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The Best 3/4-Ton Pickup Trucks: Towing, Payload, Power, and More

We list the top pickups in six categories, using manufacturer-provided specs.

May 6, 2021
Photographers: From the Manufacturers
Calling anything the "best" is a big claim, one that shouldn't be taken lightly. With that in mind, we've taken care to pull together a list of not the best overall 3/4-ton trucks, but rather which trucks are the best in each of six categories. These claims are not subjective; instead, they are based on manufacturer-provided specifications. Let's dig in.
Best 3/4-Ton Truck Towing
For better or worse, those looking to buy a 3/4-ton truck will find that the four major players list nearly identical maximum tow ratings. The biggest variations will be found between gasoline and diesel engine options and cab configurations. Currently, Ford has the highest 3/4-ton tow rating of 21,000 pounds with its regular-cab F-250 Super Duty equipped with either the 7.3L gasoline V-8 or 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8. Ram tops out at 19,290 pounds with its Cummins I-6 powered regular cab. GM brings up the rear at a max of 18,500 pounds. However, it's able to do this with a crew-cab pickup.
Photo 2/20   |   Ram 2500 016 Best Three Quarter Ton Pickup Truck
Best 3/4-ton Truck Payload
Payload is an interesting number, as it's directly related to curb weight and the gross vehicle weight rating. Because of this, gasoline-powered pickups tend to have the highest payload capacity due to a lower curb weight. Ram currently offers the highest available payload for a 3/4-ton truck with its 6.4L Hemi V-8-equipped regular-cab, long-bed, two-wheel-drive pickup. Ford is second with a maximum of 4,260 pounds of payload from a similarly configured F-250 Super Duty. However, Ford does not note which engine that is achieved with. Next is GM with its Silverado and Sierra 2500 pickups offering a maximum of 3,979 pound of payload with a regular-cab, long-bed, two-wheel-drive configuration powered by the company's 6.6L gasoline V-8 engine. Interestingly, payload capacity for all configurations of Ford and GM 3/4-ton trucks are over 3,000 pounds. Ram dips as low as 2,050 pounds for a Cummins-powered, four-wheel-drive Mega Cab.
Best 3/4-ton Truck Horsepower
When it comes to 3/4-ton pickup horsepower, Ford holds the title for both gasoline and diesel. Ford's optional 7.3L gasoline V-8 produces 430 hp, while its 6.7L Power Stroke diesel churns out 475 hp. GM's 6.6L gasoline V-8 produces 401 hp, and its 6.6L Duramax diesel puts out 445 hp. Ram comes midpack with a 410 hp 6.4L gasoline V-8 but trails with only 370 hp being produced by its Cummins I-6 diesel. Ram doesn't offer the high-output Cummins in its 2500 pickups.
Photo 3/20   |   Ford F250 Super Duty Best Three Quarter Ton Pickup Truck
Best 3/4-ton Truck Torque
Torque is what really gets the work done, and Ford offers the most of it. The F-250 Super Duty packs a punch with its 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8 pumping out 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Next up is GM's 6.6L Duramax diesel V-8 with 910 lb-ft of torque, which can be optioned in the Silverado and Sierra 2500HD. Ram trails the pack with just 850 lb-ft from its 6.7L Cummins I-6 diesel engine. Ram would be at the top, but the company doesn't offer the 1,075-lb-ft high-output Cummins in its Ram 2500.
Best 3/4-ton Truck Warranty
No matter which brand you choose, rest assured that it will come with a decent warranty. All offer a standard three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty on gasoline engines, and five-year/100,000-mile warranty on diesel powertrains. All offer body corrosion warranties and some form of roadside assistance. Because they're so similar, we'd recommend digging deeper into the fine print before making a purchase decision.
Best 3/4-ton Truck Cost
This is where things get interesting. Ford offers the least expensive 3/4-ton truck, with the most basic F-250 Super Duty starting at just $34,230. Ram is a very close second, with the simplest Ram 2500 starting at $34,345, just $115 more than Ford. Chevrolet is at the top, with its most basic truck starting at $36,245. On the high end, Ram's 2500 is a relative bargain. With all of the boxes checked, the Ram tops out at just over $78,000. We could push the Silverado 2500HD High Country up to almost $84,000, while a Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited easily eclipses the $90,000 mark.