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Big Three to Adopt Standard for Towing Capacity

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Standard for towing capacity

The Big Three are adoping a standard for towing capacity moving forward.

As a truck shopper, you might be frustrated and confused by the varying tow-capacity ratings. From one brand to the next, there doesn’t seem to be any standard for towing capacity, or any way to compare one truck to another. The information is not just confusing, but difficult to come by, which means decision making can be tough, at best.

Manufacturers all arrive at their towing capacity numbers differently, and we often can’t figure out the science behind the numbers. The variety in testing means tow ratings don’t have much context. Currently an impressive rating has no correlation with how well a truck actually carries a load, and short of testing our vehicles’ towing capacities ourselves, we don’t have many other options but to trust the manufacturers.

For model year 2015 light-duty trucks, we are happy to say that this will no longer be a problem. According to a recent report, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler Group have announced that starting with next year’s models, a common standard will be used to measure towing capacity. Toyota adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers’ SAE J2807 standards in 2011, and now the Big Three will do the same as they roll out their 2015 models.

Nissan has announced it will follow suit and as its vehicles are updated, they’ll adopt the same standards as their competitors. A few of the requirements trucks will be rated on going forward include: acceleration, climbing, launching, and weight tests.

Unfortunately, consumers interested in bigger trucks won’t be affected. Currently, there is no sign of the new standard for towing capacity being adopted for the heavy-duty market.

We think these standards will result in more informed decisions and clarity in comparison shopping for consumers – what do you think?