J2807 Tow Ratings May Be Off For Years

J2807 Editorial 2


Dear Ford, GM, and Ram Truck, 


Let's have lunch.


Very truly yours, 



When we first reported on truck manufacturers' attempts to standardize how maximum and specific tow ratings are calculated, we were very optimistic. The idea was simple: Let's get all the truck makers on the same page when rating their vehicles' tow ratings so that consumers can compare apples to apples.

For years, truck makers have used a wide variety of testing procedures that, in some cases, were used only to allow them to market the biggest and baddest number for advertising purposes. With quite a bit of guidance from the Society of Automotive Engineers committe chair and representation from all the important players, the J2807 towing standards and practices (for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating up to 13,000 pounds) were, as we understood it, discussed, agreed upon, and released.

Now the only hurdle is to figure out how and when each manufacturer will implement the standards.

As we understood the process, the committee, made up of representatives from both auto and trailering industries, agreed to begin using the J2807 test procedures for 2013 model-year vehicles. That way, anyone buying a truck from the 2013 model year or newer would be able to compare identically tested towing numbers against one another to make the smartest (and safest) purchase.

Not long ago, GM revealed new tow ratings for its long list of 2013 model configurations for light- and heavy-duty models, based on the test procedures mapped out in the J2807 standards. Toyota deserves special mention because they decided to apply the J2807 standards quite a bit earlier than all the other manufacturers, taking a pretty good hit in tow ratings, especially on certain Tundra models.

The truth is that ratings for all manufacturers are likely to take a hit on certain models because J2807 makes some significant requests concerning temperatures, speed and with certain accessories running. Several tests have to be accomplished at a minimum speed without any overheating issues — a tall task for some powertrain and ring-and-pinion combinations, we'd guess.

Regardless of how challenging the new tests are to meet and complete, at some point on this tow-rating committee there must have been some kind of agreement — maybe it's somewhere in the meeting minutes — about exactly what model year this new standard would be required. The committee was specifically designed with truck buyers in mind, to give them a chance to compare, in some manner, the maximum and specific tow ratings in a fair way with the competition. Consumers were supposed to be the priority.

But all that seems to have changed, for now. We're not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way, SAE lost control of exactly when J2807 was to take effect. In fact, not long after GM announced its 2013 tow ratings, they were pulled back. GM said that if everyone didn't use the same procedures at the same time, there was no point in using the new procedures at this time. Ram seems to be holding off using its J2807 numbers as well.
As we understand it, Ford will use the J2807 standards when it offers a significantly redesigned truck starting in 2013, meaning that the next F-150 and Super Duty will use these "new" standards when those new trucks are designed and released.

Maximum tow ratings have always been a valuable key selling point, especially in the HD truck segment, for salesmen and dealerships to separate their products from the competition, just as important as horsepower and torque numbers. So it probably shouldn't surprise us that this subject is causing so much anxiety, especially to marketing and advertising departments.

We understand there are many facets to this issue. Certainly, it puts truck makers in a potentially awkward situation, coming to market with a new truck that could have less towing capacity than the exact same truck that the exact same dealership sold last year. In some cases, the truck may even look identical, too.

There's no question it will take some time for all the numbers to settle out once the decision is made to convert to the new standards, putting all your cards on the table, and we assume there may be some significant drops in capability. But it seems like some truck makers aren't giving consumers enough credit, especially smart truck consumers who understand there are new requirements now.

Sure, it might mean that someone won't be able to brag about being the max-tow-rating champ in an advertising campaign, but every truck engineer will be able to use that as the new (much fairer) starting point for the next stage of this race. If PickupTrucks.com proves anything, it's that there can be intelligent (and passionate) conversation about real trucks and how they compare, and if anyone wants to get in the way of that, it's a problem. 

Let's not lose sight of the real issues here: the people who buy trucks.

Maybe there's a way to get all these interested parties back to the table so they can get these tow-rating standards implemented, by everyone, as soon as possible. We'll even pay for the food, no matter how long it takes! Let's get this done so truck buyers can buy the right truck for their needs.



As you stated these MFG were at the table when the standards were decided. They agreed with the standards. So what does bringing them back to the table do?

As far as Ford leading the retreat, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Ford was not happy with the hit the F150 was going to take so they backed out of the agreement and left GM holding the bag.

It is a shame that only Toyota is willing to conform to the process that GM, Ford, Ram all were part of.

Will be interesting to see what Ford does to bring their ratings back to what they were hoping. New rear axle? Better cooling?

I think one thing that pickuptrucks.com can do when it reviews a pickup truck is add a disclaimer to the manufactures published tow rating:
either it complies or does not comply with the J2807 standard.

That is fair.

There is no evidence that F-150 was going to take any significant hit. The GM half tons only lost 200-300 lbs. Give me a break! SAE authorized tow ratings are joke. I can do my own calculations. If you are towing within 200 lbs of the max you are an idiot anyway.

pickuptrucks.com can perform the J2807 standard testing on trucks they have...and see who's embellishing the truth the most.

Great article. I too think that the next shoot out should be the standards J2807.

Each specific class of pickups should be held to a similar specific class of max weight standards, the same as meduims and heavy-duties. OEM must legally meet that class standard and drivers may not exceed it.

An 80,000 lbs max big rig can't legally carry 80,001 lbs, but the same truck must be able to safely carry up to 80,000 lbs.

pickuptrucks.com already did j2807 standard testing at Davis Dam.

All three trucks would have easily passed j2807.


Interesting that none of the Detroit 3 have implemented the new standards. I believe its because their trucks wouldn't turn the high numbers they currently boast. Meanwhile, Toyota has been implementing and advertising J2807 since MY '11. It resulted in approx. 500lbs less of the previously advertised tow ratings across the Tundra model lineup, but they have met the standard ahead of the industry. If you ask me the 'domestics' are hiding something they don't want the rest of us to know about.

I agree with Denver Mike and Dave. Plus I think if your not smart enough to know you need to have a more substantial truck, you wouldn't care about the ratings anyway. Probably wouldn't even know there was such a thing. Big woop, life goes on...

I think J2807 was good in some ways and bad in others. I can appreciate stopping distances under load etc but min acceleration standards would hamper lower HP/Tq for more fuel efficient engines. More simply, it's wonderful if J2807 was used for safety and something else if it's another excuse for manufacturer wars over HP/Tq.

It's mostly common sense with this stuff. Max Tow weigth is the max meaning you probably shouldn't tow that heavy on a normal basese or for very far and on the flip side you don't need a 3/4 ton to pull a jet ski around.

I have to disagree with you the SAE tow rating is not a joke and is something all manufacturers should follow so when people make a purchase they can make a direct comparison as the article says. The last thing I want is someone calculating their own tow rating.
I think you may be onto something any manufacturer who doesn't want to follow the SAE tow rating at the time they all agreed to follow it should have a disclaimer on their tow rating saying that it is not J2807 certified. I think you have a great idea.

The way to get this implemented quickly is for someone to have a wreck and sue one of the manufacturers. This would light a fire under their ass. What a bunch of wussie truck makers. I'm not a Toyota guy but at least they are helping the consumer by adhering to the standards.

The main issue I see with J2807 is that you have to pass every test to make it to that tow limit. For example, GM could have the highest rating in 5 out of 6 test categories by a large margin, but in maybe one category 'towing in high temps at altitude' it falls way short. Lets say last place of the big 3. It can only be classified with a tow limit from which it can pass every test category. Maybe I don't tow in the mountains. Maybe I believe the new standard and buy a Ram with has a higher J2807 rating. Maybe the Ram came in far behind the GM for acceleration, but overall all it's scores were all average. The Ram's tow rating could be much higher due to that one low score GM had at altitude. Since I don't tow at altitude, I just bought the wrong truck.
Maybe the standard is okay, but maybe it would be better to break out the details of each category to see how and why it got the final score.

I just sit here and laugh, exactly as i KNEW i would. i knew until a redesign that Ford, GM, and Dodge wouldn't conform because they couldnt stand the embarrassment. they needed time to "regroup" lol lol I'll at least give GM some credit for starting to put out their numbers and i WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE FULL REPORT. But i laugh because Ford was about to get its arse handed to it and didnt want to put it out there......... there is ZERO other reason to hold back the numbers, so their you have it, next time you see Mike Rowe's dumb **s on a commercial bragging about tow capacity and fuel numbers you can laugh right along with me lol. PUTC already showed how poor the egoboost faired with substantial weight behind hit barely mustering a very sad 7mpg now we know the max tow numbers are a FARSE too lol lol. thanks for playing fair as always Toyota, at least one company decided to play ball.


THAT IS EXACTLY the point, pass them ALL to set forth a set of "safety" standards to protect the people from themselves.....

Ford850, That's exactly why this won't be a direct comparison. People are saying this is a direct omparison but they don't even know what they are comparing. Plus the tests are so easy to beat as shown at the Davis Dam testing.

It is a joke for half tons when the rating goes from 10,700 max to 10,500. So you have to ask yourself: How did we exist before all this? How did we manage to get along before J2807? 10,700, no, no no. But 10,500, is some how the magic number?

"Ram seems to be holding off using its J2807 numbers as well."

@Fiat-Ram Fans,
It was also reported that Fiat-Ram would have more info at the end of the month, which was last month. Fiat-Ram fans boldly predicted that Fiat-Ram would release the numbers. As I predicted, Fiat-Ram did not release their numbers under the new system. I told you then Fiat-Ram would not comply and I was right.

hemi lol, You are like the temporary politicians with no knowlege of anything that are telling us what light bulbs to use and what toilets to buy. We don't need protection from ourselves. We need protection from them. 10,700 to 10,500 is a joke.

I always tow way heavier than I'm supposed to anyway.

enough with the fiat-ram...getting old and it sounds stupid

@ dave

level playing field is what they are after........ for everyone. regardless of what percentage of change there is.

its funny you should say the people dont need help.......... Tell that to the guy that has a 40 foot camper pulling from the bumper with a bed full of lumber with a half ton that although may do it. He is a danger to himself (or herself), their family and YOU, and YOUR FAMILY.

oh and my lack of knowledge about everything is so profound that i could only teach you the facts about YOUR truck, just noone else........

Basically the only thing that changed on the GM half ton max tow rating is they added in for the 150 lb passenger.

200 lb drop over - 150 lbs passenger = 50 lb drop in actuality.

A 50 lbs drop. Big whoop!

Car & Driver has the guidelines on their website. All of these tests can be easily defeated and as shown on pickuptrucks.com in the Davis Dame testing.

Can go 30 mph. Check.
No check-engine lights on. Check.
Brake within 80 ft. Check.
Understeer? Ram half tons was the only one who had that problem and it is not know if it was bad enough to not pass the test. If I had to guess, it would pass.

I understand the concept but the tests are too easy to pass. It is like a class where everyone gets an A. This is just a bunch of stupid tests to make everyone feel good.


And that's the problem. I see it all the time. Overloaded 3/4 tons traveling over the speed limit, let alone well above the tire's rated speed under load. Hope you don't get in an accident where lives are lost as you'll be paying for it for the rest of your life.

@ dave

why cant you understand whats goin on here? are you REALLY serious that you think GM didnt factor in their own tests 150lb per person?

I suppose the number of lauches at a 12% grade over 15 minutes is easy to pass too. GM's BIG drop was a duramax that lost 4000LBS!. so all of these tests are easy............ right on.

its not an ULTIMATE test, simply parameters that were suggested not to be crossed in ratings for safety sake. this way its notable that the "average joe errrrr dave" would be safe towing these weights......... its so this STUPID one upmanship stops and people can actually compare apples to apples. If you bought a truck based on 100lbs of towing capacity difference on ONLY that criteria then someone is an idiot.. its simply to make level playing field.

OH, its sounds like you must work for GM so i'll say the max towing for your half tons are simply irrelevent anyways, IF you have one 6.2 on your lot in a half ton i'd be suprised and i would BET that if you dont work for a HUGE dealer you dont have anymore than one.....................

I think gm will do the j2807 starderd in 2013. Its kinda pointless to test the gm 900, because the next gen is only a few months away.

@ johnny doe

seems like Toyota should have skipped it as well being the next Tundra will launch in 2014, however they adopted it since its the right thing to do........... its ashame noone else wants to do whats right for the consumer.

@hemi lol Toyota adopted it in 2010 or 2011 right? Thats a long time frame. GM has just months before the new trucks come, and I think them posting to numbers in a short time so close could confuse the buyers. Thats my idea, and thinking of it anyway. I could be wrong though, but thats why I said what I said.

Plus why post numbers that aint going to be worth nothing but a few months time of trucks left.

@Mark Williams
"Maximum tow ratings have always been a valuable key selling point, especially in the HD truck segment, for salesmen and dealerships to separate their products from the competition"

I think this is the problem. It could get to one company suing the other over not using the right methods to achieve their towing ratings according to J2807

My problem with J2807, is it's subjective.The Davis Dam test seems a pretty woolly aspect for a "standard" This standard would not apply outside the US and it appears it is going to have some problem applying even in the US.

@Fred the man No you cannot sue anyone, this standard has too many loopholes to stand up in a court of law.

Toyota adopted the J2807 standards first, so when everyone esle does they can say they are the industry leader.

Load a turdra to max towing and watch it wadle all over the road.

I load over max towing in my f150 and never had a proplem.

The turdra is outdated POS thats making a little headline

I dont under stand the rating system, the Vehicle manufactures lawyers say that you can tow up to that wieght and your good, if bad things happen than you can sue ford ram chevy etc. Take for instance the vehicle that I drive ford says that the SVT Raptor 133" can tow up too 6000lbs
It has more hp and tq than most other f150s, it has the same engine cooling as the heavy duty tow pkg, and addtional vents to help it cool when its running around the desert. the same brakes same hitch design, so my questions is if you took an 6.2 raptor to SAE trials wouldn'tn they rate it to tow more inline with an fx4 at around 10000K lbs? Ford has deterimined that the Raptors suspension will not be able to handle the off road environment if it is used as a tow vehicle. Cases like that lead me tho belive that the SAE ratings should have never happened. Think of it another way lets say you get an 2wd xlt supper crew 3.73 rear end with thte 3.7l and another truck identical to it but with eco boost. The 3.7 can tow 5700 Lbs where as the ecoboost can tow 11,300lbs. the trucks will preform identicaly in the saftey aspects, stoping , parking break, hitch deflection etc. so if the truck accelerates slower is that really a big deal? Semis are not know for their up hill acceleration why are pickup trucks required to be

I myself like an honest approach and I have a new respect for Toyota because they willingly conformed to this standard. After reading some of the comments on this website why would any of the Big 3 want to conform to these standards since you can get most of your brand loyalist to buy anything telling them you have the most payload and the most power. Based on the comments about dashboards I think if you offer a nice looking dashboard and add soft touches to the doors. and make as boxy of a design with round wheel wells but put lost of chrome on the grill with a huge emblem and throw lots of advertising at it then people will buy it. If GM were smart they would slap Chevy emblems on GMC flatten the sides out, round the wheel wells out and just put lots of padding on the dashes and throw lots of plastic chrome on the sides and the grill. You could put plastic rubber bumpers on with styrofoam backing because as long as it looks good people will buy it. Throw in some gold plastic chrome lettering and trim and it is worth at least another 2 grand. After all bragging rights are more important that the truck itself since most people don't use a truck for what it is intended for. Just make all the trucks highend and offer 2 trims with 4 basic colors and charge 50k and up. Lying to the customer will get you further ahead than being truthful.

@Jeff You are right about looking pretty. I've talked to guys at the gas pumps and they didn't know what engine was in their truck. They would say a v-8 I think, but it's red with a sunroof. A lot of people have no idea what their driving. When I go to buy a truck, I usually know way more than salesman. Don't ever ask them about rear end ratios or you'll get that deer in the headlights look. You could sell most people anything if you put a good price on it.

@x007: So, you know more about towing than the SAE engineers? I ask because according to them the Tundra handled 9700 lbs well--must be the trapezoidal rear frame section, the toe-out rear leaf springs, strong brakes, strong drive drain, and strong trailer hitch, etc.

@Carilloskis: You make some good and rational points, but one thing to keep in mind: a trucker know the limits of his/her tractor and have to pass the CDL (their educated in towing, etc.). As alluded to by Jeff S., some people shouldn't be towing.

I would say that compliance shows that the Tundra is still competitive today.

Personally, I was looking forward to the big three compling just to see how pickup trucks really compare.
And judging from the comments, others were looking forward to it too. This is a big disappointment.

The fact that Toyota is the only mfg to follow the new standards for towing/hauling speaks volumes. Ford's tow ratings are very optimistic at best, I have towed 2000# under the max weight and it was painful. My 2011 Hemi has good power, but it sags too much in the back with my 8400# TT. I would have loved to have been able to compare tow standards on a level playing field.

@: Fred the man --Thanks for the support Fred I thought I was the only one who felt like that. I was raised with a practical father and my maternal grandfather was a farmer who was a jack of all trades and drove trucks that had nothing more than a heater. He had Dodges and International trucks and Allis Chamers tractors and he supported the local businesses. He took care of everything like it was meant to last forever. When he would trade a car or truck in it would be sold before he left the dealership. His word was his bond and I never heard him say anything bad about anyone, but if you did not honor your word he might give you another chance but if you did it again he would never have anything to do with you. He has been dead for over 40 years but I never heard anyone ever say a bad thing about him. He is fondly remembered and remembered as being honest and a man of his word.

I have no problem with somenone wanting a nicely finished product and I myself think all of the truck manufacturers make a quality product but I will not pass judgement on a product or a person until I have had a personal experience with that product or person. I have to try out something and not look at pictures before I pass judgement. That is how I was brought up and I would much rather have a person or a manufacturer be honest with me than to make false claims. I think that there should be uniform standards and the standards should be agreed upon by people who know something about the product and that do not have an economic interest with a particular manufacturer. Just like UL standards for electric appliance safety there needs to be uniform standards for towing and hauling standards in trucks for safety. If a manufacturer makes a quality product and stands behind their reputation then they should welcome uniform standards.

@Dinobot666-- Dinobot, MAXIMIZE!

I haven't read all the comments but, my guess as to why Ford is pulling out would be that when the Eco boost starts getting hot it cuts power. Thus not meeting the requirements.

@JeffH: That's a fact. However, it will still meet requirements, just not Ford's claim of towing 11,300 (I suspect this is what you meant).

I think another requirement of the J2807 is a hot day for towing; turbo charged engines + a hot day = reduction in power. Perhaps, Ford has overcame this, but we don't know.Yet.

Thank God,I only use a truck for daily transportation tow my boat and tow old car restoration projects around..As long as it tows 6000 lbs thats all I need ! But my buddy who tows his Cat loader needs to know what the accurate specs are otherwise the rear will blow,suspension will snap,trans will fail and it would just be unsafe at speed !!

@ johnny doe

what i meant was that they all should have adopted it in 2011 just like Toyota did. they didnt make a change either just adopted it....... that was my point. this close to the change i would understand them waiting too as not to confuse the consumers.

@ x007

since you always leave yourself out there, My Turdra as you call it overloaded will run cooler with no turbos than your egoboost, my brakes are much larger with 4 piston calipers and vented rear discs that are 13.6 inches in diameter, my truck has 2 heat exchangers that get rid of heat in the oil and trans fluid 10 TIMES more efficiently than your Ford, my truck also has a trans cooler in the radiator, and an aux cooler out front of that WITH a powersteering cooler to boot. SO heat is the enemy and overloading creates extra heat right? Basically my truck has it in SPADES over your turbo charged egoboost that will eat the dust off my tailpipes loaded and my engine, trans, and 1 inch larger rear diff ring gear will run 100 degrees cooler on top of it. yeah your truck is grand brother lol lol

All the big 3 saw the independent tests, heavy duty shootout, rumble in the Rockies, and hurt locker and they all remember who won. Is it any surprise does and dodge don't want to release their results? Does the new standard allow smoking brakes on hill descents? I also remember ford and dodge got a good bit hotter than the Chev on Davis dam, anyone surprised Chevy was the first to release their numbers?

Didn't think so. Thing is, most super duty owners only ever tow is a jet ski or a 4wheeler or two maybea ski boat, so we're all good there

I don't know what system we use in Australia, but some towing figures are optimistic. I would never tow at the manufacturers maximum limit.

I have towed with different vehicles and have found that the manufacturers recommended towing capacity doesn't necessarily translate in the real world.

The NA market seems to be a little more hung up on clever "marketing" ie, mine is bigger than yours.

At the end of the day some vehicle dynamics are better than others for towing even if they have a lower tow rating.

The reality is towing with a 1/2 tonner at its maximum capacity would only affect a few percent of buyers.

Like crash testing the government should have a lab to determine the overall performance of tow ratings.

One can argue how easy or hard it is to meet these ratings, but at the end of the day we as consumers require an independant standard that is universally applied.

@Mr. Rhoades- Please correct me if I misspelled your name.

How are the turdra sales going at the dealership you work at?

Max out the towing on your turd and video tape it going down the road and prove me wrong about the turd waggin POS you try and sell every day. Make sure include in the video a trip to weigh station to prove your loaded wieght and mpg loaded and unloaded.

Since you want to throw your sales pitch out on here, back it up with some video and hardcore proof instead of what you are trained to say at the dealership.

You are a toytoa salespunk that has never maxed out or used that turd to its full potential as the product you are trying to sell, but you are telling people how great the turd is and you haven't even really used it!

Typical saleman!

@LJC- "trapezoidal" LMMFAO.

Max it out, until then, Bit@h Please!

Ok. Let's look at the real issue. The people who buy the trucks to tow. At the end of the day, the tests are not even all that useful to people who tow. They are testing for the bare minimum. Can it go 30-40 mph? Stop and stop 5 times in 5 MINUTES? Will a check engine light come on? Did anything blow up? This is the bare minimum one would expect. These tests are mostly about can it start and stop the weight, without blowing anything up in the process. I would hope so. The real issue is it going to do what it says it will do. Haul and tow. I don't need a test to know it will go 30 mph and not have a check engine light. That's a bare minimum that manufacturers are already testing for.

@Lou, Dave and others,

Aluminum roof basket installed and rear Fox 2.0's


Basket is good for 300 lbs...


Was that rating indpendantly verified or was that the number made up by the off-road shop?

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