As a trusted provider of top-quality Ford vehicles, Lester Glenn Ford is committed to making sure our customers are well-informed about the capabilities of their Ford trucks. One question we are commonly asked is, “What happens if I exceed the towing capacity in my Ford F-150?” Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding a Truck’s Towing Capacity

A vehicle’s towing capacity is the maximum weight it is rated to pull safely. It’s calculated based on the truck or SUV’s axle weights, frame weight, and the presence or absence of a tow package (which, in turn, will include things like engine and transmission coolers, heavier-duty brakes, a wiring harness, and a specialized hitch), and other factors.

Overloading Risks

When this limit is exceeded, it puts strain on the truck’s engine, transmission, brakes, and tires. This can lead to increased wear and tear, damage to the drivetrain, and even warping the truck’s frame. If the potential damage isn’t enough to scare you, the fact that these repairs are considered neglect and aren’t covered under your warranty probably should. To avoid such costly consequences, always abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Effects on Safety

Safety should always be a top concern when towing. If the Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) exceeds the Ford F-150 towing capacity, your vehicle becomes unsafe to move as it makes handling and braking more difficult, can cause damage to the truck, and increases the risk of accidents.

The 80% Towing Rule

While the Ford F-150 has ample towing capacity, experts recommend not going over 80% of that limit for a margin of safety. For example, if your truck’s tow rating is 13,500 pounds, it can tow that, but it would be safer to tow no more than 11,000 pounds.

Ford Truck Tips from Lester Glenn Ford

Whether you’re shopping for a new truck or learning to get more from the one you currently own or lease, contact Lester Glenn Ford. Our team is here to help at every stage in your lease or ownership journey!