Pickup Makers Agree On A Common Standard For Rating Light Truck Towing Capacities

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff

General Motors, Ford, Chrysler will be joining Toyota in implementing a common standard for rating the towing capacities of their light-duty pickups. That uniform standard will allow shoppers to more accurately compare vehicles’ towing capabilities and reduce some confusion caused by truck makers with differing standards. Bear in mind, though, that for heavy-duty pickups, automakers will still rate their vehicles with their own standards.

Spokesmen for Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group acknowledged last week that starting with 2015 model year full size light duty pickup trucks they will be joining Toyota in using a towing standard originally adopted by the industry in 2009. GM said that it would join the other companies in using the new standard. Some of the delay was because companies were concerned that the new standards would mean rated towing capacities reduced by several hundred pounds. The new voluntary standards were originally going to be implemented for the 2013 model year but Ford decided to not go with the lower ratings until it introduced the all-new 2015 F-150. After Ford delayed using the standard, GM and Chrysler did likewise.

Toyota so far has been the only company to implement the standard, known as SAE J2807, lowering the ratings on its Tundra pickup by 400 lbs for the 2011 model year. Nissan has said that it adopts the new standard as its trucks are redesigned. The next Titan is due in 2015.

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  • Eggsalad Eggsalad on Feb 11, 2014

    It's a damned shame that this website, which published "The Great American Anti-Towing Conspiracy" offers an app that only gives towing capacities for trucks and SUVs. Despite the Anti-Towing Conspiracy, there are still quite a few cars on offer in the USA that have rated tow capacities. Where's the app for them??

    • See 4 previous
    • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Feb 11, 2014

      @krhodes1, I posted a photo of Holden Station wagon pulling a 5000lb English Caravan on a US RV site.Reactions were :"That cannot be done", "Even a Midsize truck could not tow that"

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 11, 2014

    A friend of mine owned a 1965 Ford F150 with a I6 and 3 on the tree. You would not believe some of the weights he towed with it. He never towed on the freeway, or for long distances at higher speeds on surface streets, but whatever "rating" it had was honored in the breach, like towing a school bus motorhome conversion about a half mile to a shop, with his brother in the bus using the brakes. New truck owners will pay attention to the tow ratings, but second and third owners who need to tow are gonna tow. Those events are going to produce nothing more dramatic than some highly embellished stories told around a back yard beer keg.

    • Mikeg216 Mikeg216 on Feb 12, 2014

      This, I have a 96 with the straight six, I use it for dump runs and crap hauling. It amazes more every time

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 11, 2014

    I bet tow limits would be less than half of what they are for pickups if the vehicle was made to operate at it's maximum GCM or gross combined mass for the duration of the pickups warranty ie, 100 000km. This is the vehicle loaded and maximum tow weight. So how accurate are tow weights?

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Feb 11, 2014

    I find the performance tests a little silly. How fast do you need to go when towing a huge trailer? Does it really matter if you can only get up that mammoth grade at 35mph as long as you are not overheating the truck? You will still be passing the 18 wheelers! THEY manage to tow 40 TONs with 400hp and 1000lb-ft of torque. But not very quickly. It's one thing if you are buying a truck to tow with constantly. It is quite another if you are only going to tow occasionally. I've towed 5000lbs with a Volvo 745T. Slowly, and carefully. Did great. I wouldn't do it over the Rocky mountains, or everyday.