It's official: Both of GM's light-duty pickups are now fully compliant with the Society of Automotive Engineer's towing standards. Some may remember the huge game of chicken that all of the light-duty truckmakers (except Toyota) played after the criteria was decided for determining what a "tow rating" should be.
From what we've heard from both willing and unwilling sources, it seemed all representatives of the SAE committee thought the 2013 model year would have been the implementation date, but Ford cleared its throat and said it wouldn't be making its new trucks J2807 compliant until the next-generation F-150 arrived, two years after that point. As a consequence, most of the other pickup truck players in the segment waited for Ford's 2015 target date. Until now.
The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are fully compliant with the SAE protocol and still maintain their highest maximum light-duty tow rating of 12,000 pounds with their two-wheel-drive double cab; the 4x4 double cab will have an 11,900-pound rating. As expected, some of the other models and cab configurations had to be readjusted down, in some cases by as much as 400 pounds. A select comparison chart is below.
The new standard provides specific parameters that must be met in order to promote a truck’s towing capability. That's a good thing for the industry, because consumers can finally rest assured that truckmakers are all using the same rules to measure their truck's ratings, and that those numbers can be functionally compared with any other truck in the same segment. The calculations include aspects such as cooling, acceleration performance on a steep grade, hitch requirements, parking brake abilities and more. For a more detailed description of the Chevy and GMC's announcement, click here (Chevy) or here (GMC).
We expect all other 2015 model pickup trucks to be J2807 compliant, and we'll circle back when we know more.