A Look at Towing Capacity

When it comes to towing, nearly every vehicle–from a pick-up to a crossover–will have a factory rating that tells you how much it can pull. This information is important as it allows you to safely haul without issues such as insufficient power, cooling problems, difficulty braking, handling, and even structural failures. Where do you find these ratings and what else do you need to know to tow safely?

Teams of engineers have spent time in labs, testing grounds and roads in all kinds of weather conditions to make sure vehicles live up to their towing ratings. It is safe to assume that that these numbers are based on research and competitive needs. The auto industry does not want competition to be able to haul more than their vehicles. There are industry standards for tow ratings. A team of engineers from several major automobile companies formed procedures for establishing Gross Combined Weight (GCW) and towing ratings. They can be researched for your specific vehicle.

The starting point for designing a vehicle that can tow is researching customer needs. They engineers study the competition, perform a market analysis, and then set up design around gross axle weight ratings (GAWR), payload and tongue weight. This creates a criteria for the design and specific components for a vehicle.

What does this mean to the consumer? The towing capacity of your vehicle is how much weight your vehicle can haul. The factors that affect towing capacity are the transmissions, strength of the motor, brakes and axle. In addition, the size and weight of what you are looking to tow comes into play. Before you even think about towing anything, it is highly advisable to know and understand your towing capacity. If you exceed your vehicle’s limits, you will find it is difficult to stop and make turns. This could be extremely dangerous in a highway situation.

Where do you find this information? Your vehicle should have a compliance certification label if you chose to look for it rather than find the information for your vehicle on the Internet. Look for the label on the driver’s side door sill. The sticker will have information about the gross vehicle weight (GVW) and gross combination weight (GAW). You will also find information on the gross axle weight (GAW) and the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). If you check in your vehicle owner’s manual, you can get more information about the specifics of towing and learn just how much your vehicle can handle.

Lastly, make sure your vehicle is in good shape to handle the extra stress of towing. Check your tire pressure, fluid levels and plan your trip out carefully. There are towing restrictions and designated towing lanes on certain highways. Take your time and keep your vehicle at a safe speed. Make sure all lights work and can be seen on whatever vehicle you are towing. Taking these precautions will insure you are as safe as possible when taking on the added responsibility of towing.

If you need a vehicle towed but don’t have the right vehicle for the job in San Marcos, TX, be sure to contact Will Tow to discuss your needs! We can help tow whatever you need, to wherever it needs to go–at a surprisingly affordable rate!

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