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Time for everyone to feign surprise – Ford has just announced that it has the increased horsepower and torque levels of its 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine for 2015. As you'd expect, the Blue Oval is claiming class-leading figures of 440 hp (up from 400) and 860 pound-feet (up from 800), and that's enough to enable Ford's F-450 Super Duty model to tow as much as 31,200 pounds, which, again, the automaker claims is class leading.

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Numbers like maximum horsepower, torque and tow ratings are the heart and soul of the full-size heavy duty pickup truck segment. No shocker there. But how much reliance can consumers actually put on figures provided by the manufacturer? And, keeping in mind that the average test drive doesn't include hooking up a ten-ton trailer, how might we all get a proper frame of reference when judging one massive diesel beast with another?

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It's no secret that today's crop of full-size heavy duty pickup trucks cost a pretty penny to purchase and operate. To wit, the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Mega Cab that we recently reviewed carried a sticker price of over $56,000. A large chunk of that asking price can be accounted for by the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine – largely responsible for the truck's massively impressive capabilities.

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It's no secret that today's crop of full-size heavy duty pickup trucks cost a pretty penny to purchase and operate. To wit, the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Mega Cab that we recently reviewed carried a sticker price of over $56,000. A large chunk of that asking price can be accounted for by the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine, which is also the single option most responsible for the truck's massively impressive capabilities.

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2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD – Click above for high-res image gallery

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