Manufacturers test the quoted ratings of the trucks under controlled environments under the supervision of expert drivers. A general rule is to drive your truck below 90% of its rated towing capacity.
A recent survey done by Trucksauthority.com reported that if you are towing below 70% of a truck’s actual towing ability, you are 95% more safe compared to others.
Different trucks have different tow capacities, so you have to meet specific guidelines. When you purchase the new truck, you have to figure out its strength (holding capacity).
How Close to Truck Maximum Tow Limit Can You Tow?
With an improved suspension system and other engine performance features, you can tow up to the maximum rating.
However, experts advise some safety instructions to not exceed beyond certain limits of the trucks. In comparison, practical usage is more rough and under some adverse scenarios.
Therefore, continuously operate your truckunder the mentioned towing and other ratings to ensure its service life longevity.
It is better is to drive your truck below 90% of its rated towing capacity.
In Ford F150 2017 model having a Gross combination vehicle weight rating is around 6000-7000pounds.
High payload capacity is available with a super can model. In this case, if you load the towed vehicle, around 1500-2000lb of extra load cannot cause any problem.
When a truck introduces into the market, its capabilities become change like its engine and tires. On this basis, you have to tow your vehicle around 80 to-90% of its average.
Manufacturers determine the payload capacity by subtracting the GVWR from the Curb weight of the truck. It also includes some other extra weight like dust load.
For example, for a vehicle with a Gross vehicle weight rating of around 6,000lbs, subtract it from the truck and other occupants like 4000lbs, then its payload will be around 3000pounds.
Different terms used for the towing capacity
There are different terms from which you can quickly determine that your truck is safe to hold the loaded vehicle.
It defines as the trailer tongue exerts downward pressure on your truck-connected hitch.
It highly recommends that the tongue weight is in its proper range. It should around 10-15% of the towed vehicle gross weight.
Tongue weight determination
You have to check with the truck and towed vehicle( RV, camper, or trailer) manual, which gives you proper guidelines.
If it cannot support the holding capacity, do not try to do this because it may cause a problem.
Gross vehicle weight rating
In the vehicle, gross weight rating states as the fully loaded includes passengers, different accessories, cargo, and other necessary items.
In this case, you exclude the towed vehicle this property can design or provide by ford. It is known as the gross vehicle mass.
Gross trailer weight rating
The gross trailer weight is the vehicle’s empty weight which sums up with its loaded condition.
Gross combined weight rating
Gross combined weight rating is the collection of GVWR+GTWR(loaded).
If it is more than 6000 pounds, then the loaded towed vehicle cannot exceed the 4000lbs according to the 10,000 GCWR value.
Gross axle weight rating
It helps protect from the extra loading over a single axle, and Ford trucks have this quality to distribute maximum weight rating, which holds by axle to carry safely.
Maintain the distance between the truck and the tow vehicle
You have to keep the optimum distance between the trucks and tow vehicles called inter-vehicle distance.
The 3-4 meter distance is better to allow for a tight turning circle. The collision risk of truck rear and towed vehicle corner reduce.
What happens if you exceed the truck’s towing capacity?
Towing more load than your truck’s gross vehicle weight rating can cause harmful effects on its frame, leading to mechanical stresses and malfunctioning of axles and suspension systems.
Moreover, it will result in an impaired driving experience making it difficult for you to control the vehicle, even resulting in accidents or toppling of the towed trailer.
Trailer sway is a common phenomenon with towed trailers causing it to move side to side, deviating it from the driving line.
Overloading the trailer beyond the towing vehicle’s towing capacity and weight-bearing capacities of linking components like coupler and tongue result in their malfunction.
You can avoid it by reducing the trailer’s total weight and evenly distributing it because too much weight in the trailer rear part causes sway problems.
Even distribution of weight in the trailer within the towing capacity is vital from a safety perspective.
Heavy loading of the hitch, linking the two vehicles, causes an extra force on the rear tires, causing them to drag.
Moreover, it will make it difficult for the driver to steer comfortably on the road. It will also result in damage to the tires, poor fuel economy, and reduced speed.
Exceeding its towing capacity will have catastrophic effects on its road performance and useful life.
Due to extra load, your vehicle will take more time to respond to driving commands like acceleration needs time to overcome the forces and inertia of the heavyweight behind it.
There are restrictions from the government for maximum allowable trailer weight without separate brakes.
Towing with bad braking performance will result in a poor driving experience when the limit exceeds.
It gets you heavy fines due to violation of rules. Moreover, it is dangerous from a safety perspective as the non-performance of brakes can result in accidents.
Factors that affect the truck maximum towing capacity
Your truck’s maximum towing capacity is not simply a number but is an important parameter that depends on several other factors to ensure safe operation.
Its proper calculation and operating within limits will also enhance weight-bearing components’ life by reducing wear and tear problems.
There are various weight-related terms for both truck and attached RV or camper.
These terms define the maximum loading and towing capacity of these vehicles provided by the manufacturer.
It should be less than the towing capacity of the automobile. The Realistic vehicle towing capacity is affected by the loaded tow vehicle.
Torque and power
Engine type, its torque, and power rating in horsepower define the towing capacity of a truck.
Torque is the key factor to increase the ability to pull more weights. Therefore, select the towing vehicle carefully according to your load requirements.
A high torque rating will enable your vehicle to pull heavy loads at low speeds, usually the case with campers.
The tow limit is the maximum load-carrying capacity of a truck. Calculate it with the help of the gross combined vehicle weight rating of towing vehicles.
You should choose the one with a higher value or calculate your camper’s weight and other loads.
Payload capacity defines the maximum load a truck can carry. It is a slightly different term from towing capacity.
However, the two have a relationship with each other. The towing capacity is always higher than the payload capacity.
Payload capacity depends on the gross vehicle weight rating, while towing capacity depends on the gross combined vehicle weight rating. Higher payload capacity means higher towing capacity.
The rear axle ratio is the number of revolutions driveshaft per one complete rotation of the rear axle.
Higher the value means higher power will shift to the rear axle and higher towing capacity.
Vehicles come with predefined gear or axle ratios. You can choose the one according to towing load.
Moreover, a higher axle ratio has less stress on the drive train while pulling heavier loads. When you take a test drive, you have to check the rear payload axle capacity.
Truck configuration can affect its towing capacity as empty weight is subtracted from its combined weight rating to calculate it.
Therefore single cab versus double cab trucks with similar GVWR have different towing ranges.
Similarly, two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with the same weight rating will have various towing capacities. Therefore keep these factors in mind before hitching a trailer with the vehicle.
The truck and towed vehicle’s suspension system provides safety whenever both of them face a bump or jerk on the road.
Better the suspension system, the better will be the towing capacity of the vehicle.
You can better handle your truck with the attached load if you install a reliable suspension system like air or electronically-controlled suspension systems.
However, overloading the truck will have adverse effects on the suspension system and your journey.