Heavy-duty pickup trucks are no longer the preserve of only businesses. Now they are bought by people from all walks of life. Even so, they're formidably capable vehicles. Let's see how two of them stack up by comparing the 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty with the Ram 2500.
Towing and Hauling: 2018 Ford F-250
For a lot of potential buyers, trucks like the Ford F-250 and Ram 2500 are all about towing and hauling capability. Although the Ford and Ram are entry-level models in their respective heavy-duty ranges, they're both immensely impressive in this vital area. The 2018 Ford F-250 can tow up to as much as 18,500 pounds, which is around 5,000 pounds more than America's best-selling truck: the F-150. The F-250 can cope with a maximum payload of some 4,250 pounds. The Ram 2500 is a truck that comes pretty close to what the Ford can offer, but with a 17,980-pound maximum tow rating and maximum payload rating of 3,890 pounds, the Ram still comes in second-best to the Ford.
Fuel Economy: 2018 Ford F-250
It's annoying that the EPA doesn't issue fuel economy ratings for heavy-duty pickup trucks. Now that families and other non-commercial buyers drive them, it seems even more unhelpful. Of course, fuel economy does matter, and especially to commercial operators. Ford therefore claims an F-250 with the diesel powerplant and equipped with the long-range fuel tank can manage a range in excess of 1,000 miles on the highway. A quick calculation means a fuel economy rating better than 20 miles per gallon, which is isn't bad at all for a truck of this size and capability.
There's really only anecdotal evidence to gauge what can be expected from the Ram 2500, but the general consensus is, even in its most frugal form, 20 mpg on the highway is unrealistic, so a diesel F-250 is the better choice if fuel economy is a concern.
Inside the Cabs: 2018 Ford F-250
When it comes to models close to and at the top of the range, both the F-250 and the Ram 2500 can be as luxurious and well-equipped as quite a few luxury sedans, even some of those expensive European models. Lower-spec F-250s get durable cloth and scratch-resistant plastics to handle the rigorous daily routines they're likely to encounter, and vinyl flooring is also an option for operating in particularly inhospitable environments.
The Ram's Laramie Longhorn or Limited Tungsten are a close rival to their F-250 equivalents. However, the Ford comes with cabs that offer more room inside than Ram, and that's the case with all the different types of cab available. When transporting up to six people regularly, your passengers will appreciate the extra legroom inside the Ford.
Pricing: 2018 Ram 2500HD
A Ram 2500 Longhorn 4x4 Mega Cab has an MSRP of $59,195, but the range-topping equivalent in the F-250 lineup will set you back close to $20k more than that. At the lower trim levels there's not a lot in Fords, but the Ram still costs a little less. So the Ram 2500 takes the honors for affordability, especially at the top of the range.
The 2018 Ford F-250 was all-new just last year and the Ram 2500 has been around in its current form for quite a while, so this shouldn't really be a fair fight. To be honest, the Ram makes an impressive attempt, but apart from Ram brand loyalty, it's hard to think of a reason why anyone would buy anything else in this class other than an F-250.