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June 22, 2022
Michael Collado is a car buying expert and has been a professional automotive writer since 2009. He’s written about dealership sales, vehicle reviews and comparisons, and service and maintenance for over 100 national automotive dealerships. Previously, Collado was a copywriter at the ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day where he worked on brand campaigns for Nissan, ABC Television, Sony PlayStation, and Energizer. His recognition in the ad industry includes awards from Communication Arts and The Clios.
Collado has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.
If you're in the market for a one-ton truck then that means you're looking for maximum towing and hauling power, without making any compromises.
One-ton trucks are the most capable out of the different classes of trucks.
We've compared all the one-ton trucks and looked at their towing, payload, value, and reliability to select our top picks.
Table of Contents
When considering the best overall one-ton truck, you'll want to account for a couple of factors such as horsepower and torque. When it comes to horsepower, you can find the most output from Ford. Both Ford’s diesel and gas-powered engines take the crown here. The optional 7.3-liter gas V-8 engine provides up to 430 horsepower while the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine provides up to 475 horsepower.
Now let’s take a look at torque. The RAM 3500 is a leader here where the high-output 6.7-liter Cummins inline six-cylinder engine provides up to 1,075 foot-pound feet of torque. However, the Ford F-350 Super Duty provides up to 1,050 foot-pound feet of torque from its engine.
Taking a look at these two factors, we give the best overall one-ton truck award to the popular Ford F-350 Super Duty.
Towing is one of the most bitter battles in the war of one-ton trucks. Right now, the overall leader is the monstrous Ford F-450 Super Duty which can tow up to 37,000 pounds (but that's kinda cheating because the F-450 is technically a one-and-a-half-ton truck).
Right below it is the Ford F-350 Super Duty which has a max tow rating of 35,750. However, the other runner-ups are no slouch. The Chevy Silverado 3500 HD and GMC Sierra 3500HD one-ton trucks have a max tow rating of 36,000 pounds.
When looking at the one-ton truck with the best payload, gas engine models are going to get the edge here. That’s because curb weight is figured into the calculation for payload and gas engines tend to weigh less than diesel engines.
With that said, the higher payload rating comes from the Ford F-350 Super Duty with a rating of 7,850 pounds. Coming in second is the RAM 3500 with a payload rating of 7,680. After that, the Chevy Silverado 3500HD offers a payload rating of 7,442 pounds.
If you're looking to spend big time on a one-ton truck, then you can expect to spend up near the six-figure level. In today’s market, the most expensive one-ton truck is a fully spec’d out RAM 3500, which has a sticker price of around $94,000.
Coming up right behind it is a fully-stocked Ford F-250 Super Duty with an upper limit price of $93,000. If you're looking for a relative bargain, then a top-end Chevrolet 3500HD High Country comes in at around $80,000.
It can get a little tricky to try to figure out which one-ton truck is the most reliable. That’s because all models come with the same 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Therefore, we have to take a look at what the editors of popular magazines and consumer rating agencies say.
Across the board, the Ford F-350 Super Duty takes the top honors as the most reliable one-ton truck on the market.
When looking for the best diesel one-ton truck, you'll naturally gravitate to the model that is going to offer you the most torque. Therefore, you will want to take a look at the powerful RAM 3500 truck.
Its high-output 6.7-liter Cummins inline six-cylinder engine provides up to 1,075 foot-pound feet of torque.
With its high horsepower rating, excellent reliability, and relatively affordable cost in its class, the Ford F-350 Super Duty is considered the best one-ton truck on the market.
The Ford F-450 Super Duty can tow up to 37,000 pounds. Right below it is the Ford F-350 Super Duty which has a max tow rating of 35,750. The Chevy Silverado 3500 HD and GMC Sierra 3500HD one-ton trucks have a max tow rating of 36,000 pounds.
The cheapest one-ton truck by entry price is the Ford F-350 Super Duty XL with a starting price of $35,745. Coming in second is the RAM 3500 with a starting price of $35,795 for the most basic Tradesman model. After that, the Chevy's Silverado 3500HD comes in third with a starting price of $36,500.
It is widely regarded that the most reliable one-ton truck is the Ford F-350 Super Duty. That is because the truck is well-engineered and Ford has a reputation for building one of the highest quality trucks on the market. Also, a well-maintained Ford F-350 Super Duty has stayed on the road longer than many of its competitors.
The most powerful one-ton truck by horsepower is the Ford F-350 or the Ford F-450 Super Duty with the optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine that provides up to 475 horsepower. If you want to measure power by torque, then the most powerful truck would be the RAM 3500 with a torque rating of 1,075 foot-pound feet.
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