Toyota HD Rumor Grows – Survey Hints at New Model

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For years, Toyota has teased dealers and fans with the idea of an HD version of their Tundra full-size pickup. We have recently reported that a 1/2 ton HD is in the works. Now, we have more proof that Toyota is up to something.

Toyota HD Rumor Grows - Survey Hints at New Model

Toyota recently surveyed owners about the desire to have more towing and payload. Does this add fuel to the HD rumor?

Thanks to our reader, LJC, who emailed us to say he recently filled out a Toyota Owners’ Intersection Survey that was “directed towards truck owners.” Here is what he had to say:

I just completed a Toyota Owners’ Intersection Survey that was directed towards truck owners. The survey had a number of questions asking about increased towing and payload capacity (about 1/3 of the survey)–I got the impression that Toyota is giving this some serious thought. The capacity figures stated in the survey were 3000lb payload and 12,000lb towing.  Also, there were two questions asking “how much I would pay”, the first was $500 and the second $1000.  I answered yes to both. There were some other questions as well. One for a spray on bed-liner and a few for a folding tonneau cover.  A bummer about the survey is there were no questions for a selectable eLocker.  However, at the end of each survey (I get a TOI survey about once a quarter), a “share your thoughts” question was made available. I took the opportunity to express my dissatisfaction with this missing option. 

The selectable eLocker aside (sorry LJC!), the questions on that survey about towing and payload sure seem to jive with what we have been hearing for years.

The future of an HD Tundra has been bright and then shaky and then bright. The roller coaster ride seems to follow the way the economy has gone the past 7 years or so. Now, with the economy rebounding thanks to full-size truck sales, the time for an HD Tundra has never seemed brighter. And it seems after all the ups and downs, Toyota might never have lost the desire to offer one, they just might have had to put their plans on hold while the economy took its time coming around.

It is worth mentioning though that an HD diesel doesn’t seem to be in the cards at all. There were no questions on the survey about diesel.

Yet, we have been told before it is coming and then nothing. Is it time, once again, to believe that a HD Tundra is coming?

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  1. tonyspin says:

    I have always said the question should be when, not if. Sooner or later we will see an HD version.

  2. Larry says:

    There was once a time when a 3/4 ton truck was the same as a 1/2 ton truck with a different axel and heavier springs.

    Things sure have become complex.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      And there was once upon a time a nickel bought you something. 🙂 (sorry, couldn’t resist.)


      • Larry says:

        So right you are Tim. Back in 74 I remember a bar haveing 6 ounce nickel beers on Friday between 4 and 5.

        Those were the days and trucks were trucks. I never had AC in a truck until after 1980.

        Anyway, from what I see of the Tundra and the way it is currently built, it looks like springs are all it needs to become a 1 ton truck and it might be less expensive to just put on aftermarket springs. The 5.7 motor already has plenty of power.

        My neighbor has a Tundra he got new in 2008. He is painting contractor and pulls a light trailer everyday to his job sights. He was a GM buyer for years until 2008. No repairs on his 08 Tundra. He does say he doesn’t like the ride or braking but he has had not mechanical issues. His daily fuel use is 14 MPG driving to his job sites when not using his trailer. Not bad.

        Can’t imagine what a 3/4 or 1 ton version would change. I doubt they would change the front axle.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          The big “pull” for a 3/4 or 1 ton seems to be payload and improved fuel economy with RVers (perceived with a diesel engine). I’ve never heard a contractor complain about the towing capacity. That is what makes all the rumors interesting to me about an HD model. I really don’t see Toyota offering a diesel just yet and the towing increase is a nice plus, but it is all about the payload for those guys.


  3. LJC says:

    Imagine the 2014 Tundra with a 3000 lb payload and 12K towing-J2807 of compliant of course-for only $1000 more!

    The outcome of the PUTC 1/2 ton shoot out would have been waaaayyyy different.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Heck, the outcome of PUTC 1/2 ton would have been different if Toyota would have sent a stock 2014.


  4. hemi lol says:

    I get tired of the BS on PUTC. the bias on that site is overwhelming at times!

    I dont understand how they always end up with a junk tire stripped model. everyone else sent something with the goods on it……

    I have been lobbying for an HD with Mike Sweers everytime i talk to him! lol

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Agreed. Glad to have you comment here. Yes, we are biased with the Tundra, BUT there is some good stuff on here for all trucks. And yes, we do pick on Ram from time to time. 🙂 I actually spoke to the Ram truck rep for North America about our “rips” and he agreed those were some big “missteps.”


  5. LJC says:

    A few other questions were asking about cab configuration and bed length. At the end of this group of questions, I was asked “Would you have considered a crew max with a 6 1/2 ft bed over a dbl cab with a 6 1/2 ft bed, even though the crew max would have been 1 foot longer”

    My answer was “Yes, most definitely”

  6. AD says:

    Where would they build this? As I just found out on local KSAT news the plant has been working above capacity. That confused me when I heard Toyota predicted sales number for the 2nd gen Tundra was 200,000 units that they are not meeting. Then I figured out how they are over capacity the plant is designed to produce 200,000 units but before 2010 not all models of the Tundra were being built here in S.A. as the most popular crewmax was still being built in Indiana Now in 2011 when they shifted all production of the Tacoma and Tundra to S.A. but the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami happened which kind of crippled production for 2011 but from 2012my on Toyota is selling more than 100,000 Tacoma’s and Tundra’s putting them over the 200,000 units. So again where would they build this as they currently working over stated capacity now?

    • LJC says:

      From what I recall, I think the increased payload and towing may be options, so not another version of the Tundra.

      • AD says:

        Now that could work as they eliminated the shortest wheelbase so they might replace it with a longer wheelbase and package. The only questions are what would they have to do to get that SAE tow rating, how much would it cost Toyota to develop it and how will that go with upcoming EPA 1/2 ton regulations? If I can get good answers to those questions I might be able to see it.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          My two cents.

          1. The SAE regulations are a “self-regulated” test. Toyota has the testing area already set up. So, all they would have to do is drive their new truck over, follow the testing procedures and calculate the results.
          2. Extending the wheelbase isn’t that bad nor expensive. I just finished interviewing a company that specializes in putting 6’5″ and 8′ foot bed on the Tundra Crewmax. Not really that tough for Toyota to make it happen. The costs seem to be more widespread with changing the production facilities in San Antonio to handle a longer truck.
          3. The 1/2 ton regulations wouldn’t apply to a truck if it is seen as a 3/4 ton. This truck could be classified as this weight grade. It is really still up in the air while an HD version would be a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton – none of my sources speak to this distinction.


          • LJC says:

            “The SAE regulations are a “self-regulated” test. Toyota has the testing area already set up. So, all they would have to do is drive their new truck over, follow the testing procedures and calculate the results.”

            This would make an interesting article, along with insight into what the J2807 standard is designed to do (expose weaknesses, safety, and anthing else I forgot).

          • Tim Esterdahl says:

            Hey who is the editor here me or you?!?! LOL!

            The statement is a tid bit from the larger Sweers interview I did. I’ll dig deeper into it. I do know though that the SAE standards are much like the EPA regulations in that it is self regulated. There are a series of tests that each vehicle goes through to determine the numbers.


  7. VVTi says:

    I just don’t see it. Tundra’s are not exactly selling like hot cakes. My guess Toyota’s got something big in the works for Tacoma. Possibly even an introduction of the hilux over here and the redesign of the Tacoma to be sold side by side. The hilux for utilitarian pursuits and the Tacoma goes more of a pampered route. Toyota knows that with a little work they can dominate the mid-size/compact truck segments. And you can’t tell me the profit margin on a loaded up $34K Tacoma isn’t just as good as a heavily discounted Tundra.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      There is some speculation that Toyota is working on “converging” their frame and production to add another compact truck model like the Hilux. Again, it is speculation.

      Yes, I agree that a fully loaded Tacoma has quite a bit of profit in it. It is though, nowhere near what the new 1794 and Platinum package profit margin is.


  8. mendonsy says:

    I suspect that questionnaire is for future models, perhaps in 2016 when the new fuel economy regulations kick in.

  9. toyrulz says:


    I was sure I posted a comment here and it went this morning.

    Am I having technical problems or ???

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Hmm… I don’t know. It is possibly our server might have had a hiccup. I don’t see it anywhere.


  10. LJC says:

    I don’t think these guys cared whether the Tundra is an HD or not:

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      LOL! That’s hilarious. We will call that “Space Shuttle Inspired Towing.” Do you know of any more? Email then to me, I’ll put them together in a post titled “How Big is Your Boat?” 🙂


  11. art64 says:

    Quite possible. With heavier duty truck, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating will be outside of the EPA required 30 mpg or whatever mandated fuel economy standard they’re planning to implement in the near future. Probably cheaper for Toyota to build a heavier duty truck than to design an engine that meets the EPA standard and at the same time will please the consumers as far as torque and power are concerned.

    • AD says:

      That is what I have been saying on earlier post. It would require more money up front to move to 3/4 ton but being outside EPA rating when you have a 5.7L iforce is probably the best way to go. We are now seeing what a V6 diesel with 8-speed auto does for fuel economy in a 1/2 ton now imagine what it would do in something lighter like the Tacoma. It is probably a little more upfront but easier to stay in EPA regulation without fancy tricks.

  12. mk says:

    won’t happen anytime soon pretty confident on that one.

  13. Joe says:

    How come I did not get a Toyota Owners Intersection Survey? I am a lifelong loyal Toyota owner (bought all new a 77 Corolla, 85 Van, 94 truck, 97 Camry, 06 Sienna) and a believer in Toyota’s quality (I am still driving the 94 truck, 97 Camry, and 06 Sienna). I have commented on this website and even wrote to Toyota several times complaining about the lack of a Tundra HD. I need a HD to put a truck camper on it and had waited for years for a Tundra HD. Since my disappointment with the new 2014 Tundra and the announcement of the new GMC truck, I have switched to waiting for the 2015 redesign GMC Sierra 2500. Now I may switch back to waiting for the Tundra HD. In the past, the folks at this website kept saying it take a lot investment to produce a HD truck. I don’t need a diesel (too expensive). If the current Tundra engine is already very powerful and the frame is very strong, strong enough to tow the Space Shuttle, it is just a matter of strengthen the suspension to increase the payload to 3000 lbs. Toyota, hurry up! Gets your butt moving!!!

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Agreed with the HD thinking. I was taken a bit by surprise when I heard they are literally just working on making the frame a bit beefier. If you read more of our articles you will also see where Sweers talks about making room in the factory for HD models. It seems that Toyota has a change of heart and is really working on making it a reality.

      Just a point of clarity though, we are not affiliated with Toyota in any way. We are a separate, independent news service. I would contact them though and ask about the survey.


  14. mk says:

    I think the 5.7L V8 will be fine in a 3/4 HD truck just add firmer suspension is all and maybe beef up the frame a tad is all they need to do. I’m no engineer but don’t think it would be that hard to do. Heck, even GM in 2014 is offering in their 1/2 ton a beefed up heavy duty frame/suspension capable of pulling more weight/much better payload and also getting the 3.73 rear axle ratio vs. the wimpy 3.42 not that the 3.73 is even close to the mighty 4.30 rear axle ratio in the tundra.

    If GM can do that, don’t see why tundra’s assembly plant can’t do the same darn thing.

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