If you’re unfamiliar with towing or have never had to familiarize yourself with the various terminologies that come with hitching up a trailer and hitting the road, you might find yourself a bit confused when scoping out different hitch ratings. What does tongue weight mean? What is gross weight in reference to? How do these two ratings work in tandem with one another?
Gross weight and tongue weight are two of the most important things to familiarize yourself with out of the gate when you’re getting into the world of tow hitches in Eugene, OR, simply because they’re going to dictate what your towing capacities are: what your hitch can handle, what’s a safe weight rating and what type of hitch you need to tow certain objects. Let’s get right into it:
Gross trailer weight, often abbreviated as “GTW” when you’re looking at actual hitch and tow products, is the full weight of whatever you’re towing, in the condition you’ll be towing it in. This means the weight of a fully loaded trailer or the weight of a boat plus the towing mechanism it’s hooked up to, for example.
If you ever have trouble remembering what gross trailer weight is, think about your paycheck: your gross pay is exactly what you take home after taxes—it’s what goes into your pocket. Similarly, gross trailer weight is exactly what you’re hauling.
Tongue weight, again often expressed in abbreviated form as “TW” when you’re looking at products and ratings, is the expression of the downward force that the tongue of the trailer applies to the hitch of the towing vehicle. Now, that may sound complicated and it certainly is in scientific terms, but thankfully when it comes to discerning tongue weight, there’s an easy way to comprehend it.
Tongue weight is expressed in the form of a capacity when it comes to tow hitches in Eugene, OR, which means the weight listed under tongue weight is the weight that the hitch is manufactured to support. Generally, this is about ten percent of the gross weight of whatever it’s rated to handle—a hitch that supports 1,800lbs of tongue weight would have the ability to tow roughly 18,000lbs of gross trailer weight!
Together in tandem
As mentioned above, gross trailer weight and tongue weight absolutely work in tandem and understanding this friendship will lead you to be aware of proper towing protocol. The easiest way to check if you’re being safe and utilizing the right tow hitches in Eugene, OR is to always make sure that you’re staying within the rating for both tongue weight and trailer weight when it comes to your tow hitch. Anything out side of the offsetting thresholds and you’ll put yourself and those around you on the road in danger.
If you’re still confused about gross weight versus tongue weight and how they affect your towing capabilities, don’t hesitate to speak to a hitch and tow professional today for more information!