have a long commute to the sod farm, most any 1/2 ton truck will carry 1/2 pallets. If you plan to haul full pallets, aim for trucks that can manage a full ton of weight.

  • The Chevy Silverado 1/2-ton can carry up to 2,300 pounds in the bed
  • The Ram 1500 can carry up to 2325 pounds
  • The GMC Sierra 1500 can carry just over 2400 pounds
  • The Ford F-150 can carry up to 3270 pounds

Be very careful when reviewing the numbers on trucks and considering their weight capacity. A truck that can carry 2300 pounds, such as the 2021 Chevy Silverado, can pull over 9000 pounds when towing a trailer.

Payload refers to the total weight sitting on top of the truck frame, which includes seats, people, the truck bed, and all the equipment. Towing capacity doesn’t need to encompass that constant pressure or weight.

Make sure you are also checking the bed capacity. A 2021 Toyota Tundra may have plenty of space for a pallet of sod, but it will not carry more than 1800 pounds. Bottoming out your truck just to haul sod is not a good investment of your equipment or your time.

Ford F150 at a dealership

Safety First!

A severely overloaded truck will bottom out. As you drive down the road, your suspension, shocks, brakes and even your tires may be damaged by the fact that your truck is completely overloaded.

Worse, if the pallet is poorly placed, it is possible to have less control of the direction of the truck because the weight of the sod will actually pull load off the front tires.

You will not pop a wheelie. If you drive slowly and avoid bumps, you may be able to drive your sod for a short distance in an overloaded, poorly balanced truck.

However, if the tires suffer damage from rubbing, you could end up having to unload all your sod by hand to change the tire.

Do take care to fully strap down your sod rolls or “skins” before you get on the road. No matter how careful you are, someone can cut you off or a dog can run in front of your truck.

Once they start shifting, your sod rolls could end up damaging your rear truck window.

It is possible to beef up the suspension of your 1/2-ton pickup to haul more weight safely. For those who are ramping up to work on some large yard projects, this may make more sense than replacing a smaller truck.

However, your safest choice may simply be to be a bit more flexible in your schedule and let the sod farm deliver the sod rolls on their schedule.

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