Ram Cummins Diesel vs. Ford F-150 Lightning: A Towing Battle to Settle the Score

Have you ever wondered if an electric truck could tow a heavy load up a mountain better than a diesel truck? The Fast Lane Trucks team answers that very question with an epic towing battle. In this battle, they pit the Ford F-150 Lightning against a Ram 2500 HD with a Cummins diesel engine under the hood. Which truck wins this contest?

Wait, these two pickup trucks are in different classes?

Red 2022 Ram 2500 HD posed in the wilderness
2022 Ram 2500 HD | Stellantis

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That’s right; the Ford Lightning is the EV version of the half-ton F-150, while the Ram 2500 HD is a three-quarter-ton truck. How could this be a fair towing battle?

Forget fairness; no one said anything about being fair. The idea is to see which truck handles the drive on the Ike Gauntlet the best. This puts classic Cummins diesel power up against the electrified newcomer.

What is the Ike Gauntlet?

A truck towing a trailer up The Ike Gauntlet
The Ike Gauntlet | Shutterstock

The Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of road in Colorado. This is one of the toughest interstate highways to drive on because of several factors, which are:

  • A 7% grade
  • A maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level
  • 32% air density at the top of the continental divide

Vehicles that reach the top of this drive tend to struggle because the air is much thinner. Many trucks pulling heavy loads can sputter and experience overheating brakes on the way down the mountain.

Let’s look at the two trucks in this towing battle

Ram 2500 HD

A Blue 2022 Ram 2500 HD sitting on top of a hill
Blue 2022 Ram 2500 HD | Stellantis

The Ram 2500 HD is a heavy-duty diesel-powered truck made for towing heavy trailers. This truck is trusted at many job sites to be among the toughest and strongest offered. The truck in this contest is a 4WD version from the 2022 model year using a 6.7-liter Cummins turbocharged diesel 6-cylinder engine. This engine provides 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque.

This impressive Ram pickup truck is rated to carry 2,000 pounds of payload and tow up to 20,000 pounds. It has a 31-gallon fuel tank, and the truck weighs nearly 8,000 pounds.

Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning Towing a Trailer
Ford F-150 Lightning Towing a Trailer | Ford

The Ford F-150 Lighting electric truck used in this contest has a pair of electric motors to ensure the 4WD capability desired. The electric powertrain is good for 580 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque.

This Ford is the Lightning Lariat trim with an extended range battery and a maximum towing rating of 10,000 pounds. The Lightning EV truck can carry up to 1,685 pounds of payload, and the Ford tips the scales at 6,800 pounds. Under normal conditions, the F-150 Lightning can drive for 300 miles on a full charge.

TFL Trucks towing battle; Testing the limits of the Ford and Ram trucks

Technically, they tested the limits of the F-150 Lightning more than the Ram 2500 HD. The trailer used weighed in at 9,600 pounds. This is close to the limit of the Ford truck and not even half of the capability of the Ram. Both trucks handled the job extremely well. This was a bit of a surprise for the Ford.

If you want to see the contest and how each truck performed, check out the video below. If not, take a look at what the AEV treatments mean for the Chevy Silverado ZR2 Bison.

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