How much can your truck tow? Well, it depends on who you ask. Many consumers may not suspect that the answer to this seemingly straight-forward question has varied depending on the manufacturer, with each having its own testing methodologies and procedures. And since weight ratings have been a selling point for manufacturers, doesn’t this setup seem a tad biased? Wouldn’t it make more sense for some impartial organization to create the standardized testing procedures? Of course! We all know that comparing apples to oranges is no true comparison at all.
The impartial organization is the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the testing procedures they developed and which Ford, General Motors, and the Chrysler Group have agreed to finally follow for 2015 model year light duty pickup trucks is called “SAE standard J2807: Performance Requirements for Determining Tow-Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating and Trailer Weight Rating.” A common standard for towing capacity, finally! Toyota jumped on board with J2807 back in 2011. Nissan will implement the new standards as its vehicles receive updates, meaning the next-generation Nissan Titan should observe J2807.
This SAE standard was supposed to be implemented for 2013 model year trucks, but when Ford opted to wait for its new F-150 before implementing the standards, Ram and GM did the same. After all, the new standards would lower the overall stated capacity for trucks, so an incentive for adoption of the standards would be the competitors’ willingness to comply as well.
Beware that this standardization applies to fullsize light-duty pickups, and not heavy-duty pickups!