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Home » Automotive » Cars » Towing Terms That Could Save Your Life!

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Towing Terms That Could Save Your Life!

Submitted by cargarl
Fri, 1 Feb 2013

Towing is vital and affects many people's lives. People typically tow campers, Jet Ski's trailers, boats and bicycles. Research shows that one in three houses in the United States owns or leases a truck. Nonetheless, towing is an unavoidable process and if handled in a negligent manner could lead to serious accidents.

There are three terms used in towing that you must know to help you understand how it works so as to avoid any accidents that may be caused due to lack of information and the wrong Towing Parts.

They are;

1. The Gross Combined Weight Rating
2. Loading weight
3. Maximum towing capacity

1. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is a towing term you must know especially if you tow heavy loads. The GCWR is the specific weight determined by the manufacturer to be the maximum weight of a loaded towing vehicle. This simply means that the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer should never exceed the GCWR specified by the manufacturer. You must remember that the GCWR is not the combined weight of the trailer and tow vehicle but the combined maximum weight the two can be. The GCWR is found on the vehicle ID plate so as for it to be visible to other drivers.

2. Loading weight is also known as the weight distributing towing capacity. This is the total amount of weight the vehicle can tow. It is therefore important for you to use a weight distributing towing hitch. These contain hitch spring bars that distribute the weight between the trailer and the tow truck. Hitches such as gooseneck hitches are good for this as they distribute the weight evenly and more efficiently. The loading weight can be determined by placing the passengers, trailer and the truck on a public scale.

3. Maximum towing capacity is the maximum acceptable weight a vehicle can tow. It is normally specified by the manufacturer, so you can find it in the trucks manual. Hitches can fit on different vehicles and so they can be used on different classes of cars but be sure before trying them out so as to be safe. To easily determine the maximum towing capacity subtract the loaded weight from the GCWR.
It is important for you to know and understand these terms for safety purposes. You should know the weight of what you are hauling around or else you could be placing your life and any other passengers at risk. Brakes may fail; the engine and transmission of the tow vehicle may give up due to the overwhelming weight of the trailer leading you to lose control of the car. For that reason, learn the GCWR, loading weight and maximum towing capacity of your vehicle and the trailer, and arrive safely.


Cargarl is an automotive expert. She enjoys anything to do with cars and motorbikes. To find out more information, check out B&W Towing Hitches.

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