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Determining how much your truck can carry and tow

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQ, How does it work?, Safety, Tips and Tricks on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 3:08 PM
Pickup truck driving next to grassy mountain

Does towing capacity include payload?

Whether you are towing a large trailer for work or for a weekend project, two things you need to know as a truck owner are towing capacity and payload. To break it down simply, the towing capacity is how much a truck can tow, and the payload is how much the truck can carry inside. Does towing capacity include payload? The short answer is no, towing capacity does not include payload, but the two do affect each other. Keep reading to see what we mean.

Trucked Parked by WaterDoes payload affect towing capacity?

When manufacturers determine the numbers for towing capacity and payload, they assume a few things. The first is for determining towing capacity. Many truck manufacturers determine the amount a truck can tow by assuming that the person driving is 150 lbs. There are no other passengers and there is nothing extra in the truck. If you do have a person in your front seat, keep this in mind if you are towing something heavy.  You might need to consider taking two trips so that you do not push your truck too hard.

Likewise, if you load up your truck with many heavy items, and then add passengers, you risk damaging your truck. If you go over the payload capacity, you could begin to crack the frame, put extra weight on the suspension, and wear out your brakes faster.

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2019 RAM 2500 towing a trailerHow do I determine the towing capacity and the payload?

It is actually quite simple to determine these numbers! To determine payload, you take the Gross Vehicle Weight and subtract the truck’s curb weight. This is the total amount that you can carry inside your truck or your payload.

There are a few different factors that go into determining your truck’s towing capacity. You need the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating of your vehicle and you will subtract the truck’s curb weight. The number you are left with is your towing capacity. Remember to make sure that the towing hitch you are using has the ability to tow this much weight.

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