Towing capacity is to pickup truck what fuel economy is to hybrids and driving range is to electric vehicles. In the automotive world, most types of vehicles are intended for a specific purpose and will have an important factor that determines how well that vehicle accomplishes that purpose.
However, unlike hybrids and electric cars, pickup trucks do not have a standard method of determining how much weight a vehicle can actually tow. The problem was that previous methods of tow rating did not take into account different parts, options and passenger weight that negatively affects the total weight a truck can tow otherwise known as a truck’s Gross Combine Weight Rating (GCWR).
In a successful attempt to solve this problem, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) created the J2807 standards. This is a unified system that requires automakers to test vehicles equipped with any options that normally have a 33 percent take-rate, 70 pounds of aftermarket hitch equipments and a driver and a passenger with a combined weight of 300 pounds.
Under this new standard, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra base models dropped 300-500 pounds of towing capacity, while The V-6 regular cab trucks with four-wheel drive kept the same rating of 7,600 pounds as did certain versions of trucks equipped with the 6.2-liter V-8 and Max Trailering Package, which maintained the top rating of 12,000 pounds.
However, the 2015 Silverado and Sierra base models actually increased towing capacity under the J2807 standards with the four-wheel-drive V-6 models improving by 400 pounds for the Crew Cab and 500 pounds for the Double Cab, a pretty successful jump for Sierra and GMC.
Those of us at Nehls Chevrolet look forward to how the J2807 towing standards will improve the rating system and overviews of current and future pickup trucks.