Finding Pickup Tow Ratings: Tracking Down The Great Secrets
Every year business owners want to know what the towing capacities are for the new pickups. Seems like pretty basic request, right?
As basic as such information is and how important it is for those who use their pickups for work because of the liability issues, most vehicle manufacturers do their best to keep the trailering capacity details buried deep on their websites.
For some strange reason (probably marketing strategy), such detailed, model-by-model information is secreted away in various locations where the average person wouldn’t think to look.
Ironically, all the pickup manufacturers proudly tout their offering’s “maximum towing” capacity in ads.
But read the fine print and it always says “properly equipped” and “some models.”
What that means is that big towing number is probably limited to one particular model equipped with a specific engine, transmission, axle ratios and towing package.
Normally it’s a regular cab, long-bed, two-wheel-drive model with the lowest axle ratio available and the biggest engine.
FINDING TOW RATINGS
To find out what the true towing capacity is for a new pickup can entail some serious sleuthing.
If you can’t find it through the normal Google search, head straight for the “fleet/commercial” side of the vehicle manufacturer’s website.
Then start looking for “tow ratings,” “trailering” and “towing” specifications. It may or may not not be easy to find depending on the manufacturer.
For example, to find the Chevy tow ratings for 2014/2015 you have to go the Chevy website, scroll down to the links at the bottom and click on “Manuals & Videos” under the Ownership section. (Note it says nothing about towing or hauling.)
Once there, select the year of the vehicle and that brings you to another page that shows all the Chevy vehicles.
Under each of the trucks and SUVs there’s a link to “Download Trailering Guide.”
Both GMC’s and Chevy’ consumer 2014 towing data is in a nicely done pdf; scroll down through the information to find the truck you are interested in and then read the fine print at the bottom of the page for the information on any special equipment necessary to achieve those tow numbers.
DIG DEEP FOR FLEET
Chevy’s fleet 2015 HD towing guide is much harder to find. It’s buried so deep in their Fleet/Commercial side that most GM insiders don’t even know where it’s located.
- To find it, go to www.gmfleet.com and click on “Resources.”
- Then, scroll down under “Reference Guides” to the “Online Order Guide.”
- Next, click on “View the Online Order Guide now” … you’re half-way there!
- Now select the model year you are interested in under #1.
- Click on “Cars/Light Trucks” under #2 (Select a section to continue ordering information))….
- Select Chevrolet Truck or GMC in the tiny blue links at bottom.
- Now the intuitive part…click on “Print Book.”
- Select the vehicle you are still trying to get towing information on.
- Now hit “Print” at top of the page.
You’re there! Easy, right. Gotta luv how difficult Chevy makes it to get to a pdf of towing specs.
Of course you can save a lot of research time by following the links above.
The point is, vehicle manufacturers should have the towing/trailering links easy to find on their own websites to make comparing and specking out trucks as simple as possible for a fleet – or the non-commercial buyer.
Editor’s Note: In the next installment we’ll show you how to track down Ford and Ram Truck trailering specs.