New SAE Tow Testing Standards Explained


It’s been more than two years since we first brought news that a group of truck manufacturers — including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota — was partnering with the Society of Automotive Engineers to define a uniform set of tow testing standards. The effort was a response to recent hikes in claimed maximum tow ratings that have pushed some half-ton trucks into formerly three-quarter-ton towing territory.

Until now, each manufacturer was free to create and test in conditions ideally suited to a truck’s towing strengths but not what might be considered “apples to apples” relative to the other guys' claims.

Known within the SAE as “J-2807 — Performance Requirements for Determining Tow-Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Rating and Trailer Weight Rating,” the standards have finally been spelled out in clear terms.

Don Sherman at Automobile Magazine has the full rundown and explanation of J-2807’s five engineering characteristics and test areas that strongly influence any tow vehicle's performance, including:

  • The engine's power and torque characteristics
  • The powertrain's cooling capacity
  • The durability of the powertrain and chassis
  • Handling characteristics during cornering and braking maneuvers
  • The structural characteristics of the vehicle's hitch attachment area

The new standards are expected to take effect with the 2013 model year.

[Source: Automobile]


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