Now that Ford is on board with new F-150, pickup truck tow ratings are finally standardized

Updated Feb 25, 2014
2015 Ford F-1502015 Ford F-150

It’s been a long, slow, tedious road, but pickup buyers will finally have a standardized way to compare tow ratings between brands as Ford accepts the SAE J2807 towing standard when the 2015 F-150 hits the market later this year.

I’ve always looked at tow ratings as somewhat of a joke because until now none of the auto manufacturers had a universal standard for setting the ratings.

I liked to say some of the manufacturers put their numbers down using pencils with an eraser close at hand to help drive sales.

It’s been at least six years since a group of automotive towing engineers from the various manufacturers sat down and started hammering out a standard way to evaluate tow ratings.

The new tow testing standard was called “SAE J2807” and it contained a very specific and detailed set of guidelines that would put all vehicles on the same page, giving consumers a true apples-to-apples comparison.

J2807 was supposed to be adopted by all the vehicle manufacturers in 2009 with implementation by 2013. Toyota, Nissan and Ram have done just that.

RELATED: Ford’s 2015 F-150 has triggered a “stampede” on aluminum among competing automakers

But GM and Ford came to a stalemate of sorts. GM, a big player in the J2807 structuring, decided to wait until Ford joined in. Ford wasn’t willing to derate any of their ratings as happened to some of the other manufacturers who adopted J2807 test standards.

Now that Ford has their 2015 pickups ready to roll with the aluminum-bodied F-150s–which make the truck 700 pounds lighter–they have finally made that towing and gross vehicle weight-rating standardization move.

(Obviously, if you shave vehicle weight, towing capacity goes up.)

So next year J2807 will be the new tow standard across all the vehicle manufacturers.

The pencils and erasers will be tossed out and consumers will finally be able to see accurate tow ratings and load capacities when comparing work trucks.