Kings of Beasts Are on the Road

Ford F-450 II

What are you doing this Labor Day weekend? We bet you won't be having as much fun as we are. In fact, we'll have two of the biggest tow monsters running across the American Southwest, collecting towing impressions and data along the way, and we'll be loving every minute of it. We'll be traveling from Denver to Las Vegas to Flagstaff with a few side trips to some of the toughest hill-climb highways in the U.S.

Our two tow testers for this run are a 2013 Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum edition and 2013 Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn edition, each with the maximum tow packages. We'll be hauling some heavy loads with our specially made Load Max flatbed air suspended gooseneck trailers, each capable of hauling 28,000 pounds. And before we're hit with a barrage of emails, we know these two trucks are not direct competitors and that neither was designed to go head-to-head or be cross-shopped, and as many will note, there will be some important differences between the two.

However, these are the two biggest max-tow haulers in the personal heavy-duty segment that exist, so we thought we'd take them out for a spin — a five-state, 1,200-mile spin...and tow the crud out of them. And in case you're wondering where the GM representative is here, we know the next-gen Silverado and Sierra Heavy Duties aren't set to come out until the 2015 model year and, frankly, they just don't have anything in the tow ratings altitude that these two trucks do.

So this adventure will be about towing the heavy loads and the issues involved with that. But don't worry. We have plans in the works already for a Hurt Locker II head-to-head — an apples-to-apples one-ton challenge for the spring or summer of 2014. At that time there should be plenty to talk about, with each of the truck makers finding out who is the towing champion.

We'll be meeting up our 2013 Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn in a few days. In the meantime, look for our Kings of Beasts story to come out later next month. We'll try to provide a few update while out on the road by tweeting or posting some photos on our Facebook page. 

F-450 pumpkin II

F-450 bed II

F-450 plug II



This is going to be badass! bring it on.!

This is a direct comparison because the new ram 3500 has moved up into the 450 territory with its tow rating.

This is why come here.
Great project.

About time. Damn 2014's almost here you guys just now starting these.

GM and Ford will tie for first or it will be extremely close, going either way. Ram will be a distant last.

sounds pretty cool. Anybody know what the max tow rating is for these two trucks and what the max tow rating is for a current chevy/gmc 3500?

Hey Jeff. Read the post. GMC/Cevy isn't in this 1. this one is just Ford F-450 vs Ram 3500Hd. Ford F450 is the only truck that can almost tow as much as the Ram 3500.

These trucks are indeed comparable. The F-450 chassis-cab is a Class 4, but the F-450 pickup is a Class 3. Both pickups in this test have a GVWR of 14,000 pounds. Can't get closer than that.

Wow jeffy must be a rocket scientist.wakeup dumbass there is not a gm product in the comparison . This is why people should not inhale

@Beebe - I looked at the web sites:

Ford F450 - 5th wheel 24,700 lb,
Ram 3500 - 5th wheel 28-30,000 depending on trim package.
(If it is equipped similarly to the Ford, IIRC 29,000)
GMC/Chev 3500 - 23,100 lb.

They should include the Chevy.

When Mike Levine was here they were going to do a test where they compared a pickup to an MDT. I wonder what ever happened to that test?

@duelly - If you are going to call anyone a dumbass - learn how to spell.

What is the difference between dual and duel ?

Lets put it this way, PUTC is going to have a duel between the Ram and Ford to see which one is the better truck on dual wheels.

This will be interesting for sure.

I watch a vid on youtube where these guys took a '13 Ram 3500 towing an 18K lbs empty horse trailer and they went up to the Eisenhower tunnel and down and then turned around and went back up and down the hill, timed it and recorded it's average fuel mileage under the heavy towing. That poor Ram got worked pretty hard but seemed to do ok. Both trucks will be going really slow up those steep grades with that much weight.

Ram has a vid on their website that shows the Ford F550 chassis cab and a Ram 5500 chassis cab racing up the Davis dam and the Ram with the same weight beat the Ford by 2 plus minutes. I

It'll be interesting to see the test done by a non-bias third party to see how they compare.

Kings of Beasts Are on the Road
Posted by Mark Williams | August 31, 2013

And they show the Ford. That's funny. Ram is the Tow King.



"We'll be meeting up our 2013 Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn in a few days."

Translation: they haven't picked up the Ram yet - a tad difficult to post pictures of a truck you don't have.

@Lou BC,
Different definition of MDT here, but that comparison of the "Ultimate Pickup Caravan Pullers " would have been interesting.

@Robert Ryan - I'm seeing more and more MTD's used for pulling large 5th wheel trailers. I've also started seeing MTD's used as motorhome chassis's. They are called Super C's instead of Class C motorhomes. Most I've seen are on Freightliner trucks.

I just know the ram will beat that Ford!!

Be almost impossible though. That Ford just has it. These Rams are tough trucks but that Ford has em beat. Can't say no more other than watch the fires.

@Lou NC
Correction last one was a 1998 IVECO HDT.
This is a Mercedes ATEGO MDT.

How many spare transmissions did the Ram have to carry to make it through this pull comparison? Hope the Ford got better than 7mpg.

@Tj I can tell you know nothing about this so just leave. I can tell you didn't even read the artical. TJ Ill put it likes this simple for ya. ram 2500-5500 trucks have heavy duty Asin transmission. This toe of transmission is used in Heavy Duty trucks(semi trucks). The sucky trans were in the 2 gen ram trucks. That's 94-02.....get over it it's in the past. The transmissions they got today are some of the best.

The ford has more HP and if you watched the Hurt locker test of last year mark said" this one wasn't just all about torque" preferring to the Ram 3500 with new 800lbs-ft torque, they said it takes Hp. The 385 might work but the Ford will still beat it to the top of the hill maybe. But this will be a good close down to the line comparison.

You no if gm bring a diesel the same class of ford and ram,we no the winer,same truck win in 3500,,,

One hill the testers might consider is a 14% grade, roughly 4 miles long, with curves and mostly 35 mph or so speed limits is on Utah highway 12. I don't remember exact location but somewhere between Cannonville and Torrey. The downgrade is marked 14% at the top. To climb this grade, go east to west. I towed a 36' fifthwheel up this grade with a 2005 F350 a few years ago.

Ford will win. The Ram will break down on the side of the road. Is that better, lol.

Just a friendly reminder Dodgeguy65: and that is hp equals speed and trq equals movement, or get up and go, while hp will bring you to a higher speed, it takes torque to get off the line, and both to keep your speed up on a big hill! also there are many variables to take into consideration like gear ratios and even temp and humidity, and especially altitude.

Ford diesel trucks are known for numerous problems and recalls. Dodge has a better track record for dependability with the Cummins. Overhaul on Cummins is 100,000 miles more then Ford and Chevy.

The front grill on that super dooty is god awful ugly. Tried to copy the aero advantage of the Ram truck. Guess Ford copied Ram for the jake brake. Haven't copied Ram on the factory goose neck yet.

Will Chrysler Face Another Recall with This Jeep?

The dust has barely settled on the huge recall Chrysler (FIATY.PK) faced for more than a decade’s worth of model-year Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles, but a new one may be in the works. According to Reuters, federal regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are putting the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV under the microscope after reports that sun visors in the vehicles have been catching fire.

August 26, 2013, 12:03 pm 3 Comments
Chrysler Recalls 491 Fiats Over Separating Driveshafts


‘Rust Issues’ on Police Cars Prompts City to Switch Back to Ford

Dodge Chargers having premature rust issues...

Cruisers rusting after one year of service, especially including areas inside the engine bay, isn't a salt issue. It's a quality issue.

It's interesting to read the guys argue over how quick a truck is.

At the end of the day it should be about how cheaply can a truck move 'X' amount of weight with the best FE.

These are trucks guys and competitive trucks. Tow figures as has been argued in the past are increased when the CEO of a manufacturer waves a wand across the chassis.

Remember Metalsa in Mexico design the frames on Rams, not Fiat. I had a link the other day for Metalsa.

Ford recalls 370000 vehicles due to steering...
Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013 | 6:54 p.m

Ford Motor Company (F): Ford: Unintended Acceleration Issue May ...
The suit lists over 30 models including Ford's F-series pick-up trucks WOW!

Ford to pay $17 million in U.S. settlement over slow recall.

Ford recalling 465,000 vehicles for fuel leaks.

Ford is recalling about 465,000 cars and SUVs because the fuel tanks can leak and cause fires.

The global recall affects the Ford brand's Fusion, Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Police Utility and Police Interceptor. Also covered are the Lincoln MKS, MKT and MKZ. All the vehicles are from the 2013 model year.

including.........Police Utility and Police Interceptor!

2013 Rams: Check engine light

3500's lots of CEL's...

This problem is much larger than 10 or 20. The dealer in my area is well aware of the problem and has had the majority of the 13's sold have the CEL. Of course it is hot hot hot here. I don't think this a problem to worry too much about though. They will eventually have a software update that will fix it.


Dealer told me almost every truck had issued till they flashed them

2013 Rams: shifting weird?!

Today, 06:05 PM

The issue i have with dodge customer service is they wont fix and i believe cause they couldnt fix the trans yet cause they dont have updated programming ready yet.

PS From another poster on the 2013 Rams:
Look i wish everyone that likes dodge the best of luck with them as i dont wish anyone to be as unhappy as i was i just know dodge is not for me based on the quality i saw in my truck in almost every detail and the lack of customer service i received.

i hope i never have as much trouble with another vehicle as i have with this ram but if i do i know that they (gm and vw) will stand behind them far better then chrysler did the ram based on my experiences

i am baffled by how people could put up with how it shifted, the interior rattles (while gm is not perfect there either they are far better imo), the fuel fill issue, the fact that the heated seat doesnt get hot enough and then goes to low on its own after awhile

....or how people would put up with carrying a code reader in a new vehicle to clear codes to get out of limp mode

i hope dodge can make you all happier then me because it sucks to pay 60k and be miserable but i am much happier now and will never look back. i learned a valuable lesson but it cost me 3k

Feds probe Ford F-150 EcoBoost for acceleration issues
James R. Healey 9:17 p.m. EDT May 28, 201


@Paul, Real funny paul. Their is one thing i have learned over the 10 years of owning the best vehicle I personally have ever owned. My 03 Dodge Ram. ALL THE FOLKS WHO SAY THEY DODGE SUCK, BLAH.....BLAH.....BLAH HAVE NEVER OWNED ONE. :)

Ram's 2013 heavy duty pickups, the Ram 2500 and 3500, have upgraded powertrains, lighting, creature comforts, utility, and electronics. The Ram 3500 shot past Ford and Chevypickups’ maximum tow rating of 23,100 pounds to a stunning 30,000 pounds, enabled by a new 50,000 pounds-per-square-inch, high-strength steel frame, a stronger transfer case, a higher-load transmission (Aisin AS69RC), larger front drive shafts and U-joints, an upgraded Cummins diesel engine, and other upgrades.

The Ram 2500 is mainly used for towing large personal items, while the Ram 3500 is usually a work truck that hauls heavy equipment, boulders, or livestock. In both classes, Ram claimed at launch that the Heavy Duty pickups have best-in-class “attributes” in cost of ownership, towing capability, features, quality, and dependability.

2013 Rams: :( Thinking of a 2013? My issues

Sounds like you are having ECM/TCM issues. I would get rid of it. Most likely it will never be right.

Just to make you feel better. My 12 was in the shop 7 times during the first year. All for EGR/DPF issues.

No need to try a different dealer if the guys from the factory cant figure it out its BROKE...They had the PRO's on it last week, brought them in from out of town (factory rep)...As I said Lemon law is in process... and the last attempt to repair (Florida lemon law thing) the truck was Last week... I still got issues...

..They got me another Chrysler 200 as a rental NOW, I have been nice about this whole thing but to be honest this sucks! And I am starting to not like Chrysler's business practices, I bought a $62k truck and it seems like I have driven some POS low end chrysler rent a car as much as I have driven my truck!

@Hemi V8, You're funny, too. 2003? All the ones who say their Ram never had a problem haven't owned a NEW one. Blah. Blah. :)

2013 Rams: Ram mistake

August 2013

Rams showing up with Ramboxes that shouldn't have it. LOL!

Ram heavy duty has too many upgrades and class exclusive options that NO ONE ELSE OFFERS!

2013 Rams: Check Engine light...

My 13 with 2100mi is now back in shop for the 3rd time for the check engine light being on....Mechanic pulled me to the side and said its cuz they cant breath basically.

@paul, Now look up forums on Furd diesel problems lol. Get back to me. lol

2013 Rams: AISIN Tranny Problem

The Asin is very finicky, if one thing is not perfect it will shift weird or even cause it to slip,things such as to much air in the ATF to a dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor will make the Asin give you problems.

Update: Still broke
August 21, 2013


Chrysler Engineering finally agreed with my Dealership and released the Transmission Range Sensor for shipment to Irvine, CA. The part arrived yesterday, 10 days after dropping my truck off.

The part was installed this morning, test driven and still the same problem.
They are now again consulting with Chrysler Engineering....12 days and counting.

I called Chrysler Customer Service yesterday and have a case number assigned to this issue.

I will keep you posted.

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