I can only speak for teams as we never drove individuals, but a pair of good drafts or draft mules can easily pull a 2000 pound load not counting the wagon.
We used to feed our cattle in the wintertime by using a team. We'd put about a ton of hay and cake on the sled (the sled itself probably weighed close to 1000) and head out. It was an all-day ordeal to get that done as it was a little over 15 miles round trip and it was all done at a walk.
For shorter distances, they can pull a much heavier load but any old farmer will tell you, for a long day spent working, you want as many on the plow/wagon as you can to lessen the load on each. If you don't, then you'll have to switch teams halfway through the day. When we were farming with teams, we'd almost always have 4-6 head hooked on to whatever implement we were using at the time. The only exception was the mower. That was a 2 horse job because the implement itself was small and there was no resistance from the ground.
Also, random bit of information that you may not know. Whenever a team was trained, the taller of the 2 would always be put on the right hand side because they would be the one to walk in the harrow. So, that would keep their height more even if the taller one was walking in the hole.
That is really interesting. There is SO much we don't know or don't remember. It's GREAT to have some experience and to have had, in your instance, old guys to teach you. That's how we studied as CW Reenactors, trying to figure out the whys of the minusia of what was done in the past, but the people THEN never thought things would change, so even in journals there isn't much written about HOW.
Are those YOUR mules in the pictures?
Does this give you any idea of what a draft team is capable of pulling?
But in all seriousness, I think it really depends on the team, the conditions, etc. I have not yet started driving so I can't give you numbers, but take the advice here with a grain of salt as to how it applies to your own horses - Some are more athletic, stronger, pull better on different terrains, etc. (Sorry I'm useless here, but I wanted to post that pic (It's always been so impressive to me!) and thought I should say SOMETHING...)
Corporal, yes, those are my family's mules. Those pictures were taken when I was still relatively young as we stopped farming in the mid 90's...when I would have been around 10, but we still drive for pleasure and I still remember much of what I learned back then.
This is the sled that we used to pack down in the winter. Not only were we feeding our own cows, but often the neighbors' too because they could not get their trucks out to feed them. There were stretches of days and weeks several winters where we were the only ones that could get off the main highways LOL.
Lots of fond memories of taking large thermoses of apple cider and cocoa and spending the day on the sled...or jumping off the top of the hay into the drifts .
And, yes, I'm the little tiny thing in both these pictures
Now I want a mule. :) ^^ Did you make your own wagon?
Sort of LOL. Dad had the local welder pull the frame out of an old car and cut off all the excess to make it suitable. Then he had him weld some extra bracing on for us to attach the wood to in order to make the wagon platform.