By on July 17, 2014

2014-ram-3500-laramie-longhorn-front-three-quarter-03

The Society of Automotive Engineers recently introduced a new designation standardizing maximum towing ratings, with the aim of sorting out the mess automakers have made with their internal measurements of towing capacity. Called J2807, the new system’s first champion is none other than Ram, who have gone all-in with the standard.

Autoblog reports all 2015 light- and heavy-duty Ram pickups will use J2807. The new ratings are as follows:

  • Ram 1500 with 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 – 7,600 pounds
  • Ram 1500 with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 – 9,200 pounds
  • Ram 1500 with 5.7-liter Hemi V8– 10,650 pounds
  • Ram 2500 with 6.4-liter Hemi V8 – 16,300 pounds
  • Ram 2500 with 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six diesel – 17,970 pounds
  • Ram 3500 with 6.4-liter Hemi V8 – 16,420 pounds
  • Ram 3500 with 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six diesel – 30,000 pounds

Automakers wanting to use the SAE towing standard must put their offerings through a battery of tests, ranging from handling checks, to being able to climb a grade without slipping below a designated speed. No word on when other manufacturers will adopt J2807.

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35 Comments on “Ram Truck Lineup Adopts SAE Towing Standard From 2015 Forward...”


  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Ford will start to use the J2807 standard for the 2015 models as well. GM already released the numbers for the 2015 Silverado/Sierra 1500 last month.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    How is or was towing capacity determined? I had a Focus wagon that was rated 2000 lbs in the US and 2500 or 3000 in Canada, I just figured that the difference was due to the additional weight of all the lawyers in America.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Could we get cliff notes on J2807? Do they specify a standard cab/bed configuration? …or can we assume the #’s listed above are the highest possible configuration for each given engine/chassis class combo?

    It’s nice to see this standardized regardless.

    The jump from Ram 2500 to 3500 in the diesel trim is HUGE (12,000+ lbs.), but the jump in capacity in the gas hemi is only 120 lbs.?!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      GM breaks it down by cab, engine, 2WD/4WD, axle, and tow packages. I have yet to read about RAM.

      http://blog.caranddriver.com/tow-what-gm-embraces-sae-j2807-trailer-standards-for-silverado-and-sierra-1500-still-tugs-six-tons/

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Max rating are for regular cab, 2wds with all the “towing” options and most powerful engine option.

      Half tons specify a long bed too. But the Cummins has huge towing, for its exhaust/engine braking.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      In a nutshell it is being able to go up a specific grade without dropping below a specific speed. There are different speeds for single rear wheel trucks and dual rear wheel trucks which is why you can see that big jump between the 2500 and 3500.

      The ratings will vary between the different cab, bed and drive configurations and you can bet the numbers above reflect the lightest versions of those weight ratings.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is rediculous, the test isn’t accurate to how far the trucks can actually handle. There is no way the hemi is at a 14,000lb disadvantage to the cummins, even if it had half the HP and torque. Of course its not going to maintain 70mph up the mountains but I doubt the hemi couldn’t make it.

    Seriously you get 120lb advantage by going from 2500-3500 in the hemi, yet 12,000lb in the cummins?

    This measurement must have been made by people with no experience towing. There are cars that can’t maintain speed up certain hills without a trailer, are you going to give them a negative tow rating?

    —-

    On the other hand maybe we will see a return of the big blocks to bridge this gap. The fuel efficiency argument against big blocks is no longer an issue seeing how poorly 3/4 ton+ diesels are doing. Not to mention the 8.1l BBC got better mpg then the 6.0l in many cases.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I assume they are adopting it as a manufacturer across the board, that is if they rate their sedans, crossovers, and minivans to tow anything.

    In traffic a few days ago I saw a 2011-2013 Chrysler 200 4-cyl (single exhaust outlet) with a hitch on it (not towing anything) and I had to do a double take. It reminded me that when my Dad bought a 1982 Iron Duke powered Celebrity (purchased in 1985) it had a hitch on it.

    I towed roughly 5000 lbs with my 2004 F150 on a 2000 mile trip. With the 4.6 V8 “mod” motor it wasn’t swift and I had to put the four way flashers on when going up the big hills but the truck and I managed with no drama.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Did it actually have a ball mount on it, or was it an open hitch?

      I only ask as a co-worker has a hitch on his Cruze. The only reason why is because he mounts a bike rack to it as he doesn’t want the paint messed up, along with the inability to open the trunk when there’s a bike rack attached to it.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Open hitch now that I think about it. I guess that could be it.

        I actually pictured a single jet ski being towed but around here (desert SW) you’d have travel far to find a big enough body of water to put even a jet ski in.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          Come to think of it, my 2200 lbs, 100 hp ’92 Jetta was rated by the factory to tow 1,000 lbs.

          Cars weren’t downrated not to tow anything until car makers started raking in money with SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Also, some people like those accessory carriers with relatively light weight ratings.

          That, and the tiny little flatbeds for wee amounts of cargo or small equipment – and I believe some rental equipment for lawn or other tasks is sometimes car-towed home…

          Lots of uses for even a 500-pound-rated hitch.

      • 0 avatar

        I have a 2″ hitch on my Impreza RS for this reason. I despise those strap-on bike racks.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      There are hitches available for Miatas (even though it’s not officially rated to tow anything). Racer types use them to tow small tire/tool trailers to the track. The wine and cheese set sometimes use them for a small luggage trailer. My parents used a 110 hp, 1986 Caravan 3 speed to tow a 2,000 lb trailer with inertia brakes and 6 passengers for thousands of miles.

      Just because manufacturers would rather sell you a bigger vehicle doesn’t mean a smaller one can’t reasonably tow. Look at what vehicles people use to tow with in Europe, and they get by just fine. And if you think it’s because they drive more slowly or don’t have mountains, you’ve never driven in Europe. Eg: the Alps and the German Autobahn.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Maybe Europeans are better at towing with light vehicles, so I’ll take your word for it. I know Americans $UCK at it!

        But does’t change the fact that small cars have all the wrong dynamics for towing. Too light in the rear and so forth. You REALLY have to know what you’re doing and how to drive it.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      PD,

      No reason a 4 cyl midsize couldn’t handle a folding utility trailer with some furniture, a lawn mower, what have you. I used to do this all the time with my Quad 4, 5 speed Grand Am. With a light enough trailer, a 1000 lbs tow capacity can be useful.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I can’t believe there wasn’t a consistent standard of measurement already, in this day and age.

  • avatar
    goldtownpe

    “…the new system’s first champion is none other than Ram…”

    Toyota’s been using the SAE J2807 standards on all of its vehicle since 2011, so RAM is actually second.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They are third when it comes to 1/2 tons since GM published their numbers in June. They are first when it comes to 3/4 ton and up I think.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      RAM, as a full line, full size pickup truck manufacturer is first to implement the standard. Toyota does not produce a 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton truck.

      • 0 avatar
        goldtownpe

        Toyota has used the standard on ALL of their vehicles including cross-overs and SUVs and Lexus vehicles. Have Chrysler implemented this standard on all of their vehicles? So Toyota is the 1st manufacturer to go all in.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        … isn’t the Tundra a “1/2 ton” truck?

        (1,400+ pounds capacity, including occupants.

        That’s half a ton, though pretty wampy compared to the domestics.)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The author incorrectly states that SAE J2807 was a recently introduced standard.
    IIRC the ratings came out in 2012.

    Toyota was the only early adopter.

    GM adopted the standards in 2013 but promptly withdrew from them.

    No one wants to adopt the standard as we all know it is the PR Departments and the Magic Spring Dust departments that set tow standards.

    Ram had an easy “out” with adopting the new standards as all of its drops in cargo and tow capability has been blamed on the change over to coil springs.

    Ford has always waffled by stating that they would change over with the next model. The F150 shouldn’t drop much if anything since they have had the chance to engineer a totally new and much lighter F150.
    The next Ford Super Duty will come out some time this century and it too will have the opportunity to be engineered to keep current ratings.

  • avatar
    brkriete

    Aside from the factual inaccuracy that Ram is the first to go in on this standard it would have been interesting to see analysis of how the tow ratings changed (did any models go UP vs what was previously claimed?).

    A more in-depth article looking at the test and how various manufacturers put their vehicles through it would be great at some point. Do they just hitch up a trailer and add sand-bags until it can’t go up the grade? Or is there an engineering analysis performed prior to testing with run done to verify?


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