Towing 101 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
General 6.7 Discussion (2017-2019) General 6.7 Discussion

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post #1 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Towing 101

Consider the following 2 Ford Super Duty trucks. Both being a 4X4 and both dually. F-350 w/ 3.55 gear and F-450 w/ 4.30 gear

Towing is the load the truck is pulling. Assume a 5th wheel at 20,000 lb loaded and ready for travel.
Payload is the load the truck carries which includes the passengers, fuel, hitch, pin weight, misc.. Assume the following:
2 passengers = 365
B&W Companion = 135 (guess)
Pin = 4000 (20% of trailer weight)
Fuel = 350 (48 gal diesel)
Misc = 50
TOTAL Payload = 4900

As for 5th wheel towing, the Ford 2018 towing data is as follows:
F350 max tow (3.55) = 27,300
Max payload = 5303 (taken from my 2018 F-350 inside doorpost sticker)

F450 max tow (4.30) = 32,500
Max payload = 4786 (taken from a new 2019 F-450 inside doorpost sticker)

Ford states that the towing capacity is limited by the hitch capacity which makes sense. Assume a B&W Companion 20K hitch = 20,000, the max tow is 20,000. While the truck is capable of pulling more, the hitch is not.

It seems odd that many guys are running a F450 for these heavier 5th wheels when in fact the payload of a F350 is higher. The F350 may not have the rated tow capacity of the F450; however, towing is limited by the hitch. Even the heavy duty hitches are no more than 25,000

Given the scenerio I stated, the load condition of a 20K trailer (using 20% pin weight) exceeds the payload capacity of a brand new 2019 F450 by around 115 lb while it is 400 lb under the payload capacity of my F350. I know the F450 (empty) weighs more and is a beafier truck than an F350 but it seems odd that the payload capacity is less. I looked at 3 new F450's today at Planet Ford (Houston) and each had a payload capacity rated around 4780 lb. The new 2019 F350 I looked at stated a payload of 5335 lb. Go figure!

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 02:58 PM
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Lighter systems onboard mean more extra stuff that can be hauled. That is true.

Imagine what the payload would be if you removed the brakes from the F350 entirely! Woohoo!

I'm obviously joking. ...but trying to emphasize that it is a balance. I don't know that Ford struck the best balance. ...but it is a balance.

Mostly, I find it refreshing that you are seriously analyzing the numbers. It seems like - these days - people are choosing their hauler based on exterior color and the trim package as much as anything else.
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 03:04 PM
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I know the F450 (empty) weighs more and is a beafier truck than an F350 but it seems odd that the payload capacity is less.

The answer lies within.....When something weighs more....you can't just carry more....just cause. I'd say the "restrictions" are the GVWR/GCVR for on-road use without going up to the next class of vehicle.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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What got me to thinking about this is that many guys pulling the heavier 20K 5th wheels and automatically move up to an F450. I don't fault them for that at all, in fact, I'm considering it myself.

I know the F450 has larger brakes, larger wheels, a 4.30 gear, and possibly a heavier frame vs. an F350. Those items increase the weight of the F450 and thus my assumption is that Ford downrated the F450's payload to compensate for being heavier. It's very likely that many of those F450's are running down the road hauling those 20K lb 5th wheels and exceeding the payload as stated on the door pillar post of their truck.

One thing I noticed is that Ford uses 15% of the trailer weight to estimate the pin weight. I believe this is low, and thus I used 20%. The only way to know the real pin weight is to run the rig over a scale with and without the trailer attached and compare the drive axle weight in both conditions. Simple subtraction will give a much better value for the pin weight. This I plan to do.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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djmaguire,

I agree that there are some who choose a truck based on color, packages, appearance, etc. with no though given to the functional needs required of their truck. There are some who just like to drive a Super Duty with no intention of ever towing anything. Especially in Texas, many of the younger guys just want to drive a diesel that they've juiced up. I drive a Super Duty because I have a 20K lb 5th wheel and I need the hp and torque to get the thing down the road and, I keep it stock.

I'm pretty certain my truck will do the job, even with the 3.55; although, if I could do it over again, I'd opt for the 4.10 to give me a little more low end torque for climbing grades.

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post #6 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 06:39 PM
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I tow 25-29k regularly. I got a 450 for the gears, brakes, rear end, etc. couod give a $#it what the sticker says. Those things matter. Hopefully that clears up your confusion

Guys like you that analyze the $#it out of everything, the 350 is fine. Hell a Tacoma would work
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jetjock15 View Post
... Guys like you that analyze the $#it out of everything, the 350 is fine. Hell a Tacoma would work
Yeah but...

Hypothetical: Your pulling your trailer in your Tacoma and a drunk guy pulls out from a side road in front of you. No chance in hell of stopping. Bam. The guy who was dead drunk is now a dead drunk.

The sticker on the Tacoma doesn't mean a thing to you. ...and it clearly doesn't mean a thing to the drunk guy. ...but - to the LEO and the insurance adjuster - I'm not so sure.

Not trying to be a buzzkill (no pun intended). But, isn't liability the reason why stickers matter?
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 07:59 PM
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Ha, great analogy. But nobody is pulling stickers for liability. It’s MFR “recommendation” so no legal grounds. However in the example of the Tacoma you might get them for neglect beyond reason. But 450 versus 350, never going to happen


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post #9 of 23 Old 03-20-2019, 08:28 PM
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Fair enough. I get what you are saying.

I'm just trying to look at it from all angles. ...and defend the folks doin' mighty fine analysis!
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-21-2019, 04:22 AM
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Honestly I think the debate comes down to driver comfort ability while towing sure a 350 or 450 will pull all that weight but when your at 25k or even 27k like jetjock im sure a 450 is just that much ďnicerĒ gear wise, braking wise and stability wise being a dually. I know a 350 SRW will pull what a DRW will I just think itís more of a driver scenario making a bit less white knuckled possibly at those weights.
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