What Is Towing And How To Determine Yours

What Is Towing And How To Determine Yours

If you want to use your car for towing, you mustn’t subject the vehicle to more weight than it can support. The highest weight that your truck can pull safely is its towing capability. 

The number painted on the side of your car isn’t the only factor that goes into establishing your vehicle’s towing capability, even though it may seem like a straightforward concept. 

It is worth the various components of towing capacity so that you may have a better idea of how much weight your vehicle can haul down the road. 

This guide will get you started in the right direction. If you want to ensure that all of your measurements are accurate while figuring out your towing capacity, you may go to the weighbridge in your area.

What Is Towing, And Why Is It Important?

When hauling a trailer, the amount of weight a vehicle can be towing is called its “towing capacity.” Surpassing that amount would place unneeded strain on your car’s engine, the gearbox, and the back axle, which might be damaged. 

If you exceed the towing capability of your car, you not only put yourself and your passengers in danger, but you also put the safety of other drivers in the area in jeopardy. 

A certificate sticker or plate may be affixed to the inside of the driver’s door frame. This plate or sticker provides essential information on the automobile or truck. 

You may find it in the owner’s handbook that came with your car. You may need to be familiar with the following acronyms for information on towing:


The manufacturer provides a gross vehicle rating to indicate the maximum combined weight that a car or truck can carry without being attached to a trailer. 

This included the vehicle weight itself and the weight of the passengers and the luggage.


The term “gross vehicle weight” refers to the projected overall weight that the manufacturer places on a car or truck after adding all the fluids (gas, transmission, etc.), passengers, and cargo. 

On the other hand, the real weight can differ depending on the kind of goods you have and the number of people traveling with you simultaneously.


This is the maximum allowable gross combined weight. It considers the weight of the vehicle itself and its passengers, its cargo, and any trailers attached. 

The GCWR value indicates your maximum permissible total combined weight. Going above that might endanger the safety of your car.


The gross axle weight rating indicates the maximum amount of weight that a single axle can securely carry at one time. 

You need to be aware of certain weight statistics if you want to purchase a truck capable of towing a trailer or purchase a trailer that can be towed by your existing vehicle.

Types of Towing Capacity

The highest weight your vehicle can draw when used for towing is its towing capability. The following are some more terms that you should be familiar with concerning towing capacity:

Braked Towing Capacity

When you read the phrase “brake capacity,” it refers to the weight limit that a vehicle will indeed be able to transport when the trailer that is being towed is fitted with its braking system. 

This information can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. In this scenario, the trailer’s braking system will link to your car through a cable to function properly.

Unbraked Towing Capacity

The ability of your automobile to pull a trailer that does not yet have a separate braking system is referred to as “unbraked towing,” and it is the capacity that is described when the phrase is employed. 

It is typical for this capacity to be lower than the braked towing capability.

Braked vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity

The braking towing capacity of your vehicle is often what will be indicated when talking about its towing capability. If your trailer has its brakes, this is the maximum weight your vehicle is capable of towing. 

The unbraked towing capacity of a vehicle is the greatest load the vehicle can pull when a trailer does not have brakes. 

This is a far lower restriction than the braked capacity, and in Australia, it is capped at a maximum of 750 kg, notwithstanding the kind of vehicle you drive.

Way To Figure Out Towing Capacity

The quick answer is that you must ensure that the trailer’s weight and load do not exceed your truck’s, car’s, or SUV’s gross vehicle weight rating. Furthermore, it is worth getting an idea about the best 12 SUVs with the highest towing capacity.

In most cases, if your vehicle’s GVWR is 10,000 pounds and you want to transport 1,000 pounds of freight, you’re OK. 

However, this isn’t always the case. If you believe you may be near, you need further research. Suppose you have a vehicle rated for 12,000 pounds. If you want to pull a 10,000-pound camper trailer, you might surpass your car’s towing capability. 

It would help to calculate the exact combined weight of your tow vehicle, passengers, goods, and camper. Then, you will need to calculate all the products, such as bedding, linen, food, and water, that you want to pack inside the camper. 

These goods may send you over the edge.

Towing Tips For A Safe Ride

First, find out what your state’s rules are about towing. Many states have rules that aren’t too strict, while others have strict rules. 

Check the laws of your state and any other states you plan to travel through with your trailer. 

When setting up a trailer and its load, you should always take your time. Check twice and even three times to make sure everything is safe and the trailer is hooked upright. 

This will help you avoid accidents that might happen if you do something wrong.

Your vehicle and its people will be safer if you know and stick to your towing capacity. Don’t go over the recommended weight limit for your towing car or truck to save money or time. 

So, your life and other people’s lives could be in danger.


You must run the numbers to adhere to all weight restrictions and towing safely and responsibly. When you have an accident and need to file an insurance claim, the insurers will examine your weight first. On the other hand, you have essential things about the features and benefits of car insurance as well. 

Your claim might be denied if you are overweight. A manufacturer’s maximum towing weight may not be accurate because they can’t account for all the extras you’ve added to the car or what you’re towing. 

Consider a canopy weighing 100kg, a bull bar weighing 80kg, roof racks and underbody protection weighing 40kg apiece, and your winch weighing about 30kg.

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