Finding Pickup Tow Ratings: Tracking Down The Great Secrets – Part 2
(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series on finding trailer towing specifications for pickups (and SUVs) on the vehicle manufacturer’s websites. For Part I, click here.)
Every year business owners want to know what the towing capacities are for the new pickups.
It’s not for bragging rights.
The information is important because of the liability issues that come with towing more than the vehicle is designed to handle, and/or towing without the vehicle being properly equipped for the trailered weight its pulling.
The majority of sales people have no clue what the actual towing capacity is for the pickups they sell.
Yes, they know the maximum towing capacity touted by the manufacturer. But that number doesn’t apply across the board.
That’s why buyer’s need to do the research themselves. That means going to the vehicle manufacturer’s website to scour through the towing/trailering information for their specific pickup(s).
Axle ratios, bed length, drivetrain configuration, and cab style all play a factor in determining maximum towing capacity.
Finding tow ratings varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Tracking down the data on some brands is more difficult than others.
FORD’S HIDDEN TOWING SPECS
Ford towing specs are pretty easy to find.
For example, the 2015 Super Duty requires just one click of the mouse to bring up a pdf that shows most of what you need to know.
What isn;t shown is the meat of the trailering information story, which is when should the standard ball-and-shank hitch be replaced with a weight-distributing hitch.
The specifications shown have a number of footnotes that require reading their “14RV & Trailer Towing Guide” to find out what they mean.
One would think that very important pdf, which defines hitch limitations and tongue weights for all their models, would be listed under the “Brochures & Guides” section. It’s not.
I scoured the Ford.com website and never did find a link to the RV/Trailer Towing guide. It was only through a Google search that it popped up.
When it did, the most important page (23) in the towing guide pdf that defines when a weight-distrubuting (W-D) hitch must be used when towing in “conventional mode” was missing entirely.
(In previous years Ford has required a W-D hitch on Super Duties when towing more than 8,500 pounds.)
RAM TRUCK TOWING GUIDE
The manufacturer with the cleanest and easiest access to towing information is Ram Truck.
You can access a variety of trailering/towing information pages directly from the home page, from selecting axle ratios and cab configurations to trailer load balancing and driving basics. Each well illustrated with good animations and videos.
Likewise, Ram Truck’s Towing Guide is laid out for fast access to whatever model you are researching.
The 2015 Ram towing guide will most likely follow the same information path.
So if you are researching the next addition to your pickup fleet, do a little web surfing on the trailer towing aspects before making the final decisions on how the truck – or trucks – will be spec’d out.