Can a Tacoma tow a dump trailer?

This blog post will answer the following question: Can a Tacoma tow a dump trailer? We will share our opinion on the Toyota Tacoma and give you a few tips on towing a dump trailer. 

Can a Tacoma tow a dump trailer?

Straight to the point: a Tacoma could not tow a dump trailer without struggling.  An average empty dump trailer weights 4,500 pounds, with a weight range from 1,100 to 10,100 pounds. The GVWR of a dump trailer varies from 3000 to 30,000 pounds, and its average load capacity is 12,400 pounds.

This data exceeds the towing capacity of a Tacoma. See the table below for a Toyota Tacoma’s towing capacity. 

Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity

Car modelMinimum and Maximum towing capacity
2020 Toyota TacomaMax – 6,800 poundsMin – 3,500 pounds
2.7-Liter Four-Cylinder (159 horsepower, 180 pounds-feet of torque)The maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds
3.5-litre V-6 (278 hp, 265 pound-feet of torque)The maximum towing capacity of 6,800 pounds for the SR, SR5 and TRD Sport.
For the  2WD double-cab auto  SR5, TRD Sport and TRD Off-Roadum towing capacity of 6,700 pounds. 
6,600 pounds for the 2WD Limited auto with the 5-foot bed and the 2WD TRD Sport and SR5 auto with the 6-foot bed.
Maximum towing capacity for Access Cab6,800-pounds: 2WD V-6 auto in the SR, SR5 and TRD Sport 
6,500 pounds: all 4WD V-6 configurations.
3,500 pounds: 2WD and 4WD four-cylinders in the SR and SR5 trims.
Maximum towing capacity for Double Cab6,700 pounds: SR5, TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road.
6,600 pounds: 2WD V-6 auto with the short bed in the Limited or the 2WD V-6 auto 6-foot bed in the TRD Sport or SR5.
 6,400 pounds: all 4WD double cabs
TRD ProThe maximum towing capacity of 6,400 pounds for both transmissions.

What we think of the Toyota Tacoma

The midsize pickup continues its renaissance, one that was doomed not so long ago to an inevitable and slow death, immobilised by the popularity of full-size pickup trucks. The Ford Ranger will soon rise from the ashes, while Nissan will quickly present its Frontier’s new vintage. 

Honda also recently renewed its registration with the Ridgeline. Launched in 2016, the current Toyota Tacoma remains at the centre of this movement and firmly anchored to its utility roots, against all odds.

If the Tacoma exterior design is very traditional, the interior tries to be a little more in tune with the times. We must first underline the excellent ergonomics of the controls, which are naturally placed under the fingers. 

The multimedia system screen placed concave and bordered by a wide moulding adds an interesting visual element. The materials, almost exclusively made of hard plastics, are, however, robust in appearance. 

In terms of volume, the double cab Tacoma is in the good average of its category without being very generous for the driver. The limited steering column and seat adjustments give us little leeway, and it’s just up to the legs. The storage could also be more prominent; it is a work vehicle, after all.

Despite the relative youth of the current generation, Tacoma exudes a scent of nostalgia. Its conservative technical approach and road handling testify to this, especially if we directly compare with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. 

Therefore, we must approach this van with this observation in mind and be open to making certain concessions in refinement. In return, it is a very robust vehicle with a very high resale value, inflated by its good reputation for reliability. 

If the second-hand market tempts you, avoid the first year of this vintage (2016), which does not have the best results in this area. A good product, therefore, but which deserves to be modernised to face the new players on an equal footing.

How to tow a dump trailer

Knowing how to properly and safely tow a vehicle is something that any experienced driver should know. Smaller passenger trucks are capable of pulling larger and heavier vehicles, such as dump trailers. 

Almost like a tugboat operates, when a truck tows a dump trailer, the biggest obstacle is getting the cargo truck wheels moving and braking. There are a few safety materials necessary to tow a vehicle successfully. Things you will have to do:

  1. Turn off the dump trailer engine, making sure that there is no resistance when towing the dump truck.
  1. Run a tow cable through the metal tow loops on the steel frame in front of the truck dump. Place the other end of the tow cable around the rear tow loops of the vehicle’s steel frame that is pulling the dump truck.
  1. Attach the tow hook to the rear of the vehicle to be pulled onto the dump truck by inserting the bar into the tow hitch and sliding the shear pin into the hitch’s horizontal hole through the tow bar and on the other hand. Put the safety pin through the safety pin to lock the tow hitch.
  1. Bolt the other end of the tow bar to the front two bolt holes of the dump truck. This will make the dump truck stop when the vehicle stops driving. Push the dump truck clutch and bring it into another gear.
  1. Put the vehicle that is pulling the dump truck at a lower speed to make sure it has slow enough power to start the dump truck’s wheels.
  1. Gradually shift into a higher gear until you reach between forty and fifty kilometres per hour. Limit yourself to this speed while towing the dump truck. Slowly push on the brake to slowly stop both vehicles when you come to a stop.

Click here for a 101 guide on towing. 

How to drive while towing?

People who drive a car with a trailer for the first time need to adopt new driving behaviours. Indeed, the traffic instructions and manoeuvres are different. The helping hand will come quickly, in the meantime here are some tips.

  • Adopt a good behaviour:  For novices, know that a vehicle hitched to a trailer does not have the same reactions as a car without additional load. First, you have to be aware of the rolling weight. The acceleration is much slower and the braking less vigorous. 

It is, therefore, necessary to respect the safety distances to the letter and avoid dangerous overtaking. Trailer drivers are used to driving smoother at lower speeds. The steering wheels are to be avoided, it happens, in fact, that the trailer can oscillate or swerve. 

To avoid exacerbating the situation, it is better to ease off your foot – without braking – and continue to roll in a precise path. The team will gradually get itself back on the right track. In other words, driving a trailer should be calm and not impulsive.

  • Finding the right manoeuvring techniques: You have mastered the driving, now you have to adopt the manoeuvring techniques. To park a car, hitched to a trailer, the method is a little more complicated than usual. In reverse, the trailer will steer the other way from the wheels of the car. 

So if you move to the right, the nose of the hitch will go to the left. Before starting the manoeuvre, relax so as not to kick the steering wheel, the trailer could put itself at right angles. 

Also, remember to calculate its length carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises. Finally, check the equipment before setting off, pay particular attention to the tires and brakes’ condition.

The bottom line

With an impressing towing capacity of 6500 pounds, you may think that a Tacoma can tow a dump trailer with no problem. Unfortunately, we have to remind you that an empty dump trailer can weigh up to 4,500 pounds! Imagine if you add the extra weight of whatever you plan to discard – overall the whole weight will be overwhelming for your Tacoma to tow. 

Do you agree with us? Don’t hesitate to leave us to know!

FAQ on Can a Tacoma tow a dump trailer?

How big of a trailer can I tow with a Toyota Tacoma?

A Toyota Tacoma has a towing capacity starting from 3,500 lbs to 6,800 lbs. This covers a different range of trailers and campers, some as big as 4000 lbs. 

Can a Tacoma tow an RZR?

A Tacoma can tow an RZR without a problem!

Can a Tacoma really tow 6500 lbs?

Yes, a Tacoma can really tow 6500 lbs. We ware talking about a 2.7-litre DOHC four-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque.

How do you increase towing capacity?

To increase towing capacity you have to make sure you get the right hitch, upgrade the braking system and suspensions. Overall, you have to upgrade your vehicle!


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!