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How This New Idea Can Dramatically Improve Towing With a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors says it has discovered a way to make towing safer by helping trucks stop sooner. Will the idea change towing, forever?

General Motors has a new idea to improve towing for its 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and 2020 GMC Sierra pickups. GM says using its current eBoost braking technology and improving the brakes on trailers can reduce stopping distances for the trucks by up to 20 percent. The bottom line is helping trucks stop sooner can save lives. Engineers on the project say that the change could allow a truck and trailer to stop in the same distance as a truck by itself.

Improved Brakes and Technology Would Improve Stopping Ability

General Motors says the towing and stopping abilities could be greatly improved if trailers were equipped with the same eBoost braking technology and upgraded brakes and rotors that the trucks are equipped with. By allowing the truck to use its ability to sync with the trailer, the driver would have greater control. “With eBoost systems on both the truck and trailer and proper software to enable communication, the stopping distance of a truck and trailer improved by up to 20 percent from 60 mph to zero when compared to an identical truck and trailer using traditional electric trailer brakes – that’s about a 40-foot difference.”

The engineers say that the improved trailer braking also helped alleviate trailer sway and improved stability control.
“The industry tends to focus on the big towing claim, but the overall towing experience is just as important and every hill climb has a hill to descend on the other side,” said Tim Herrick, vice president of Global Product Programs. “GM revolutionized the towing space with our industry-exclusive technology available on our full-size pickups, and this advanced trailer braking technology is yet another example of GM’s leadership and a hint at what’s possible in the future.”

Getting Cooperation From the Trailer Manufacturers

While the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and 2020 GMC Sierra are outfitted with the systems that could make this work, the big problem is that trailers don’t have the upgraded systems in place. GM is partnering with organizations like North America Trailer Manufacturers and Recreational Vehicle Industry Association on improving trailering for everyone but so far they have not received commitments from the trailer manufacturers. Adding new and upgraded equipment costs money, plus many companies are reluctant to outfit their rigs to be compatible with only one automaker. Typically, manufacturers want to agree on a standard that is compatible with other manufacturers, as well.

Towing is a huge part of the truck industry. While many light duty truck owners use their vehicles to tow, studies show that nearly all of the heavy-duty truck owners tow trailers for work or leisure. Finding a way to improve stopping distances and safety would be a win across the board. GM shows that it can be done, now the automakers and the trailer manufacturers need to cooperate on a way to make it happen.

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