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  • avatar morin2 07/04/10 7:50 am PST

    The axle ratio is also important in determining the tow rating. The V-6 full-size trucks are not great towing vehicles. They are usually found with rear axles intended, in combination with the small base model engine, for optimal fuel economy, not towing rigor. The 8900 lbs is certainly incorrect. So I would believe your manual - but also understand that this is a maximum, and most people would not exceed 75-80% of the max rating, so I would not exceed 4000 lbs dead weight towing with this truck - especially for any long distance or hilly terrain. Make sure any truck used for towing is fitted with a trans cooler, and do not use overdrive when towing.

    The HD model does not come with a V-6. If you have serious towing needs, then you want a large V-8 with a limited slip 3.73 or 4.10 rear, or a diesel truck with a heavy duty automatic trans.

    GMC truck dealers used to have a very nice brochure that showed the tow ratings and capacities of all their 1500/2500/3500 trucks different engines, trans, axles, 2wd vs 4 wd, bed lengths, dual vs single axle combinations etc. There are literally hundreds of possible combinations. Perhaps a visit to a truck dealer might still scare up one of those old brochures with actual useful information.

Answers

  • zaken1 07/04/10 12:24 am PST

    There are two ratings that trucks have; one is called the payload rating, which is how much weight can be placed directly in the bed. The other is called the towing capacity; which is the heaviest trailer weight it can tow. These ratings vary with the length of the bed, whether 2 or 4 wheel drive, and whether single or dual rear wheels. 8900 pounds is the lowest towing capacity of the Silverado 1500; for the 4 wheel drive model with 2 door cab and short bed. The payload rating of that model is 1705 pounds. 2010 Solverado towing capacities go up to 13000 pounds with 2 wheel drive, in the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD regular cab models. But the payload rating of those models is 3872 and 5309 pounds respectively. So I have no idea where the number 4950 came from. My best guess is that the 2008 Silverado HD model had a maxumum payload rating of 4950 pounds; and you confused it with the towing capacity.

  • morin2 07/04/10 7:50 am PST

    The axle ratio is also important in determining the tow rating. The V-6 full-size trucks are not great towing vehicles. They are usually found with rear axles intended, in combination with the small base model engine, for optimal fuel economy, not towing rigor. The 8900 lbs is certainly incorrect. So I would believe your manual - but also understand that this is a maximum, and most people would not exceed 75-80% of the max rating, so I would not exceed 4000 lbs dead weight towing with this truck - especially for any long distance or hilly terrain. Make sure any truck used for towing is fitted with a trans cooler, and do not use overdrive when towing.

    The HD model does not come with a V-6. If you have serious towing needs, then you want a large V-8 with a limited slip 3.73 or 4.10 rear, or a diesel truck with a heavy duty automatic trans.

    GMC truck dealers used to have a very nice brochure that showed the tow ratings and capacities of all their 1500/2500/3500 trucks different engines, trans, axles, 2wd vs 4 wd, bed lengths, dual vs single axle combinations etc. There are literally hundreds of possible combinations. Perhaps a visit to a truck dealer might still scare up one of those old brochures with actual useful information.

  • zaken1 07/04/10 4:58 pm PST

    Since the towing capacties I originally posted came from the Edmunds comparison of the manufacturers' published specifications for four differently equipped Chevy Silverados, and the Chevrolet website posts the identical figure; this does not seem to me like it could be an error. But, after reading Morin's response, I then pulled up an Edmunds comparison of the Ford F150, Dodge Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra; all with V-8 motors. (http://www.edmunds.com/apps/nvc/edmunds
    /...
    ).

    And this comparison also showed towing capacities of 7400 pounds for the Nissan Titan, and over 10,000 pounds for all the three other vehicles. Since these trucks are all V-8s, I then added a 2010 Toyota Tacoma 2.7 liter 4 cylinder, with automatic transmission, just for the most extreme possible comparison. And the Tacoma 2.7 liter 4 cyl came up with a 3500 pound towing capacity. So I changed the Tacoma to a 4.0 liter V-6 with automatic; and it came up with a 6500 pound towing capacity.

    I understand that these published towing capacities sound unreasonably high; but since they come from 5 different manufacturers, they are definitely not errors. What I believe they are is a new way of rating vehicle towing capacity (in order to both sound more impressive, and also to include the real world variables of vehicle weight, and load carried in the truck itself). To test this theory, I subtracted the truck weight and half of the rated payload from the towing capacity. And the Ford F150 V8 came up at 5037 pounds; the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi came up at 4010 pounds; the Nissan Titan V8 came up at 1161 pounds; the Toyota Tundra V8 came up at 4020 pounds; and the Toyota Tacoma 4.0 V6 came up at 1790 pounds.

    This reminds me of the Great Horsepower Race of the 1960s; in which virtually every manufacturer published dishonest power ratings for their muscle cars.

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