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Old 01-24-2022, 11:52 AM   #1
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What practical difference is there between a 3/4 ton truck and a 1-ton truck?

Reading some recent posts where people were buying one-ton trucks made me wonder -- what is the practical difference between a 3/4-ton truck and a one-ton truck? I mean, if you got the very basic bare minimum for each. I have an F-250 and if you go online to look at the general specs, you'll see the Ford groups the 250 and 350 together. Do other manufacturers also do this?

I understand that there are upgrades available for a one-ton that aren't available for a 3/4-ton, but I'm just wondering about the difference in the basic models.
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Old 01-24-2022, 12:07 PM   #2
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Others will disagree with me but, in a word, payload.

350/3500's will typically have some combination (or all) of:
heavier duty springs
heavier rated axle (sometimes)
upgraded shocks
larger/higher rated wheels/tires
sometimes - sometimes - heavier duty frame (but not often)

Other than that, there is no difference between them. My 2500 (for its model year) is different from the 3500 only in lighter springs, shocks and wheels/tires. It has the exact same axle that came on the 3500 for that year - I checked. I have upgraded the shocks and wheels/tires to the spec'd 3500's but the springs are still undersized for a 3500.
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Old 01-24-2022, 12:12 PM   #3
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Hi AKC - if you are comparing base model trucks, the difference is the springs. A F-350 comes stock with a helper spring pack in the rear. I am not sure if there is a difference in the front springs.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:07 PM   #4
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YukonGold hit it right on the head - payload. I replaced my F-250 with a similar 350 and gained 900 lbs of payload capacity. For our travel trailer, this wasn't necessary, but we are going to add a slide in truck camper and payload is the driver when it comes to camper selection.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:44 PM   #5
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Of course plenty of folks will maintain the the rated payload of many 3/4 ton pickups is artificially low due to the manufacturers' arbitrarily maxing out the GVWR at 10,000 lbs when the trucks can actually handle more weight.

Some pretty lively discussions of this on the Heavy Duty RAM forums.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:56 PM   #6
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I know you mentioned Fords, but in Rams the difference is huge. 2500s get coil springs in the rear and 3500s get leaf springs. The 2500 rides much better because of this.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:16 PM   #7
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I am sure my Ram 2500 4wd has a #500 lighter rear axle than the 1 ton.

I know it has coil springs instead of leaf. Like a train.

Motor and transmission is the same. Perhaps different ration in the diff. dependent on years.

The shocks may be different.

My brakes and tires are the same size.

Mostly it was to mollify the DMV crowd nation wide about the commercial truck thing and more expensive license plates.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKC View Post
Reading some recent posts where people were buying one-ton trucks made me wonder -- what is the practical difference between a 3/4-ton truck and a one-ton truck? I mean, if you got the very basic bare minimum for each. I have an F-250 and if you go online to look at the general specs, you'll see the Ford groups the 250 and 350 together. Do other manufacturers also do this?

I understand that there are upgrades available for a one-ton that aren't available for a 3/4-ton, but I'm just wondering about the difference in the basic models.
a few model years back, but not that much has changed so it is still relevant:

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2018/0...0s-differ.html
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:56 PM   #9
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Thank you @camper_Lucy, that was a very informative article. It looks like it was just a more informed way of saying what everyone else was saying -- in most trucks it's higher payload.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PodGeek View Post
Of course plenty of folks will maintain the the rated payload of many 3/4 ton pickups is artificially low due to the manufacturers' arbitrarily maxing out the GVWR at 10,000 lbs when the trucks can actually handle more weight.

Some pretty lively discussions of this on the Heavy Duty RAM forums.
There is no 10,000 GVWR limit on 3/4 ton trucks.

I don't know about Ram but both Ford and GM offer 3/4 tons above 10k GVWR.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by camper_Lucy View Post
a few model years back, but not that much has changed so it is still relevant:

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2018/0...0s-differ.html
The article is false regarding the GM trucks (which would make me question other things...) and because of the early falsehood I didn't see a need to finish the article.

Fact: not all GM 2500 configurations use the same rear axle housing as the 3500 series srw as was stated in the article. I had a '17 and a good friend had a '18 2500. Not his or mine had the same axle housing as a 3500 srw.
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:01 AM   #12
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The article is false regarding the GM trucks (which would make me question other things...) and because of the early falsehood I didn't see a need to finish the article.

Fact: not all GM 2500 configurations use the same rear axle housing as the 3500 series srw as was stated in the article. I had a '17 and a good friend had a '18 2500. Not his or mine had the same axle housing as a 3500 srw.
Yep, the '20 and newer GM 2500 and 3500's have different rear axles, ring gear sizes, the 3500 doesn't have torque limiting in 1st gear like the 2500 does.....there's differences. This is with both having the Duramax.
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:29 AM   #13
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There is no 10,000 GVWR limit on 3/4 ton trucks.

I don't know about Ram but both Ford and GM offer 3/4 tons above 10k GVWR.
This was pointed out in some of the conversations that I read, but folks then mentioned that >10,000 lbs puts a truck in the "Class 3/Medium Duty" category with correspondingly higher registration fees and other requirements if used commercially:

If a vehicle has a GVWR of more than 10,001 pounds and is used for a business, including nonprofits, then it is subject to federal and state safety regulations for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles. Vehicles over this weight are required to stop at state weigh and inspection stations, and drivers must follow regulations concerning hours of service and medical examination.

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/commer...cation-2221025

They cited these restrictions as potentially limiting sales of 3/4 tons rated at > 10,000 lbs and said that's why manufacturers typically kept the GVWR at/under that number.
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Old 01-26-2022, 12:46 AM   #14
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Somebody previous said the brakes are the same size! Boy are you wrong, the biggest difference is the brakes. You can add more springs, beefier shocks, air bags, yada, yada, yada, but you canít put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton truck without changing the entire drivetrain & front suspension. So your bottom line isÖ..much bigger brakes. Thatís the main difference, The end,no brag, just fact.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:05 AM   #15
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Somebody previous said the brakes are the same size! Boy are you wrong, the biggest difference is the brakes. You can add more springs, beefier shocks, air bags, yada, yada, yada, but you canít put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton truck without changing the entire drivetrain & front suspension. So your bottom line isÖ..much bigger brakes. Thatís the main difference, The end,no brag, just fact.
That depends on make and year. Some take the same parts. One must look up the part numbers for the two different trucks.
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Old 01-26-2022, 02:20 AM   #16
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1/4 ton
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Old 01-26-2022, 03:36 AM   #17
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As men we always want bigger.
An Remember the day you bought your first motorcycle/first rv. how soon did u want a bigger one...... It never stops there.
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Old 01-26-2022, 05:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sbosserman View Post
Somebody previous said the brakes are the same size! Boy are you wrong, the biggest difference is the brakes. You can add more springs, beefier shocks, air bags, yada, yada, yada, but you canít put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton truck without changing the entire drivetrain & front suspension. So your bottom line isÖ..much bigger brakes. Thatís the main difference, The end,no brag, just fact.
You are saying the brakes are different on new F250 and F350's ? F250 is 3/4 ton. F350 is 1 ton.
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Old 01-26-2022, 07:03 AM   #19
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Somebody previous said the brakes are the same size! Boy are you wrong, the biggest difference is the brakes. You can add more springs, beefier shocks, air bags, yada, yada, yada, but you canít put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton truck without changing the entire drivetrain & front suspension. So your bottom line isÖ..much bigger brakes. Thatís the main difference, The end,no brag, just fact.


I worked at oriellys about ten year ago. I remember that ford 250 and 350 ( non dually) had same rotor and pads. I looked up a 2019 250 and 350. It was random pick of newer model and I have no knowledge on other brands but the ford in 2019 appear same. Pics are provided before you say they arenít the same compare either the top or bottom to each other. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-26-2022, 09:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sbosserman View Post
Somebody previous said the brakes are the same size! Boy are you wrong, the biggest difference is the brakes. You can add more springs, beefier shocks, air bags, yada, yada, yada, but you canít put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton truck without changing the entire drivetrain & front suspension. So your bottom line isÖ..much bigger brakes. Thatís the main difference, The end,no brag, just fact.
Bigger front brakes don't really mean that much in terms of towing an RV. The RV brakes should be more than adequeate to stop your RV with no greater strain on the tow vehicle brakes than normal. If you are pushing the limits of your front brakes while towing, your RV brakes are not working properly.

The argument about if your trailer brakes fail is also not relevant. Brake size is the not the limiting factor for stopping a vehicle one time. The coefficient of friction between the tire and the pavement is the limiting factor. I have no doubt that the front brakes of a 3/4 ton truck can lock up the fornt tires one time, no matter how much it is towing.

Brake size only becomes an issue in repeated braking and how fast they wear. Larger brakes prevent fade with repeated use, (i.e. descending a mountain swithback pass). If your trailer brakes fail the brakes on a 3/4 ton will stop the rig at least once. You shouldn't be doing multiple brake applications if your trailer brakes have failed.

So the only concern about brake size between a 3/4 ton and 1 ton would be how often you have to change the pads.

Also your contention that you can't put bigger brakes on a 3/4 ton is wrong. There are many aftermarket big brake kits.
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