General. Load distribution is an important factor in the safe use of a trailer. It is more critical as
the maximum load of the trailer is approached. However, even a load that is significantly less
than the overall limit of the trailer can cause an overload situation if not distributed properly.
Position vehicles or equipment as far forward on the load deck as
Vehicles and Equipment. The center of gravity (CG) of the vehicles or equipment being
loaded should be positioned as close as possible to the CG of the trailer for the best weight
distribution. The load deck should be considered to be the bed space between the base of the
gooseneck and the forward axle.
Capabilities. The following information is provided for the purpose of calculating weight
distribution and to ensure that the trailer and prime mover are not overloaded.
(1) The M870A3 trailer is rated to carry 80,000 lb (40 ton, 36,320 kg). The rear axle group is
capable of supporting a maximum weight of 103,320 lb (52 ton, 46,907.3 kg) total (trailer
The M916 prime mover is capable of supporting a maximum weight of 40,000 lb (20 ton,
18,160 kg) total at the kingpin.
Generally, military vehicles and equipment have data plates that provide embarkation or loading
information including the location of the center of gravity. When the center of gravity of the payload
is known, the portion of the load that is bearing on the kingpin and the portion that is bearing on the
axles can be determined.
To determine if the trailer and prime mover combination is within its load bearing capability, this
data should be compared to the trailer and prime mover limitations listed in the appropriate manuals
and found on the embarkation/load data plates.