The pickup truck towing capacity wars have been in full-blown Mortal Kombat-style battle mode for as long as we can remember. For years, it's gone something like this: Automaker A claims that its rig can tow 10,000 pounds, then Automaker B increases their truck's stated capacities to 10,500 pounds without changing a single component. And if you've ever wondered if all automakers test towing capacities in the same manner, well... they don't.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Society of Automotive Engineers will change practice that by the 2013 model year by implementing a new a standardized testing methodology. General Motors engineer Robert Krause, who chaired the SAE committee that set the new standard, said that the automakers involved "wanted our customers to know that 10,000 pounds of towing capacity means the same thing for all trucks."

This sounds like a plan that should have been hatched and executed long ago, but at least the deed is finally getting done. Toyota is already using the new standard with its Tundra (resulting in slightly lower tow ratings), while other major truckmakers will comply to the voluntary standard sometime in 2012. Nissan has stated that it will utilize the standard sometime in the future, but hasn't gotten specific with any details.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      HVH20
      • 3 Years Ago
      Has anyone actually towed 10,000+ lbs with their F150, or 1500 series truck? Yes its possible but it gets kinda sketchy. At some point physics starts to take play and that 10,000lb trailer behind you sure gets heavy. Glad to see some standard for this just to get the facts straight.
        nova
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        Man, no more trial and error method for figuring out what you can tow? What's the fun in that? That moment of hitting the brakes only to wonder "Oh $%^& is this thing gonna stop?" always gave me a little thrill.....
        Joe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HVH20
        Ha, actually I towed a 9000lb boat behind a 2010 F-150. I would NEVER recommend it to anyone. It was horrible. I used a friends Tundra to tow it one day and I was actually quite impressed. Believe it or not it towed much better than the F150.
          Syncro
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joe
          I have a new Nissan Titan with airbags and an electric brake and can easily tow 10,000lbs with my truck, I've towed work trailers around town over that rating and had no issues at all. I've owned a 2006 Ford F350 crewcab which obviously has no issues towing anything really, I've had power wagons, F150s, older F350s etc, I think most of the posters here (not all) have no idea what the hell they are talking about and probably barely use their trucks as trucks. Airbags are a must for heavy loads and trailers for any vehicle. I do know having driven and/or being a passenger in other trucks that the newer Tundras and Titans tow much better and have better brakes etc than the domestics.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jason H
      • 3 Years Ago
      'Bout time. Kudos to Toyota for beating the big 3 to the punch on this.
      TruthHertz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Prediction: *Ford and Dodge ratings will stay fairly the same *Nissan Titan will take a dive in tow capacity *Toyota Tundra is allegedly already using the standard with its flaccid frame *GM will take a huge hit on it's torque-less 5300 (Relative to every other mainstream engine) Lets be honest here, the non-turbo 3.7L V6 F150 beat the GM 5.3L in tests both loaded and unloaded. GM's small block has it's work cut out for it.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Finally some sanity when it comes to these types of ratings.
        Tone
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Don't worry, they'll all come up with new ways to execute their pissing contests (while various mags and auto media outlets continue to host their own contests that produce real world results).
      Julius
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm surprised this hasn't been standardized before - but then again, they're just starting to use "SAE Certified" horsepower ratings for engines...
      rsholland
      • 3 Years Ago
      I also hope that they also mandate unbraked tow ratings be more widely advertised. Right now, for the most part, those figures are buried deep in the owner's manual. It's all well and good that a Silverado can tow a gazillion pounds—if the trailer has its own set of brakes. If not it's only rated to tow 2000 pounds; and for most other trucks/SUVs, it's only 1000 pounds. Bet you didn't know that. ;) Don't believe me? Check your owner's manual.
      Jake
      • 3 Years Ago
      This kind of reminds me of the 'ring time war and which tires, and what was the weather like, and who was driving, and blah, blah, blah. Marketing fud is alive and well across all industries.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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