Seems like a simple rule to follow, doesn't it? But it happens all the time. Just take a look around if you don't believe us. In fact, the next time you're at one of those home improvement warehouse stores, pay attention to how much lumber some people stack in the back of their pickup trucks. Or the next time you're at a landscape supply store, watch how much topsoil or mulch some owners request to be dumped in the bed of their truck. By the time they're ready to drive away, the rear bumper is practically dragging on the ground. But what does that have to do with an overheated engine?
While it may look funny to see a grossly overloaded truck making its way down the road, the damage that driver is likely causing to his or her truck's engine is anything but. As you can probably guess, every part of the truck's powertrain (including the engine) has to work significantly harder to get all of that extra weight rolling down the road -- and keep it in motion, too. All of this extra work means extra heat created by the truck's engine. If the cooling system can't keep up with the demand -- you guessed it, potential severe engine damage.
One simple way to avoid overloading your truck -- and overheating your engine in the process -- is by familiarizing yourself with the manufacturer's suggested weight limits or weight ratings for your specific vehicle. These can be found in the owner's manual or on a decal or plate located on the inside edge of your truck's door frame.