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Why can I not tow 50,000 lbs (40,000 cargo and 10,000 Trailer bed) using multiple pickup truck each individually capable of towing 30,000 lbs?

Trailer Weight Combinations I was told that the towing capacity does not "Add up" where if one SUV can tow 30,000 lbs. Two SUVs can only Tow 30,000 lbs (maybe a little more). Is that true?

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  • $\begingroup$ Who says you can't? It's definitely physically possible, but I can think of a whole host of physical and economical reasons that might stop it being practical. You really need to define what you mean better. $\endgroup$ – AndyT Feb 8 '18 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ Heavy loads are moved with multiple tractor units already and the skill required to drive in teams like that is considerable : given what one sees about the skills of some pick-up drivers... good luck !! :) $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Feb 8 '18 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ You haven't defined "capable of" . For consumer trucks, e.g., load limits are based not only on engine horsepower but on deformation limits of the truck frame, hitch strength, etc. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 8 '18 at 14:23
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In your example the pickup trucks are not load bearing because the weight of the trailer is resting on the trailer wheels. As such the drive wheels of the pickup trucks are likely to skid. The goose necks have no additional function since they do not carry any weight from the trailer, using a chain or towstrap between the trucks would have the same effect.

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with your reasoning, as railroad locomotives often are hooked up in series to produce the desired load-hauling capacity. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Feb 8 '18 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ A railroad locomotive a very different beast operating under very different circumstances. Designed as traction machines from the beginning, locomotives are already very heavy by themselves and rail cars have surprisingly little rolling resistance. Extra locomotives are usually added when there are steep grades along the route that a single unit cannot overcome due to power limitations, not because they are lacking in traction. Making a single locomotive even heavier could help in certain situations but is generally impractical due to the enormous masses involved. $\endgroup$ – MadMarky Feb 8 '18 at 14:39

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