How Do You Determine How Much Your Truck Can Tow?

Determining how much your truck can tow is an important part of vehicle maintenance. Being able to safely tow a given amount of weight is critical for the safety of your truck and the people around you. Understanding how to calculate your truck’s maximum towing capacity is essential for any truck owner.

The first step in determining your truck’s towing capacity is finding the manufacturer’s published maximum towing specifications for your specific model. This information can usually be found in the owner’s manual, or on the manufacturer’s website.

It will likely include several different ratings, such as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), and Maximum Towing Capacity.

GVWR is the total weight of all cargo, passengers, and any other items that you put into or onto your vehicle. GCWR is the maximum combined weight of all cargo, passengers, and any other items in addition to the trailer and its cargo that you are attempting to tow. Your truck’s maximum towing capacity is limited by either its GVWR or GCWR, whichever is lower.

To calculate your trucks exact towing capacity:

1) Subtract your truck’s GVWR from it’s GCWR.
2) Subtract any additional weight from this number (this can include passengers, additional cargo, etc).
3) Divide this number by 0.45.

4) The resulting number will be your trucks exact towing capacity.

It is important to note that there are many factors that can affect how much your truck can tow safely. These include payload capacity, brake system performance, engine power and torque output, tire rating, hitch strength and class rating and transmission capabilities.

In addition to calculating the exact amount that your truck can tow safely it is also important to remember that driving with a trailer should always be done with care and caution. Driving too fast or taking sharp turns while hauling a trailer could result in serious damage or injury.


Determining how much weight your truck can safely tow requires understanding how to calculate its exact maximum load carrying capacity based on its GVWR and GCWR ratings as well as taking into account additional factors such as payload capacity, braking system performance etc. Always drive with care when hauling a trailer for safety reasons.

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Susan Delgado