Approval of Unified Tow Testing Standards Expected This Fall

Approval of Unified Tow Testing Standards Expected This Fall

After nearly four years of deliberation and negotiation, truck manufacturers and the Society of Automotive Engineers are expected to agree to the industry's first tow testing standards for pickups by late this year.

The standard, known as J2807, establishes tow-vehicle performance requirements against the following criteria to establish max ratings: timed acceleration on level ground and up a 12 percent incline; maintaining speed on a real-world grade; understeer; trailer-sway response; braking and park brake at gross combined weight; and tow-vehicle hitch/attachment structure. To minimize test variations, it provides standard test trailer specifications and requirements for their use in these tests.

"According to the committee chair, the revision of J2807 is about three-quarters complete," said Shawn Andreassi, an SAE spokesman. "A meeting is scheduled for mid-August, and the draft should go out to ballot in early September. They are anticipating the publication around Thanksgiving, barring any delays."

The industry alliance includes Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda, along with several leading trailer and hitch makers. Until now, each manufacturer was free to test using proprietary conditions ideally suited to a truck’s towing strengths and decide their own maximum trailering rating.

Once J2807 is implemented, truck buyers will finally have an apples-to-apples way to compare the trailer-towing capacity of all light-duty pickups. All manufacturers are expected to follow it starting with the 2013 model year. is already using parts of the standard for testing. As part of our Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker comparison, we're testing at Davis Dam in Arizona, the site of J2807's standardized hill-climb test.


This ought to be good.

It will not make any difference if we don't have a Unified Tow Hitch Standard.

Currently every company has not tested their tow hitch systems to a standard.!

Great to see that standards will be universal for pickups.

@Ron Melancon - that is an entirely different fight. You can get a universally approved tow rated truck and a universally tested trailer and still f---up the connections.
How do you dumb proof trailer connections?
Look at all of the safety devices that have been added to cars and trucks over the last 40 years.
People still die.
U-built or home made traliers are a separate issue. I know tons of guys who've hacked an old pickup and made trailers out of the back end. I've never heard of a failure.
The inspection requirements are non existent. So, I am not surprised. There needs to be more inspections and traffic stops for unsafe or overloaded trailers.

@ Bob - if Toyota was any indication, all of the crew cab trucks will take the biggest hit in tow ratings. We probably will see reductions in the mid sized engine ranks with sizes similar to the 5.3.

This is a good thing.

@michigan bob. my understanding was Ford was already starting to use the new standard in 2011

@ Lou - I stand corrected. LOL

Things are heating up. I will be very interesting to see what the new towing/hauling rating are for HD trucks using the J2807 testing standards.

Towing/hauling ratings from the Big Three never meant much anyway. They were just the max ratings the lawyers would allow... Just because they say "x" truck can tow "x" weight doesnt mean it cant tow much much more.

On the other hand just because "x" truck can tow "x" weight doesnt mean the operator is cabable/smart enough to control the load.

Mike, when are we going to see a G56 manual transmission equipped Dodge Ram your heavy duty tests? I know truck with a manual have a lower power rating (610-lb ft) than auto trucks (800lb-ft now), but there is A LOT to be said about having absolute control over the gear you are in.

Another of my posts deleted again! Why Mike, Why??? I said this new tow ratings is really really going to hurt ford. Ford has been lying about their tow ratings for years. I didn't break any board rules but yet you deleted this post.

Are you totally biased towards ford Mike? All I said was that ford touts the best this and the best that in all of their advertising and this new standard will make every manufacture play on a level playing field. You can't just throw a tow rating out there that's higher than the other guy because the towing capacity will have to meet standards that it didn't have to in the past.

well Bayard, do you have any evidence to back up what you think ford is doing in 2011 or is this just a fantasy you made up. You said it's your understanding, well do you have any proof that ford is already using this new standard?

@Michigan Bob: Ford has been using Union Pass/Davis Dam in their tow test procedures since the late1950's. My grandfather helped setup all fords test procedures @ APG. I worked at he proving grounds when ford did what they called power train testing trucks were attached to a loaded flat front trailer. The trailers, usually loaded at or slightly above GCVWR, were heavy and never, using ford test procedures, was the truck overloaded. Never once was the load hard to control, making several passes up and down Union Pass/Davis Dam! Ford may loose a little to these new rating standards but I really dont think as much as u think....

No I actually dont, I thought I had read one of the tow sites that they had started to use the standard, I found another article that stated that Ford is going to follow in line with the 2013 model year. My apologies that I said something that I could not back up at the time. But I do know Ford can back up what they tow. But thats another story and another bashing that I assume you will try to come back at me with something about Toyota blah blah blah.

I agree, it would be nice to see a G56 equipped Ram in a test.

Don't apologize to GMBob, he's the least intelligent poster on these boards. He has one purpose in life, denigrate Ford and Praise GM as if it were an ancient God. Glad to see these standardized tests, but I expect GM to suffer the most. Especially if they use structure integrity in any of their tests. The newer GM trucks seem to have serious body and trim problems, from tail light lens breaking to body panels falling off. I know this doesn't directly effect towing, but if they cut costs here who knows what else they have cheapened.

@ tom gm aint no ford where you poke the side of a ford with you finger and the whole panel just caves in, i feel gm won't be slowed down by this towing standard by time 2013 gm will have all new motors and ford will have old gutless junk like normal, hell even a 10 year old durmax still out performces brand new ford mexican junk motors funny stuff i think haha ford one tons will be rated to tow less then a chevy and im gonna laugh, they have to hop that mexican diesel up and blow the head gaskits off to be able to out tow a old chevy hahaha then they'll be back to square one


Mexico has harder workers than the Pot smoking, beer drinking belly builders here.

FYI, the current Avalanche is built in Mexico, you Dolt.

If any GM truck VIN # begins with a 1 - USA, 2 CAN, 3 MEX.


Now run along and clean Dad's truck or no allowance for you this week......and cut that's friggin long!

Some Chevrolet Trucks are American made.

And American Bailed Out!

So That makes them 100% American!

Can't argue that!

@chevy guy- you clearly don't know what you're talking about. GM is still relatively new to the diesel market and just because they finally got one right (with the help of isuzu) doesn't mean much. Dodge and Ford combined still have many more miles of service logged with Powerstroke and Cummins engines. GM is always trying to play catch-up in the gas and diesel markets.

Still waiting to see that 5.0, Eco boost, and 6.2 shootout.

haha i don't know what im talking about? haha good laugh there, i know what im talking about i got a 09 chevy with over 100k on clock built in fort wayne by the way and a 2010 super joke in my driveway with 50k miles transmission problems you ford boys can claim all you want but i know from driveing them off road up hil down hill in mud dust rocks 60% of my driveing time hauling pipe and generators 4 wheelers rig tools jack weights and whatever else my guy's need in the field and so on, fords already smoked trans and busted leafs it sags like its got a million pound in the bed and on the trailer while the chevy sit pretty with the loads i carry ford is a joke it you can drink their cool-aid all yah want but im not i know from hands on

@Bob: I deleted your post because you repeatedly troll for a reaction from other commenters. It's off topic and has no place here. I also deleted inappropriate responses to your comment. Trolling is not welcome here.

@ Mike Levine
I have been meaning to ask you a question I noticed that PUTC has slower 0-60 times than motor trend and car and driver do you use another way to record 0-60 than they do? I would just like to know for accuracy reasons because I assume their will be a 0-60 in this shootout.

Good, it's long over due!

Just today I saw a small crossover suv towing too much trailer at excess speed down a sizeable slope.

The question is, who will enforce the standard? Or will it just be used as an OEM feather in the cap? I bet lawyers will love the new standard.

I meant long over due wrt the standard. :)

I always wondered why US Pickups get such a relatively low tow rating in Australia.
It appears not many importers here and the varous State Governments of Australia support the arbitary manufacturers ratings and the use the default Australian Towing Standard now incorporated in the Australian Design Rules. Using a SAE Standard 2807 should overcome this
"In the case where a motor vehicle manufacturer has not specified a maximum towing mass, the limit is stated to be:
1.5 times the unladen or kerb mass of the motor vehicle if the trailer is fitted with brakes; or
The unloaded mass of the motor vehicle if the trailer is not fitted with brakes."
@Ron Melachon the ADR's also cover the problems with hitches as well.
"The capacity of the towing apparatus fitted to the vehicle, or
A relevant maximum trailer mass specified by the vehicle manufacturer"
Default unloaded non-braked is 750kgs. The ADR standards have been revised since this was posted on the web


I am waiting on that report as will determine what I buy in a couple of months. Mike won't respond when we post something about that test. He must really be working up a good test.


Good question. I have wondered the same thing.

@ Mike Levine

I apologize and understand that this is a bit off topic, but amdist testing the greatest trucks America has to offer right now and all their important milestones, we should all take a second and take this into consideration... It was 70 years ago today that Jeep was formed with the signing of the contract between the United States Department of Defense and Willys-Overland to build the rugged, reliable 1/4 ton truck that we all know and most of us love(oxi need not apply) that helped win WW2.

@ Mike Levine

I am curious is to why you DONT mention that Toyota is already using the J2807 standard and that they are the only ones that do.

It also makes me wonder since were on the topic of not reporting news...... why do you make no comment of your sister company's news ( that the only pickup truck that made the top ten "most american made index" was the Toyota Tundra??? is this not pickup news?

i should mention that the FIRST vehicle with these standards published in use was the 2010 Toyota 4-Runner. 2011 also brings the Tacoma and Tundra both using this standard. everyone should already have done this. what were they afraid of???

@hemi lol- Why post it again? Mike already posted an article about the Toy adopting the new standard.

@ hemi lol Mike had posted an entire story on the subject months ago, but you already knew that. Why would any manufacturer, including Toyota, go through the effort of testing to standards that are not finalized? What if something changes?

maybe because 95% of people reading this didnt see that article. i think its important to point out that only ONE manufacturer has stepped up to adopt this standard before everyone was MADE to. it says alot that a company would just say well this is the new standard so lets adopt it. instead the others didnt adopt it, still didnt for 2011 and dont plan to until forced to do so in 2013. thats news benchimus, maybe not everyones favorite flavor but if it were some other manufacturer i personally feel it wouldve gotten a mention. thats why i pointed out the fact the the most american made index wasnt brought to light due to the fact its not the "popular" choice around here................. let me clarify, my opinion believes it wasnt brought to light since its not the popular choice. just my observation, not tryin to start anything although i'm sure it will.

@ jordan

maybe because its what they intended to happen. maybe they were confident enough that the Tundra and Tacoma would meet these standards without drastically changing the trucks that were on the market. Maybe they knew in there own testing that the Tacoma and Tundra would fair better than the rest of the trucks on the market so they were eager to have the tests done????

if "something" changes they can easily change that particular testing to adopt the new numbers........ why does ford test the f150's towing numbers everytime they make a little . change??? example: 2007 the f150 couldnt tow 10k. SHORTLY after the 07 Tundra was released the f150 "magically " upped its towing to 10,900 and then to 11,300. at the time NOTHING changed with the truck so WHY would they spend the money to change what they are rated to tow???????? do you see now how silly your question sounds as to "why" they would test them this way......

shop cat-

"The Jeep, the Dakota, and the Landing Craft were the three tools that won the war." -- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

All hail to Jeep!

That is why I have had three ('93 & '03 Wrangler and '98 Grand Cherokee) Jeeps and still own two ('98 & '03) of them. My parents have three ('87 & '89 Cherokee and '96 Grand Cherokee) Jeeps. My brother-in-law has two ('96 & '04 Grand Cherokee) Jeeps. My in-laws have a '10 Commander. My best friend has an '89 Wrangler.

God bless America and the people that take a stand for America!

@ hemi lol Whole lot of maybes in that answer. It takes time and money to test the vehicles in a fleet to make sure that the ratings for towing are accurate. So why spend the time and money on something thats not finalized. Ford could make any changes thay wanted for free because they did it before there were any standards. Like you said, Ford changed nothing but their tow ratings.

@mike l any idea when the hd's will be required to do epa testing for mpg's

Nobody can adopt the standards if they are only 2/4 of the way done and in draft form.

I have to agree with Jordan L.
Why adopt standards until they are finalized?
I do disagree with manufactures like Ford playing with tow ratings for the benefit of PR.
I would suspect that any of the tow ratings or cargo ratings can be increased to a predetermined maximum limit. That is because the engineers already know what the maximum limits for each truck are.
Unfortunately PR hacks get together with lawyers and they base decisions more on what they can legally get away with. All of the companies do it and they've all been burned at one time or another. (Ford literally).

Toyota isn’t the only manufacturer that’s (keyword here) "starting" to use J2807.

I'd guess Ford wasn't keen on the new standards for the F150 until it had the new engines in place. IIRC the 5.4 was usually near the back in towing acceleration and hill climb tests, testing to J2807 would have meant the Ford advertising team eating a lot of crow.

The thing people need to realize is GM's current 5.3 makes up 70% of GM's sales and is slower, has less hp and less torque than the F-150's old 5.4

The next gen trucks are also going to drop in weight. If the tow ratings of the 2014 F-150 stay the same, but the weight of the truck drops 500 lbs, the max tow ratings for the F-150 may actually increase.

@Mike Levine,

Off topic??? please explain that one. I said in my post that ford would be affected the most because they have been overstating or outright lying about their tow ratings. Every ford commerical you see with their trucks it is always the best in every catagory and especially with their tow ratings. Now that there is a general standard, a manufacturer can't make up a tow rating.

That's why I am all for shootouts to compare these trucks side by side and fair and square.

Ok, you just called Ford lying, now how about some solid proof(not from you) or you are the liar.

@ hemi lol,

Because nobody really cares about content,the majority of toyota profits go back to Japan.

Furthermore,just for you,the Dodge RAM has 76% American content(highest American truck),and Chrysler is going to make more parts in-house so eventually the content will go up..

By the way the RAM loses content points because its Xirallic paint is contracted from a German company and their 1 and only factory is in Japan hence lower American content,because of paint....

One odd thing,Chrysler makes alot of parts and cars in Canada and its considered foreign !

In Canada they consider GM,Ford,Chrysler domestic,even the models that are made in the U.S...Toyota is considered a foreign import,even the slapped together toyota appliance's that are built in Canada..

@hemi lol,

You are bragging Toyota stepped up to ther plate before anybody else even when they didnt have to ?

Wow !!!

Guess you forgot that Toyota doesnt step up to the plate when it come to faulty vehicles,random excelleration,loss of steering,rusted out frames !!!!

They were even fined by the U.S government because they knew they had problems and never recalled their vehicles,remember they had e-mails revealing how the execs talked about how they would hide the problems of their cars/trucks....

Wow,they really stepped up to announce a lower tow rating,probably because they know the trucks were over rated before and scared that they will have rusty frames and will cause an accident while towing...Wow !! they stepped up,thats too funny !!!!!!

"includes Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda" What not Nissan? Not that I am a fan of Nissan, just wondering. I know this will bring down the tow rating on my 2010 Ram 1500, atleast as built now. But I didn't buy mine to tow my max of 9,600. More like 6,000 is what I plan on. This will push them into better transmission ratios and always welcomed more torque. But speaking of the high tow ratings, because Ford rates the F-150 so high, it leads to people buying them knowing they will be "close enough" in their minds to that heavy load that really should be hooked up to a (insert your choice of 3/4 ton truck) Just look at some of the reviews by msn users towing 11,700 with a 11,300 rating that's before the weight of passengers. That's alot for a "half ton" But still remarkable..

This will be good for the customer. The manufactures could print anything they wanted for tow ratings without proving the truck could actually tow the weight safely. Only Toyota is following these standards at the moment and that is why their ratings dropped this year on their trucks. I read earlier this year that GM supported having these standards. Now we will see what the real world offers in trucks for towing unless a manufacturer does not follow the standards. Then they will be pointed out and their ratings will not be legitimate. And something I read in a comment earlier that Ford followed these standards for 2011, which is not true. I am anxious to see how their ratings drop especially with their weak frames on their one ton duallies. Now we will see which trucks are real trucks.

@ Toyota LOL - No. According to the AutoPact and NAFTA , Canadian made parts and products are considered domestic USA parts.
You are incorrect as well as to what is considered domestic or foreign in Canada. There is the same misconseption in Canada as the USA that anything overseas based is foreign and anything North American is domestic.
There are strong "Buy Canadian" proponents who push buying only Canadian Made products. Since all of auto companies are foreign, these people only look at - is it made on our soil.
The USA government defines "domestic production" as anything made on USA soil. Head office is irrelevant. The AutoPact and NAFTA allow exclusions to Canada and to some degree Mexico. Those exclusions allow importation of Mexican Ram HDs or Canadian made trucks without Chicken Tax import tarriffs.

Wow all the guys complaining about they read this on this website and read that on that website when it was already on PUTC a while back... How about you cut Mike some slack. I have never got the impression that he is slanted to one manufacturer over another and for those who say he likes Ford the most then why did GM win the last shootout? There was already a story about how Toyota was using the SAE tow standard. Cut Mike some slack he does a great job, if not then why do all of us come back to this site all the time? Keep up the great work Mike (and hurry with the HD shootout results)!

@Lou similar to Australia. Any vehicle made in Australia is "Domestic' including Toyota, although all companies are foreign, but incororated in Australia making them subsidiaries not divisions of their patent companies.. Tow Ratings are starting to be used a promotional tool for Auto companies selling Pickups, although much more emphasis is given to payload and what would be unusual for NA buyers, Off Road ability.

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