Towing Tips

Towing Tips

Brought to you by Dave Smith

The team at Dave Smith now how confusing and overwhelming towing can be. From the terms that are used to the different features that are required. So we put together this article to help explain some of the more common towing topics. Topics like, what are tow ratings, calculating towing capacity, and what is payload capacity. Suppose you want to learn more about towing; keep reading!

What are the standard towing terms?

First, let's start with the standard towing terms.

CALCULATING TOWING CAPACITY
Knowing the payload and towing capacity amounts for your vehicle. This information will help you to tow safely, securely. The first step is to determine the weight ratings of your truck and trailer. You can find this information in the owner's manual.

GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the total maximum allowable weight of a fully-loaded vehicle, including passengers and payload. This number is the weight of the car, the cargo weight, and the passenger weight combined.

GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT RATING
The Gross Trailer Weight Rating is the trailer's total weight plus the maximum allowable weight of cargo in it.

TONGUE WEIGHT
The tongue weight is the amount of weight a loaded trailer pushes down on the vehicle's trailer hitch. It should be about 10% of the trailer's total load if towing a conventional trailer and around 15% of the entire load if you're hauling a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. These types of trailers attach to the truck through a hitch mounted in the bed of the truck. If there is not enough tongue weight, the trailer will sway, and too much tongue weight will negatively affect the vehicle's towing dynamics; this is why it is essential to keep it balanced.

GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING
The Gross Combined Weight Rating is the maximum amount of weight in the towing vehicle and the loaded trailer. This weight includes all cargo and passengers.

PAYLOAD VS TOWING
A truck's payload capacity is the maximum amount of weight you can add to a truck's bed. When you are towing and hauling cargo in the bed of the truck, they cannot exceed the payload capacity. The towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a truck can pull after combining the car's weight and any cargo.

What features affect towing capabilities?

Now let's talk about what features affect towing capabilities. The engine and transmission are at the heart of your truck's towing and payload capacity. If the engine has more horsepower and more torque, it will increase the truck's hauling power. The hitch type will also determine your towing capabilities. There are five classes of trailer hitches. Class 1 is the first, which is rated for around 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. Class II hitches are rated for up to 3500 lbs. Class III hitches are rated for 6000 lbs. Class IV hitches are rated at 10,000 lbs. Lastly is the class 5 receivers; this is the type of hitch we mentioned earlier that is call the fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. These receivers can handle up to 23,000 pounds. What kind of wheel drive system you have will also play a role in your towing capabilities. If you have a 4x2 system, your vehicle will have higher towing and payload capacities. In comparison, 4x4 systems provide a more significant amount of control but cause the truck to weigh more. Box length also matters when considering towing capacity. The shorter the box, the lower the curb weight, increasing the amount you can tow. However, if you will be using a fifth wheel or gooseneck style trailer, you will want to consider a longer bed to allow for more space for turning.

Dave Smith is tow truck capital!

Whether you're new to towing or have questions, Dave Smith has got you covered. Are you looking to tow and not sure where to start? The Dave Smith sales team is happy to go through all the options with you. From light-duty to heavy-duty, they will walk you through it all. If you just want to check out what trucks we have available, you can do that from the comfort of your home by visiting our website.

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