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SAE releases revised standards for vehicles when towing trailers

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 06:04
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Also an important factor in selecting tires, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) has updated its trailer towing standards, a critical move for the industry as light trucks, minivans, sport utility and crossover vehicles become increasingly prevalent.


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The trailer weight rating can be a major selling point for a vehicle while also playing a role in tire installation. SAE’s new trailer towing standards “determine the trailer weight rating of all tow-vehicles and maintain fair competition among manufacturers,” according to Robert J. Krouse, an engineer at the organization.

“We have a great committee with representatives from all over the auto and trailer industries who have put a lot of time and effort into developing standards for trailer weight ratings,” Krouse reports. “I think trailering customers will really benefit from this effort.”

SAE standard J2807 defines performance requirements for measuring a vehicle’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and trailer weight rating (TWR).

These guidelines require vehicles to be tested under consistent conditions and parameters, giving motorists accurate information when comparing the trailer towing capacities of similar models.

The standard can be applied to passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of up to 13,000 pounds. The Tow Vehicle Trailer Rating Committee includes representatives from leading original equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

The updated standard revises the standard trailer weight range descriptions and clarifies test setup, ballast procedures and test requirements.

For more information, visit www.sae.org.

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