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Best-in-price towing: Advantage Ram

by Bill Cawthon on

As Allpar has reported, Ford tossed parts off its F-450 Super Duty to allow it to squeak under the 14,000-pound Class 3 limit so the folks in Dearborn could claim best-in-class towing for a Class 3 pickup.

Despite some saber-rattling from Ford, Chrysler maintains, with some justification, that the Ram 3500 still offers the best-in-class towing when things like spare tires, jacks, radios and other items that are standard equipment, are included in the weight.

While bragging rights are important, they aren’t the only factors when it comes to investing in a hard-working truck.

And that’s where Ram has another advantage: best-in-price towing.

Those 1,200 extra pounds offered with the F-450 are going to cost an extra $8,405 over the cost of the 30,000-pound capacity Ram 3500. That works out to about $7.00 per additional pound.


When shopping in the supermarket, it’s important to check the unit price of an item to ensure you are getting the best deal for your dollar, so Allpar created some unit-pricing labels to compare the Ram 3500 and the Ford F-450.

The Ram is the exact model used for the best-in-class claim: a Ram 3500 4×2 Tradesman regular cab with the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel with exhaust brake, a six-speed Aisin transmission, 4.01 rear axle and an eight-foot box is rated at 30,000 pounds towing capacity with a bed-mounted fifth wheel. The Ford is the F-450 Crew Cab with an 8-foot bed, 6.7L diesel and six-speed automatic transmission used in the Ford best-in-class claim.

As you can see, the Ram costs 22 cents less per pound of towing capacity than the big Ford.

Year, Make & Model MSRP* Towing Capacity Unit Price
2015 Ford F-450 XL 4×4 Crew Cab $52,915 31,200 pounds $1.70
2015 Ford F-350 XL 4×2 Reg. Cab $42,820 26,700 pounds $1.60
2014 Ram 3500 Tradesman 4×2 Reg. Cab. $44,510 30,000 pounds $1.48
*Manufacturer’s suggested list price including destination charges
All trucks equipped with 8-foot beds, 6.7-liter diesel engines & 6-speed transmissions

In terms of cost-per-pound of towing capacity, the Ram 3500 is even less expensive than the Ford F-350. When equipped with the regular cab, 8-foot bed, 6.7L diesel and six speed automatic transmission, the Ford stickers at $42,820, which is $1,690 less than the Ram. However, the F-350 is rated at only 26,700 pounds of towing capacity, which works out to $1.60/pound by our unit-pricing formula. That’s 12 cents per pound more than the Ram.

This brings a whole new dimension to the term “best-in-class.”

Note: The Ram 3500 Crew Cab in the photo is not the same truck as the 3500 Tradesman Regular Cab used for the “Best-in-Class” towing. The photo is used for illustrative purposes.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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