Do You Need to Tow 10,000+ Pounds? Chevy Says Not Likely

Truck owners often talk about the bragging credentials of their pickups. There aren’t many who don’t know just how much torque and payload their beloved light-duty’s can handle. And towing capacity benchmarks always seem to come up in conversation, too. In the pickup world, bigger and more is usually better. But recently, Chevy made a pretty bold, public statement suggesting most won’t ever need to tow more than 10,000 pounds. 

Chevy officials make a pretty bold claim

For an automaker that designs and builds some of the country’s beefiest and most capable trucks, saying consumers don’t need towing power over 10,000 pounds is a pretty bold claim. But that’s exactly what Chevy officials did. In fact, as part of the bowtie brand’s commitment to meeting and exceeding the trailering needs of truck buyers, Chevy went on to say that 96 percent of light-duty truck owners tow less than 10,000 pounds.

Where did those stats come from anyway?

General Motors came to the conclusion that 10,000-pound towing just isn’t as commonplace among truck owners by way of data put forth by the New Vehicle Customer Study performed by Maritz. MaritzCX, an InMoment Company, surveyed a roster of light-duty truck owners within the first three months of ownership. And surprising to some, 96 percent of them admitted to towing fewer than 10,000 pounds. Of course, those owners didn’t say they would stop bragging about their pickups’ ability to do so.

The official press release regarding the 2021 Chevy Silverado

RELATED: The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Actually Tows Less Than the 2020 Model

Chevrolet may not have intended to make this towing trend claim the focal point of their press release. The official statement was primarily comprised of details regarding the new 2021 Chevy Silverado. Chevy highlighted the introduction of the Multi-Flex tailgate as well as other exciting configuration options. General Motor’s GMC Sierra already presented the MultiPro tailgate. Silverado fans can now expect this multi-position and multi-functioning tailgate on their new 1500s.

Chevy also made improvements to the trailering tech, including adding a length indicator as part of the lane-changing camera. There is also a new jack-knife alert system and a cargo bed view and hitch guidance to enhance the hook-up process.

What the 2021 Silverado can tow

There are new engine options for the 2021 Chevy Silverado, and with them, improved tow ratings. The 2.7-liter I4 L3B is turbocharged and adds 2,500 pounds of trailering capability to the regular cab, long bed model’s max capacity. The 3.0-liter I6 LM2 turbodiesel adds 1,900 pounds in almost every other Silverado configuration. Even 2WD models can achieve 9,500 pounds of towing capacity with this Duramax.

Despite these towing capacity increases, Chevy isn’t leading the max capacity competition. And it may be why Chevy officials were quick to point to the Maritz study stats.

Chevy’s statement could be a defensive move

While the new Silverado is adding towing capacity, there are other pickups in this segment that can pull more, including Ford and Ram. Some wonder if Chevy’s statement about consumers not actually towing more than 10,000 pounds was an effort to explain why the Silverado appears to be bowing out of the towing numbers game. Ford’s 2020 F-150 with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel can two 11,500 pounds. And the turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 in the 2020 Ram 1500 can pull 12,560 pounds. For consumers who go by the numbers, Chevy is in the running but isn’t leading the max capacity towing pack.

Chevy could be of the mindset that consumers who need more than 10,000 pounds of towing capacity may just upgrade to a heavy-duty class. But for the light-duty pickup owners, topping out in the 7,500-pound and 9,500-pound max trailering range might be more than enough capability. Anything more might just be bragging rights.