With several work truck options out in the market, we take a closer look at two of the most popular, the Ford F-150 and the Dodge Ram 1500. Both have enjoyed a long history as America’s most beloved trucks. The first Ford F-series was released in 1948 and was Ford’s first car built as a pickup truck from the ground up. The Ram truck likewise dates back to 1948 with the release of the Dodge B-series. In 1954, it was replaced by the C-series and in 1961 the D-series. In 1981, the truck line was consolidated under the Ram name. Today both pickups enjoy a large and loyal following.
Engine and Fuel Economy
Although the Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150 come in a wide range of powertrain and body style configurations, both trucks have similar engine lineups. The Ram sports a base V-6 with an 8-speed automatic for excellent fuel economy, then antes up from there with a turbodiesel option that pushes fuel economy to 12.1 litres per 100km city, 8.8 highway. It has 375 lb-ft of torque and 240 horsepower. The F-150 is powered in most part by 6-cylinder engines. This gives the truck a fuel efficiency of as much as 15.6 litres per 100km city, 13.2 highway and 14.5 combined. Torque is at 420 lb-ft and 325 horsepower.
When Ford introduced its EcoBoost engine in 2009, the stated goal was replacement of all larger-displacement engines with smaller, cleaner, and more fuel efficient turbo powerplants. The EcoBoost, being a gas engine, beats Ram’s EcoDiesel in horsepower. Gas engines always have an edge there, if for no other reason than the fact that their fuel burns faster, and they rev to higher rpm. However, diesel fuel inherently has an edge when it comes to making torque: It contains 13 percent more energy per gallon than gasoline. So, all things being equal, diesel will almost always make 13 percent more torque and get 13 percent better fuel economy. Get more tips on improving the fuel economy of your vehicle.
Ford chose to go with a lightweight truck paired to a low-displacement turbocharged engine. Using an aluminum body, the F-150 weighs as much as 317kg less than previous generations, making a larger engine not quite as necessary. Nevertheless, Ram managed 10 percent better fuel economy than the F-150 with a vehicle that weighs nearly 20 percent more. The focus for efficiency remains purely on the drivetrain. Turbocharged diesels offer significant thermal efficiency improvements over gasoline counterparts.
Because the Ram 1500 is heavier than the F-150, that added weight makes all the difference when towing heavy loads. The Ram provides a more stable ride because of the 8-speed transmission and smoother shifting gears while maintaining the same power band with higher rpms. The F-150 however, provides a more nimble driving experience thanks to its lighter construction and near-effortless steering. The EcoBoost gives the F-150 more horsepower (325 compared to 240 for the Ram) and hence can tow heavier loads, but at the cost of lower fuel economy.
Although both trucks are capable of handling heavy loads that they are designed for, the difference in their engine and construction has influenced their towing capabilities. Ford can pull up to 5,545kg while the Ram’s top number is 4,840kg. The Ram 1500 has some additional great features such as the Active-Level Four-Corner Air Suspension that helps maintain that famous Ram performance and allows drivers to raise or lower the vehicle depending on their current situation. It also has a Hill Start Assist feature that makes it more stable on inclines. The F-150 has the capabilities you need for driving in a variety of conditions but when it comes to towing heavy loads, the Dodge Ram has better handling and stability. Know the best truck for towing to fit your needs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which evaluates vehicles on four categories: frontal crash, side crash, rollover, and overall safety, has rated the F-150 as five out of five stars in everything but the rollover category. The Ram, on the other hand, got five stars in just one category, side crash.
The Ford F-150 also earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after receiving the best rating in a tough front crash test.
The Ram 1500 has everything you might need, such as side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and an optional backup camera. The F-150, on the other hand, offers some of the latest items in safety technology including a 360-degree camera system, a lane-departure warning system, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and forward-collision warning.
Ultimately, the most practical strategy for selecting a pickup is to find a truck that meets your requirements without spending more than necessary.
Contact us if you need advice on leasing work trucks for your business. With a fleet of over 800 vehicles and growing, Thomas Solutions has a wide array of work vehicles for lease or rent. Whether you are in Hamilton, Niagara or anywhere in Southern Ontario for that matter, we would welcome the chance to see if we can help you with your fleet needs.