It's no secret that pickup trucks are good at towing confidently and safely, especially the three-quarter-ton and one-ton varieties likely to have powerful gas or diesel engines. And that's why Chevrolet, maker of small, medium and large pickups, decided to partner with the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association and the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers to improve towing technology and integration.
By strengthening its ties to two organizations so closely identified with towing for work and play, Chevy hopes to advance pickup and trailer safety standards as well as improve communication between truckmakers and the loosely regulated trailering industry. The two industries have not always communicated with one another regarding standardized trailer plugs, tow-capacity ratings or trailer-brake-controller capability.
"Our owners are often towing something, from an RV to construction equipment more valuable than their truck," Tim Herrick, GM future truck executive chief engineer, said in a statement. "They tell us they're looking for a better towing experience. Safer, easier, with more integration between their trailer and truck."
Recently, manufacturers such as Ford and GM have introduced heavy-duty pickups with advanced camera systems as well as more sophisticated trailer wiring to accommodate smarter and more complex electrical systems capable of providing more information for lights, cameras and complicated backup scenarios. Additionally, some new HD pickups such as the Nissan Titan XD also offers a "light-check" capability from the key fob, so testing trailer brake lights and turn signals can be a one-person operation.
We have no doubt we'll see more pickups, especially in the HD segment, coming to market with more and safer towing technologies. So it makes sense to bring the less standardized trailer industry along. However, as nice as it is for Chevy to reach out like this, it may not help the industry if other pickup makers don't get involved as well. It just makes sense to have all the interested parties work together to create consistent methods for calculating max ratings or determining how boats, RVs and trailers should connect and communicate with the towing pickup.
Our hope is that this is the first of many steps toward improved safety and a common set of standards across the trailering industry. To read the official Chevy announcement, click here.