The 2015-MY Chevrolet Silverado.  -  Photo: General Motors

The 2015-MY Chevrolet Silverado.

Photo: General Motors

A standardized tow specification being adopted by Detroit automakers for 2015 model-year light-duty pickup trucks will improve safety and ease purchasing for fleet buyers, sources told

Earlier this month, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors agreed to implement SAE J2807 for 2015 model-year vehicles. The Society of Automotive Engineers initially developed the towing standard in 2010.

This means that buyers of light-duty pickup trucks will now be able to more easily compare the tow rating for various pickups. Toyota has adopted the standard on its pickup trucks.

"Establishing a solid standard for half-ton towing capacities will create a level playing field much like what is already widely accepted with engine ratings," said Mike Cairns, director of Ram Truck engineering. "It's key for all truck makers to accept the standards concurrently. The true benefactor is the customer who can view the numbers with confidence."

Providing a standardized hook-up for trailers will likely help fleet management companies during initial discussions with fleet clients about setting up Class 1, 2, and 3 trucks for trailers, said ARI's Dave Duford, supervisor of the truck spec analyst group.

"If it's towing a trailer, we're going to make sure it's set up to pull the type of trailer we're talking about," said Duford. "It would be a lot safer for anybody who tows a smaller utility trailer. It's a safer operation. It's a more consistent operation."

The standard defines procedures and requirements to determine gross combination weight rating and calculate trailer weight rating for light-duty pickups.

Trailers ranging from a small utility trailer to a gooseneck trainer would be covered under the standard. The Detroit automakers haven't adopted the standard for heavy-duty pickups.

View the SAE J2807 standard here.