Pickup truck manufacturers are constantly fighting to earn the best-in-class rating on their products, and the new SAE J2807 rating system will help buyers determine which truck actually offers the best towing and payload ratings by standardizing the practices of testing. With this new system has come some shifting in the best-in-class claims, and Ford is here to lay claim that the F-450 is the best-towing pickup, period.
Along with this announcement comes Ford’s modification of its payload-capacity testing process to adhere to the new standards. Instead of stripping its test subjects of all equipment when testing payload, it will now test the base model with all of the standard equipment installed. This will help buyers draw a clearer line when comparing the F-450 to other pickups.
In terms of its best-in-class towing capacity, the F-450’s strengthened frame and heavier-duty suspension resulted in an SAE J2807-ceritfied max towing rating of 31,200 pounds. This ratings bests other crew cab, four-wheel-drive pickups by at least 2,200 pounds, giving Ford a comfortable lead.
The changes to the max-payload testing process also resulted in some real-world changes, but not for the better. Because Ford is now testing its payload with the base curb weight instead of the minimum curb weight — every feature removed — its rating has fallen slightly. Fortunately for Ford, the drop was small, as the 2015 F-450 has a base payload rating of 5,300 pounds. That is only a 150-pound drop from last year’s 5,450-pound rating. This rating changes with the number of features your pickup has, but it does give you a nice apples-to-apples base line to compare the F-450 against its rivals from Chevy, GMC and Ram.
With this announcement, we’re certain to see Ford’s competitors come up with something to combat this claim. The pickup truck segment wouldn’t be the same without this fierce, in-your-face type of competition.