Buyers of large trucks in the US have plenty of choices. However, certain large trucks out there outshine the rest when it comes to load-lugging ability.
With this in mind, we take a look at the latest editions of two popular heavy hitters, the Ford F-350 vs Ram 3500, to see what each of these heavy-duty pickups has to offer.
Ford's F-series has been around since 1948 and comes with a well-earned pedigree. The Ford F-350 is classed as a chassis cab, with the passenger cabin riding on a separate heavy-duty chassis using heavy-duty components, allowing for heavier payloads and towing capabilities.
The latest 2024 Ford Super Duty F-350 is available in a lineup of 6 trims, plus regular, super cab, and crew cab configurations to cater to most prospective buyers' needs.
Belonging to the Ram pickup truck family, the latest 2023 Ram 3500 is available in five trim levels: Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Longhorn and Limited. The Ram 3500 is offered in three cab styles: a regular cab, a crew cab and the Mega Cab ( extra-large crew cab). Buyers also get to choose load bed size.
The Ford F-350 goes about its business with the choice of three engines: a 6.2 liter, 385-horsepower V8 gasoline engine producing 430 pound-feet of torque, a 6.7 liter, 475-horsepower power-stroke turbo diesel engine with a stump-pulling 1,050 pound-feet of torque and the 7.3 liter, 430-horsepower V8 gasoline engine with 475 pound-feet of torque.
All Gasoline models are mated to a TorqShift® G 6-speed automatic selectshift transmission, and diesel engines are coupled with a TorqShift® 10-speed automatic selectshift transmission along with selectable drive modes. The Ford F-350 is a four-wheel drive with drive normally going to the rear wheels.
The RAM 3500 also offers three engine options: a standard gasoline Hemi V8 of 6.4 liter capacity producing 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Next up is the 6.7 liter, I-6 inter-cooled turbo diesel, making 370 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque fitted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Lastly, the high-output version of the Cummings inter-cooled turbo diesel produces 400 horsepower and an impressive 1,075 pound-feet of torque using a six-speed automatic transmission.
Impressive loading and towing capacity is on offer with the Ford F350. Load volumes range from 65.4 to 78.5 cubic feet, with a maximum payload capacity of 7,640 pounds.
Engine package dependent, the F-350 offers a towing capacity of 13,500 to 27,000 pounds. For ultimate towing capability, choosing the optional dual-rear-wheel axle on any of the turbo-diesel models pushes towing rated capacity up to an incredible 35,750 pounds.
Not to be outdone, the RAM 3500 also boasts outstanding load and towing capacity. Equipped with the 6.4 liter V8 Hemi, a maximum payload of 7,680 pounds and tow rating of 18,210 pounds is on offer.
Choosing the 6-cylinder diesel provides a 4,663-pound maximum payload and a maximum towing capacity of 14,990 pounds.
For ultimate towing capacity, the high output Cummings 6.7 liter turbo diesel engine, along with the necessary factory-installed prep package, allows the Ram 3500 to tow an impressive 35,100 pounds.
The F-350 comes in regular cab, super cab, and crew cab configurations, all constructed in aluminum to lower the weight of the truck. Key styling features seen are chrome finish steel front bumpers with a black lower air dam and rear bumpers getting the same chrome finish.
Rectangular quad dual-beam Halogen headlamps do duty up front, black door handles, and folding trailer tow mirrors with both built-in clearance lamps and turn signals. All models ride on a range of 17 to 20-inch steel wheels as standard equipment.
With a total of ten exterior colors to choose from, buyers are spoilt for choice.
The Ram 3500 comes with a regular, crew or mega cab option, with the mega cab being one of the largest in the game. The Ram 3500 uses a high-strength hydroformed steel frame that is both sturdy and extremely durable without excess weight. The Ram 3500's big proportions are complemented by features such as the bold front grille in black with chrome surround, LED headlamps, chrome bumpers and black door handles.
Silver 18-inch wheels and a choice of 15 exterior colors complete the rugged looks of the RAM 3500.
The modern design of the F-350 offers a comfortable cabin, perfect for an on-the-go office with the exclusive center console work surface. Niceties like keyless entry into the spacious cabin that is finished in vinyl, cloth or leather. Some available features are power-adjusted driver's seats and heated and ventilated front and rear seats.
In-car audio sees a 4.2-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen fitted with Bluetooth streaming audio, in-car Wi-Fi, voice command, navigation and wireless charging.
The entry-level Ram 3500 offers a handy list of standard features, durable vinyl seats, manual door locks with power locks, and remote keyless entry, which are standard on Crew Cab models. Standard air conditioning, cruise control and a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system are included.
Moving up in the range sees more luxury and livability features being added, with available leather seats, dual-zone climate control, an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, integrated navigation and much more.
The F-350 offers a comprehensive suite of safety and driver aids, with intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-centering features. Optional front and rear sensing systems are available, as well as front and rear brake assist to prevent low-speed collisions.
Safety and driver aids on the Ram 3500 include a total of six airbags and an optional forward collision warning with active braking warning drivers when an accident is imminent and help stop the truck.
Other key safety and driver assistance features are LaneSense® lane departure warning along with Lane Keep Assist, ParkSense front and rear park assist, and adaptive cruise control.
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