Ford’s Tow/Haul Mode Explained!

You may have bought a Ford truck with a button named tow/haul. But what does the tow/haul mode do on a Ford? We have the answers.

Fords TowHaul Mode Explained 1 1 Ford’s Tow/Haul Mode Explained!

What does Tow/Haul Mode do on a Ford?

Most Ford F-Series trucks come with a tow/haul mode. This mode is designed to be used when hauling or towing heavy loads. When activated, the tow/haul mode will lower the engine gear, thus allowing more torque. It will come in handy when you are towing in mountainous or hilly terrain.

We are committed to sharing relevant, helpful, trustworthy, and reliable auto-related information with our readers. To this end, we’ve assembled a best-in-class team, bringing together some of the best minds in the industry. Therefore, you can always trust our expertise for everything car related.

Related Article!
Which Ford Truck Can Tow The Most? 

Tow/Haul Mode Explained

Ford trucks come equipped with a wide range of features and technologies. And, one of the features that you may find in a Ford truck is the tow/haul mode. 

So, what exactly is this feature and what is it designed to do on a Ford? This guide seeks to answer these questions.

I have used Ford trucks the entirety of my adult life. I have interacted with various models and I know their ins and outs. I’m also an active member of the Ford community, so I’m always keeping in touch with the latest happenings in the industry.

What Does Tow/Haul Mode Do

Fords TowHaul Mode Explained 1 Ford’s Tow/Haul Mode Explained!

So, what does the tow/haul mode do on a Ford? Well, this mode is designed to provide you with enhanced efficiency and better control when you are towing or hauling heavy loads.

Once you’ve engaged this mode, it will keep the truck in a lower gear, resulting in maximum towing and hauling power. 

At the same time, it will also engage engine braking and slow down the truck, thus reducing overreliance on the brakes. As a result, it will help to prevent the brakes from overheating.  

For instance, if I were towing a camper trailer with my Ford up a hilly road, my truck’s transmission would be constantly changing gears. Consequently, this will put additional wear and tear on my truck’s transmission.

But thanks to the tow/haul mode, my truck will automatically engage a gear ratio change point, which is ideal for that terrain. 

Thus, it will prevent the constant changing of gears when going uphill. At the same time, it will also slow down my truck when moving downhill, meaning I don’t have to keep engaging brakes.

How to Use Ford Tow/Haul Mode

Without a doubt, the tow/haul mode can enhance your truck’s towing and hauling capabilities, especially when you are moving uphill or downhill. 

So, how do you use this mode? Well, using this mode is a straightforward process. Here is how to go about it.

Press Drive Mode Button

First, you will need to press the drive mode button. How you will go about it will depend on the shifter that your truck has.

If your truck came with a column shifter, then you simply need to press the button you will see at the end of the stick. Once you press this button, ‘Drive Mode’ menu will appear on your truck’s instrument cluster screen.

If your truck happens to have a console shifter, then you see a DM button positioned at the shifter’s left side. You will then press this button and ‘Drive Mode’ will appear on your truck’s instrument cluster screen.

Select Tow/Haul Mode

Once the ‘Drive Mode’ appears on your truck’s instrument cluster screen, you will then need to select the tow/haul mode. 

By default, your truck will be currently set to ‘Normal’. To select the tow/haul mode, you simply need to use the direction keys on your steering wheel until you select the Tow/Haul icon. You will then press the ‘OK’ button and the tow/haul mode will be active.

Should I Use Tow/Haul Mode on the Highway

The tow/haul mode is designed to help you tow and haul heavy loads on hilly areas and other challenging terrains. 

So, there’s no reason to use this mode when you are driving on an open, flat highway.

On average, the tow/haul mode will increase your truck’s fuel consumption by approximately 300 to 500 pounds every mile. So, unless you are towing heavy loads in hilly mountainous terrain, then there’s no reason to use it. Simply put, you should only use this mode if you need it. It’s not designed to be used for fun.

How Fast Can You Go In Tow/Haul Mode

When you are in tow/haul mode, you need to adhere to the posted speed limit. In most cases, this will be 50 mph on single carriageways and up to 60 mph on highways. And if you are driving through built-up areas, then you should stick to 30 mph. 

If you are towing a trailer using the tow/haul mode, you should stick to the posted speed limit. Driving too fast past the recommended limits can damage your truck.

Towing Without Tow/Haul Mode

I have come across some mechanics saying that the tow/haul mode is not all that useful and you can tow without it. My two cents on this topic is that towing without the tow/haul mode may work if you are hauling a light load.

But, when you are hauling heavy loads over challenging terrain, then I don’t recommend towing without the tow/haul mode.

It will make your towing much easier while helping to reduce premature wear and tear on your transmission.

Key Takeaways

  • The tow/haul mode will boost your vehicle’s towing and hauling performance
  • The tow/haul mode will reduce wear on your vehicle’s transmission
  • You shouldn’t use the tow/haul mode on the highway

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. The menu settings via the steering wheel are very difficult to use. Any hints on how to navigate this process without using the manual that isn’t easy to read.

  2. Just did my first tow hull mode up with a 9000lb trailer. Up the mountains up to 1800 ft. 2023 F250 6.8 gas. It did great. The only problem I had is going down a 7% grade it went down to 3rd gear out of 10. Tack was 4,600. When I got to the bottom and leveled off it stayed at 4600 rpm for about 45 seconds. It eventually shifted up and all was well. Is that just a programing error by the Factory?