Determine the Tow Rating for Your Truck


All trucks and SUVs have a tow rating. When a manufacturer builds a truck or an SUV, they are looking at how much weight a given vehicle can hold and pull safely. The numbers that they arrive at must be strictly adhered to, because these are the figures that extensive testing has proven to be safe.


If you exceed this rating when you are pulling a load, you put yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle in danger. Parts like the transmission can sustain serious damage if made to pull loads beyond a vehicle's rated capacity. It is a simple process to determine how much you can pull safely using a GMC truck, SUV or crossover.


The combined gross vehicle weight is the maximum load that a truck can carry; this includes the passengers, the load inside the bed of the truck, and any trailers you are pulling. From that figure, you have to subtract the weight of any cargo you are carrying in the bed of the truck, as well as the weight of the passengers. The final figure is the total load that you can pull with the trailer.


Keep in mind that the weight of the trailer itself also counts, so if you arrive at a final figure of, say, 7,000 pounds, and the trailer weighs 1,000 pounds, then you can put only 6,000 pounds on a trailer rated for that amount of weight.


It is important that you never exceed the tow rating on your truck or SUV. The results could be severe damage to the drivetrain on your vehicle. More importantly, however, it could result in a serious accident, harming you and your passengers. To make things easier, GMC has developed a tow chart to show you the maximum weights that are allowed when towing a trailer.