• How Much Can My Lifted Truck Tow? Ask MrTruck (Video)


    2018 gmc sierra hd denali
    GMC Sierra HD Denali

    How much can my lifted truck tow? What a great and important question!

    Manufacturers carefully define the payload and towing capability of every truck configuration that they sell. Most of us like to modify our trucks, and that includes giving the suspension a lift. There are many factors that go into defining how much any given pickup can haul or tow: chassis/frame, suspension, brakes, power output, driveline components, differential gear ratios, tires, and more. If you modify or replace any of the components, the weight rating will change. The answer depends on the aftermarket manufacturer. Is the new suspension system rated for the same Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) as the stock truck? It could be rated lower or higher. Do the new tires have an appropriate rating? A lifted truck has a higher center of gravity, so there will be more side-to-side motion when towing going around corners under load. The amount of suspension squat may also be different from stock.

    We love reading the comments and questions that you send us. These questions are the main reason why we wrote our book: Truck Nuts Book – guide to pickup trucks. Please send your questions and comments to ask@tfltruck.com, or you can comment directly on the website and our Youtube channels.

    Check out all of the questions, answers, and the discussion on this episode of Ask Mr.Truck.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    4 thoughts on “How Much Can My Lifted Truck Tow? Ask MrTruck (Video)

    1. What TFL forgot to mention about towing with a lifted truck is the effect on braking. THAT is where the big change happens.

      Even if your new suspension carries the exact same weight rating as the old, changing tire sizes is what messes it all up. A bigger tire changes your effective gear ratio making acceleration more difficult. You can regear your axles to compensate.

      In this scenario, you would now have equal weight carrying ability, and equal torque to the ground which would seem to indicate that you would be able to keep your hauling and towing capacity… WRONG!

      As you increase your tire size, you also increase leverage of the road on your brake discs. That leverage increases exponentially with each inch increase in tire size. A 4″ increase in tire size can mean 20% or larger decrease in braking efficiency. Add in brakes that are in less than optimal condition due to some off-road use and you may need to drastically reconsider what you can tow (ahem, stop) safely.

      1. I see so many people tow irresponsibly, if their truck has “enough power” that’s all that matters!
        Like large tow hauler 5th wheels that have a dry weight of 15k plus being towed by SRW 2500/3500 with 16k “MAX” towing. Add cargo, fuel, gear, passengers, toys etc and you’re well over!
        Or people going 80 with a trailer when the speed rating on the trailer tires is only 65 or 70.
        Working cunstruction and towing pretty much everything, my belief is, if you are towing more than 66% max tow capacity, upgrade your truck or down grade your equipment/toys

    2. Never mind what the after market manufacturer says. When you start combining 2, 3 or more items together, you get a jalopy. Its just a nightmare for insurance claims, safety, maintenance, breakdowns, cost, loss of resale value and a myriad of irritating problems you can’t fix. But I have done it, spend your money how you want just don’t bother other people and keep it legal. Tires usually stick out to far and spit rocks at others windshields or hits someone walking, modified exhausts can get too load and stink like tear gas, especially modded diesels.

    3. Most instances when you Jack up a truck it lowers your towing rating.
      Not sure about the bouncy part of the video, but I would agree on poor concrete.

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