Top 10 Pieces of Towing Tech

Towing J2807 Ford Ram II

By David Boldt

We like advanced technology as much as the next guy, but we're beginning to see too much in all the wrong places. If we could ask anything of the big truck makers nowadays, it would be to keep the high-tech investments geared to safety and to expand the capabilities of our pickup trucks and SUVs. While examples of invasive technology can number in the hundreds, we've selected our top 10 pieces of towing tech as a counterbalance.

Consisting of both hardware and software, this list doesn't pretend to be a comprehensive sampling. However, it could be a guide of sorts when considering your next truck or upgrading what is already in your garage. Here is the list:

1. Turbocharging/supercharging

Given the importance of what's under the hood relative to what's hooked to your hitch, we'll underline stump-pulling torque as a prerequisite to successful towing. While any number of powertrains can and will deliver that torque at moderately high rpm, the inclusion of a turbocharger (exhaust-driven) or supercharger (belt-driven) to the under-the-hood spec assures you of having that torque at just above idle. We like this particular technology in the top spot because it's there when you need it, yet there's little penalty when you don't.

2. Diesel

For far too long, light duty and diesel haven't been part of the domestic vernacular. Yes, that's changing with recent launches in the domestic truck and SUV ranks as well as strong rumors of Toyota adding a light-duty turbo-diesel in 2016. It's not all about torque at low rpm; with diesel, you also can speak to efficiency. The price bump for diesel is significant, and it'll take many miles/years of driving to offset it. But if you want to maximize efficiency, extend your truck's useful life and — not incidentally — enjoy responsive power virtually any time you want it, diesel is the option box to check.

3. Auxiliary cooling

What goes up must come down, and if you're towing heavy loads on a regular basis, what's going up is your temperature gauge. There are any number of ways to keep your temps in check, including high-capacity radiators, oil coolers and transmission coolers. If using a light-duty pickup for heavy-duty loads, we'd opt for all three. While pricey, these additions are considerably less expensive than having an engine rebuilt or a week's worth of lodging while awaiting that rebuild.

4. Trailer-sway control

On a big-band dance floor, you might wish to swing and sway like bandleader Sammy Kaye. When pulling 4 tons of RV … not so much. Whether your towing is impacted by crosswinds, poor trailer loading or a combination of the two, using a sway-control device — offered by any number of trailer-specific suppliers — is a no-brainer. It's the safe alternative to a lost load, a fatal crash or permanent indentations in your leather-wrapped steering wheel.

5. Load-leveling rear springs

Even Students of Ram would have been hard-pressed to distinguish the redesigned 2013 Ram 1500 from the previous generation by its visual differences. The big money was spent underneath its macho skin, and one of the benefits for trailer types was the availability of a load-leveling rear suspension. Visually or dynamically, few things are worse than hitch weight bringing down a truck's rear. The truck's steering becomes suspect, and braking balance is thrown off completely. Better to keep your truck's bed at roughly the same height as the hood, and if you're going to slam your truck, do it on both ends of the truck. Then join a club.

6. Integrated trailer brake control

Until the chassis of a tow vehicle and trailer are one and the same, there will be an inherent imbalance between the braking actuation of your tow vehicle and towed trailer (assuming this is a trailer big enough to have its own braking system). To even things out and keep the tow vehicle ahead of what's being towed when braking, opt for an integrated brake controller. Swapping places with your trailer is like a head-on collision — rarely does it end well.

7. Backup camera

What you don't know can and will hurt you. Of course, those proficient with backing up while looking in a rearview mirror will require some adjusting to backup cameras, but that's relatively painless. Adding a backup camera can be done during the ordering process or by relying on a plentiful aftermarket. We have but one caveat: Mud and/or snow can dirty the camera lens, so clean it often.

8. Extendable side mirrors

You won't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. This phrase was undoubtedly first used to provide historic context, but it also applies to towing a trailer. With more than 80 square feet of trailer immediately behind your pickup, it's important that you can see as much of what you're towing as possible, especially when cornering on smaller streets. With most stock mirror systems, you have little or no chance of knowing what's going on behind you — even when there's nothing behind you. Opt for extendable mirrors, however, and much of the mystery is solved.

9. Heavy-duty tires

Most light-duty trucks and SUVs are equipped with light-duty rubber. For most occasional towing that light-duty spec will work just fine. If, however, you tow regularly, you should consider the addition of stronger, higher-weight-rated tires. With heavy loads adding stress to frames, suspension and brakes, stiffer sidewalls and puncture-resistant tread patterns will be your friend.

10. Secure storage

Even with 28 feet of Airstream behind you, it's unlikely your luxo-liner will accommodate all you want to carry with you. For that, we'd opt for secure storage that's available to pickup owners via a lockable cap, toolbox or cargo tray. You won't miss it until you don't have it, and with the addition of secure storage, your chances of having it increase exponentially. Admittedly, this is our nod to low tech, but with the proliferation of electronics comes the proliferation of electronics theft.

 

Comments

#1, should be Driver ability. You can have to best towing setup in world but if you don't know how to drive a loaded trailer you have nothing.

Having towed 5000# or so behind a BoF automobile, I can agree with every single one of these items to one extent or another. However...

#1: I didn't have this benefit available and to be quite honest while a 302cid V8 Windsor can do the job, it really feels the strain. After only 70,000 miles of which maybe 5,000 were spent towing intermittently, I had a choice of rebuild or replace. I chose replace with a 351. I understand that under turbo a smaller engine can perform--will it have the durability?

#2: This is grossly overdue. For decades diesel has been the power plant of choice for heavy duty use in trucks Class V and up while significantly smaller diesels have been performing similar chores in other countries around the world. The American infatuation with high horsepower has essentially ignored the diesel's capability for high torque, which is far more effective for towing while usually being significantly more reliable and easier to repair.

#3: This is something all of us should already know. However, a great many first-time RVers never think of it until much too late.

#4: I've seen this one too many times on the road--sometimes from people who really should know better. One of the most 'interesting' wrecks I've ever read about came about when somebody bought a car for restoration and loaded it nose-first--sans engine--onto a relatively lightweight auto trailer and tried to drive it some 500 miles home for rebuilding. As we would naturally expect, the unbalanced trailer ended up taking control of the tow vehicle, sending both of them off the road and destroying both tow vehicle and the car being carried. Sway control can help, but proper loading is still critical.

#5: With the exception of the new active suspension in the Ram, the only load-leveling springs I've been aware of are the ones that are part of the Class IV hitch system. Even those can be used incorrectly, however. I've been RVing off and on since I was a teenager, where my father and I both learned how to properly hook up a heavy trailer to our tow vehicle--at the time a '73 Ford Gran Torino. After spending two stints in the military, I returned to complaints that my father's Cadillac--now the primary tow vehicle--was going through air shocks on an annual basis. On watching him hitch up the trailer, I quickly understood why; he'd forgotten how to load up the springs and was putting all the load on those shocks. This, by the way, could also be a question with Ram's air bag suspension. (Another question to consider there too is what pressure to maintain under load. Granted the leveling system is automatic rather than manually charged, but are the bags up to the load over time?)

#6: Given. I like the idea of having the system pre-installed on a vehicle that's purchased with the intent of towing, but I still think it should be a separate option so those who don't plan to tow can opt out. After all, those brake controls are pretty easy to install by almost any RV dealer if the owner changes his mind.

#7: This is a huge benefit for those who don't have an effective spotter. I've commented previously on the number of bashed license plates and bumpers I've seen because the driver didn't have a spotter to help hook up.

#8: This is a relatively new concept based on an almost antique law. Large exterior mirrors have been mandatory for any towing vehicle for decades and the typical door-mounted mirror didn't qualify if it did not extend beyond the width of the trailer itself. Add-on mirrors that mounted up at the front wheel wells and locked under the hood were a very common sight and I think even now they need to be used if you don't have those extending mirrors. From what I've seen, the extending mirrors are a standard part of the tow package.

#9: Again a given, though I'll note that with a 5,000# trailer both the Ford and the Caddy did well with stock tires. On the other hand, the so-called 'lightweight' 25-foot trailer blew through left-side tires regularly on so-called 'light truck' tires. (Turned out my father kept them aired to automotive tire pressures, not truck tire pressures.)

#10: This one I'm not so certain I'll agree with. If you're carrying so much gear that you need separate secured storage, could it be that you're simply carrying too much? Ok, if you're a professional towing revenue or heavy farm/construction loads I will agree. If you're towing an RV you should have more than enough stowage for all your towing gear plus personal items. With both the Ford and the Caddy, when we towed almost nothing went into the trunk of the car. Granted, WHILE we were out once we dropped off the trailer the hitch and related parts would take temporary occupancy in the trunk because it was convenient, but long term stowage was in one of the trailer's own lockable storage areas. This kept them convenient to the trailer for when they were needed and out of the way for when they weren't. A standard rail-mounted toolbox takes away from bed space when carrying larger loads.

All told, everything above is necessary; but not all of them need to be on the tow vehicle itself.

#11 P.A.

#12 Train Horn

For the Morons who enter the freeway @ 45 mph.

I'd like to comment on something that always seems to be thrown in as a negative about diesels, and that's the recovery cost/time. One thing that's never mentioned by people writing this is the increased value on resale, more often than not, more than the initial cost of getting the diesel in the first place. Just check resale of similar trucks with and without diesels and youo'll see what I mean. Couple that with the benifits of a diesel and I wonder how youo can really lose!

#2) Toyota????!!!!! all I have heard is about the new Nissan diesel!!!! nothing from Toyota! and in the mid size Chevy/GMC Colorado/Canyon .

good luck getting that INTAGRATED brake control done later down the road at a U Haul. It takes a software flash.

Add in weight distributing hitch, as a lot of folks hardly use them. They are too busy being cheap, and complaining about their trucks ability to hold weight.

#1 " We like this particular technology in the top spot because it's there when you need it, yet there's little penalty when you don't."

That is why I love that new 6.4L Hemi with cylinder deactivation.
All the power when you need it. (410/ 430) 4 cylinder when you don't.

@ sandman4X4

Now we all know you hate the Tundra and never want to tell the truth about it but yes their has been a long running rumor that their will be a diesel Tundra http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2013/11/toyota-tundra-diesel-undergoing-testing.html.

I personally don't believe as think Toyota may make minor powertrain adjustments or a major one for the 5.7L only but not a diesel.

Only RAM has it all.

@TRX My dealer told me I need a software flash, if I want to install brake controller. Pretty pricy.
I installed best aftermarket one and it's working great. I had same one at my Durango working smoothly with my travel trailer. I am just curious, what this flash is doing exactly. Please don't post any guessing, because I could come up with some as well.
I would really want to know, if some technician knows.
Just remind you, this controller is connected to the original wire connector with power supply and wire from brake pedal switch for activation.
Truck software has no chance to know, if there is any brake controller connected or not, doesn't matter if is it original or aftermarket one. Truck software doesn't know, if you pull some trailer with brakes or not, if your trailer cable is connected or not.
Truck software only knows, when you push the Tow switch on the panel.
So what this expensive flash is exactly doing please?

@zviera:
With a factory integrated brake controller the gain will show up and a trailer connected message, or if you've got a trailer with bad wiring a "trailer disconnected" message will show up. On the newer rams it will even tell you how much mileage you've put on each trailer and a bunch of other things. You can install the factory controller and still have it work, but without the dealer flash none of this stuff will show up in the EVIC, or electronic vehicle information centre (gauge cluster)

@Hemi V8

It is not just about how much power, but also when that power is achieved. There is a big difference in getting your peak torque early and keeping it through out the RPM range versus peaking at 430 lb-ft feet for a brief instant at 4,000 rpm. What would you rather have; 400+ lb-ft of torque available at around 2,000 rpm and keeping it above 400 lb-ft until about 4,500 rpm or having 400+lb-ft of torque for a brief instant later in the engine speed from just 3,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. That kind of power availability makes a huge difference when towing and a N/A gaser engine cannot give you that kind of broad torque like a turbocharged/supercharged engine can. Same goes for a diesel. Take away a turbo on a diesel and you are left with an engine that is just as peaky in its power delivery as a gaser, but with that peak being at a much lower rpm. I takes a lot of displacement to match the peak numbers of what a turbo/supercharger can do for an engine and even then it is impossible to match an FI engines broad torque curve in any N/A. You also have to look that the factor that an FI engine will require less rpms to get the same job an N/A needs much higher rpms to do. I think this is what Mark Williams meant as to why he named it #1. I am not downing the Hemi 6.4L, but it is a different animal in comparison to an FI engine.

@Steven
Thank you for your answer. I was worried about sway control, stability control and other safety features but it wasn't compromised , so I will pass on this.
I have so many gadgets to watch and play with in my truck anyway.

@PUTC

I'm not taking the diesel bait--we've talked that one to death. I will however ask about the recommendation for HD tires.

If you have a half ton truck that rarely handles loads that can't be managed by your OEM tire, the move to HD tires will LENGTHEN your stopping distances wet or dry, and will diminish the already challenging handling characteristics that most pickups have (high center of gravity, off balance front/rear weight ratios).

If you only use your truck for hauling heavy payloads a few times each year, the HD tires are a liability.

@zviera
@steven
I do believe the integrated brake controller and trailer sway control work hand in hand. The truck uses the trailers brakes as well as its own to control the tailer sway.
An aftermarket brake controller doesn't do that to my understanding. The truck controls trailer sway with on it's own without using the trailers brakes. Maybe the reflash fixes that, I don't know.
If I am wrong anybody, let me know please. That's the way I understand it.

I agree with all of the list items. I do a lot of trailer pulling with my F-150 EB. I got all of the factory towing options when I bought it and they have all paid off and been used. Last summer I pulled a 32ft 9000lb travel trailer around the Texas panhandle for a vacation.

I have the Firestone airbags in my rear axle and used a weight distributing hitch. Those items along with the factory tow package made for a relatively easy trip.

Last fall I pulled a large tandem axle cargo trailer from Texas to Pennsylvania and back very loaded and again a little planning, driving within the limits of the vehicle, and having things set up right from the start made the trip pretty easy. The camera makes hooking up a trailer a one man 2 minute job I don't think I'll ever own another truck without one.

Good article

I have a weight-distributing hitch for my aluminum horse trailer. My ram 1500 still sags like crazy and I'm sure the load is well below it's rated capacity. The coil spring setup is way inferior to leaf springs. I'm curious to see how much better my next truck (f-150 or silverado) will handle a decent load.

@papa jim - one must seriously consider how modifications will affect a truck. HD tires is a prime example. I went to 10 ply tires because my stock tires were well worn at 30,000 miles. They don't hold up too well on gravel even though that isn't a huge part of my driving.
Everything is a compromise. I went with Grabber AT2's because they had a winter tire designation along with a mud/snow and all terrain designation. They can be easily beaten by a dedicated highway tire or offroad tire or winter tire but like most people, I can't afford all three.
I've noticed a slight increase in braking on very icy roads and a slight difference on wet or dry pavement. Snow, slush, very heavy rain conditions, and gravel roads show a big improvement in performance. My ride is rougher overall but I'm no longer concerned about damaging a tire.
My mpg has dropped but I haven't calculated by how much. I go on extended trips on highway with my truck a few times per year so it isn't a huge concern.
I do plan on spending a large amount of time in the back country this year and that fact did weigh heavily in my decision making process. I definately will not go back to a "factory" tire.

@Jim
Trailer doesn't have separate control circuit for each side of the brakes like truck does, so I don't think that flash will address that.
I think that flash gives you just brake controller status on the truck screen like Steven said.
That's it.

@zviera
Okay. All I know is integrated brake controller works with tailer sway better than aftermarket.

@ALL1, " the Hemi 6.4L, but it is a different animal in comparison to an FI engine."

I agree. IT'S A BEAST!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OshOIFjxZsA

No torque chart yet. Can't wait to see it next to a 3.5 EB. This engine was built to tow.

@HEMI V8
From the video:
Guy from Ram : "When you look at the capability of our 2500 compared to the other 2 guys in the market place, our 2500 will outperform the competitors 3500s."

That is quite a statement, and I believe it. Towing is not just about what looks good on paper, it's about real world performance and capability. I think that is where the 6.4l will come in and blow away the competition.

First all those happy with big hemisphere power, a coworker of mine after 2 Tundra, switched to Ram because of big incentives got top of line loaded... tells me he misses his Tundra power, especially when towing and that he was disappointed in his new Ram that on paper has more but it doesn't. He figures marketing inflated the numbers or all those tyranny gears with the rear ain't right.

Second, Tundra has had sway control for years and no integrated TBC... everybody cr@ps on this as TBC has to be integrated to use trailer brakes with sway control. I keep waiting for somebody to pipe up from experience and say whether or not Tundra's sway control sends power to the trailer brakes... never see it...

Then I thought that all the miles I pulled my quickly loaded trailer at 7500lbs and hauled quick, I haven't had sway to be controlled. Maybe sway is not a big issue with Tundra.

I will add to the above list something that drives me bonkers...

All the dudes that have WD with bars right up to trailer frame and trailer is not riding flat, Wrong! These bars should parallel the frame which should parallel the ground, longer chain better control. Adjust proper or stay home please. So wonder people are out there swaying around when I pass them.

I will add to the above that I apologize for the funny auto correct from my mobile changing hemi to hemisphere and tranny to tyranny, etc... remember the days when what you typed is actually what you saw... ah those were the days...

Anyway... I know it is tricky to set up WD hitches proper and it's a royal pain (it took me 3 settings to get mine right) but it's worth it. a good friend of mine can't seem to get his right, and refuses to spend money on a different hitch... he is at the closest he can get to right after half dozen attempts and is not stable and can not keep up with me. He had to add sway bar as his family was getting sick from sway and scared.

In spring, I am going to try to set his for him as he is out of patience.

My point, learn so you understand how WD hitches work and need to be set, and do it right - or pay somebody to get it right for you. It's worth it. BTW, be sure to load truck and trailer typical to get right heights and don't be worried about tilting the ball back to get it down a bit and help the torsion bars be angled right. Learn what torque is needed on those big nuts and get them there when done.

Also, all this hype of integrated controllers are better... no. a good controller is a good controller, setting and using it right is what makes the difference. I wonder if the integrated proponents have had them since there last aftermarket was a pendulum device.

I installed my aftermarket into dash and looks near factory and is easy reach and can easily be removed and hooked to my SUVS. I got to pick the one I wanted and installed myself with ease.

Happy towing all.

@ Hemi V8

I have been waiting for the dyno chart for the 6.4L Hemi to be posted on Allpar. In comparison of the 6.4L Hemi to the Ecoboost, I can tell you that the Ecoboost will have more low end torque just as it has more low end torque and horsepower the 420 hp/460lb-ft(on premium fuel) rated GM Ecotec 6.2L before 3,200 rpm. With the Ecoboost on regular fuel and the GM 6.2L premium fuel the difference is as much as 20-lb-ft at 2,500 rpm, but if you add premium to the Ecoboost as well then the difference is buy 30lb-ft at 2,500 rpm. I would imaging depending on the dyno that the 6.4L Hemi will not surpass the Ecoboosts low end power until around 3,750 rpm. Until then, the Ecoboost will be making more torque and horsepower. Add premium fuel to the Ecoboost then that all changes since it gets a power pump to 385hp and 430lb-ft of torque. However, that is all a moot point since we are talking about a half ton engine in comparison to a 3/4 ton and up engine.

...I did say it drove me bonkers... here more

BEST towing tech is to set your rig right and tow within your equipments real limits.

True stories - overheard a guy complaining how his truck didn't row well after he lifted it 6"... saw him leaving park and he was nearly dragging the RVs bumper. he didn't drop his ball at all and there was only one chain link between bar and trailer.

Another guy parked at Walmart with 30' RV on bumper hitch of an old rusted out Midsized SUV that was ready to do wheelies.

And these super ultra light RVs that are still 20-some feet long and can be pulled with fwd minivans... do you really think they stay under 5000lbs with all that storage capacity when soccer mom loads half the house into it.

Correction: number one rowing tech - common sense!

Best towing tech? For me it is my 2009 F350 Banks TurboDiesel towing my fifth-wheel 16-horse triple-axle horse trailer.

But for smaller, lighter trailers I also have a Drawtite load leveling frame hitch on the F350.

Both systems utilize the same Kelsey-Hayes electric brake control plumbed into the front brake lines of the F350.

And what system do I use on my 2013 Tundra 5.7? Why the Toyota towing package of course.

@Hemi V8
@ HEMI MONSTER

I saw a video of the 3 heavy duties do 0-60 runs. The Ford and Chevy beat the 6.4 litre Ram. That was non towing so who knows what towing numbers would be.

Ford F-250 3.73 9.24 sec
Chevy 2500 4.10 9.96 sec
Ram 2500 3.73 9.98 sec

TFL Truck is where you'll find it

@ Jim

I must have missed that one because I don't remember seeing it, but I found the video after going back searching for it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZdnXvOcSuQ&list=PLjXptazwnuerQahnx-o_qZmSxAmJr0kJR&feature=share&index=4

I would have expected that outcome seeing the one with the most power lost, and being that Nathan is a Hemi fan.

Sorry, I meant to say I would NOT have expected that outcome.

@ALL1
Of course those runs were unloaded. I'd like to see towing runs where the torque comes into play.

@Jim, My 392 Hemi is going to have 4.56 gears. And being an off road legend(power wagon) I am really not to worried about 0-60 times. lol And seeing how my new 392 will be replacing my 03 5.7 Hemi. I would assume it will handle it's towing duties on and off road better. I would not own a truck with less than a 3.92 gear. ;)

2012 four wheeler, "The Power Wagon gunned it through 60 in 8.36 seconds."

@Hemi V8
It is all about gearing. An F-250 towed 8000 lbs up the IKE Gauntlet esier than a more powerful Raptor. The 3.73 rear end proved to be better than the 4.10 in the Raptor.
I know that 4.56 will do great offroad, but not so much for highway? I don't do a lot of towing so I have a 3.31. Still has great power. More than I really need.

I'd still like to see a hydraulic hybrid system (that Ford and Chrysler were working on) to help with towing ability and fuel economy while towing. Pneumatic hybrid could also work well. Leave the huge turbo diesel in there too, but just add about 500 lb-ft or more of additional leverage to get that massive trailer up the Ike Gauntlet as quickly and efficiently as possible.

@Jim

Actually after looking at the trans specs, the Ford 6.2L makes the 25 lb-ft deficit from the 6.4L Hemi a non issue. If both rucks were 3.73, the Ford would be putting down more torque through trans gear multiplication in 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th with a large advantage in 2nd. The Ram only has the lead in 3rd and 5th by a small margin. It is a classic case of "It doesn't mater how much you go under the hood. It is how much you get to the ground that counts."

Ram 2500 66RFE 6 speed- 1)3.231:1 2)1.837:1 3)1.410:1 4)1.000:1 6)0.816:1 6)0.625:1

Ford F250 6R140 6 speed- 1)3.97:1 2).32:1 3)1.52 4)1.15:1 5)0.86:1 6)0.67:1


Ram is notorious for mating good engines with poor transmission although I have heard this new 8 sped is good. Hell, the 48RE is the reason why a 2006 610 lb-ft Cummins with a 3.73 rear axle ratio actually puts down less torque to the ground gear for gear than a 2011 F-150 420 lb-ft Ecoboost with a 3.73 rear axle and a 6R80 transmission. For those that don't think it is true then do the math yourself.

engine torque x trans gear ratio x rear gear ratio = torque multiplier to the wheels


Ford F150 6R80 6 speed- 1)4.17 - 2)2.34 - 3)1.52 - 4)1.14 - 5).86 - 6).69 x3.73 x420lb-ft = torque multiplier to the wheels

Ram 2500 48RE 4 speed- 1)2.45 - 2)1.45 - 3)1.00 - 4).69 x3.73 x610lb-ft = torque multiplier to the wheels

@ papa jim

The HD 10 ply tires may slightly lengthen stopping distances wet or dry, but the improvement in tread compound and thicker sidewalls have improved handling tremendously on my full-sized PU. In fact, they've allowed me to upgraded to what is basically a 7" lift over stock with the same handling and transient response I had with a leveling kit on it. With the harder durometer front sway bar bushings, Bilstien shocks and stiffer 4x4 springs, my truck rides and handles 100 times better. Braking response has not changed dramatically from what I can tell. However, I did upgrade to slotted and drilled front and rear rotors with ceramic pads to restore whatever braking loss I may have incurred

HD tires are not a liability except for perhaps the 1-2-3 mpg deficit you may experience with them. If that's a big concern for you, then maybe a full sized truck is the wrong choice. However, if you need the capabilities of a full-sized truck or even if you don't, HD tires are the way to go on a 5K+ lb machine. Furthermore, if you keep things sane by going to no more than a 35" tire, the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages having them compared to the mushy, puncture prone, fast wearing, weak sidewall P-rated tires. And, there are C and D rated tires if you didn't want to go to a full blown 10 ply E-rated tire. There are a lot of choices out there far better than the P-rated junk the OEM's like to use.

@Lou, @Mike

The two Chevy pickups that I bought new came with sorry OEM tires (Uniroyals, and Generals). The General Grabbers I used to replace the factory Ameritracs on my Silverado were a world apart from the factory tire.

The P rated tire has its limits. A good suggestion is to try and replace the same "type" of tire when your originals die.

The advantage of going over-rate when you replace can be important if your driving includes a lot of back country driving or if load is the concern.

For the average suburban trucker who uses his pickup for a passenger car, the OEM can be a reasonable tire, give longer wear and better handling and stopping. HD tires compromise handling and braking for greater load capacity and puncture resistance.

Anyone visit the PUTC forums lately? LMAO. Good job Mark Williams! You now have the number one SPAM portal on the net.

@FY1,
The Comments and Facebook site has become the "Forums".

@PapaJim, RealMike - the General Grabber At2's on my truck are supposed to be the same size as my stock Wrangler SR-A's (275/65/18) but I find the Generals are wider and they look taller.
I like them so far. I can go places now in 4x2 that I would put me in trouble with the Wrangler SR-A's.

Why do guys use trailers to haul their ATV when that ATV can fit in their truck bed?

@tom#3, often the bed will be full of other gear required for the trip, whether it's hunting supplies or whatever. Or, maybe a second ATV will be added to the load. Some people simply prefer to use the trailer for ease of loading / unloading.

The Wrangler OEM is another overpriced Goodyear tire commonly found on new trucks. RAM, Nissan and Toyota trucks have them.

@Tom#3, Definitely safer to load/unload ATVs from a trailer than a pickup bed just because of the loading height difference. I have had the ramps push out as I have ridden my Sportsman 850 up, fortunately it got up just in time. Quite scary though. When I bought the ATV, they encourage new purchasers to take a safety training course, which I did and found more informative than I expected. They said far more injuries happen when they are loaded and unloaded on pickup trucks than trailers. I still load on the truck, but take more time to secure the ramps. But I totally get it when people prefer to use a trailer.

@Alex Get some old ratchet straps, tie one end to the ramp and use the hooks on the tailgate cable. No more fear of ramps sliping then.

@Ike.G
Is that 5th Wheel or Gooseneck?. How long is the Horse Trailer and who makes it?

@papa jim - that is true. Wrangler SR-A replacement tires were as expensive as my Grabbers.

@ lou BC

The Wrangler SR-As are arguably the worst tire in the Goodyear Wrangler line up. The only good Wranglers are the MT/R with Kevlar, the Silent Armor with Kevlar, and the Duratracs. The Duratracs are especially good if you live in places with a lot of snow, and want an AT tire that is also good in the mud.

I've done a fair bit of towing including towing heavy loads according to a vehicles GVM.

There's one bit of 'tech' called commonsense.

Just loading a trailer correctly is the simplest way of preventing an accident. Also, many overlook maintenance on a trailer.

We can have as many aids as we want, but commonsense is the best prevention for an incident occurring whether an accident or breakdown.

@ ALL1 - the Duratracs have a mud and snow rating but they do not have a winter rating (snowflake inside a mountain symbol). There are highways and mountain passes in my province that require a winter designation or you have to use/carry tire chains. Actually, every highway in my region (Northern BC) requires a tire with a winter designation or the police can send you home.
http://tranbc.ca/2013/10/29/shift-into-winter-the-inside-scoop-on-winter-tires/
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/SeasonalDriving/winter/maps/3516-Tires&Chains_R2Map.pdf

Regular tires start to loose elasticity at 7°C/45°F and it gets worse as it gets colder. I rarely ever see winter temperatures above 7C. My home town averages -10C (14F) over the winter. We've had a mild winter with the coldest being -25C (-13F). The coldest I remember is -45C(-49F) to -49C (-56F) for a month's time. When it gets that cold, nothing runs well.

If I wanted a more aggressive tread tire that did not have a winter rating, I'd go with Toyo M55's. They hold up better than almost anything else if one spends most of their time on gravel roads hauling or pulling heavy.



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