How Does Ford's 2020 Super Duty Tremor Compare to Ram Power Wagon, GMC Sierra AT4?

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Front Angle

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

By Aaron Bragman

Creating your own "brodozer" just got easier at your Ford dealer, as Ford has upped its off-road game for the new 2020 Super Duty F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks by offering a Tremor Off-Road Package on the XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims. The Tremor is a bit different from the heavy-duty off-road offerings at Ram and GMC, which have specific heavy-duty truck trims meant for off-road use: the Ram 2500 Power Wagon and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD AT4; you can also get the Power Wagon and AT4's off-road bits in option packages, too. So with the launch and drive of the new 2020 Ford Super Duty now in the books, I figured it'd be a good time to see how the Tremor parts collection stacks up to Ram and GMC.

Related: 2020 Ford Super Duty F-250/F-350 Review: Finding New Power

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor Off-Road Tire

Manufacturer image

Tires

Ford's Tremor package is pretty complete, turning the huge and heavy Ford Super Duty into an off-road capable machine that does more than you might expect. The tires are upgraded to 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs on unique black 18-inch wheels; the Ram Power Wagon goes for 17-inch wheels and 33-inch DuraTracs, while the Sierra AT4 goes with 18-inch wheels and 33-inch Michelin all-terrain tires as standard and 20-inch wheels as an option.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Tremor Shock

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Suspension

Each truck gets a modified off-road suspension, too. Ford uses in-house developed 1.7-inch piston shock absorbers, while the Ram uses Bilstein-branded shocks and the GMC goes with Rancho suspension shocks. The Tremor gets a bit of a lift, 2.0 inches up front and 1.5 inches in back, to give it 10.8 inches of ground clearance. That can't quite top the Power Wagon that comes with 14.2 inches of clearance, while the Sierra AT4 is the lowest at 10.1-11.2 inches, depending on if you're in a 2500 or 3500.

Differentials

Both the Ford and the GMC have an electronic locking rear differential, but Ram does it one further by offering both rear and front electronic locking diffs plus an electronic disconnecting front sway bar for increased front axle articulation, like a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The Tremor also includes a limited-slip front differential.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Climbing Dirt Hill

Cars.com photo by Leslie Cunningham

Drive Modes

The Ford brings its electronic Trail Control "off-road cruise control" to the party, along with an additional Rock Crawl mode in the drive mode selector, and GMC does something similar with its specific Off-Road mode for the Traction Select System, but Ram doesn't rely on electronic settings to manage terrain, instead tasking the driver with figuring out the various systems provided to them for maximum off-road ability.

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Four-Wheel-Drive Systems

All the trucks feature standard four-wheel drive as part of their packages (or as a prerequisite for specifying them), but GMC is unique in that it gets an automatic four-wheel-drive system that can be left in what is essentially an "all-wheel-drive" mode.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Engine

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

Engines and Transmissions

Ford offers the new Tremor package with either the brand-new 7.3-liter gasoline V-8 or its updated turbo-diesel 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8. Either engine is mated to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive. The GMC is in the same boat — stick with the newly standard 6.6-liter gasoline V-8 (and six-speed automatic transmission) or opt for the excellent turbo-diesel 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 mated to the 10-speed Allison heavy-duty transmission. Ram, however, still limits you to the standard 6.4-liter gasoline Hemi V-8. The Cummins turbo-diesel inline-six cylinder engine doesn't work with the Power Wagon package, as the standard 12,000-pound winch that comes on the Ram prevents proper engine cooling for the diesel's plumbing.

2020 Ford Super Duty F-250 Towing

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

Styling

Since the Tremor package can be added to one of four different trim levels, the appearance of your Ford Super Duty can vary with the model you've selected. But the Tremor package does bring some common themes, such as the aforementioned blacked-out wheels, some fixed Ford Raptor-style running boards and a Tremor decal for the rear quarter panels. You can specify matte-black grille and trim as well, if you don't want whatever chrome comes with your truck's trim. Whatever trim you specified for your Super Duty dictates what the interior looks like — the Tremor package brings no interior changes.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 Front Angle Profile

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

The Sierra AT4 gets very specific trim bits to distinguish it from other Sierra HD models, most notably the elimination of most of the truck's exterior chrome in favor of body-color trim. Inside, it gets distinctive trim as well, with standard Black-and-Kalahari leather trim that sets it apart from other models.

2019 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Off-Road

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

But the Ram Power Wagon may be the most distinctive looking, in terms of external trim, with unique styling, fender flares, wheels, even available stickers that declare "POWER WAGON" up the side in big lettering. Inside, it's the same situation — a lot of distinctive red anodized trim, unique seat patterns and plenty of luxury equipment to make this an impressive off-road toy.

Experience for Less Money

What's nice about the Tremor package is that you can either slap it onto a loaded-up Platinum or King Ranch luxury truck trim and get both bling and capability, or you can keep the options to a minimum and stick it onto a lowly XLT with cloth seats and a base multimedia system, and get yourself both a platform for customization and a cheaper toy hauler. The package is $3,975 across the board, making the least expensive Tremorized F-250 XLT ring in at $53,390 (all prices include destination fee), which is still a hefty price to pay for the equipment you get, thanks to the requirement to have a crew-cab model with the 7.3-liter gasoline V-8 engine.

GMC has a similar idea: If you don't want the styling and interior glitz that comes with the dedicated off-road AT4 trim level, the cheapest of which is a Sierra 2500 AT4 at $59,295, tick the $525 X31 option package on other Sierra HD trucks and you'll get all the off-road bits without the leather interior or external body-color trim. GMC offers that X31 option on the lowliest base Sierra 2500 HD regular-cab long bed, meaning you can get most of the AT4 mechanical goodies on a stripped down truck for just $40,520. It's also the only one of the three trucks to offer two bed lengths: the standard 6 feet, 9 inches and an 8-foot long bed.

Ram limits things a bit. While there is a mild Off-Road Package you can add to 4x4 Ram HD trucks for $495 that gets you off-road shocks, tow hooks and a T-case skid plate, there's a specific $7,995 Power Wagon Package that can be had on the base Tradesman trim level if you want all of the Power Wagon's multiple systems without the expense of a fancier interior and higher-tech multimedia systems. An actual Ram 2500 Power Wagon will set you back $54,945, but a Power Wagonized Tradesman crew cab can be had for $49,890.

We've now separately driven all three off-road truck competitors, and all three have proven to be worthy off-road machines in their own way. The Power Wagon is nigh unstoppable thanks to its various mechanical system upgrades, but the powertrain flexibility in the Sierra and the Ford make them better towing vehicles (with the nod actually going to the Sierra, in my opinion, due to its better towing manners in its off-road trim). The new Tremor package seems to be aimed more at the Sierra AT4 than the Power Wagon, which seems safe in its "ultimate off-road pickup" status for now. But the Tremor proves to be a more versatile idea, offering up off-road ability with on-road civility and utility, and that's likely to see them parked in more driveways than Ram or GMC can manage.

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