Together: SAE, OEMs, Trailer and Hitch Makers Work to Set Tow Testing
Standards for Pickup Trucks
By: Mike Levine & Kent Sundling Posted:
11-10-07 11:30 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com
to the suspension fairy. You know, the one that spreads its enchanted
dust on leaf springs, shocks, and coils, magically increasing a truck's
maximum tow ratings from year to year so it can meet or beat the competition’s
wide congress has been convened to set tow testing standards for pickups,
under the governance of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
The effort is a response to recent hikes in claimed maximum tow ratings
that have pushed some half-tons into formerly three-quarter-ton towing
the SAE as standard 'J-2807 - Performance Requirements
for Determining Tow Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Ratings and Trailer
Weight Ratings', that dryly described objective doesn't do
justice to an important selling feature for manufacturers and a passionate
bragging point for owners.
of the all-new Toyota Tundra kicked off the latest scramble to claim
max towing. The 2007 model promised best-in-class pulling capacity
up to 10,800-pounds. Other manufacturers quickly responded, like Ford
which upped the 2008 F-150's max tow
rating to 11,000-pounds from 9,900-lbs the year before.
you read the fine print, how each OEM calculates their truck's
high-end towing capacity, the testing conditions and parameters can vary
greatly. That's because there aren't standards for this heavily
touted metric. Each manufacturer has been free to create and test in
conditions ideally suited to their truck’s towing strengths but
not what might be considered 'apples-to-apples' relative
to the other guys' claims.
SAE, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and several leading
trailer and hitch makers got together last winter and used the summer
months to review and discuss proposed uniform standards for trailer
OEMs were very excited about setting towing standards. They came together
with the SAE and gathered a balanced group of manufacturers and suppliers," says
Jack Pokrzywa, the SAE's Ground Vehicle
business though. Competitive rivalries had to be left behind at the
door before the process could start.
"All the reps that become part of the committee have to take their
corporate hats off and not be constrained by any other issues except
technical before they enter the room," says Mr. Pokrzywa.
is still evolving and subject to change, but the final version is expected
to be built around two primary towing scenarios – pulling a trailer
on a level grade and up a 7-percent incline, both at an ambient air temperature
of 100-degrees-F. Straight line 0 to 60 acceleration time and braking
and cooling performance are some of the items that will be measured.