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Ford, Ram Fight Over HD Truck Tow Ratings

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Ford, Ram Fight Over HD Truck Tow Ratings

Ford and Ram have both laid claim to best-in-class tow ratings for their heavy-duty pickup trucks.

The Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickup is rated to tow up to 30,000 lbs and today Chrysler said that rating is sufficient to give it a best-in-class tow rating. Ford issued its own press release claiming the same title for its F-450 pickup.

“We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807,” Ford product development chief Raj Nair said in an official statement. Chrysler also said today that its Ram 3500 heavy duty pickup truck has best-in-class tow ratings with capacity for pulling up to 30,000 lbs with the Ram 3500. Both Ram and Ford claim the trucks in question qualify as class 3 trucks.

According to Ford, the rating means its F-450 can tow a load 2,200 lbs heavier than its closest competitor, but that’s where it gets complicated. Ford’s claim is based on a comparison to the Ram 3500 4×4 Crew Cab, which isn’t the highest-rated truck in the Ram lineup. When comparing top tow ratings despite the body style of truck, the F-450 out tows the Ram 3500 by just 1,200 pounds. But the issue is still deeper.

A class 3 designation stipulates that the truck in question must sit at or below a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,000 lbs and according to specifications released by Ford, the F-450 falls exactly at that number.2014-ram-3500

Ford has fallen under fire in the past for how it justifies the ratings it releases for its trucks. For example, the company recently admitted that it deletes common parts from its trucks, like the radio and bumper, in order to achieve higher payload ratings and a lower GVWR.

Ram’s claim to the best-in-class rating implies that the F-450 isn’t legitimately a class 3 truck; something that Ford truck spokesman Mike Levine addressed over Twitter. “Can’t be more clear: The F-450 pickup uses F-350 pickup frame. It’s not a F-450 chassis cab with a box. Different frames and rail spacings” (sic).

“Ram Truck stands firm on our claims within the 350/3500 segment with best-in-class 30,000 pounds of towing capacity, best-in-class 865 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class payload of 7,390 pound. Additionally, unlike our competitors,  our entire 2015 Ram Heavy Duty line up adheres to J2807 test criteria, not just one model,” Chrysler said in an official statement.

The J2807 towing standard is, itself, a controversial topic. Toyota began complying in 2011 with the standard set in place by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), but until this year the Japanese automaker was the only company to rate its trucks accordingly. The J2807 standard is meant to offer a standardized figure followed by every manufacturer to offer customers a uniform way to gauge capability instead of internal tests with differing components. Earlier this year, Ford, General Motors and Ram all finally began rating their trucks according to the SAE system.

Discuss this story at our Ram Trucks Forum or our Ford Trucks Forum