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Ford ups the ante (update with Ram response)

by Bill Cawthon on

Ford has upgraded the towing capacity of the F-450 pickup, the one that sneaks by the federal weight limit for a Class 3 truck.


The maximum gooseneck towing capacity is now 32,500 pounds compared to 31,200 pounds (or an SAE J2807-Compliant 30,120 pounds) for the Ram 3500 dually with the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel. Ford did not say whether their claimed figures are SAE compliant, but they have frequently resisted standards in the past. Direct comparisons of SAE-standard ratings with non-standard ratings are difficult.

Fifth-wheel towing capacity is 27,500 pounds and conventional towing is now up to 21,000 pounds. The maximum payload now rated at up to 7,630 pounds. The Ram, a true Class 3 truck, maxes out at 6,688 pounds.

Ford also increased its diesel to 440 horsepower, with 925 lb.-ft of torque. The 6.7-liter Cummins diesel has a maxiumum output of 385 horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque.

The 6.2-liter gasoline engine makes 430 lb.-ft of torque, one foot-pound above Ram’s 6.4-liter Hemi; but the Hemi thumps the blue oval’s motor with 410 horsepower, compared with 385.

The one “best-in-class” claim Ford doesn’t talk about is price. For a 14% increase in payload, a 4% increase in towing capacity and a 3% increase in torque, the Ford customer will pay an whopping 27% more than the Ram buyer. A base F-450 XL with the Power Stroke diesel lists at $53,505 including destination charges; a Ram 3500 Tradesman with the 6.7-liter Cummins stickers out at $42,095.

This morning, Nick Cappa of Ram public relations sent the following response:

“As it stands the 2016 Ram 3500 beats all competitors (F350 included) in the Class 3 segment with 31,210 pounds of towing capacity.

“There is only one player in the Class 4 pickup segment and it is not a valid comparison to Class 3 pickups.

“Even though our competitor’s new HD is not yet available (Editors note: the F-450 is a 2017 model), we have already beat them with features such as air suspension, link coil suspension and the highest towing capability in the segment.”

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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