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2020 Ford Super Duty vs. Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram HD: Heavy-duty truck wars

Here’s how America’s heavy-duty haulers compare when it comes time to tackle truck stuff.

Super Duty, super capable.

Ford

If you've been shopping for a heavy-duty pickup truck lately, then you know the competition is absolutely fierce. Torque ratings are exceeding 1,000 pound-feet, towing capacity is at levels previously reserved for commercial vehicles, and payload capacity is, quite frankly, beyond what most buyers will ever need.

Following Ford's latest spec throwdown with the 2020 F-Series Super Duty, it's worth looking at how the Blue Oval's toughest truck stacks up against the stiff competition from Chevrolet, GMC and Ram.

Powertrain

The Chevy Silverado HD, Ford F-Series Super Duty, GMC Sierra HD and Ram HD trucks are available with gasoline- or diesel-fed engines. The Super Duty can be had with a 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 or a new, 7.3-liter gas V8, both mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Ram uses a 6.7-liter Cummins I6 diesel in either standard or high-output specs, or a 6.4-liter gas-powered V8. A 6-speed automatic motivates the diesel engine while an 8-speed auto is standard with the gas engine. Meanwhile, the Silverado and Sierra twins use a 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel or a 6.6-liter V8 gas engine, and shifting duties are handled by 10- and 6-speed automatics, respectively.

With heavy-duty trucks, torque output is paramount -- this is what you need for towing and hauling. The Super Duty takes the crown here, with 1,050 lb.-ft. in the 6.7-liter diesel V8, but the Ram HD is not far behind with 1,000 lb.-ft. coming from its Cummins I6. The gas-powered V8 in the Super Duty also puts out best-in-class torque of 475 lb.-ft.

Engine

Fuel type

Power (hp)

Torque (lb.-ft.)

Chevy Silverado HD

6.6L V8

Gasoline

401

464

Chevy Silverado HD

6.6L V8

Diesel

445

910

Ford F-Series Super Duty

6.2L V8

Gasoline

385

430

Ford F-Series Super Duty

6.7L V8

Diesel

475

1,050

Ford F-Series Super Duty

7.3L V8

Gasoline

430

475

GMC Sierra HD

6.6L V8

Gasoline

401

464

GMC Sierra HD

6.6L V8

Diesel

445

910

Ram HD

6.4L V8

Gasoline

410

429

Ram HD

6.7L I6

Diesel

370

850

Ram HD

6.7L I6 (high output)

Diesel

400

1,000

Towing

All that torque means consumers can tow massive amounts of weight. The Ford Super Duty is once again king of the castle here, with a max tow rating of 37,000 pounds, while the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra aren't far behind at 35,500 pounds, and the Ram comes in at 35,100. All of these numbers are reached with the trucks' diesel engines and a gooseneck trailer. It should be noted that in many states, only drivers that hold a commercial license can tow this kind of weight legally. Be sure to check your local regulations before setting off with this kind of load.

Tow ratings are lower with the trucks' gasoline engines, but still nevertheless impressive. The Ram HD can handle 18,210 pounds with its gas V8, with the Silverado and Sierra behind at 17,400 pounds. However, Ford is once again the leader -- an F-350 4x2 with the 7.3-liter V8 will tow 21,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer.

Note: For the sake of simplicity, for trucks with multiple gas or diesel engines, we'll list the one with the higher tow ratings.

Engine

Maximum tow rating (pounds)

Chevy Silverado HD

6.6L gas V8

17,400

Chevy Silverado HD

6.6L diesel V8

35,500

Ford F-Series Super Duty

6.7L diesel V8

37,000

Ford F-Series Super Duty

7.3L gas V8

21,000

GMC Sierra HD

6.6L gas V8

17,400

GMC Sierra HD

6.6L diesel V8

35,500

Ram HD

6.4L gas V8

18,210

Ram HD

6.7L diesel I6

35,100

Payload

When it comes to payload, and we're starting to sound like a broken record here, you can give the win to the Ford. This time the gas engine is the star, handling up to 7,850 pounds in the bed of the Super Duty, but the Ram is not far behind with 7,680. Meanwhile, in diesel guise, the Ram can haul 6,910 pounds in its bed, followed by the Super Duty at 6,660 pounds, and the Silverado and Sierra at 6,532.

Note: For both towing and payload numbers, remember that max number only result from very specific configurations, with everything from drivetrain to bed length to axle ratio playing its part. Not every model will return such high numbers.

Configuration

Payload (pounds)

Chevy Silverado HD

3500HD 6.6L gas V8 w/ dual rear wheel

7,442

Chevy Silverado HD

3500HD 6.6L diesel V8 w/ dual rear wheel

6,532

Ford F-Series Super Duty

F-350 6.7L diesel V8 w/ dual rear wheel

6,660

Ford F-Series Super Duty

F-350 6.2L gas V8 w/ dual rear wheel

7,850

GMC Sierra HD

3500HD 6.6L gas V8 w/ dual rear wheel

7,442

GMC Sierra HD

3500HD 6.6L diesel V8 w/ dual rear wheel

6,532

Ram HD

3500 6.4L gas V8 w/ dual rear wheel

6,910

Ram HD

3500 6.7L diesel I6 w/ dual rear wheel

7,680

Pricing

The Ram 2500 starts at $37,695 while the 3500 starts at $39,045. The diesel engine adds $9,100, or a whopping $11,795 if you want the high-output version. The GMC Sierra starts at $37,195 for the 2500 or $38,395 for the 3500, but adding the diesel ups the price by $12,115. The Chevrolet Silverado is a bit less expensive than its GMC counterpart at $36,500 for the 2500 and $39,500 for the 3500, but a diesel-powered truck doesn't arrive until the $50,060 mark. We don't yet have pricing on the 2020 Ford Super Duty, but expect that to be revealed closer to the truck's on-sale date near the end of 2019.

Now playing: Watch this: Towing 35,100 pounds in the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty truck
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