Towing capacity claims are deceptive?

Many of the cars nowadays are marketed with a 3500kg towing capacity, as of the maximum capacity allowed for common licenses. From a medium-sized Ford Ranger to full-sized Land Rover Discovery, are all cars created equal for towing? Before looking for hydraulic tipper trailers for sale, this is the article that you need to read through first.

Some knowledge to start with

For safe towing, there are multiple boring numbers to check to keep everyone on your car and on the road alive. It is essential to abide to the figures as it not only maintains durability and safety, but also the terrifying legal consequences if an unlikely event happened during overload.

The tow rating of your vehicle is the first to look for. While many advertised with the maximum weight, smaller cars are likely to have a lower rating. The tow rating is basically the maximum weight that you can tow, which is separated to the weight of the trailer and the capacity of the trailer. While most trailers advertise with ATM, this refers to the weight of trailer at maximum capacity. By deducting the ATM with the weight of the trailer, the resulting figure is the max capacity of your trailer.

Yet, those are not the most limiting figures. The GCM, or the gross combination mass, regulates how heavy the towing vehicle plus the trailer can be. In this case, the weight of the towing vehicle plays a huge part. While gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the max weight that the vehicle can withstand, the kerb weight is the weight of vehicle when empty.

Putting the figures into use

Boring stuff aside, the number game begins. Taking the beloved Ford Ranger (including all variants except the single cab low rider) as an example, while being rated to tow 3500kg, the GCM allowed is only 6000kg. A few presses on the calculator, you will find that you are only left with 2500kg. With the kerb weight being 2271kg, you can only place 229kg of stuff on the car.

If it sounds a lot, think again. The 229kg does not include the fuel in your tank, your own body weight, the stuff in your trunk and the bottle of water in the door bin. If you are towing a loaded caravan, the luggage that you can carry is minimal.

Are manufacturers making false claims?

Not necessarily. Towing capacity requires both the engine and the chassis of the car in accordance to regulatory standards in order to validate. The numbers are justified before allowing the vehicle to be on sale. The possibility of false claim is almost none.

And the manufacturers are not required to make disclosures upon these circumstances. In fact, the carrying capacity of the vehicle when towing max load do not require to be validated during the entire process. In theory, it is possible that a vehicle was made with no extra weight allowed in the cab while towing the maximum load.

This presents as a loophole that our regulatory bodies should take a look at. In the meantime, it would be our responsibility to double check the figures before buying a vehicle to tow any trailers.