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I know old thread, but I'd like to res it.
I've wondered the same thing. I think the ford limitations don't pertain to the hitch, but rather they are about maintaining proper load distribution. When you put weight on the hitch, the lever action over the rear axel will cause some load to distribute from the front axel to the back axle.
Example; I've tested this on my truck, stock suspension, with a full tank of fuel and myself in the driver's seat. It takes only 625 pounds of hitch weight to shift the load distribution from 60% front, 40% rear to a 50%-50% split and a level truck. This is awfully close to the sticker limit and I suspect is more than just a co-incidence.
No, this isn't anywhere near the payload rating. but should you throw more stuff into your bed (camper in bed towing a horse trailer is a popular combo here), plus the 600lbs hitch weight, you quickly get into 40% front, 60% rear weight distribution territory. Beyond this ratio is dangerous, particularly when towing a trailer.
2005 F-350 ext. cab long box, FX4
EDGE Insite CTS w/ fuel pres, EGT, and rear diff temp
BCP High Idle Mod
DS Bypass Coolant Filter
Rotella T6 5w-40 Synthetic
EGR Cooler Delete
Bulletproof Oil Cooler, Oil Filter, & Amsoil Bypass Oil Filter
268 000km/167 500 miles as of Jan. 1 2015.