• Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
The row between Ford and Ram over who boasts the best-in-class tow rating for heavy duty pickups has revealed a number of things. Chief among them is a report that Ford removes items like the spare tire, jack, radio and center console from its trucks in a bid to lower its base curb weight, and therefore its maximum payload rating.

For those that need a refresher, GVW is the combination of a truck's curb weight plus its payload. Gross vehicle weight rating, meanwhile, is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can handle, and it's also used to classify pickups. In Ford's case, the removal of parts allows it to advertise a higher payload figure.

Ford explains this potential discrepancy by pointing out that its trucks are offered with delete codes at dealerships to remove such items, if a customer so desired and required the truck's maximum payload rating. It has also come to light that Ford is not the only automaker to engage in such practices.

General Motors started deleting the rear bumper and swapping in alloy wheels for heavier steel wheels for its 2014 pickups (both light-duty and heavy duty models). This is despite originally claiming that it did no such thing, a statement GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Automotive News was a mistake.

Wilkinson, like Ford, justifies the practice, explaining to AN, "You can delete the rear bumper, which some business customers do so they can install a custom bumper or other equipment on the back of the truck."

What are your thoughts on this? Is the process for figuring out tow ratings and GVWR too easy to manipulate? We want to hear from you. Head into Comments, and let us know what you think.

UPDATE: This story originally stated that gross vehicle weight rating was a combination of curb weight and payload. To clarify, GVWR is a fixed figure, which a vehicle's curb weight and payload cannot exceed. The story has been edited to reflect this. We have also clarified the difference between the truck's maximum payload rating and its GVWR.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      Jai
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe they could also shed some chrome
      Bombdefuzer
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a lot of effort to just get third place!
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Allpar said it best, "However, generally, those [customers] who delete the radio, spare, jack, bumper, and such, do so in order to install their own equipment, which presumably has greater than zero mass." Let's be real, the F450 is a class 4 truck, and any attempt to alter that is false. You can't say a Ferrari 458 and a Mazda6 are comparable, even though they weigh in very closely. It's straight up lying, and the whole reason the new standard was instituted was to stop that. They're trying to get an edge on the marketshare, and that's all, even if it means lying to the customer.
        XT6Wagon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        ITS NOT A CLASS 4 TRUCK. It does NOT have a GVWR above 14,000 lbs. It has a GVWR of EXACTLY 14,000 lbs, which is the upper limit for CLASS 3.
          fuzzyfish6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @XT6Wagon
          By removing over 150lb of things that comes in the truck to begin with. If they remove the body, the cab, bed and a bunch of other crap to make it less than 10,000 lb, it doesn't mean it's a class 2 truck.
          XT6Wagon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @XT6Wagon
          Again, The GVWR is what the class of the truck is based on. Its a fixed number given to the vehicle by the manufacturer. So the F450 is a Class 3. You can put 2,000 lbs of options on it, or remove 500lbs of items and its still got EXACTLY THE SAME GVWR. GVWR is how trucks are classed.
      Bruce Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Deleting the bumper is going way too far...removing a spare tire is at least vaguely plausible but doing things like removing dashboards or bumpers is basically fraudulent numbers...who the hell expects the tow rating to be based on a bumperless vehicle?!? Just glad that finally everyone is getting on the SAE bandwagon with Toyota instead of making up whatever insane standard they feel like making up.
      XT6Wagon
      • 1 Year Ago
      BRANDON, Please for the love of all that is journalism, research this topic for atleast 5 minutes. GVWR is NOT curb weight + payload. GVWR is a fixed number showing the max legal weight of the vehicle. Payload outside of a marketing sheet doesn't even relate to curb weight. Real payload is GVWR - Current weight. Well its more complicated than that with max legal axle wieghts, but thats the basic one. So if you order a Fleet F450 XL with delete options for all that random stuff ford doesn't include, you will have the marketing payload. A F450 King Ranch with many added options will NOT have marketing payload since its actual weight will be higher with the same max GVWR. To properly operate your vehicle, car or truck, you need to get an accurate measurement of its weight before you add the cargo. Cargo that includes passengers, and anything else not included when it was on the scales. You put a 1lbs bag of beef jerky in the center console you have used 1lbs of cargo capacity. The GVWR doesn't go up by 1lbs. Same deal if you put a 1lbs fog light on the bumper. GVWR doesn't change, just the current wieght and the payload.
        photofill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @XT6Wagon
        yep... gross vehicle weight RATING. Its a rating not a measurement. Curb weight plus payload is GVW. The GVWR comes from the lowest rating of all systems (axles, suspensions, tires, etc) and is a number set by the OEM. Many times the axle can handle more weight, but the suspension or tires cannot, so the GVWR is lower. Obviously Brandon has not spec'd a commercial truck. Lets not get into GAWR or GCWR.
      XT6Wagon
      • 1 Year Ago
      For the love of.... Article is STILL WRONG. You can NOT affect the class of a truck by removing equipment. Its based on GVWR. Ford removing some equipment affects the paper payload rating which marketing uses. There is no legal requirement to include options in the marketing numbers used. In this case you are seeing the use of fleet options to create a payload number that would be valid for a customer buying a F450 with the those items deleted. For example a F450 used in a fleet setting where heavy equipment is supported by a service truck, there is no need for it to have a spare. service truck can bring it, and the tools needed for the change quicker than you can do it yourself.
      CV
      • 1 Year Ago
      Corporations are just liars. They manipulate what ever rule or law is put in front of them to lie to the customer. What ever it takes to make a buck! I'm so sick of being marketed too. I'm just at the breaking point.
      rsholland
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very disturbing, but not surprising I guess. Maybe there needs to be a government regulation here so all truck makers are playing on a level field. A similar regulation is going into effect soon regarding towing. Gotta get some control on this "braggin' rights" issue.
      loganandbutters
      • 1 Year Ago
      more corporate dishonesty. typical.
      Kimura
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's see: Ram bases its ratings on SAE standards and without removing parts. GM removes parts to help it earn its ratings Ford removes parts and makes up their own system. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Next thing you will be Ford claiming highest ratings by not including the bed, tires, and engine in its tests.
      jcar302
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honestly, i just don't think any of this matters. People that like that brand are going to buy their favorite brand regardless. Does it really matter if you can tow 30,000lbs or 29,500lbs? Me personally i think the ford looks the best, followed by the chevy, then the dodge. In fact i think the dodge dually's look awful.
        rsholland
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jcar302
        It does matter. Truck buyers make purchase decisions on this kind of stuff.
        AngelVPHX
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jcar302
        Yeah because businesses and customers who buy WORK TRUCKS definitely buy them FOR LOOKS. Doesn't matter to them if it can tow 30,000 lbs or 29,500 lbs as long as IT LOOKS GOOD.
          colin.shark
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AngelVPHX
          Are you being sarcastic or not? Lots of small business owners buy a nice truck and write it off.
        CACressida
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jcar302
        A gallon of fuel weighs just under 8 pounds a gallon. The less weight you have in bling, the more fuel goes in for the long haul. Also, a lot of these truck buyers get paid by weight so the more weight they can throw on the bigger the pay check. If the real truck buyers that rely on their rigs for an income doesn't prevent over grossing their weight, they would get heavily fined and it'd cost them a lot just to send in another vehicle to allocate the access weight. These trucks weren't designed for the show offs, these trucks were designed to work and it just so happens that the rich show offs buy them. If there wasn't any special licensing need to buy class 8 big rigs, these very show offs would buy a big fancy Peterbilt just to show off and drive to the grocery store. So the looks don't matter much and brand loyalty does play a big role, but most small truckers will be swayed to other brands for the sake of lighter weight for a heavier pay check.
      merlot066
      • 1 Year Ago
      Porsche puts crank windows and manual locks in some of its cars to shed weight and boost performance. Either buy it or don't.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X