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I once mounted a basket designed for more weight than my dirt bike weighed (300-400 pounds as I recall). Slapped it on the Jeep, and headed to Colorado. By the time I got there, it was sagging a lot, even though I'd bolstered it with turnbuckles to the rear bumper. I ended up running a strap from the top of the rear hatch around the bike and basket to take some of the weight, and got there OK (sweating as I watched more and more of the dirt bike become visible in the rearview mirror as it leaned further and further out). But mine WAS an El Cheapo (tm) basket - I'm sure they make Class 3 baskets that are stronger than that, and at any rate, make sure your hitch can handle the load (the static weight is one thing - hit a big bump and the load can be a LOT more than the weight of the basket + snowblower).

And no, you don't have to worry about stressing the transmission in either scenario - the car won't be under enough extra load to notice.
 
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