Tow Ratings and the Law: Discussing the Limits of Trailer Size Photo Gallery
The Importance of Knowing a Tow Rig’s Limitations
Bruce W. Smith –
Mar 7, 2017
Photo 1/7 | Tow Ratings Ldw 16 4974
Photo 2/7 | 003 Tow Ratings Dunefest TraileringrV Camp | Towing trailers of all types is a big part of owning a diesel-powered pickup and being active in the diesel hobby. Every midsize and fullsize pickup has multiple tow ratings, depending on how each is set up.
Photo 3/7 | 004 Tow Ratings Conventional Towing Hitch | Towing using a receiver hitch with a ball and shank is called towing in the “weight-carrying” mode. It’s not uncommon for ¾- and 1-ton diesels to be limited to 8,500 pounds (or less) of trailered weight when using this setup.
Photo 4/7 | 005 Tow Ratings Wd Hitch Husky | Weight-distributing hitches, like this model from Husky Towing Products, allow maximum conventional towing capacity for whatever truck they are installed on. The hitches are required when trailered loads exceed a certain amount as dictated by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Photo 5/7 | 006 Tow Ratings Super Duty Towing 5thwheel | The maximum towing capacity vehicle manufacturers advertise is always based on towing either a gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailer.
Photo 6/7 | 007 Tow Ratings Toy Hauler Dunes Lw | Lifted trucks use drop-shank hitches, which typically have reduced trailer-towing capacity. Always read the weight limits on the hitch, with the understanding the lowest rating (hitch or truck) always takes precedence for operating in a safe and responsible manner.
Photo 7/7 | 008 Tow Ratings Towing Trailers | Whether towing a conventional trailer (foreground) or with a fifth-wheel/gooseneck (background), be mindful of your truck’s towing limits and equipment requirements as set forth by the manufacturer. Towing without a properly equipped rig places the driver in a real liability compromise should an accident occur.