We’ve shared some ideas over the last few weeks regarding upfitting a trailer similarly to a van or even a truck – with shelving, additional lights, and even an air compressor or a welder – and as much as we love the idea (and a lot of our clients do, too) – there’s a catch. 

Is the truck or van that will be towing that trailer up to the task?  It’s easy to look at a ¾ or one-ton unit, especially a dually, and think it’ll be perfect as it sits, but it’s always our recommendation to review things like trailer weight, the types of conditions the trailer will be used in, and how it will be used before taking ANY manufacturer’s tow ratings at face value. 

But Can It TowHere are some things to consider:

All “Factory Towing Packages” are not created equally.  We’re not naming names, but some manufacturers’ idea of what makes a good “tow package” is nothing more than a plug in the light harness to connect the trailer lights and a lightweight hitch.   Other items – such as traction control devices, rear end ratios, and even transmissions and cooling capacities – can all come into play, too, and must be considered. 

At Expertec, we have developed our own standards of what needs to be in place to safely haul a trailer, and while some of those things will depend on the vehicle doing the towing, here are some minimums…

  • Brake controller
  • 12V power to the trailer, via a standard (RV) plug, with correct or upgraded fuses and relays
  • A full assessment of the tow vehicle’s braking, electrical, and suspension systems

But Can It TowThis is critical to the safety of the operator, but also, every other person on the road!

It’s important to remember that just because a vehicle is rated to tow something, it doesn’t mean it should tow it.  Think of the worst weather and roads you and your team might tow on…

Need we say more? 

The good news is that today’s trucks and vans are far safer than those of a generation ago, and while there are some questions about individual trucks or vans, many of the worries a particular model might create can be upfitted out of the equation. 

More robust weight distributing hitches can be installed, air bags or overload springs can be sourced, and even low-output alternators can be replaced, and their wiring upgraded. 

But Can It TowAnd NONE of this is to say the rig you need to tow with isn’t up to the task, it’s only our abundance of caution and our commitment to safety that makes us dig into these types of questions.  Every province has different rules and laws regarding towing, so it pays to work with experts when you upfit a trailer for commercial use

So, if you’re tired of waiting for the dealer to finally get your new truck or van in stock, or you’re not sure about upfitting one of the current units in your fleet, give our team a call at 1-888-435-6466 or simply click here to schedule a conversation about understanding what the trucks or vans in your fleet can tow, and how to make sure they offer your team the safest options for towing a trailer.  Who knows?  Upfitting a trailer to handle the business might be a really smart move that saves your business a LOT of time and money.