Toyota Trucks: How to Know If Your Toyota Is Ready For Heavy Cargo

May 24th, 2021 by

Nothing beats getting out on the open road on weekends and holidays and finding a great camping spot.

Come Friday, you just want to grab your Toyota Tacoma or Toyota Tundra and hitch up your trailer or boat, and head to your favorite place.

Or, suppose you’re also a Toyota truck owner or looking around Toyota dealerships to buy a new truck to use daily as a work truck too. In that case, it’s essential to look for Toyota trucks that can carry a heavy load.

Whatever your scenario, we’re walking through how to ensure your Toyota is ready for heavy cargo and distance.

But, first off, to get the most from your truck while it’s carrying a heavy load, you need to know the distinction between the trucks:

  • Payload capacity
  • Towing capacity

Let’s take a closer look…

Payload Capacity vs. Towing Capacity

Payload capacity is the maximum weight you can add to your truck’s cargo area when it’s standing empty (also known as curb weight).

In contrast, towing capacity is the max weight your vehicle can carry after you’ve allowed for your truck’s curb weight and any cargo.

Failing to do this puts you at risk of damaging your truck and causing too much wear and tear on your engine, tires, brakes, transmission, and so on.

There are also several other things you need to know so your truck is ready for heavy cargo:

Gross Vehicle Weight Vehicle Rating (GVWR)

Check your truck’s sidewall on the driver’s side door for this figure. Alternatively, it’ll be in your owner’s manual. The figure tells you the weight you can carry inside your truck, including cargo and people.

Trucks are classified into different sizes by the US government, depending on this reading.

If your truck has a GVWR fewer than 10,000 lbs, it’s classed as a light-duty truck, but trucks that can carry between 10-26,000 lbs are classified as medium-duty. Anything above this is a heavy-duty truck.

So, the higher your GVWR, the more you can carry.

Curb Weight

We touched on this earlier. This is the weight of your truck when it’s parked up and empty. Before you calculate your towing capacity and maximum payload, you have to know your truck’s weight when it has a full tank of gas.

Why is this important? Because if you subtract the curb weight from the GVWR, then the figure you get is what extra weight your truck can carry.

Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)

This is how you calculate the towing capacity of your truck when both your vehicle and trailer are fully loaded.

Usually, this is more than the GVWR because, of course, your Toyota truck tows more than just its overall weight.

Trailer Tongue Weight

When we talk about payload capacity, we can’t do so without also talking about tongue weight.

This is the amount of weight the load you’re towing exerts on your truck’s tongue. Usually, this is anything between 10-15% of the total trailer weight.

For example, suppose you load a straightforward trailer weighing 2,000 lbs with around 500 lb of cargo. In that case, the tongue weight will be about 250-375 lbs of the loaded 2,500 lb total.

Any more than this ratio can mean you’re towing a dangerous cargo and risk your trailer coming loose or you losing cargo by the road.

The AAA estimates that two-thirds of debris-related road crashes stem from items falling from vehicles that are not properly maintained or have an unsecured load.

Typical road debris includes parts such as wheels or tow trailers being separated from trucks and hitting other cars.

If you fail to secure your trailer to your truck and the load isn’t within your truck’s heavy cargo capacity, you’re placing your truck’s engine, transmission, and suspension under too much pressure. You could also inadvertently harm other drivers on the road.

Heavy Cargo Trucks: What About the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra?

If you’re already the proud owner of one of these trucks or considering buying or renting one, here are just a few details for you to consider before making your choice.

Our Toyota Tacoma 2020, as an example, has a towing capacity of 6,800 lbs and a 1,440 lb of payload capacity, more than the 2019 model, which stands at a 6,400 lb towing capacity and a 1,155 payload capacity.

Both models are ideal all-around medium-sized Toyota pickup trucks with off-road trims. It’s also suitable for use on rugged terrain.

Our Toyota Tundra allows you to haul up to 10,200 lbs and is considered a full-size truck that’s ideal for off and on-road excursions.

It’s robust enough for most environments, including rugged terrain. The Toyota Tundra also has trailer sway control and a Tow/Haul mode.

Calculations Summary

So here’s a few sums you need to remember:

  • Your maximum towing capacity = Your truck’s GCVWR – its curb weight
  • Your maximum payload capacity = Your truck’s GVWR – its curb weight
  • If you also have a trailer, your maximum payload capacity = Your truck’s GVWR – its curb weight – its tongue weight

You also need to factor in any passengers you might be carrying. There are plenty of calculators online that make these sums quick and easy to do.

If that all feels like too much of a math lesson, then:

Talk to Us About Toyota Trucks

At Universal Motors, we have one of the largest selections of Toyota trucks available to buy and hire. Our goal is to make truck vehicle ownership as pain-free as possible so you find the truck of your dreams.

We’re happy to help you choose the right Toyota for your needs. Contact us today or pop into our showroom for more info.

Posted in FAQ, Tacoma, Trucks, Tundra