Heavy duty ford pickup towing, 2017 F-350
Photo: Ford Media

Who did the test?

news.pickuptrucks.com powered by cars.com conducted a plethora tests to find out which one-ton truck was their champion. Don’t get me wrong they did a sizable amount of testing, and I respect them for doing some real-world tests. It’s all very well comparing numbers on paper, although sometimes it’s just better to test in real life. But there was something missing. A RAM. To me, that’s like having an arm wrestling competition with one person, winning by default.

Why is there no RAM?

Not even a single the mention of RAM Trucks in the article. RAM did, in fact, supply a truck for testing. It was a MegaCab however, (which does make the bed shorter ) so apparently, the incorrect towing set-up resulted in the trailer not being compatible. Box length on the 3500 DRW MegaCab would be a 6″4′ box as opposed to the 8ft boxes on the GMC and Ford.

Subjective points scoring

The article reads, “We then added our judges’ subjective scores — where each truck could get a possible 200 points per judge for a possible total of 600 judges’ points”. Then, ” Note that we do not weight our scored categories, which allows you to identify and rescore the contest so you can choose your winner based on your needs.”  Being subjective is fine, but rescoring the contest to choose your own winner? Then surely it’s a comparison and not a competition? That’s 600 subjective points that could swing the win either way. The Ford won with a score of 2,352 points and the GMC had a score of 2,287 points.

The numbers

According to the tests done by news.pickuprucks.com;

The GMC 3500 came out better in the following tests;

  • Max horsepower
  • Max torque
  • 0-60 without payload
  • Hill climb of 12 miles with 19,500 lb gooseneck trailer
  • Quarter mile without payload
  • Quarter mile with 4,200lb payload
  • Braking from 60mph-0
  • Fuel economy over 125 miles with empty bed
  • Fuel economy over 125 miles towing 19,500 lb gooseneck
  • Scale weight

The Ford F-350 came out better in the following;

  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
  • Gross Combined Weight Rating
  • Calculated payload
  • Squat at bumper with 4,200 lbs
  • Maximum conventional towing
  • Maximum gooseneck towing

The Ford F-350 beat the GMC 3500 on paper with the max conventional towing capacity being 1,000lbs more than the GMC. Gooseneck towing however, the Ford does win quite substantially by 5,200lbs according to their numbers. They have the Ford F-350 max gooseneck as 27,900lbs (maybe a typo?). I can’t see a listing for this spec on the Ford website, the closest number I could find is 27,300lb (based on the F-350 DRW 4×4 Crew Cab Lariat as pictured in the article, with the 3.55 rear axle and because they mentioned the GCWR as being 36,000). Whilst either figure is still impressive, that’s a 600lb difference.

It would appear that according to the real life tests they conducted, the GMC comes out better. For example, it would seem that the GMC handled the 12-mile hill climb with a 19,500lb gooseneck trailer better. It also won the payload contest. I didn’t happen to notice a real life conventional towing contest.  Which one of the tests above or numbers would you base a truck purchase on?

Problems during testing

The Dyno seemed to conjure some problems too “… the Ford had an issue — just before really coming on boost the engine computer would pull fuel and not deliver all the beans”.

They did do a separate review of the RAM 3500, in which according to the article they did the tests they could without the trailer. They did the dyno test and again had problems, the article reads, “…The dyno technician did note that the Cummins, transmission or software was pulling power in the first few gears during the dyno runs”.

There were other problems, ” In 60-to-zero-mph braking — we only tested empty braking because we could not properly strap down the sand bags”.

I don’t have a dyno handy or a drag strip, but I can add some numbers from the RAM as food for thought.

2017 RAM 3500 DRW MegaCab 4×4 with 6.7 Liter Cummins Diesel (HO) with 4.10 rear axle: payload is 5,470 lbs. Max trailer weight rating (with correct trailing equipment) is 30,100lbs. Ram have published that the 2018 3500 has the highest torque ever at 930lb ft. Is this enough to beat the Ford or GMC?

Which tests do you think hold more weight when it comes to a one ton dually?
Are the Fords number still enough to win anyway?
Do you think this was a fair test or should there be a rematch?

“FCA US Media – 2018 Product Line: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Fiat and Ram Vehicles.”Http://Media.fcanorthamerica.com, FCA, 1 Sept. 2017, media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=18520&mid=1.

Ford.com https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/17RV&TT_Ford_SuperDtyPU_Sep9.pdf

Williams, Mark. “2017 Ram 3500: Quick Review.” 2017 Ram 3500: Quick Review – PickupTrucks.com News, Pickuptrucks.com, 29 Aug. 2017, news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/08/2017-ram-3500-quick-review.html.

Williams, Mark. “What’s the Best One-Ton Heavy-Duty Pickup for 2017?” What’s the Best One-Ton Heavy-Duty Pickup for 2017? – PickupTrucks.com News, Pickuptrucks.com, 14 Aug. 2017, news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/08/whats-the-best-one-ton-heavy-duty-pickup-for-2017.html

“Media Ford.” Multimedia | Ford Media Center, Ford, 15 Aug. 2016, media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/multimedia.ford-automotive-products:fna~us~trucks~super-duty~2017-super-duty.html.