2014 Ram 3500Every pickup truck commercial has the brand trying to convince us that its model is the biggest, brawniest vehicle on the block. But Ford and Ram appear ready to really throw down the gauntlet and scrap over the towing figures for their heavy-duty models, and it could potentially end up in court.

The issue revolves around what it means to be best in class. Ford claims that its 2015 F-450 (pictured above) has a max tow rating of 31,200 pounds, compared to 30,000 pounds for the Ram 3500 (right). However, both companies market these heavy haulers as having the top towing in their class. According to Automotive News, Ford is threatening legal action if Ram doesn't back down.

The situation isn't as simple as just comparing the numbers, though. First, the two companies calculate their towing capacities differently. Ram adheres to the SAE J2807 rating, while Ford uses its own internal system. Although, as the company introduces new models, they are certified using the SAE standard. "When an all-new F-Series Super Duty is introduced, it also will use SAE J2807," said Ford to Autoblog in an emailed statement.

The second issue hinges on whether the F-450 and Ram 3500 are even in the same class at all. The "best-in-class" boast hinges on both trucks belonging to the Department of Transportation's Class 3 rules, stipulating that above a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds, a model moves into Class 4. Ford claims that the F-450 has a GVWR of exactly that amount. However, according to Automotive News, the company removes the spare tire, tire jack and center console to reach that number.

Ford is sticking to its guns, though. "The 2015 F-450 pickup is a Class 3 (10,001 lbs. – 14,000 lbs. GVWR) dual rear-wheel, chassis-certified pickup truck," said the company in a statement emailed to Autoblog.

Although, Ram isn't changing course either. "Our best-in-class claim of 30,000 pounds of towing capacity for the 2014 Ram 3500 stands firm in the 350/3500 segment. Additionally, unlike our competitors, our new 2015 Ram 3500 will hold the title and weight capacity while adhering to the SAE J2807 towing test criteria," said Ram in a statement emailed to Autoblog.


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  • 97 Comments
      Doug
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ford has a history of number fudging. 1. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1055169_did-hyundai-elantra-ad-make-ford-stretch-focus-leg-room-claim 2. C-MAX number fixing incident #1 3. C-MAX, Fiesta, Fusion HEV incident #2 4. Claiming F-450 is a class 3 when it is a class 4.
      Rich
      • 4 Months Ago
      I think the big question is: If the F450 is a class 3 truck, why does Ford make an F350 and why is the base price of the F450 $20,000 more than the base price of an F350?
        Chris O.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Rich
        This is the best post I've seen on this topic. I don't think that these results really make that much of a difference for the buying audience, since they are likely to have preferences based on other criteria that aren't as closely bunched. I think it's probably worst to reposition your product in order to get bragging rights on a single metric. At best it's an obvious bit of gamemanship, at worst it confuses propspective buyers...
        XT6Wagon
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Rich
        The F-450 comes only in crew cab with 8' bed, and the Diesel is standard. The F-350 can be had with a regular cab, single rear wheel with a 6.2L gas engine. Ford *could* do it like dodge and make the F-350 DRW only, and then put on the F-450's extras as a payload package. But they don't. The customers clearly understand and like Ford's method of putting fender badges on trucks. Which is what people are whining about. Not actual facts but the fact its BADGED different than the F-350.
          Carpinions
          • 4 Months Ago
          @XT6Wagon
          The F-450 is different than the F-350. Ford says as much. Also, the Ram 3500 can be had as SRW. A guy that used to live on my street bought one last year. They aren't common, but they can be optioned that way.
        Robert
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Rich
        Exactafukinmingo!
      11fiveoh
      • 4 Months Ago
      If ford can't beat the ram on the sae standard they don't deserve the title. Also, removing factory equipment to get into a lower class is ridiculous and obvious cheating in my book.
      Jordan
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ford is making themselves look bad. Besides they are using a F450 not a F350 like the Ram and the Ram is also using the new standard criteria.
      Bobby D
      • 4 Months Ago
      I guess the SAE J2807 will have to be re-written to state the testing shall be done with the vehicle equipped as it is delivered to the customer. That'll fix 'em! OR Ram can just take off the bed, spare, jack, glass, seats, carpet, whatever, etc. and make the 3500 the highest rated towing capacity in the 1/2 ton class? Works for Ford. Takes 2 to tango. Marketing at it's best. way to go Ford.
        XT6Wagon
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bobby D
        FFS, can everyone please google GVWR before you reply to this topic. The Author completely broke the facts when he shortened the other site's article for that quote. Curb weight has NOTHING to do with GVWR.
        Carpinions
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bobby D
        This made me laugh trying to imagine a picked-apart Ram 3500 capable of towing 30k pounds with a GVWR under 7k pounds.
      Kimura
      • 4 Months Ago
      Let's see: Ram bases its claim on SAE standards without removing parts to make it stay in the Class 3 class. Ford uses their own system as opposed to the industry system (I can do that too! My car can tow 103.6 tons using my own system I developed!) on a truck that isn't even the same category. That would be the F-350. Ford is so full of sh­¡t they're going to need to start another pile.
      Randy, Ran,RatedR,
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ford needs to compare apples to apples anyone can win a battle if its rigged. Every truck owner knows a 3500 ram is in comparison to a f-350 not 450. But ford wont win comparing a 350 to a 3500 so they use the next model up. Apples to apples ford thanks
        JeffC
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Randy, Ran,RatedR,
        Does it really matter? I think not. The winner is still the builders, not the buyers.
      Carl
      • 4 Months Ago
      So Ford makes whatever numbers they want by doing testing internally and removes weight to get the truck in a different class to get the desired numbers and now they want to sue somebody over it?? Somehow I doubt this will even make it to court...
      sabarron
      • 4 Months Ago
      Ford, making sh!t up so only diots are can go buy them.
      Larry
      • 4 Months Ago
      If Ram had a 4500 pickup, they could just use it. But they don't. Only a chassis cab.
      XT6Wagon
      • 4 Months Ago
      However, according to Automotive News, the company removes the spare tire, tire jack and center console to reach that number Um, that makes no sense. Thats like saying they have to remove the rear seat to make the truck pink. GVWR is the max legal weight the truck can be when loaded.
        go!
        • 4 Months Ago
        @XT6Wagon
        No, GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the entire weight of the truck. Everything included down to the floormats and the bottle of water in the cupholder.
          XT6Wagon
          • 4 Months Ago
          @go!
          Is it too hard to spend 3 seconds to google it? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_vehicle_weight_rating cause, you would find out you are completely WRONG if you did so.
          Humberto Yi
          • 4 Months Ago
          @go!
          Your wrong, the gvwr wouldn't change at all by removing items... The truck doesn't weight 13000 lbs, if it weighted more, they would just have to lower its payload capacity to stay at 13000 lbs, which they don't want to do for obvious reasons
          Neez
          • 4 Months Ago
          @go!
          Wrong, GVWR is the rating, the truck can weigh over or under that rating.
      Pilot
      • 4 Months Ago
      Instead of wasting a courts time and money on this frivolous claim. Why not put their money where their mouth is. Put their trucks on the pull line and see which one pulls the best.
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