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Old 02-22-2014, 12:58 PM   #43
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If a manufacturer recommends a specific tow rating, payload rating or any other ratings, they are responsible for what they say. If you have an accident and you followed their recommendation, you may be able to claim they misrepresented the capability of their vehicle, if that caused thew accident. There is, as stated, no law requiring a specific vehicle have a specific rating, but the law is you may not misrepresent your product's capabilities.

A previous post said: "More likely his lawyers have written him an iron clad waiver for his clients to sign... But then I have no way of knowing because I bought a TV overrated for my trailer." Why say what you don't know? People have been slamming or supporting Andy for years and nothing new has been said for a long time. If he's still in business after doing what he does for decades, it seems he is not setting up vehicles that crash and kill customers. Just because what Andy does seems to defy what you have always thought, doesn't mean he isn't doing what makes sense.

Since I need a pickup to pick up things regularly, I don't have to worry about using a different type of vehicle to tow our trailer—but if I did, I would certainly look into what Andy does. I can't imagine towing (or driving) a minivan, but an SUV might work. My concern is all the stuff, much of of dirty or greasy, that we take in the truck bed would not be so nice to have in the back of an SUV.

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Old 02-22-2014, 01:11 PM   #44
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Having just gone through the Alberta statement, some appear to be "recommendations" which would have no force of law, some appear to be "requirements" which would. The part about air bags not having any effect is debatable and often has been on the Forum. There is no discussion of weight distributing hitches so far as I saw—that changes payload, but the document ignores it.

Vehicles can be highly modified and the document does not discuss it with the exception of air bags and overload springs.

I didn't make a close study of this document, but my impression is that is was sloppily done and the people who wrote it don't know enough about this to be issuing whatever it is—recommendations or requirements.

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Old 02-22-2014, 01:19 PM   #45
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You would definitely be exceeding the GCWVR. That's against the Law/"guidelines" in many states in Canada/US.
A guideline is not a law.

Right now, with no unified engineering standard regarding tow ratings available, any law that would state that one would need to adhere to such standards would be easily challenged and struck down. Which is most probably the reason why there are no laws enforcing such ratings.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:32 PM   #46
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A guideline is not a law.

Right now, with no unified engineering standard regarding tow ratings available, any law that would state that one would need to adhere to such standards would be easily challenged and struck down. Which is most probably the reason why there are no laws enforcing such ratings.
True, a guideline is not a law. But guidelines can be introduced in court as evidence presented by an expert.

A country, state or province could require some standard and if it could justify it in court, it would have the force of law. If the standard can be proved reasonable, it will stand.

A manufacturer's recommendations or SAE's standards are just that, but they also could be introduced in court by a qualified expert to prove someone exceeded them and was negligent, or didn't exceed them and someone else is negligent (such as the manufacturer).

The chance that any of this happens is not great. Doing any of this in ;litigation is expensive and difficult. Insurance companies are the deep pockets involved in these cases and they want to settle as fast as possible and getting involved in tow ratings is not what they want or may understand. However, a smart negligence lawyer may have an RV, read up on these issues here, and someday represent a client in a case where all this is worth litigating. There will have to be substantial damages (like wrongful death or a really bad injury) to make it worthwhile. Then maybe he'll post the results here.

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Old 02-22-2014, 01:45 PM   #47
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True, a guideline is not a law. But guidelines can be introduced in court as evidence presented by an expert.

A country, state or province could require some standard and if it could justify it in court, it would have the force of law. If the standard can be proved reasonable, it will stand.

A manufacturer's recommendations or SAE's standards are just that, but they also could be introduced in court by a qualified expert to prove someone exceeded them and was negligent, or didn't exceed them and someone else is negligent (such as the manufacturer).

The chance that any of this happens is not great. Doing any of this in ;litigation is expensive and difficult. Insurance companies are the deep pockets involved in these cases and they want to settle as fast as possible and getting involved in tow ratings is not what they want or may understand. However, a smart negligence lawyer may have an RV, read up on these issues here, and someday represent a client in a case where all this is worth litigating. There will have to be substantial damages (like wrongful death or a really bad injury) to make it worthwhile. Then maybe he'll post the results here.

Gene
Absolutely. But just like a law, a guideline doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Anybody bringing a manufacturer's published tow rating as evidence would have one heck of a job explaining the discrepancies in ratings that we have all observed.

Personally speaking, I try and keep within axle ratings and payload.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:53 PM   #48
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I believe that here in the US, anyone who has a problem while towing anything that exceeds the limits established by the manufacturer of any vehicle opens themselves to the dangers of a very litigious society.

Here is a link.

Know Your Limits: Towing more than 5k pounds with a half-ton pickup is against the law | Equipment World | Construction Equipment, News and Information | Heavy Construction Equipment

Remember too that if you are determined to be negligent your insurance may not have to pay for damages leaving you holding the bag....

I am not suggesting that your "under rated" or "expertly set up" vehicle is in fact better or worse at towing than mine but if something goes wrong......

It happens all the time...

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The article you linked is, in short, terrible. It has an inaccurate, misleading headline that lies by omission, says one thing at the beginning, then proceeds way down the article to briefly allude to the fact that the headline is untrue.

If the headline was "Towing more than 5000 lb with a half-ton truck requires proper equipment" and the article even made an attempt to be even-handed it wouldn't be such a crock, but as written it's awful.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:25 PM   #49
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The article you linked is, in short, terrible. It has an inaccurate, misleading headline that lies by omission, says one thing at the beginning, then proceeds way down the article to briefly allude to the fact that the headline is untrue.

If the headline was "Towing more than 5000 lb with a half-ton truck requires proper equipment" and the article even made an attempt to be even-handed it wouldn't be such a crock, but as written it's awful.
I will give you that the title is badly chosen but I believe you miss an important point of the article. It stresses the likelihood of your losing a law suit if you exceed manufacturer's recommended tow ratings. The article quotes an attorney addressing the group on exactly that subject.

As for the 5000 pound max statement, I believe he was simply referring to the many people who refuse to even use a weight distributing hitch when towing. I have seen Airstreams of 25' or larger in that group too. Two in the past few weeks of our travels. Sheesh!

I come from a family of lawyers and have listened to too many "worst case scenario" stories in my day.
The cold hard fact is that you can't protect your self from the possibility of a lawsuit especially if you knowingly ignore a manufacturers "recomendation".
I am not going to take the chance.

Too, if I were going to try towing with an underrated tow vehicle I would never discuss it anywhere like a forum. Talk about evidence....

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Old 02-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #50
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I found the article informative and accurate. What article did you read!? Most half ton trucks on the road are the basic models or four wheel drive with low tow ratings. Many of these owners tow like they have a three quarter ton or larger. No WD, etc,. Jim
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #51
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First off, I started this thread because I agree that manufacturers use tow ratings as a marketing tool to promote their most profitable vehicles. Some of the posters here have taken shots at vehicles that have ratings well within safety standards. You want a truck, buy a truck, but please refrain from telling me as well as others that we don't know what we're doing when we choose to tow with an alternative vehicle. Now I'm going to play with my 110 HP Model A that came from the factory with 40 HP!
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #52
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I understand. As has been the case so often any thread here turns into an anti truck bash. I believe you should tow with whatever you wish, but why cannot the pro truck people have their say? We should all be able to speak our piece and the mods have been very good about allowing that, much appreciated. Jim
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:02 PM   #53
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I wonder if it's all the x-factors that complicate the issue. For instance - it's not a guideline that water boils at 212F, or that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, or that light travels at a set speed. These things are singularly true. The ability of a vehicle to tow a trailer seems determined by HUNDREDS (perhaps more? ) of factors that work together to accomplish the task. Even with my truck, for example - the drivetrain can apparently handle 17,000#, but the axles have limits, the frame construction must as well, the hitch has limits (including 1500# tongue weight) and so forth. At the end of the day, I think the lowest common denominator gets me down to 10,000# max.

I used to work at a company where thousands of parts were assembled in to a single machine and the engineers could provide a single MBTF number based on calculations of all the components. Tow vehicle manufacturers can't do that because everyone buys a different trailer to tow.

I'm more comfortable living within manufacturer ratings because it's their issue if something goes wrong and I'm adhering to their guidelines. And, because the US is so litigious, I don't want to expose myself to additional liability. However, I would imagine if I had something rigged up by any shop, had an accident and got sued - the other party would almost certainly include that shop as a defendant if for no other reason than depth of pocket.

Long winded way to say it's definitely more complicated than a single number. Sorry if that didn't add anything new to the discussion :-/
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:21 PM   #54
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I'm more comfortable living within manufacturer ratings because it's their issue if something goes wrong and I'm adhering to their guidelines. And, because the US is so litigious, I don't want to expose myself to additional liability. However, I would imagine if I had something rigged up by any shop, had an accident and got sued - the other party would almost certainly include that shop as a defendant if for no other reason than depth of pocket.
I think those ratings would make it their issue if their equipment wore out prematurely, for example, more so than in relation to how the equipment was used and any subsequent related liability. I don't think that a claim that one was within a manufacturer's guidelines is much of a defence if one causes an accident. As you say, too many variables.

I live in BC, right next to Alberta which was mentioned in previous posts. Our towing regulations (Motor Vehicle Act) don't mention combined weight ratings. And we have a few more mountain passes than Alberta. We also have fairly restrictive motor vehicle regulations because of the history of our roads, just ask commercial truckers.

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Old 02-22-2014, 04:44 PM   #55
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I don't think that a claim that one was within a manufacturer's guidelines is much of a defence if one causes an accident.
True, but if you are knowingly violating towing recommendations/guidelines/laws, you will be in a much worse position to defend yourself. That is just obvious.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #56
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I understand. As has been the case so often any thread here turns into an anti truck bash. I believe you should tow with whatever you wish, but why cannot the pro truck people have their say? We should all be able to speak our piece and the mods have been very good about allowing that, much appreciated. Jim
Actually, I think the opposite is the case. Please show me where anyone has bashed people for towing with a truck. Now, whenever anyone wishes to discuss alternative tow vehicles, it seems to me the pro-truck folk show up to say it can't be done. Some even go too far with name-calling and a general combative nature towards those of us interested in towing with anything other than a full sized pick-up or SUV. By all means, express your opinion but do it in a civil and non-combative way.
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