Fans of pickup trucks have long debated the benefits of rear leaf springs versus rear coil springs. Leaf spring fans have pointed out that the three 2022 half-ton pickup trucks with the highest tow ratings all have rear leaf springs. That said, a heavy-duty Ram 2500 with rear coil springs out-tows all three of them. Though leaf springs are excellent for towing, a well-engineered rear coil setup is equally capable.
Several half-ton pickup trucks offer rear coil springs
Your preference for rear coil or leaf springs may simply come down to brand loyalty. The fourth and fifth generation of the Ram 1500 pioneered rear leaf springs in full-size trucks. Critics loved these full-size pickups’ smooth ride and relatively responsive handling.
For 2022, Toyota converted its third-generation Tundra to a rear coil spring chassis. In addition, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) chose rear coil springs for the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500 all have rear leaf springs
Though coil springs are gaining popularity, the majority of half-ton trucks are still built with rear leaf springs. General Motors’ half-tons–the mechanically identical Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500–both offer rear leaf springs. In addition, the Ford F-Series (the most popular pickup truck in the United States) features rear leaf springs.
These three pickup trucks also happen to have the highest maximum tow ratings. Check out the tow ratings in the table below:
|Make and Model||Max Towing Capacity||Configuration|
|Ford F-150||14,000 pounds||3.5-liter EcoBoost V6|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||13,300 pounds||3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 2WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels|
|GMC Sierra 1500||13,000 pounds||3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 4WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels|
|Ram 1500||12,750 pounds||5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque|
|Toyota Tundra||12,000 pounds||2WD SR5 with the tow package|
|Nissan Titan||9,320 pounds||King Cab 4×2|
The Ram 2500 has rear coil springs
Ram was so content with how rear coil springs changed the dynamics of its half-ton 1500 pickup truck, it converted its 3/4-ton 2500 to rear coil springs. Some heavy-duty Rams, namely the 3500 and larger, still come with rear leaf springs. But Ram has not walked back its decision to convert the 2500 to rear coils.
What’s more, you can configure a Ram 2500 with a Cummins turbodiesel that churns out 850 lb-ft of torque. Add Ram’s maximum towing package and you can get a Ram 2500 capable of pulling up to 15,220 lbs.
What does that mean? A pickup truck with rear coil springs can be engineered to reliably tow thousands of pounds more than the most capable leaf spring half-ton.
Obviously, if you need the towing and payload capacity of a full-ton truck, automakers agree you will need leaf springs. But for towing anything less, rear coils springs can get the job done.
See a leaf spring versus coil spring comparison in the video below: