Bragging Rights Battle Continues


This really isn't a news flash, but it's getting attention like there's been a huge discovery. It's well known that truckmakers use existing rules and standards to their advantage when calculating and promoting their payload numbers. But other than bragging rights, we're not sure it buys them much. We suspect that many truck buyers don't even pay attention to claims of "biggest," "strongest," "fastest," "best-in-class" anymore.

In a series of articles, Automotive News reports that not all manufacturers calculate their base curb weights in exactly the same way; as a result, the actual maximum payloads for a certain model of a pickup truck could be off by as much as 100 or 150 pounds. Nowhere does Automotive News note or imply that one company is getting a significant advantage over the competition using these practices, but the practices could be considered shady.

If are a pickup truck enthusiast, you know that any maximum payload number promoted in print, radio or television ads always has an asterisk next to the claim noting that the maximum rating number was determined on a certain model. Most pickup aficionados understand that there are literally thousands of options and versions you can choose from when ordering a pickup. So each variation will have a slightly different maximum payload rating. Much of this variation is because of the standardized gross vehicle weight rating (the total weight the entire truck chassis can carry, as determined by the truckmaker, including occupants, cargo and all filled fluids).

The real question here is whether a group like the Society of Automotive Engineers needs to establish a set of payload calculation standards to make sure truck consumers can compare apples to apples like SAE did with the J2807 towing criteria. The simple answer, from our point of view, is no. Although there is always a safety component when discussing payload capacities, it is nothing like the safety issues involved when towing potentially heavy loads that may or may not be sanctioned by the truckmaker based on its calculations. Before J2807 each manufacturer relied on different processes for calculating maximum tow ratings. SAE's J2807 provides consistency and improved safety. Calculating payload, with the help of the factory-calculated GVWR, is about subtracting the actual curb weight of the truck from the truck's posted GVWR (we encourage all pickup truck owners to find out exactly how much their truck weighs with a full tank of fuel).

There's no question that marketing departments and ad agencies will still want to know if their product has the highest, fastest, quickest or strongest truck out there, mainly because that's the easiest way for them to create advertisements. But we think it's a better idea to invest energy into educating current and future pickup truck consumers so they know how to calculate the exact real-world payload of their specific vehicle.

Manufacturer image



In other words, Bigger does not always mean Better.

Well at least you used a photo of the king of magic spring dust with the Ford.

It is time to shame GM. You should have mentioned what GM has decided to do on the 2015 Silverado 1500 half-tons.

GM just revealed that they will expand this practice to the 2015 half tons by deleting the spare tires and bumpers.

GM says they are doing this to keep it apples to apples, but GM will be the only ones doing it. Ford and Ram said no deletes on half tons.

It is time to shame GM into reversing this practice. The weight deleted might not mean a lot on a 3500, but 100-150 lbs off on a half-ton payload is a big deal!

The answer is YES! It really is simple. Make them post the capacities for the stripper version and most fully loaded version. Force all ratings to include "required by law" features. Although you can order the truck without a bumper, it is REQUIRED y law. The fact is, the aftermarket bumper will weigh MORE and further reduce payload, but NOT by 400 lbs. like we see today with bumper deletes. There will always be cheaters for bragging rights, just shrink the loop holes :)

Highest rating is stupid, if your pulling up towards the max your probably driving a truck to small in the first place.

But we think it's a better idea to invest energy into educating current and future pickup truck consumers so they know how to calculate the exact real-world payload of their specific vehicle.


Unfortunately, most of us learned about max payload (constraints) through real-time and real world experience, i.e., the pucker factor.

I've had some loads over the years that scared me enough that I never did it that way again.

Apart from fear, how do you make folks pay attention?

The WHOLE IDEA OF J2807 is to MAKE the manufacturers compare the same, not give shady ole Ford another way to "doctor" the numbers in their favor.........

Mark Williams you make a comment at the beggining that noone pays attention to who claims the biggest, baddest, heaviest towing and payload etc....... IF that were the case then WHY DOES FORD SPEND MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS to advertise just that every single year?.................. exactly because its suggestive marketing that works, the majority of consumers just dont know any different than what the internet or TV tells them so it must be true in their eyes........ its pathetic in my opinion, either everyone should post numbers that way or NOONE should its just that simple.

I really don't see the issue with using the stripped numbers, they are a starting point. If you're a truck outfitter, having the stripped numbers are a benefit.

It's simple people. All manufacturers slant the truth to their benefit and it's pretty silly to pick on one manufacturer for doing it. An intelligent consumer will know that you take the gvw minus the actual weight on the truck you're buying and that's your payload.

This is a non issue created by the masses who fail to do proper research when making a big investment like purchasing a vehicle. Then when the mistake is realized, instead of taking any accountability, they try to blame somebody else.

GM says it will broaden the practice for the 2015 model year to its light-duty full-sized pickups.

The GM spokesman said the automaker adopted the practice "because we saw what the competition was using."

He said: "It was done to keep comparisons apples-to-apples when we launched the new trucks." The competitor was Ford, the spokesman said.

For the F-150, Ford now says, it has always used the base curb weight.


Re: saw what the compeition was using.....

Ford doesn't delete on the F-150, but GM saw what Ford was using (aluminum).

GM saw that Ford was using aluminum on the 2015 lb and gaining 200 lbs of payload. GM saw what Ford was using and then decided to take off the bumper and spare tire for a gain of 150 stay competitive. This is the only way GM could compete and in the minds "keep it apples to apples."

Does that make sense? GM & Tom Wilkenson at Chevy, people see through you.

Also, one of the big ideas behind J2807 was to add 150 lb for passengers. GM is getting that back in the number for half-tons promoted in print by removing the bumper and tires.

Looks like GM is trying for another black eye to me.

@Gregory Stevens

They should not use deletes but 100-150 #'s difference isn't going to matter. Besides, who ever weighs a load thier about to through into the back of a pick-up?

If you really wanted to get detailed, take your new Chevy 6.2 with 1750# and subtract 800# for you and your three buddies, 50 more for all the stuff under the seats, in the console and your down to 900#'s. Then add an ATV and a couple coolers and you already over payload. Most people I see in this senario still have to load food, guns and camping equipment and are usually towing a trailer with three or four more ATVs, a boat or a travel trailer.

So, by the end of all this you'll wind up in the neighborhood of a 1000#s over weight and I will guarantee not one of these guys have any idea what thier GCVW is or what thier vehicle is rated for.

So if Chevy is rated at 1750, Ram at 1800, or Ford at 1850 what difference does it make? They'd all be significantly over weight.

All this is much ado about nothing. Really who cares, at the end of the day is the Ram(Dodge), Chevy/GMC, Ford fan boy really going to buy the "other" brand because it may offer 100 or 200 more pounds of payload or tow
Seriously if you are going to the max you are asking for trouble. 95% of fails are trying to get the last 5% out . All the whining and pouting I see on this site is laughable. The he's cheating and he's deleting and magic dust crying makes the lot of you look like total fools. Yes I have my favorites, but not to the point of being the village idiot.

It helps to remember that all trucks have a certification label on the door jamb that lists the payload for that individual truck. That really should be the go-to source for the customer, since it accounts for all of the options on that truck.

Jt before you start pointing fingers, you need to get your sh-t straight . Read the article thorough , Ford stripped out off the Super Duty and F150, the Radio ,Spare Tire ,Center Console and tire jack. GM deletion were on certain models the the rear bumper ad swapped out the spare wheel for lighter wheel choice to save weight. Where did you come up the bull of Chevy GMC 1500.

Reread it again. Ford does not do deletes on the F-150. It is only on HD.

Now GM is going to delete the bumper and wheels from the 2015 Silverado half tons to get payload. To keep it apples to apples? Huh? GM will be the only one deleting on half tons.

It's obvious you didn't read this article: "GM says it will broaden the practice for the 2015 model year to its LIGHT-duty full-sized pickups."

Note: "For the F-150, Ford now says, it has always used the base curb weight."

(no deletes on F-150)


Also from another article in the series:

Ford now says it limits practice to heavy-duty trucks

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said INCORRECTLY that Ford Motor Co. removes parts across all F-series models in setting maximum payload ratings. Ford, in a reversal, said today it only removes components on its heavy-duty trucks to establish payload ratings.

"He also said the maximum payload claims for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 are based on a minimum curb weight that deletes the rear bumper and the spare tire." - Tom Wikenson at Chevy

This "bull" came right from Chevy and Tom Wikenson. Blame Tom, Chevy and GM, not me. This is outgrageous that Chevy is broadening this practice to include half ons. How many half tons do you see without a spare and bumpers?

@ Tom Wilkinson at Chevy nailed it. Look at the cargo rating on the door tag.

The problem is that most people do not know what their truck is actually rated to haul. Many are clueless to towing. All they see is a car company's max tow and haul numbers and go with that.

I do think that a standard way of rating hauling is needed. That also applies to Gross combined weight ratings.

People think that the 1000 lb cargo rating applies to what is in the box and not the cab. They don't realize that a crew cab with 5 - 200 lb men means you all you can haul is air.

You can't believe any numbers from Ford because as soon as Ram or GM would raise their numbers the next week Ford would magically jump over them with out a single change to the Ford truck.

Funny how Ram and GM would at least change their trucks to come up with their new number that would beat Ford but with Ford it is always a quick response within the next week and magically beat Ram or GM with no changes to the Ford at all.

That Ford magic spring dust must be some really super special magical stuff.

@Lou_BC I notice is GVWR is determined by the manufacturer. Here with anything that is going to be used as a Commercial a Vehicle , it has to pass Australian Federal regulations. You do see, those US numbers drop a lot, not so much with payloads, but towing capacities

The Silverado has the braggin' rights to being the ugliest of the lot, followed closely by the GMC. All of these can brag to be incredibly fuel inefficient and driven mainly by people who had zero need for such a beast

Re: look at the door jamb

How do you look at the door jamb on an ordered truck?

GM is playing games and Tom Wikenson knows it.

What half-ton user drives around without a spare, tire carrier and bumper?

GM is expanding this practice to half-tons so they can boost payloads in print, but nobody will ever really get that 150 lbs back in their 1500 unless they remove their bumper and drive with no spare.

Disingenous to say the least and borderline false advertising. GM may be opening itself to a class action lawsuit that claims its advertising is deceptive .

I do think this is where the safety regulators sometimes are bowing down to the manufacturers.

It's ALL of the manufacturers that 'use' the system to make false claims.

In Australia vehicle with a GVM of over 4.5 tonnes must pull into the respective states and territories weigh bridges when driving.

Maybe pickup/SUV drivers should also be forced to do the same at random. With modern electronics the bridges can calculate draw bar weights and the weight over each axle.

If 10% is the minimum weight on the draw bar and it is found only 5% is on the drawbar, then fine the person.

If a vehicle is overloaded or the incorrect hitch weight is found fine the individual, like the transport industry must endure.

Commercial operators of trucks are rigourously checked all the time here, that is ALL the vehicles over 4.5 tonnes must be weighed at each axle.

I've seen some real beanheads out there who shouldn't be allowed to tow or load a pickup, even in Australia.

There is always room to improve road safety. The best possible way is through education, force education when the vehicle operator thinks he knows better.

My life should be protected from numpty and maverick vehicle operators.

I agree that GM saying they will use deceptive advertising to boost the printed/advertised payloads on the 2015 GM half tons to compete against the aluminum payload increase on the F-150.

just install D Load rated (10 ply) tires on your 1/2 ton pickup and you can haul anything

Good job GM and Tom Wikenson!

Silverado 1500 gives you the proven power of the EcoTec3 5.3L V8 engine with better available fuel economy than Ford F-150’s EGoBoost V6!

Silverado 1500 gives you BEST PAYLOAD standard of any 5.3 V8 with unsurpased city fuel economy!

Let it be written, let it be done!

Yep, For all the doubting thomas's out there, you were WRONG! and like I told you, Colorado is $14k LESS THAN Silverado!!!!! And alot better looking than ford's F150 that's for darn sure.

Another WIN for GM, and another loss for ford. I bet ford changes their mind and copies GM AGAIN and brings back the rootin tootin Ranger!

@Tom#3 - tires don't change ratings. You wreck a truck that is overloaded and you are liable.

@ Clueless BC and ALL0

Looks like Ram has been meeting the J2807 standard since 2013.

lol they made the trucks so they cant work without being ticketed and giving the govt some extra dough to blow

Ram uses base curb weight.

"Looks like Ram has been meeting the J2807 standard since 2013."
Posted by: Ram Big Horn 1500 | Aug 5, 2014 6:36:26 PM

That would explain the sh!tty ratings for the 1500 and 2500.

There should be no deletes on equipment that is considered "standard" by the manufacturer.

The last time I checked bumpers and spare tires were standard. Items required by the DOT should never be deleted.

If the manufacturer wants to base their numbers on a base version of their truck thats fine but it should be the very same base version sitting on their lots.

Not some check the boxes special order no one ever does or even can do thing.

Manufacturers bundle options into packages and make some things unavaliable with others. If they want to do this packagine/bundeling with the consumer they should have to live by it in their testing.

If they want to rate their hightest trim level truck for capabilities the nose pickers, ass scratchers, and center consoles stay in. If their base model doesnt include AC or power windows and they select to test that one thats fine too. Just put it in the print which version the numbers were based on.

In my opinion this should be universal regadless of the "duty" level of truck.

GM says it will broaden the practice for the 2015 model year to its light-duty full-sized pickups.

"He also said the maximum payload claims for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 are based on a minimum curb weight that deletes the rear bumper and the spare tire." - He is Tom Wikenson at Chevy

Here is a link to the 2015 1500 Silverado and Sierra order guides.

Bumpers and Spare Tires are Standard equipment across all trim levels. I don't see any delete available.

Chevy, You got some 'splainin to do!

"Looks like Ram has been meeting the J2807 standard since 2013."
Posted by: Ram Big Horn 1500 | Aug 5, 2014 6:36:26 PM

That would explain the sh!tty ratings for the 1500 and 2500.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Aug 5, 2014 11:48:20 PM

How do you figure that Clueless BC?

Because Ford has refused to meet the J2807 standard and poured huge amounts of their magic spring dust and magic towing dust on their trucks so that the public does not know the truth about their trucks true towing and load capacity the press sites should be all over Ford.

Any testing done by the press must now be under J2807 standards. If Ford does not want to meet those standards then so be it, the testing will be conducted using the J2807 standards regardless.

Failure to use J2807 standard in the press testing will immediately mean any test of void and the results are invalid.

I am betting Ford would refuse to send a truck to take part in any tests that use the J2807 standard. The only truck Ford is going to have that they claim meets the J2807 standard will be the F150 and they had to do a complete ground up redesign of that truck to do it.

I think people really should look at the door sticker of a similar truck they are thinking of ordering , Looking at F250 2015 King ranch 4x4 powerstroke fx4 with 20" wheels i saw that the payload was 1980lbs fords website says 2610 when properly equiped needless to say i will probbaly get the f350 in similar configuration to get the payload that i need.
I do find it funny when i see obese people in a vehicle with a low payload and know they are 1000lbs over the vehicles weight rating.

It's not about looking at door stickers or swapping tires, the question is this.....

Should GM take off the rear bumper, spare tire and tire carrier to juice published payload numbers by 100-150 lbs on their 2015 1500's for marketing purposes?

Yes or no.

"Looks like Ram has been meeting the J2807 standard since 2013."
Posted by: Ram Big Horn 1500 | Aug 5, 2014 6:36:26 PM

That would explain the sh!tty ratings for the 1500 and 2500.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Aug 5, 2014 11:48:20 PM

Ram also out performed Ford and chevy in the 1500 shoot out.

Ram also out performed the Ford 450 King of beast test.

So keep talking smack cause it shows your just a jealous ford fan boi. lol

Dodge, if you know.You know.

in my state rear bumpers are required by law so GM would not be honest on their ratings in my state. If they sold the truck without the rear bumper the first thing the owner would have to do is buy a rear bumper to put on the truck or risk a moving violation citation that carries points against the drivers license.

So GM would be dishonest by taking off the rear bumper to come up with their max tow and load ratings.

Ohhhh, i got the clan from Ramistan all worked up.

The Ram 1500 and 2500 have extremely low cargo ratings even before J2807.

If GCWR and cargo ratings are factored in, most Ram trucks cannot tow their rated weight anyway so what is the point of J2807 compliance other than PR.

My vacation this summer had me driving from Alabama to Colorado, then down to Arizona and back to Alabama.

When it comes to hauling, I did a clearly unscientific poll of trucks pulling fifth wheel RV trailers and Ram 2500/3500 trucks were the overwhelming favorite. Also, in the same road trip I noticed more GM and Ford trucks pulled over with engine troubles. I asked a mechanic what the main reason trucks that are pulling fifth wheel trailers are on the roadside broken down and he said that the most people do not take the truck out of overdrive and they end up blowing it out.

@Chris - unscientific is the correct word.
What year of trucks?
BTW - your whole "most people do not take the truck out of overdrive" theory may of been the case when companies went from 3 speed auto's with OD but not now.

I've been on long trips and vehicles I see on the roadside broken down are usually old beaters.
The last truck I saw getting hauled away by a tow truck was a Ram diesel. It was maybe 5 years old. Last summer I saw 2 Chevy trucks dead in the Fraser Canyon in +45C (113F) heat. One was an old Chevy that was maybe 15 years old pulling a huge horse trailer. It puked its transmission all over the road. The other one was surprisingly a new Chevy 2500 that overheated pulling a 5K boat. I've seen Fords on a hook too.

every new truck i have ever scene broken down was a diesel regardless of brand.

GM just announced they will stop removing parts to base tow ratings on actual curb weight. autonews

what I find interesting, you can get a 2014 F150 with almost the same rated payload of a 2014 Ram 2500.

1/2 ton gassers
Titan 2016 lbs
Ford F150 2330 lbs WHY SO HIGH!! (yes this is the 2014, not the aluminum 2015 model)
GMC 1500 1974 lbs
Tundra 1500 lbs
Ram 1500 1686 lbs

3/4 ton diesels
Ram 2500 2338 lbs WHY SO LOW!!
Ford F250 3250 lbs
GMC 2500 3501 lbs

1 ton diesel SRW
Ram 3500 4110 lbs
Ford F350 3970 lbs
GMC 3500 4600 lbs

1 ton diesel DRW (long bed)
Ram 3500 5828 lbs
Ford F350 5920 lbs
GMC 3500 5205 lbs

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