Roof Rack Load Limits Explained
It's actually extremely simple… Check your rack capacity. Then check your vehicle's capacity.
There has been much hype and hysteria about 4×4 roof rack load limits over the past few months. Some people love creating drama in order to boost views and followers however it really does not help anyone. It’s all about a bit of common sense and looking at some basic data.
So here it is from an Engineers point of view…
When you design any aftermarket product there are a few main factors that come into it.
- Design a great looking product that does what you need it to do
- Have it interface as easily and robustly to the OEM product you are designing it for
- Carry out rigorous durability and load testing to ensure longevity
- Carry out any certification testing required to meet Australian Standards
- Based on the above, provide ratings and user limitations for the product.
Now this is a very simplified list and there are many other factors that also come into it.
And this is where we lead into vehicle interfacing…
No designer of aftermarket products have any control over the specifications and load limits vehicle manufacturers apply to their vehicles. This also means they have no notification of any changes made to these manufacturer specifications throughout the vehicles life. And trust me, vehicle manufacturers make changes extremely often.
The main thing this can have an effect on is fitment. Quite often the first we know of a change in vehicle design is when our product no longer fits. This however is easy to see and resolve. On the flip side a change in a specification or rating is not so easy for us to know of.
So with this in mind there are two things that need to be adhered to.
As with any aftermarket product it is the responsibility of the user to ensure both the product’s limits and the vehicle limits are both adhered to. So in this case with roof rack loading, you always need to make sure you first don’t exceed the racks’ capacity. Then you have to make sure the rack and its load does not exceed your vehicle’s roof load limits, which is provided in your vehicle owners user manual.
And this is where it’s all been overhyped. It’s actually extremely simple…
- Check your rack capacity
- Check your vehicle’s capacity
- Ensure you always comply with both.
If you are within both then you will never have an issue.
Each roof rack manufacturer will have different ratings for their own product. When making a purchase ensure these work for your situation and requirements. Some have more limitations than others in regards to on and off road capacity and it all comes down to what they designed it to be used for.
TrailMax racks have all been designed for off road use so its dynamic rating will always be its off road rating also. If you require further details on our range of tough off road roof rack systems you can check them out here.