The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s Tailgate Can Support UTV Weight

Toyota says the full-sizer’s tailgate can handle a side-by-side’s weight.

Toyota engineered the Tundra’s tailgate to be strong enough to bear the weight of a UTV.Toyota

Toyota just launched its all-new third-generation Tundra pickup. It’s a big step forward from the vehicle it replaces, boasting a new frame, new engine choices (including a hybrid option), new styling inside and out, and a revised TRD Pro trim. The new Tundra is rated to tow a maximum of 12,000 pounds, and, thanks to a Big Truck Big RV video in which a Tundra engineer is questioned about the brand’s newest pickup, we now know its tailgate has been designed and engineered to be strong enough to bear the weight of a UTV.

Tundra owners will be able to load their UTV into the bed without worry of the tailgate not being able to support its weight.Toyota

This isn’t something most buyers think of when considering a pickup purchase, but it is something we stress heavily when recommending a vehicle to side-by-side users who will be hauling their toys in the bed. True, there are only a limited number of UTVs that can fit in the bed of a pickup, but the 1,000–1,500 pounds that a standard bed-capable SxS weighs is usually more weight than a basic tailgate can handle reliably. Toyota knows its consumer base is heavy in the outdoors and powersports worlds and responded accordingly.

Tundra platform engineer Mike Sweers said, “…we’re not going to get into those tailgate wars.… Our customers are more active than our competitors’ customers. We know what they’re doing. Now, we did change our tailgate to make sure that UTV loading is appropriate. So we have motorcycle loading, dirt bike loading, we have snowmobile loading, we have ATV loading…but side-by-side was an area that we noticed we needed to improve on. So our philosophy is function over form, so we can offer Swiss army knife tailgates but what does the customer actually need their tailgate for? And we think strength and reliability and durability is more important than dutch doors.”

Them’s fighting words.

Toyota embedded a tailgate-opening button in the driver-side taillight.Toyota

The “tailgate wars” are in full swing lately. Ram boasts a multifunction tailgate that splits down the middle like barn doors, GM has its MultiPro unit, and when optioned correctly Ford’s door contains a step and handle for easy bed access. To counter these features, Toyota has another trick up its sleeve for the Tundra’s tailgate: Embedded in the taillight sits a button that when pressed deploys the tailgate, creating an easy-to-use way to drop the gate when your hands are full. Our favorite has to be Honda’s trick dual-action tailgate, but the Tundra is shaping up to be thoughtfully designed for many of our purposes. We can’t wait to test out these features ourselves.