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.


@Robert Ryan

US manufacturers don't sell full size trucks in Australia. Importers do without testing for tow ratings and hence give them the non tested ADR numbers.

Yet another example of you criticizing something American. The products that Australians use aren't sold here because they don' meet the needs of the consumers.

@Toboxrv that is exactly what I posted.Toyboxrv they do sell the same products in the US as well. except they are LHD.

What US manufacturer converts full size pickups to RHD? What factory warranties come with those trucks. My understanding is they are not imported by the US manufacturers, but are brought in and converted by someone else. What US manufacturer tests tow ratings according to Australian standards?

You left GMI because of your attitude against anything American got old and others called you out on your bias.

Yes, except for Ford's short runs with the Brazilian-built F250, American pickups are imported through low-volume importers in Australia that have to crash-test and fully comply with ADRs. US manufacturers don't take these low volume sellers in to consideration at all. If they did, they would factory produce them in RHD.

@Alex that is not true, they use US crash standards which are very close to European and ADR's. A tiny importer going through crash cerification is ridiculous. They may sell 50 to 100 vehicles a year.
@Toyboxrv I was not talking about US Pickups. What has RHD got to do with towing? You seem to think that anything that is not done tne same in the US is "Anti -american"

What is true is the fact that the new tow standards will effect the small/medium trucks like those sold in Au. Unless they ignore horsepower. I can't see these sub 200 horsepower trucks rated for 2000 lbs payload anymore.

@hemi lol: I have written (and was first to write about) Toyota meeting the draft SAE towing standard.

Here's another story about that.

@Curtis: We measure our 0 to 60 times the same way each test. We use a VBOX and (for automatics) we move our foot from brake to accelerator to start and time the run.

@Mike Levine

Any word on the towing comparison you were working on for the 5.0, Ecoboost and 6.2 F-150s? Thanks for the great work!!

What are your thoughts on the HUGE increase in payload for the 2012 F-150 supercrew? There is a story to be told here!

@David- Sounds like Ford is finally putting the heavy payload group on trucks other than long-bed models. Makes sense since the most popular tow vehicles are crew cabs. between people, some stuff, and trailer tougne weight from a 10k trailer, a 1/2 ton crew is guaranteed to be over GVW, unless something like this payload package is used. Of course, with that package, the price will be about the same as the F250, but I can see a few reasons to want the F150 (EB V6, ride, step-in height...)

Yeah. My dream truck is going to cost a little more. Maybe $1000 to $1500 additional for the heavy duty payload package. This is getting close to a comparably equipped 6.2 Super Duty, but still $7-$8k less than the diesel.

Ok, but J2807 has been there for a while and current version DOES include large vehicles by weight. It does not include 12% speed up test, but this does not make a large difference. About Davis Dam grade on eastbound AZ68, well, there are steeper and even longer grades in AZ and CA.

We tow with a car, have pulled more behind a FWD 2003 echo more than some of the small trucks are rated?
Hitch type, design and mounting, transaxle cooler, and trailer brakes make a big difference.

The motor had no problems pulling the loads I was pulling but with out a cooler it would have overheated over distance and with out trailer brakes stopping would been a problem.

Current car hitch is mounted at back at normal points but draw tube conntinues foreward to be attacted forward for better distrubution of the load through equilizer hitch system.

The hitch design and drawbar/equilizer or other designs make a big difference.

i am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me.

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