Q&A With Tundra Chief Engineer Mike Sweers
CW: I’m Column Wood, the Director of Editorial for Autoguide.com.
MS: And I’m Mike Sweers, the Chief Engineer for Toyota Pickup Trucks.
CW: And we’re here to answer your questions about the 2014 Tundra.
CW: Several of the forum members pointed out that the Tundra’s tow rating isn’t as high as many of its rivals, and they really want to know is it just because Toyota has been too conservative when they rated the truck?
MS: Well, actually, we are the only manufacturer that’s compliant with the new Society of Automotive Engineers towing standards, and what the standard says is that you have to be able to tow, or maintain the mass, of your trailer during different obstacles. For example, one of them is going up Davis Dam. Davis Dam is a real life road. It’s a steep grade that, for a long climb and during hundred degree weather, with your full maximum load behind there and the air conditioning on you have to maintain 40 miles per hour. We don’t have any problem maintaining 40 miles per hour with our 5.7L engine. Some of the other manufacturers have not complied with the standard, even though they were part of writing the standard. And for us, this is about our customer safety, so our ratings, when we complied with that in 2011 went down a few hundred pounds, and our competitions ratings would also go down if they complied with that standard. So we really think its about truth in towing, and about the safety of our customers, and we wanted our customers to know what the truck can actually do for them.