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Safe Towing - What is Tongue Weight Anyway?

Posted at Mon, Jan 2, 2017 10:45 AM

Need a vehicle for towing? Make sure you have all the facts before you buy! How much a vehicle can tow depends on several factors - the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and the Tongue Weight. It’s important to stay within the GVWR and have the proper tongue weight for a safe trailer-towing experience.

The tongue weight is the static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. It’s important to have the right amount of tongue weight - too much weight and the force could overload the rear tires of the tow vehicle and push the rear end of the vehicle out of control; too little and the trailer could sway from side to side. Tongue weight also affects how safely you can maneuver corners and curves, as well as how quickly you can brake. Without proper tongue weight, you could find yourself in a wobbly, out-of-control vehicle.

There are several factors to consider: total trailer weight, hitch design and placement. Proper tongue weight is about 10 to 15% of the total loaded trailer weight. The design of the hitch is also an important consideration. For example, if you have a #Sierra1500 pickup truck model and are towing trailers with tongue weights over 700-800 pounds, you need to make sure to have a weight-distributing hitch rather than a weight-carrying hitch. Placement is also important to ensure safe towing. It is recommended that 60% of the load should be centered evenly over the front half of the trailer.

The best way to check that your trailer is properly balanced is to pay a few visits to a public scale and weigh your vehicle and trailer several times.

And of course, the team at Tim’s Truck Capital and Auto Sales is happy to advise you on how to have a safe trailing experience. Family-owned since 1983, Tim’s Truck Capital and Auto Sales has built a reputation of customer-service excellence. We want to make sure you have a safe towing experience. To learn more, go to our website at We specialize in used truck sales and have the best cars in New Hampshire.




Tim’s Truck Capital

904 Suncook Valley Hwy

Epsom, NH 03234

Phone: 888.659.1537


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