What Are Pound-Feet?
Understanding the Load Capacity of Your Cargo Accessory is Important
Overloading any system, be it as large as a train or as small as a cargo carrier, can lead to a failure of that system. For systems with two or more support points, like train cars, trucks, and autos, weight as represented by pounds can be a suitable measure of load-carrying capacity. For systems with a single support point, such as most bumper-mounted cargo accessories and the bumpers that support them, a more accurate measure of capacity is the pound-foot. A pound-foot is equal to one pound supported one foot away from the support point. Two pounds supported one foot away from the support point is two pound-feet while one pound supported two feet away from the support point is also two pound-feet; the distance that the load is from the support point factors into the amount of force exerted on the support point. A great example of this is a diving board; the further out on it you walk, the more it depresses. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound-foot_(torque).
Because bumper-mounted cargo accessories and the bumpers that support them utilyze a single support point, pound-feet more accurately describe load capacity than do pounds. It is for this reason that we test and rate our products using pound-feet. Should you have questions calculating pound-feet, please feel free to contact us.