People who love and manage cars always talk about torque and horsepower. More specifically, they argue about which is more critical when buying a car. The answer totally depends on how you plan to use the vehicle. If you love zooming down highways at high speed, you need more horsepower. On the other hand, if you want something that gives you quick acceleration from a stop, torque is the way to go.

When it comes to towing, is torque better for you, or can you get away with high horsepower? This is the question we are going to answer today:

What is torque?

Torque is the twisting force needed to turn an object. In this case, the engine must produce the torque required to turn the wheels. In many cases, torque is measured in terms of pounds-feet—the force applied on a lever multiplied by the length of the lever in feet. For example, if you place a lever on an object that is 2 feet long and apply 10 pounds of force to it, you are applying 20 pounds-feet of torque.

What is horsepower?

Horsepower refers to the amount of power that an engine produces. Mathematically, it is the torque multiplied by the revolutions per minute of the engine divided by 5252. If you have an engine that can produce 200 pounds-feet of torque at around 3000 RPM, you will get 114 horsepower.

Which one is needed for towing?

If you guessed that torque is more important than horsepower for towing, you would be right. Torque is much better at moving a vehicle from a standstill, which is something tow trucks need to do. Torque is also what moves vehicles uphill, and it also allows big trucks to pull massive cargo.

As such, if you need a car specifically for towing, you need a high-torque engine. While it may not be the fastest car, it can certainly pull heavier loads. This is one reason many trucks are advertised for their torque, while sportscars are advertised for their horsepower.

How do you properly tow?

To tow things properly, you must always start at low gears. For example, if you have a four-speed vehicle, third gear can do the job. If you have a six-speed, that means going either four or five (although four is recommended). This is because you have a lot more torque at lower gears.


If you are looking to purchase a car for towing or want something that can drive uphill without issues, look for vehicles with high torque. They can make the job a piece of cake, and while you will not be overtaking anyone on the highway, you would not have to worry about towing or moving large loads uphill. Do not let anyone tell you that horsepower is what is needed to pull things. It is all in the torque!

Massey’s Towing and Truck Service offers 24/7 towing service in Dallas, covering truck repair services, hauling services, and more. Reach out to us today and get your towing needs satisfied!