GM Truck Tow Ratings Adjusted by Tougher Testing

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

Despite the existence of a standardized test, only one half-ton pickup manufacturer was using the procedure to determine its truck’s tow ratings, until now.

General Motors has released tow ratings for the 2015 Chevy Silverado and 2015 GMC Sierra based on the SAE J2807 recommended practices, revealing that both trucks maintain a maximum tow rating of 12,000 pounds.

To hit that 12,000-pound rating, you must get a two-wheel drive Silverado or Sierra double cab fit with the 6.2-liter V8 that pumps out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque through a 3.42 rear end. The maximum trailering package is also required, tacking on a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller.

For 2015, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will offer customers a broad range of models with 9,000 pounds or more of trailering capability, based on SAE J2807 Recommended Practices. Properly equipped, the 2015 Silverado 1500 can tow up to 12,000 pounds.
While the top rating stays the same, many of GM’s other truck configurations have been downgraded. For example, one of the most popular models, the crew cab equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 and 3.73 rear axle has lost 400 pounds from its max trailer tow rating, landing at 10,800 pounds. In fact, a number of different configurations have had 400 lbs. lopped off of their maximum tow ratings thanks to J2807.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Truck’s Tow Ratings is BS

There are a number of different J2807 specific test protocols that manufacturers must use to come up with these tow ratings. Those include measuring the temperature of the engine on a long highway upgrade modeled on the Davis Dam grade on Arizona SR 68, launch and acceleration performance on a 12 percent grade, structural performance of the vehicle and hitch receiver and more.

J2807 also assumes that the tow vehicle only includes options with higher than 33 percent penetration, that there are two passengers in the vehicle each weighing 150 pounds, that the tow vehicle includes up to 70 pounds of aftermarket hitch equipment and that 10 percent of the trailer weight is on the tongue.

Now that Chevrolet has released its J2807 numbers, watch for Ford and Ram to follow. Since the standard was introduced, Toyota has been the only company to fully comply with its half-ton truck, the Tundra. When it comes to the big three, it has been a cold war with each brand declaring that once its competitors went to J2807, they would follow. Ford had already promised that its 2015 F-150 would use the standard, so now we must wait and see if they keep their word.

For every single 2015 tow rating, click the gallery below.

GALLERY: 2015 GM Truck J2807 Tow Ratings

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Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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