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How Do I Know How Much my Truck can Tow?

Is it time to push your truck to its limit? If you need to know how much your truck can tow, you need to know a few things about the truck in order to look it up. Find out the make and model of the truck, as well as the year to look up the exact number. If your truck is only a year or two old, you can probably find the towing capacity on the manufacturer’s website. Otherwise automotive comparison websites like edmunds.com and cars.com have lots of information on almost every truck made in the last two decades.  

Mid-Size Truck Towing Capacity 

Trucks like the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Honda Ridgeline are midsize trucks, and won’t be able to pull as much as full-size trucks in most situations. Midsize trucks usually can tow from 5,000 to 8,000 lbs. Midsize trucks should handle towing flatbed trailers and small box trailers with little difficulty. All trucks being used to tow any amount of weight should be examined and properly equipped with a securely mounted hitch. 


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Full-Size Truck Towing Capacity 

The Ford F-150, Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and Nissan Titan are full-size trucks and can pull far more than mid-size trucks. When properly equipped, full-size trucks like these will be able to tow in the 10,000-13,000 pound range. Just be sure your pickup can take on that maximum, don’t gamble with pushing your truck further than it is rated. 

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How to Calculate Your Truck’s Towing Capacity 

For quick reference, most trucks have a sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door that gives you the information to figure out the truck’s towing capacity. If the sticker is intact, it should tell you how much the vehicle weighs unloaded (curb weight) and the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GWCR). The curb weight is what your truck weighs normally. What you need to do to determine how much more you can tow is to add the weight of passengers, cargo loaded on the truck, and everything else inside the vehicle to the curb weight. Take the GWCR and subtract the curb weight, passengers, and cargo from that number. Whatever number you have left is what your car can pull. Make sure your hitch can handle that number too, though.