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SOLVED.. ***Beware*** 150 Prado Towing GCM Limitation

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  • SOLVED.. ***Beware*** 150 Prado Towing GCM Limitation

    Whilst doing some research on towing, I found some interesting information that could impact anyone towing more than 2500 kg with the new 150kW/500Nm Prado.

    On page 193 of the current owners manual (Aug 2020 to current) Toyota have imposed a maximum GCM of 5490 kg for all models. A copy of that manual can be downloaded here:
    https://toyotamanuals.com.au/documen...aug-20-current

    Prior to Aug 2020, the maximum GCM limitation was 5990 kg for automatic and 5490 kg for manual. That manual is available for download here:
    https://toyotamanuals.com.au/documen...-aug-19-aug-20

    I understand that GCM isn't meant to apply to light vehicles, however if a manufacturer specifies a GCM limit then legally it becomes a sticky issue.

    I have contacted Toyota and it's currently under investigation. My main question is why the GCM limit has reduced on a vehicle when it's more powerful and all other weight limits are the same?

    In the meantime, if you tow a heavy trailer beware of the limitations and legal requirements.

    ***UPDATE***
    On the 2/3/21 Toyota confirmed that the GCM should in fact be 5990 kg, however I don't know how they are going to address the legality issue of what's published on page 193 of the owners manual.
    Last edited by Peterpilot; 02-03-2021, 06:16 PM. Reason: ***UPDATE***
    "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

  • #2
    Hi Peter,

    In the photo that you attached the line about the weight not exceeding 5,490 kg also says "unless using a weigh carrying hitch". I am assuming a weight carrying hitch is a Weight Distribution Hitch. My 2019 Prado has GCM at 5,990 kg but somewhere in my manuals is says to use a WDH for heavy towing. So if a weight carrying hitch is a WDH, maybe it is Toyota's way of saying, if you want to tow with a combined vehicle weight of more that 5,490 kg you must use a weight carrying hitch (or a WDH).
    My van's ATM is 2.7t and I use a WDH while my combined weight would below 5,490 kg.

    An edit:
    Since my earlier posting above, I checked to find what a weigh carrying hitch is.
    Referring to the link below, it seems that a weight carrying hitch can be as simple a typical ball coupling. So maybe my thinking about Toyota meaning a WDH is incorrect. Interesting limitation without much impact on typical towing hitches as most are constructed to carry weight.
    https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/0...a-trailer.html
    Last edited by watsea; 10-02-2021, 10:21 PM.
    2019 Prado GXL 2.8L Diesel
    2003 Jimny too

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi watsea,

      Since yours is a 2019 model, the GCM limits are 5490 kg for the manual and 5990 kg for the automatic. This makes perfect sense given the corresponding 2500 kg tow limit and 250 kg TBM for the manual and 3000 kg tow limit and 300 kg TBM for the automatic.

      What does not make sense is Toyota reducing the GCM by 500 kg on the subsequent and more powerful model, which is exclusively automatic, but retain the 3000 kg tow limit and 300kg TBM limit.

      I suspect that the 5490 kg GCM limit has been incorrectly transposed to the new owners manual from the discontinued manual transmission version that was in the previous owners manual.

      I asked Toyota how the GCM was increased by the use of a “weight carrying hitch”. Their response was that they had no data supporting a GCM beyond 5490 kg for the current model regardless of the hitch used, but would investigate the matter and get back to me.

      From an engineering perspective, I don’t see how a WDH could facilitate an increase in GCM since it serves only to distribute the weight more evenly across the axles of the tug.

      Still waiting for Toyota to respond to my enquiry
      "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Peter,
        I guess that the plate on the door frame only says GVM and no GCM so you are relying on the car's manual. I gather there is no where else in the manual where is mentions a GCM value.
        Looking at Prado specs site, it says towing capacity 3,000kg but the specs tables give no GCM.
        Hope you get the proper response from Toyota.
        2019 Prado GXL 2.8L Diesel
        2003 Jimny too

        Comment


        • #5
          I did get a response from Toyota, but no new information or explanation as yet:

          Originally posted by Toyota
          Dear Peter,

          Thank you for your email with Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA) on 3 February 2021.

          I will continue to investigate your case and contact you once I have further information.

          Thank you for contacting Toyota Australia and allowing us the opportunity to respond.

          Regards,

          Hasi
          Guest Advisor
          Guest Experience Centre
          Toyota Australia
          P 1800 TOYOTA (869 682)
          E [email protected] | W www.toyota.com.au
          "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

          Comment


          • #6
            Another standard reply received on Wednesday, no new information. I don’t think Toyota realise what a monumental stuff up this is.
            "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's an example to show you how limiting a GCM of 5490 kg is and how monumental a stuff up this is for Toyota.
              If you want to tow a 3000 kg ATM van and are limited to 5490 kg GCM the figures look like this for a VX:

              3000 kg ATM with a 300 kg TBM results in a 2700 kg GTM

              VX Kerb weight is 2385 kg + 300 kg TBM + 45 kg towbar/hitch/tow ball gives you a ballpark GVM of 2730 kg without the driver or passengers or luggage or accessories

              GVM + GTM = GCM
              2730 + 2700 = 5430 kg
              5490 - 5430 = 60 kg which gives you a total GVM of just 2790 kg at a GCM of 5490 kg.

              More importantly 60 kg isn't even enough for the average Australian driver, so legally you can hitch your 3000 kg van it but you can't drive it if you weigh more than 60 kg!
              Last edited by Peterpilot; 11-03-2021, 05:45 PM. Reason: Towbar/hitch/tow ball weighs 45 kg
              "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

              Comment


              • #8
                Or lose some fuel or weight or go to a lower spec prado.. lol

                but agreed, if GCM is only 5490, with a 3000 trailer, the best you can hope for with full fuel is 105kg for tow bar weight + driver

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by acerider View Post
                  Or lose some fuel or weight or go to a lower spec prado.. lol

                  but agreed, if GCM is only 5490, with a 3000 trailer, the best you can hope for with full fuel is 105kg for tow bar weight + driver
                  A five seat GX with a kerb weight of 2240kg gives you an extra 145kg over the VX, but why does the Fortuner have a higher GCM limit of 5550kg than the Prado at 5490kg? The lighter weight and better GCM of the Fortuner means it can legally tow more than the Prado
                  "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Finally, a positive response from Toyota confirming the GCM should be 5990 kg. Now Toyota needs to re-issue the owners manual with the correct GCM or issue an amendment in writing to legally confirm the GCM
                    "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Peter,

                      some good news for 2021 Prado owners and potential owners. Thanks for following through with that important issue.
                      It will be interesting how that information from Toyota is distributed amongst those that need to know.
                      2019 Prado GXL 2.8L Diesel
                      2003 Jimny too

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Toyota also confirmed that a Load Distribution Hitch (LDH) otherwise known as a WDH, does not increase GCM capability. I will add that it also does not reduce the TBM, it simply distributes the TBM across the axles of the tow vehicle.
                        "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I also rang Toyota today and they advise that affected owners will be contacted and the owners manual will be amended in due course
                          "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good work Peter.
                            Are you referring to TBM as the max limit for the tow hitch weight or just as the weight to the tow hitch? Lots of stuff in caravaners' forums about terminology and confusion about manufacturers' limits and applied loads. I won't go into that melee here.
                            It is easily shown that WDHs as well as distributing load to the front axle of the tow vehicle, they also transfer or distribute load to the axles of the trailer as well as the tow vehicle. While hitched with my WDH engaged, my tow vehicle's weight is 40kg lighter and my van's axle loads are 40 kg heavier than when hitched and not using the WDH. The video in the attached link shows this effect, also it shows information about air bags as well.
                            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XBZu39pQ8Gg
                            Last edited by watsea; 03-03-2021, 09:28 PM.
                            2019 Prado GXL 2.8L Diesel
                            2003 Jimny too

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              TBM is tow ball mass, the weight imposed on the tow ball by the trailer tongue
                              "Sure it’s quiet, for a diesel, but that’s like being well-behaved… for a murderer."- Jeremy Clarkson

                              Comment

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