Coast to Coast Motors Official Blog

What is the difference between towing capacity and payload?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQ on Thursday, January 11th, 2019 at 9:34 PM
Pickup truck parked on a small path on a hill

Occasionally, we hear people using the terms towing capacity and payload capacity interchangeably. While both are a measure of how much weight a vehicle can accommodate, they aren’t the same and understanding what the differences are is important for the safety of your passengers and cargo. We explain towing capacity vs payload capacity below.

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towing hitch with a chain wrapped around itTowing Capacity vs Payload Capacity Explained

Towing Capacity- Towing capacity is the amount of weight that a vehicle can safely tow behind it.

Payload Capacity- Payload capacity is the amount of weight that a vehicle can safely haul inside the cabin and/or truck bed.

When considering the amount of towing capacity or payload capacity you will need for your situation, it’s important to understand that towing and payload capacities can affect each other. For example, your max payload includes about 15% of the overall weight of whatever you are towing because of the weight that is bearing down on your towing hitch. The max towing capacity is calculated assuming only a 150-pound driver is in the vehicle. Assuming you are carrying a payload of more than 150 pounds when factoring in the weight of all passengers and cargo, your actual safe towing capacity will be lower.

Best Light and Heavy-Duty Truck Options

With over 150 used pickup trucks currently available at Coast to Coast dealership locations, truck shoppers should have no trouble finding a selection of their favorite models and brands like the popular Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tundra, or RAM 1500. We have both light and heavy-duty pickup truck models available for drivers with all towing and hauling needs.

Use our online inventory pages to see what is currently available or head to your nearest Coast to Coast Motors dealership location to shop in person. Our sales teams are great at helping match the right customer to the right used truck and are a great resource for shoppers looking for something specific or shoppers who need help narrowing down their options.