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Will Ford sue Ram trucks over 'best' towing claims? The quarrel continues.

Who is best-in-class vs. who follows standardized measurements – those questions are keeping the pickup truck wars alive and well. Recently, Ram trucks threw a volley when they claimed that ALL their truck lineup followed SAE J2807 standards and pointed out that Ford did not do the same. Based on that premise, Ram claimed 'Best-in-class' honors. Now, Ford appears to be on the verge of some sort of legal action.

Awards, honors, and claims of being 'best' in something or other translates into sales and that translates into money. These arguments are not petty differences that can be slightly sneezed at and dismissed. Just a few weeks before Ram's press releases, Ford claimed that their heavy-duty truck could tow more than Ram's heavy-duty truck. Because approximately a fourth of all heavy-duty pickup buyers use towing capability as a key factor in their purchase, this claim means a lot of sales (and a lot of dollars.) It was TrueCar.Com that provided the purchase information, according to another news source.

This current argument and disagreement apparently stems from that Ford claim based on a 2015 Ford-450 4x4 Crew Cab having a towing capability of 31,200 pounds. Ford did not use their F-250 Super Duty or their F-350 Super Duty trucks for the comparison. Ram's largest heavy-duty truck is a Ram 3500. Ford apparently based their comparison on a Ram 3500 4x2 Regular Cab which is rated at 30,000 pounds towing. So, that 1200 pound difference gives Ford bragging rights for 'Best-in-class' towing using their largest pickup against Ram's largest pickup.

Supporters of the Ram trucks say, “Wait a minutes. That's not comparing apples to apples, so to speak.” They say that the Ford F-450 is a Class 4 pickup and that the F-350, Chevy Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra 3500, and Ram 3500 are all in Class 3. The DOT's Federal Highway Administration defines eight truck classes, sorted by weight. The DOT FHA spells out the weight measurement as a “gross vehicle weight rating” that is the base curb weight of the truck with the maximum payload added to that. A maximum of 14,000 weight is all that is allowed for Class 3. Over that amount, the truck would move into the Class 4 category.

Ram asserts that Ford's F-450 exceeds the 14,000 pounds. Ford counters that the F-450 falls below 14,000. Ford has acknowledged that it uses its own rating system and does not follow the SAE J2807 towing test criteria. Ford has made the announcement that it will begin transitioning to the use of SAE J2807 towing standards beginning with the 2015 F-150. Also involved in the arguments and claims is that Ford uses goose-neck, otherwise known as fifth-wheel, towing. That is where the trailer is connected 'over' the tailgate and onto the bed of the pickup rather than a standardized hitch at the bottom rear of the truck.

In other media reports, it has been stated that the actual base curb weight of the F450 is 8,611 pounds and that it has a payload rating of 5,450 pounds. This total is 14,061, but Ford explains that the overage is eliminated from the calculation by removing certain items from the tested vehicle. These items reportedly include taking out the center console, radio, tire jack, and removing the spare tire.

Chevrolet, GMC, Toyota Tundra, and others are all waiting on the sidelines for this argument to play-out. Meanwhile, this war continues until another war of words develops over something else about who or what is better or best.