The Dodge Ram Heavy Duty was voted Motor Trend’s "2010 Truck of the Year" but year after year, the Ford Super Duty shares the title of the best selling truck with its light duty siblings. Which is truly the best truck for you comes down to what you want out of your truck but here is a tale of the tape comparing the major attributes for the two 2010 heavy duty models.
Dodge doesn’t play around with options for the 2010 Ram 3500 and their popular Cummins diesel is the only engine, offering 350 horsepower at 3000rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque at 1500 rpm. The Ram 3500 comes with a standard six speed manual transmission but there is also a six speed automatic offered.
The 2010 Ford F350 has three drivetrains to pick from, with the base model engine being a 5.4L V8 gas motor followed by the 6.8L V10 and finally the 6.4L Powerstroke diesel is the premium engine option. The 5.4 makes 300 horsepower and 365lb-ft of torque and the V10 offers a little more power with 362hp and 457lb-ft of torque but both of those engines pale in comparison to the Powerstroke that offers the same 350 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque as the Ram 3500’s Cummins diesel. Like the Ram, the F350 comes with a standard six speed manual transmission but the optional automatic from Ford is a five speed transmission.
The Dodge Ram 3500 has the advantage in power over both of the F350s gasoline motors but with identical specifications from the two diesel engines, Dodge’s only advantage lays in the lower rpm required to generate peak torque.
Power is important but the key features to compare when choosing your new heavy duty truck are the towing and hauling limits. Since the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 does not offer any option to the Cummins diesel, the F350 gasoline engines are unable to compete in towing or hauling with the Ram. To get an accurate comparison for the two 2010 heavy duty trucks, we will just consider the two diesel engines. Dodge does have the advantage of offering most of the 2010 Ram 3500 with dual rear wheels (single rear wheels are only available on the crew cab with a 6’4” bed) where Ford offers the option of single or dual rear wheels.
The 2010 Ford F350 boasts of offering the same towing capacity whether equipped with an automatic or manual transmission with a maximum towing rating of 12,500lbs with 3.55 gearing and 15,000lbs with the optional 3.73 or 4.10 gears. The 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 offers less towing capacity with the standard manual transmission than with the automatic transmission and when both trucks are equipped with the manual transmission, the 2010 F350 has an advantage over the Ram’s towing limit of 14,100lbs but when both trucks are equipped with an automatic transmission the 15,000 limit of the F350 is dwarfed by the Ram’s 17,000lb capacity.
Hauling capacities vary through seemingly every minor change made while configuring a heavy duty truck. Wheel base, engine, transmission, rear wheel setup, bed size, cab style – these all have some effect on the hauling abilities of the 2010 Ford F350 and 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 but between the brands there is a similar change when you add or remove the same options. Because of all of the variances in payload, we will look at the maximums for both trucks when equipped with dual rear wheels, the diesel engine, four wheel drive and both the automatic and manual transmission. The 2010 Ford F350 with an automatic transmission is the most capable of the F-series lineup, offering 5320lbs of payload capacity and when that same truck gets the manual transmission the payload limit drops to 5080lbs. These specs give Ford a slight advantage over the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 as the Cummins Rams equipped with an automatic transmission offers 5130lbs of payload capacity and the 6-speed manual reduces the hauling limit to 5050lbs. It is not a huge difference in capacity but when similarly equipped, the 2010 F350 offers more hauling ability than the 2010 Ram 3500.
The 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 offers an advantage in towing capacity when similarly equipped to the 2010 Ford F350 Super Duty but when it comes to payload, the F350 offers a maximum hauling capacity amounting to a little over 100lbs. The tale of the tape shows how close these two trucks are to each other in every category but with each truck offering a slight advantage in one of the major categories, picking which new heavy duty truck is best for you depends on your personal preference for the appearance and what is most importantly to you from your new truck.