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2021 Ford F-250 vs. Ram 2500 HD, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD: Gentler Giants

The heaviest loads and trailers demand a 1-ton diesel dually pickup. But those are unwieldy to maneuver, and their ride quality can be downright punishing when they’re not fully loaded. Plus, to tow more than half of those trucks’ max capacity you need a commercial driving license (CDL). Scale back your towing needs to “operator license” territory (26,000 pounds for the truck and trailer combined), and you’ll find a 3/4-ton diesel pickup with single rear wheels (SRWs) fits the bill much more comfortably. Our MotorTrend Ultimate Car Rankings already assess 1-ton diesel (350 or 3500) pickups and 3/4-ton gasoline-burners, so this 3/4-ton diesel truck comparison explores new territory.

The heavy-duty Rams are currently our picks in both of those categories, having claimed our 2020 Truck of the Year calipers against competition that included then-new competitors from Chevy and GMC. The contest pitted Ram’s high-output Cummins (now rated at 420 hp and 1,075 lb-ft) against GM’s 445-hp, 910-lb-ft Duramax, but in a 3/4-ton Ram, the Cummins produces just 370 hp and 850 lb-ft. Chevy doesn’t downrate its Duramax diesel for 3/4-ton duty, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic that tops the Ram’s gearbox by four ratios. Last year’s revised Ford Super Duty trucks competed for our 2021 Truck of the Year laurels, sporting a Power Stroke diesel and 10-speed automatic combo good for a whopping 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft in everything from the F-250 to the F-450. But the Ford Super Duty failed to capture the calipers, so this contest is truly up for grabs. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.

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