Knowing just how much your truck can tow is serious business. Being overloaded on a 30 percent grade might mean you won’t make it up the hill. You’d think there would be an official way to measure this, right? There is no way that automakers like General Motors and Ford could just make up a formula that they didn’t have to disclose, just to sell a few thousand more trucks than the next guy? Right?
Well you’d be wrong until now.
Enter the SAE J2807 towing standard — a full eighty-even years after Ford put a truck bed on a Model T. This standard is designed to finally bring real standards to the sometimes-crazy-sounding towing claims automakers are using to get customers to buy their truck over the competition — claims that have been teased at by critics as nothing more than the addition of magical fairy dust. The standard was first introduced around 2009, but automakers didn’t have to begin adhering to them until 2013.
Until the SAE introduced the J2807, there hasn’t been a standard for formulating GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
Response to this standard has been a mixed bag across the board. General Motors in particular was ready to readjust their numbers for 2013 in its GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks. That was until Ford turned its nose up to the new standard. Ford is only applying it to an “all-new” vehicle, of which the 2013 Ford F-Series is not a part. As a result, General Motors says it will be “postponing” its implementation of the standards and test procedures for determining the maximum trailer and gross combined weight ratings on its trucks until everyone is doing it. Despite this, the company released its 2013 towing info according to the J2807 standard in which all the numbers have been recalculated, and subsequently lowered by a few hundred pounds across the board. It seems the fairy dust has run out.