You’ll never see a Camaro towing a boat down the road. If you ever tow anything, you know that without the right vehicle, you’re going to have a difficult time. The right vehicle with the right towing capacity for the job means that you’ll be able to brake, accelerate, and maneuver properly on the road. Having said that, what exactly is towing capacity, and why is it so important?
What Is Towing Capacity?
Towing capacity is how much weight your vehicle can pull. It’s calculated by looking at five main areas of your vehicle: engine, transmission, axles, brakes, and frame. By analyzing these five aspects of a vehicle, you can come up with the amount of weight you can tow. This includes the weight of the vehicle and passengers. If you’re pulling a boat behind a truck, you need to factor in the weight of the vehicle, the cargo you’re carrying in the vehicle, the weight of the trailer, and the weight of the boat. Add it all up to see if your vehicle can handle it.
Why Should You Pay Attention to Your Towing Capacity?
Exceeding towing capacity can cause all kinds of problems on the road, mainly not being able to brake. While exceeding towing capacity can make it hard for you to get up to speed, most vehicles will be able to get you moving and keep you moving. The real problem comes when you’re trying to stop. The brakes on a vehicle are not designed to work past the specified towing capacity, and they simply will not get the job done.
Accelerating and braking are not the only problems you’ll face on the road if you exceed towing capacity. Swaying is likely to occur with loads that are too large for the tow vehicle. Swaying is just what it sounds like: the trailer with whatever you’re towing begins to move back and forth. If the load exceeds your vehicle’s towing capacity, you’ll have a hard time keeping your vehicle on the road.
In addition to driving problems, there are all kinds of mechanical problems. In short, a load that exceeds your vehicle’s towing capacity will put strain on important parts all over the vehicle. This will greatly reduce your vehicle’s lifespan over time, and can cause problems right away. Know your vehicle’s towing capacity, and make sure that the next vehicle you buy can handle the towing jobs you need to get done.