2013 Ram HD: The King of Towing at 30,000 Pounds

2013 Ram HD Max Tow II

The numbers are out! As the Ram Truck team teased when they debuted the 2013 Ram HD pickup trucks at the State Fair of Texas last year, the 2013 Ram HD 2500 and 3500 trucks will offer some of the largest towing and weight ratings in the industry. 

As you may recall, the new Ram HDs have a new frame, beefed-up front and rear suspensions on most models, and an upgraded Cummins motor (now with a new Diesel Exhaust Fluid injection system and extra cooling technology) that is now rated at a class-leading 850 pounds-feet of torque. These are only some of the key changes made to the heavy-duty pickups and chassis cabs that help Ram produce the bigger maximum fifth-wheel towing, payload and gross vehicle weight ratings.

Specifically, Ram says that its HD 3500 has a maximum gross combined weight rating (meaning the maximum weight the vehicle can tow when combining the weight of the pickup, trailer, personnel, cargo and fluids) at 37,500 pounds. As you may have already figured out, there will be select models and configurations rated to tow a 30,000-pound trailer, which is more than 5,000 pounds than the previous category leader could tow.

We expect Ram to be releasing a full list of 2500/3500 payload, GAWR, GCWR and specific towing numbers soon, and when we get them, we'll pass them along as soon as possible. For now, we can say the 3500 Ram HD maximum fifth-wheel towing numbers will beat the current max-towing champion, the Ford Super Duty F-450, which is rated at 18,500 pounds for conventional towing and 24,700 pounds for maximum fifth-wheel towing with a personal-use, non-commercial chassis cab pickup truck. It should be noted that the Ford F-350 has slightly lower conventional and fifth-wheel towing numbers.

Oddly, due to what is likely to be issues with the structural design of the current Class V hitch, the new Ram HD trucks are only rated to carry 17,000 pounds with a conventional hitch (presumably a weight-distributing hitch). That means Ford will retain that particular crown for the time being. 

Ram also says that the maximum towing and GCWR numbers for the HD 2500 models (or three-quarter-tons) will also rise significantly, with maximum fifth-wheel towing numbers listed at 18,350 pounds and a GCW rating of 25,000 pounds. For those with relatively good memories (dating back just 10 to 15 years ago), these are the types of numbers that we were hoping for from our one-ton pickups. 

We should say here that this new Ram HD 3500 is no Long-Hauler, with its extended range and monster length, but clearly there was plenty of learning garnered from that concept exercise. In fact, there are several unique towing features that were on the Long-Hauler that have made it into production. We'll have more on those at a later date. For now, all we can do is champ on our bit and wait for the first available break in our schedule when we can get all the one-ton trucks together again for another Ultimate Showdown. You can bet this one is high on our priority list, and we'll be looking for suggestions on how to best test all of these monster pullers to determine the champion. More to come. 

To read the full press release, click here.  

To see one of the 3500 HD rating charts, click here.

To see one of the 2500 HD rating charts, click here.

More charts to come.  

HD Class Leaders

Max conventional towing — Chevrolet Silverado HD 3500: 18,000 pounds

Max conventional towing — Ford F-450 Super Duty: 18,500 pounds

Max conventional towing — 2013 Ram 3500 HD: 17,000 pounds

Max fifth-wheel towing — Chevrolet Silverado HD 3500: 23,000 pounds

Max fifth-wheel towing — Ford F-450 Super Duty: 24,500 pounds

Max fifth-wheel towing — 2013 Ram 3500 HD: 30,000 pounds


In First..........30,000 pounds towing is a monster. Great job Ram with a bitch slap across the face of Ford and Chevy. So much for Ford and Chevy's game of 100 pound increases.

CDL required

Every manufacturer has trucks out there with a GCWR over 26,000. What is your point?

I look for FORD to come out next week with class leading numbers without changing a bolt or rear leaf spring. Just a SPRINKLE of that old Ford magic spring dust will do the trick. LMFAO!!!

So basically they said, "Screw it, just make them all Ram 5500's and then just give 'em a different badge."

Makes a lot of sense, I mean, now they should be able to share more chassis components between all their HD trucks and medium duty chassis cabs, saving them money in the long run.

"As you may have already figured out, that means there will be select models and configurations rated to tow a 30,000 pound trailer..."

Doesn't this mean a regular cab, 2WD with single rear wheels?

"...now with a new Diesel Exhaust Fluid injection system..."

Is this a good thing?

"...the current max-towing champion, the Ford Super Duty F-450..."

Isn't the F-450 just a badge job'd F-350 with the former "Tow Boss" option?

BTW, aren't Ram HDs 100% Hecho en Mehico?

I look for all the Ford, GM, and Toyota boys to throw a fit, sorry guys cause all the Ram news and awards . Chevy and GMC get a styling refresh (or go backwards, depending on how you look at it) and direct injection, and that's the big change you get. While Ram keeps improving!

@Denver Mike: You missed the word SELECT

Take that ! Bitches !


I don't mean to sound sour grapes and congrats to the Ram, but mine are just simple questions any truck shopper with half a brain would be asking. The article was informative to a point, but leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

Ram claimed max towing on all HD trucks so what is 2013 Ram 5500's max towing?

@TRX4 - There's no reason to be vague about it. If the truck selected for the picture in the article would be limited to a 27,000 lbs trailer, and not the whole 30,000 of "select" trucks, just say so.

I guarantee you that Ram or the media is not going to talk abou tthis.

The chart says the Ram max 30,000 rating is in a regular cab 2wd. Useless!

Ford's 24,700 max tow is in a crewcab 4x4.


Here it is a choice of Heavier Japanese or European Truck to tow a Trailer/ Caravan/ 5th Wheel of over 30,000lb

@Denver Mike: It sure wouldn't be one with single rear tires....as you mention....

Do regular cabs tow much?

Flashback: Mark Williams on using regular cabs

"Ford’s decision to send us a regular cab for this test was bold, if not crazy...What didn’t impress us was the strange choice of an integrated brake controller (do regular cabs tow much?), ......This configuration forced us to compromise our people-hauling abilities, especially when compared with the others. Clearly, there is a lot of good stuff here, but in the end, fancy features couldn’t outweigh our need for extra interior space."


Regular cab?


Just what I want to see, some 80 year with a pacemaker and a pocket full of nitro pills heading down the freeway at 85mph pulling a 30,000 lb camper trailer.

This max tow game is just plain stupid.

Ford dumbed down the original F450 because the tires weren't rated for speeds greater than 70 mph and people complained it was too heavy.

Sorry, Tom, but you won't find me bashing a Cummins. If Ram ever gets Aisin transmissions in ALL of their HD trucks they will have the winning package. Being a farmer and familiar with diesels, Cummins is where it's at. Too bad it has to come in a Ram truck though ;) Now as for the HEMI, hate that engine, but this is about the Cummins so give credit where credit is due. Ram, if you ever lose Cummins or Aisin, God help you. That's all I'm saying.

@TRX4 - Why would you need dual rear wheels for a properly distributed 5-wheel? Or conventional trailer for that matter? They limit the max available towing and therefore, max tow ratings are for SRWs and not duallies. You and I may prefer DRWs, but they don't do anything to up the ratings.

@Mike, Dave & Lou,

Do you know how to read or are you just stupid? It says this is only one chart! More charts for the crewcabs are to come!!!


@DODGEGUY - HD pickups have a light-duty truck classification as opposed to medium-duty cab-n-chassis trucks with aftermarket pickup conversions.

@TRX4 - OK, you're right about the DRWs. They do add to towing ability.

@HEMI MAN - Notice how when you go from an ST to an SLT you lose a few lbs of towing? Then with 4X4 you lose a bunch more? Now what do you think happens when you add the dead weight of a crew cab?

@Hemi Man of the sheep herder's tribe - I wasn't commenting specifically on a certain configuration.
30,000 lb behind a pickup, any brand of pickup, is just plain stupid because some idiot will buy that truck, and get that 30K trailer and be completely clueless how to safely drive it.

I'm impressed by the numbers generated by the new Ram HD's but what's the point?

My 'load" is bigger than your "load"?

Ohhh.....baby..........yes..........yes.......what a load...........

Leave the heavy hauling to commercial spec trucks like Freightliner, Mack, Volvo, Kenworth, Peterbuilt, Navistar etc.

The bright side to all this is maybe there won't be anymore nightmare stories about Ram diesel HD pickup front ends.

Anyone notice that Ram Cummins trucks need DEF. New for 2013 - a DEF tank on 2500's and 3500's.

And to think that Chrysler advertised the sh-t out of DEF free, kinda like Howie and the absence of heated steering wheels.

I kinda hope Ford doesn't over do the F250/F350. Just make the F450/F550 stronger. There has to be a limit to how much the 250 or 350 can tow, if you need more then you just need to get a bigger truck. No reason to inflate a 3500 when you got a 4500 and a 5500, unless your GM of course and forgot how to make a real truck.

Aside from that, thats some impressive power they got there, and way to represent single cabs.

YAWN! Shame the Ram is almost as crappy as a tundra. If the rams tranny lasted over 100,000 mile maybe someone with a brain would buy it, right now only village idiots buy it and the tundra.

I think it is quite funny that when any mention of the ford in regards to payload and towing they always list and spec the f-450. Lets do some better comparing and use the f-350 just like dodge and gm. You do not see dodge comparing there 5500 to gm and ford's 1-ton models. Maybe Mr. Williams can help us all out on this issue.

Congrats Dodge!

Mr. Joe...I think that is the point......comparing a Ram 3500 to a F-450 as that is Ford's tow vehicle with the highest rating. For comparison purposes the F-350 4x2 Reg cab appears to max out at 22,800. RAM has them covered by over 7,000 pounds.

waiting for fords magical spring dust.... to kick in...

I do agree that these max power and towing numbers are crazy....but on the other hand, if ur gonna tow that heavy, ur gonna need a cdl. That will prevent the idiots for getting behind the wheel of a huge load. This truck will be great for hot shot drivers. Id like to try that out and this would be the truck I would get. This transmission talkk is getting old too. Nobody talks anymore about the 6.0 and what gm called a diesel in the 90s. Havnt had any problem with mmy o4 2500 hemi at all 132,700mi. But then again I dont tow 30,000 lbs with it :)

What happened to the J2807 numbers they said they would use when they had the all new trucks in 2013? Ram skipped the J2807 for both light and hd lines and they are both "all new" with frames etc. If they didn't use the new standards now, no one will. Apparently that was a waste of research.

i will be glad when chrysler gets rid of all the old transmissions (65rfe, 66rfe, 68rfe in trucks). when 2014 comes the 1500 needs the pentastar, vm motori, and the hemi (maybe two), all backed by an eight speed. when 2014 comes the hd's need a larger hemi and the cummins with an eight speed for the hemi and at least the aisin across the board for the cummins (and one specific power output across the board as well). the six speed is a good thing, however when you buy a diesel you want the max everything and most trucks come with an automatic anyway. if they want to keep a six speed, put it behind the hemi, it's the one that needs it. let cummins aisin compete against duramax allison. (for the stupid ones i am talking about the six speed manual in the ram hds). i am a ram fan, however it erks me when you can't just go on the lot and get the truck with all the max tow stuff standard (you have to option for it), i mean this is what you buy the truck for. if you don't need 30,000 lbs of towing get a 2500. who wants a dualie that doesn't tow the max. besides you'll be mad when people ask you if your truck can tow that much like advertised and you have to tell them no. if the 2500 is the same basic chaisis, why not get aisin across the board and it will also give them room in their transmisson plants to make the new 8 speeds once the quit the 65, 66, 68 rfe family.

Not for long, Ford will magically bump up the towing cap within a year.

Here we go with all of the Ram troll losers bragging about this turd! Plus in states like Massachusetts a CDL is required to tow 30,000lbs and up. Now it will be non-stop guts, glory crap and inflated numbers that dodge fan boys come up with. Don't worry Ford is not about to give away the crown for very long! So just get over it!

If only Cummins could figure out how to be less of a fuel gulper.

@ DenverMike: I think Ram getting Diesel Exhaust Fluid is a good thing for them. They advertised NOT having it because the general public doesn't know what it is or how it works.

In the trucking industry, our newer trucks that that use DEF (2010 engines and newer) are smoother, more reliable and quite a bit more efficient. Thankfully Cummins has several years of experience with this technology - it should really help the Ram (even though I'm a Ford guy).

66rfe 383 hp 400 lb-ft

manual transmisson 350 hp 660 lb-ft
68rfe 370 hp 800 lb-ft
aisin 385 hp 850 lb-ft

what they should be

hemi (6.4) with manual or 870re - 470 hp 470 lb-ft

cummins with aisin - 450 hp 900 lb-ft

Fordtrucks77 - - - Here in VA anything over 26,001 lbs needs a cdl so why talk crap when all of the current hds have a max rating over 26,000 lbs. If ur gonna use all the capacity get the dot license!

Why is it they compare the F-450, with the others, that are 3500's? is that fair? I mean it should be a F-350, instead of the 450? right? why do they always do that? and what is the rating for the F-350?

"I look for all the Ford, GM, and Toyota boys to throw a fit, sorry guys cause all the Ram news and awards . Chevy and GMC get a styling refresh (or go backwards, depending on how you look at it) and direct injection, and that's the big change you get. While Ram keeps improving!"

@Tom, The 2014 Chevy already looks like an outdated mess exterior and interior both. The Chevy HD will continue on with their piss poor torsion bar sprung low slung frame garbage they can't seem to dump. No Raptor or RamRunner. I don't even see the point in buying a Chevy truck any longer. There was a time that if you wanted the best looking truck you bought a Chevy. If you wanted the most power you bought a Chevy. If you wanted the nicest interior you bought a Chevy. If you wanted to go offroad you bought a Chevy. I honestly can't say I'd buy a Chevy for Any of those reasons anymore. Ford and Dodge have been kicking Chevrolet's ass for years now concerning trucks. It's like GM doesn't even care anymore. They haven't for a good decade or two in my book.


Ford F350 is rated 22,800lbs. Ford says there F450 is there tow king its max towing is 24,500lbs...kinda sad Ram 3500 out tows Ford best "towing" truck....just think what the Ram 5500 can tow...can't wait to find out its numbers...35,000 maybe?

So let's get this straight:

Ram has the most comfy riding 1/2 ton.

Ram has the most fuel efficient 1/2 ton.

Ram has the most hard core 1 ton.

Ram has the Hemi and Cummins engines, which are the most dependable, hands down, in the industry.

Ram has the best warranty.

Ram is the best looking truck on the road.

Chrysler in general has won more truck and 4x4 awards in recent years than every other company combined.

Hmm... sounds to me like the other guys might as well pack up and go home.


Fiat auto group: Ram/Chrysler/Jeep:
Rams: near the top in every category except dependability. You'll need that best in class warranty.


Ok. I'm a truck shopper "with half a brain". Do I need such towing capacity? No.

Ok, let's assume the answer is 'yes'. Why do I want to pull 15 tons on a trailer behind my pickup truck when a dedicated OTR tractor offers better visibility, better control and most of all offers pneumatic braking for that heavy trailer thus offering an overall better package? Um... I don't? 30,000 pounds is 15 tons or roughly 8 cars based on current weights. Based on that you're setting up a pickup truck that requires a CDL to replace purpose-built road haulers more capable overall.

In other words, these "HD" trucks are massive overkill for all but the most specific purposes that most of us will never see. Sure, where I live I see massive trailer loads of hay headed to our local horse-training track often hauled by an HD--even the existing rigs grossly overloaded with hay piled 10 feet high in the bed of the truck and a 20-foot trailer piled nose to tail to the same height as the load in the bed. More often I see flatbed trailers hauled by conventional OTR trucks with larger payloads. The cost of one of these HDs is hardly any less than an OTR rig when taking operating expenses into account, too.

def is actually gonna save chrysler money. have you seen the cats on the 2012 and prior cummins trucks? each one looks like one muffler from a hemi and their are like 4 of them and they have precious metals in them. look up pickuptrucks.com 2013 ram hd first look and look at the picture of the revised chaisis. the exhaust is a whole lot less complex without those humongous cats. and concerning my earlier comment, maybe ram should put the 890re behind the 6.4 so they would have room to expand because 870re is rated up to 506 lb-ft torque and the 890re is rated up to 664 lb-ft of torque.

Anyone notice how Ram made no claims about being fuel efficient?

why are u guys complaining about trucks getting more efficent? if you have a brain, use it. if you don't need a truck to pull 30,000 lbs then don't get it, hell it is expensive anyway. get a 2500 instead. sounds to me, from what all of you guys say, that you want a crew cab long bed 4wd drw truck with less capability. if you are gonna pay $75,000 dollars for a truck, get your moneys worth. why do you want less capability for the same price? you guys said it, so yall tell me. before you do, let me tell you. you guys complain about a ram 1500s payload and towing but then you turn around and complain that the hds, which are the ones that are supposed to have the payload and towing and cost a fortune, because they have to much payload and towing! the haters on this site are ridiculous and i think all the haters are the same people on here just under different names because they have fun confusing everyone. if you tow up to 7,500 lbs or less regularly get a 1500. if you tow up to 15,000 lbs or less regularly get a 2500. if you tow up to 22,500 lbs or less regularly get a 3500. if you tow anymore than that regularly you are bullshitting and need to become a truck driver just so you can say you towed 100,000 lbs. oh yeah, i don't care what a truck can tow maxed out, use your brain. just because a 1500 tows 10,000 lbs if you are going to tow 10,000 lbs everyday get a 2500 to give yourself room to expand, so to speak. i can see you guys with a 5.3 silverado running 5500 rpm towing 9500 lbs up a hill in second gear because a commercial said it tows 9500 lbs and you must do what the commerical said.

who said chrysler is trying to out do ford and gm? do you work for chrysler? maybe they want to out do themselves and just make a truck that was better than before. but i will tell you this, we will all know who the jealous ones are when gm comes out with a 3500hd than can tow 30,500 lbs and ford comes out with an f350 than can tow 30,501 lbs. furthermore i would say ford would go the extra mile and make a ford F-1050 with a 1.0 liter ecoboost I3 that has 1000 lb-ft of torque that can take Atla's spot at holding up the world.

Will be interesting to see if they hold up once they have been out for a year.

Due to my loads I would put myself in the hat to be one of the testers..

I will keep my current rig on standby till all the kinks are worked out.

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