GM Drops Tow Ratings Down 4,800lbs – How Does Toyota Tundra Compare?
For years, GM truck buyers have used tow ratings that are now being revised down as much as 4,800 lbs on some models. This is due to a new SAE standard that Toyota has used for years. Now that we are finally able to compare apples to apples, how does the Toyota Tundra compare to the Sierra/Silverado?
Starting in new 2013 GM/Chevy trucks, the tow ratings will be based on a new SAE system according to a PickupTrucks.com post. This has caused several models of trucks to have “revised” ratings. Standing out in this revision is a four-wheel-drive Extended Cab long bed with the diesel and a 3.73:1 axle. Its 2012 rating was 15,700 pounds, it is now 10,900 pounds (4,800 lbs lower.) While Ford and Chyrsler will be soon to follow, Toyota already uses this standard starting with the 2011 Toyota Tundra. A big question, we had is how does the 2012 Toyota Tundra now stack up to a 2013 GM Sierra 1500 (whose tow rating has dropped 300lbs since last year)?
Tow Ratings Explained
Tow ratings have been an ongoing source of conversation and controversy. Without a true standard, automakers could develop their own rating system. These systems were flawed from the start with many “tests” being performed with an empty pickup and a 150-lb driver. The assumption that you would say tow your boat to the lake with a full-size truck that only had the driver in it, is absurd. It would most likely be filled with supplies and the truck would probably be full of passengers. This meant that the driver needed to take the additional cargo/passenger weight and subtract it against the truck’s towing capacity to determine the true towing rating. Often times, drivers didn’t do this. This is why you would often see an amazing amount of cargo towing a large load in a not so big truck.
A few years ago, SAE engineers, trailer manufacturers and towing dynamics got together to develop a new standard. They eventually settled on a tow-vehicle performance requirement (J2807 standard). There are dozens of tests and measurements included in this standard, but here are the three that will really impact tow ratings and consumers. The following quote is from some sales materials sent to Toyota dealers:
- The new standard says that the max tow rating must take into account the average weight of passengers and accessories. This is likely to reduce tow ratings across the board by 300 to 500 lbs (give or take).
- Each half-ton will be required to complete a 40 to 60 mph passing maneuver in 18 seconds or less at their maximum trailer rating.
- Each truck will need to meet some handling and trailer control standards, most of which will probably result in better quality OEM hitches being included in tow packages.
“In addition to the performance requirements, SAE J2807 applies a standard conservative approach to calculating the trailer mass, which includes two occupants, optional equipment, aftermarket trailer hitch equipment and trailer mass on the vehicle,” said Dean Perelli, chief engineer for GM trucks, as quoted by PickupTrucks.com.
What do you think? If all the manufactures start using the new SAE standards in 2013, will Toyota sell a lot more Tundra pickups?
Filed Under: Auto News