WHAT’S UP IN THE FORUMS: F-350 vs. F-450 Debate Rages On

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F-350 vs. F-450

To dually or not to dually? That’s the question in our FTE F-350 vs. F-450 debate.

When shopping for a new truck, deciding which platform to start with usually isn’t too tough a choice. Except when you’re the type of person who needs serious towing power. For those folks, there are several important considerations that arise from the decision to buy a dually or stick with a traditional layout. Because of the large number of pros and cons associated with each choice, the F-350 vs. F-450 debate promises to continue on forever.

Thankfully, these types of difficult questions are exactly what the FTE forums are designed to help you with. Chock full of experienced and educated folks, threads like this one are guaranteed to give you more detailed information than the average enthusiast site. Because why would you trust the opinion of somebody who’s never actually used these trucks in a real world setting?

So when forum member Johnpsz set out to buy a new heavy-duty truck, he headed to FTE for some advice. And like any intelligent man, he realizes that his wants aren’t the only ones that matter.

“Here is what my wife want’s in our next truck:

“The biggest truck so when/if we upgrade our 5th wheel, we don’t have to worry about the truck being able to handle it, it must be a dually” and in other conversations she says “I want to be quiet and comfortable for the long cross-country trips we take”.

Also, the truck is rarely used as a daily driver, maybe a couple of times a month without a trailer of some sort on it.

So with the capabilities so close, but the nicer ride in the F-350, and since I will not be stretching the limits of those capabilities do you guys think I’d be happier with the 350 over the 450?”

theboom, and F-350 advocate, kicks things off with some great insight.

“What are you towing and how often do you tow it? I personally want a 350 drw because it offers VERY close towing to the 450 and a better ride. Also rear axle is the same on the 350 vs 450 so no difference there and I believe front axle is same rating as well just the 450 can turn sharper like I said. If you tow a lot, like 25k+, often (like on a regular basis) then I would go for the 450. I want the 350 because most of the time I will be towing around 20k but like and will use capability of the occasional (admitted very occasional but it still will happen) 30k when needed and want a nicer riding truck because it will be my daily. The towing capacity used to be much bigger between the 350 and 450 but now I believe it’s only about 1200lbs(31,300 vs 32,500). Also payload is higher by about 1000lbs I think in the 350. I know in reality the 450 would be higher but on paper and legally the 350 is.”

But kansas gary points out that the F-450 provides a much higher ceiling than most trucks.

“Another thing you should think about on the F-450…. The only thing that will be an upgrade to it is to buy yourself an over the road tractor… Nothing else is going to top the F-450 for pulling any kind of trailer.”

rustyshakelford sums up the pros and cons of the F-450 rather nicely.

“Man I love my 450. However, unless you really need the benefit of the tighter turning and bigger brakes the 350 would be the best choice. People love their 350s and live with the turning radius of it. If I ordered again, I’d get a 450 but we use it. If you travel where the roads suck or used up asphalt it’s gonna be a white knuckled ride. It’ll send you all over. That’s the only negative. I have yet to have my truck downshift when pulling. While waiting on the new tractor the most I’ve pulled has only been about 12k but it’s a hoss”

Sparky83 added some additional considerations that most would never think of.

“what I can tell you from when my neighbor had an f450 is that some states if you have a Personal Property Tax they do not allow for tax breaks on the F450 because they are listed as a “commercial class vehicle”. F350’s are listed a “personal use vehicle” and will typically qualify for tax break. For example where I only paid $220 something in property taxes after the tax break for mine. He ended up paying $1500 in property taxes on his because it did not qualify for one. He used his truck for personal use but the state classifies it as a commercial vehicle because of its GVRW.”

And troverman breaks it down perhaps better than anyone.

“The 450 has the following advantages over the F-350 DRW:

-Coolest looks (has larger rims and the wide track front end)
-Highest tow ratings…even if just barely
-Somewhat tighter turning circle
-Larger brake rotors and brake pads
-Larger axle halfshafts with more splines (although the axle housing and diff is the same as the 350 dually)

The 350 DRW has the following advantages over the F-450:

-More forgiving tires, cheaper to replace, more sizes available
-Higher payload capacity trim level for trim level
-TPMS monitoring on all 6 tires
-Two axle ratio choices (3.55 or 4.10)

Giving my HONEST opinion…this new 2017 dually rides about as well as my previous generation CCSB trucks. I would think the 450’s stiffer tires and more unsprung weight would contribute to a slightly worse empty ride…but I doubt it is night and day. 

This new truck drives effortlessly and tracks well down the road. I love it.”

And in the end, the outpouring of responses helped the OP make a decision.

“I know I originally started this thread for helping with my decision, and I love all the details and conversation that came out. I am not bringing this topic back up to drive debate, but to give an update. Yesterday we (my wife, 2 kids, and I) spent the whole day to drive a couple of hours away to a dealership that had similarly optioned 350’s and 450’s on the lot so we could side by side test drive.

We all, including my 7-year-old son, liked the 450 more. I had some pretty long test drives that included some back country roads with pot holes and railroad tracks, we tested multiple parking lot situations and the steering, backing and overall maneuverability of the 450 impressed everyone including the salesman that was riding with us. The salesman said he had never seen a customer do side by side test like that and taking the trucks to busy shopping malls to test “normal” parking scenarios, and could believe how the 450 was able to get into some spots in one move whereas the F-350 needed multiple back and forth (2-3 times) to get into the same parking situations.

Like I said both trucks were similarly equipped KR’s, both had adaptive steering and all, the only real difference in options were the carpet delete in the 350, but that CANNOT account for a steering difference, but we did notice it more in that truck though.

We now know, for us, we are choosing the 450.

Thanks again for all the replies.”

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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