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 |  Apr 08 2013, 5:32 PM

Toyota Tundra 2010

Ford, Chrysler and General Motors make big business out of light-duty pickup trucks, but they ignore agreed-upon test procedures to measure and standardize towing capacities.

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 |  Aug 21 2010, 6:01 AM

In what perhaps marks a breath of fresh air, especially amid the almost constant one-upmanship in full-size pickup tow ratings, Toyota has actually reduced them on the 2011 Tundra.

The company is one of the first manufacturers to test and certify its pickups against a new draft trailer towing standard set out by the Society of Automotive Engineers – J2807. Labeled as ‘Performance Requirements for Determining Tow Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Ratings,’ J2807 finally allows for a true ‘apples to apples’ comparison between various pickups and instead of manufacturers setting their own proprietary testing conditions. Although it has yet to be implemented across the industry, J2807 represents the result of a combined push by various pickup manufacturers, including Ford; GM: Chrysler; Toyota and Honda, as well as a number of hitch and trailer companies.

When applied to the 2011 Tundra; J2807 has seen tow ratings drop as much as 1,100 pounds in some cases. For example, a 2WD regular cab is now rated at 10,400 (a drop in 400 lbs from last year); a 2WD Double Cab at 10,100 lbs (down by 500 lbs) and the 4WD CrewMax at 9,000 lbs (down from 10,100 – a reduction in 1,100 lbs).

Part of the J2807 test includes timed acceleration on level ground and a 12 percent incline; understeer; trailer sway response and maintaining speed on real world grades, plus using trucks with higher ‘more realistic’ curb weights than in the past, which has a sizeable impact on towing. According to Toyota spokesman Sam Butto, “even though the [max trailering] numbers have dropped, the Tundra’s performance hasn’t been compromised – we’re following a new standard to measure trailer towing.”