Torque and towing capability are to the pickup truck world what horsepower is to muscle cars and acceleration is for supercars: the metric by which they're judged. As with muscle car ponies and supercar sprints, of course, today's biggest pickups deliver such absurd numbers as to make comparisons academic; any of the Big Three's biggest rigs is powerful enough to knock off any reasonable chore with ease.
Nevertheless, as long as there are pickups, their manufacturers will attempt to outdo one another in terms of how much grunt they deliver and how massive a load they can tow. And as of December 2020, Ram has reclaimed those honors with its diesel-powered 3500 Heavy Duty, which now makes 1,075 lb-ft of torque — up from an even 1,000 — and can tow up to 37,100 pounds.
In order to squeeze an extra 75 pound-feet from the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel, Ram's engineers upped the limit to the turbocharger's boost pressure and amped up the fuel flow. Small changes, sure, but enough to push it past the Ford F-350 Super Duty, which makes 1,050 lb-ft of torque in turbodiesel form.
As for that maximum towing figure, like all max towing stats, it comes with a couple caveats: it only applies when using the redesigned gooseneck hitch, which sits inside the bed. Using a conventional hitch, the Ram 3500 Heavy Duty's towing capability maxes out at a "mere" 23,000 pounds. Still, even that's enough to tow Airstream's nicest trailer, the Classic 33, and still have more than 14,000 pounds of towing capability left over.
The maximum load — which, again, we should point out, works out to a Golden Retriever more than 18 and a half tons — will most likely only be relevant to contractors, farmers and ranchers who tow heavy equipment and livestock. Should any ranchers be considering branching out into raising African elephants, they'll be pleased to know they can haul up to six of them behind the latest Ram. Then again, considering the Chevy Silverado 3500HD can tow up to 36,000 pounds and the F-350 maxes out at 37,000...that's true of them, too.