The tow-ratings grudge match between Ford and Ram continues, it seems, as Ford has announced that its 2017 F-450 can haul a maximum of 32,500 pounds— erasing the 2016 RAM 3500’s 10-pound advantage over last year’s F-450. And then some. If there’s pertinent consumer information to be found anywhere in this news, it likely will be of consequence only to those deciding between a semitractor-trailer and a heavy-duty pickup.
In fact, to make that semi-truck comparison easier, Ford’s announcement includes the cheeky little factoid that the F-450 Super Duty’s gross combined weight rating now reaches 41,800 pounds. That, per Ford, is more than half the same weight rating for an unspecified type of 18-wheeler. Even the Super Duty models with smaller numbers in their names—the F-250 and F-350—can now drag 18,000 pounds behind their hitches. Ford claims that number is class leading, but who really cares—we’d say that if you’re planning on regularly hauling anywhere near half a semi-truck’s worth of weight, you should probably just buy an 18-wheeler instead of a heavy-duty pickup, but the higher maximum number should give people towing, say, a mobile home, more peace of mind.
By the same token, if you really need to drop 7630 pounds into an F-350’s bed—that is the model’s new “class leading” payload—buy a dump truck. Or a box truck. Clearly, every full-size heavy-duty pickup these days can be optioned to tow or carry absurd amounts of weight, and since most truck buyers stick rigidly to brands, statistics like these seem more important for bragging rights than actual capability. Because if your full-size truck needs hinge on the F-450’s 1290-pound towing advantage over the Ram 3500, both of which can haul over 30,000 pounds, you probably shouldn’t be buying either of them.