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What Does the Towing Capacity of a Truck Mean and How to you Weigh a Trailer  


When I read towing capacity is so many lbs in my case for SR5 Toyota, 10,400lbs, That means the weight at the hitch, yes, not the overall weight of what it is that I am pulling e.g. a livestock trailer loaded with cattle? But how would I measure the weight at that particular point?


Expert Reply:

A vehicle will have several capacities related to towing. There is the gross trailer weight rating which is the most that the trailer can weigh. There is the gross combined weight rating which is the most the truck and trailer can weigh together. And there is tongue weight capacity which is the most amount of weight that can be suspended from the trailer hitch receiver on the vehicle.

If your truck has a towing capacity of 10,400 pounds (confirm using the owner's manual) then that is the most that the trailer can weigh. The trailer hitch may or may not be rated that high. The hitch will have its capacity on it somewhere usually on a sticker. Which ever has the lower rating, the hitch or the vehicle, is the capacity that you will need to go by.

You can measure tongue weight using a scale such as # e99044 or by following a method in the help article I have linked. The last entry in that help article shows how you can measure the weight of a trailer.

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