Best One-Ton Trucks of 2020

When you’re spending this much money and committing to a 1 ton truck, you want to be sure that you’re making the right choice. Outside of the commercial sector, these brutes are as powerful and capable as it gets, with some being able to pull in excess of 30,000 pounds safely. Many of these models feature torque-rich turbo diesel engines, dual-rear-wheel configurations, and beefed-up suspension components to handle just about any task that you throw at them.

In our comprehensive evaluations of the most formidable machines currently on sale, we’ve spent hours testing them for comfort, performance, practicality, and available technology. While a quick test drive rarely exposes all of a vehicle’s strengths and weaknesses, you may rest assured that our testers know everything there is to know about each. Our reviews will provide you with horsepower figures, dimensions for each body style, and expected fuel economy. Or, simply take a look at our rankings to see how your favorite stacks up against the competition.

What is Considered a 1 Ton Truck?

The classification for pickups is a little dated these days. Originally, these figures referred to maximum payload capacities. As such, these vehicles traditionally carried upwards of 2,000 lbs - a single ton. However, modern pickups can actually carry a lot more. It is not just invisible numbers that set these juggernauts apart from their less brawny brethren, though. Heavy-duty pickups usually look the part, with enormous, rugged bodies, equally large wheels, broad cargo beds, and, sometimes, dual-rear-wheel configurations.

These are certainly things to look out for when picking your next workhorse:

  • Power - Naturally, the powertrain needs to be potent enough to move both the heavy machine and its load, be it in the cargo bed or towed behind. True heavy-weights will almost always offer a diesel option for maximum capabilities.
  • Reliability - You definitely need to be able to depend on your hauler. If your machine is not reliable, it will never get the job done in a crunch.
  • Durability - These automobiles must be rugged and capable of going off the beaten path from time to time. This translates into their appearance, too.

What to Consider Before Buying a One Ton Truck

Today’s machines are more formidable than ever before. But all this brawn comes at a cost. Some advantages and disadvantages of one-ton trucks include:

Pros

  • Immensely potent powertrains
  • Unrivaled payload/towing capacity
  • Highly dependable
  • Genuine 4x4 capability

Cons

  • Large and clumsy
  • Terrible fuel economy
  • Ride comfort is not a priority
  • Generally high price tag

How Much Weight Can a 1 ton Pickup Truck Carry?

Where 2,000 lbs was around the best they could manage in the past, modern generations go above and beyond this. In fact, the most powerful options pull weights in excess of 35k pounds. Among the best 1-ton pickup trucks in the segment are well-known brands like Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram. Every nameplate has an offering with 350/3500 on the badge, and some even have 450/4500.

  • The Ram 3500 scores top marks in our books. It costs upwards of $35k and is powered by a huge eight-cylinder gasoline engine. In its most robust configuration, it can pull loads of up to 35,100 lbs. Unlike some rivals, it actually pays a certain degree of attention to the interior. There are premium materials and a competitive infotainment suite.
  • The Ford F-350 and F-450 are up next. The former receives a large V8 as standard and gets access to a turbocharged V8 diesel engine, which comes standard on the latter. It also keeps its crown as the strongest hauler on the market, pulling up to 37k pounds in its strongest guise.
  • The Chevy Silverado 3500HD is equipped with either a gas or a turbocharged diesel eight-cylinder, just like its rivals. And, while not as rugged as the Fords, the Silverado is slightly stronger than the Ram, towing 35,500 when set up in a gooseneck configuration.

FAQs

What is the best 1-ton truck?

Our top picks do not differ all that much in terms of payload/towing capacity. However, the Ford F-450 does lead in this regard, with a maximum capacity of 37k pounds.

What is the cheapest one-ton pickup?

These beasts are seldom cheap, with the Ram 3500 bearing the lowest price tag of around $35k new. You could find a used model from 2019 or 2019 on sale. However, be sure that it is just as capable as the 2020 iteration as several manufacturers have updated their offerings for the new year. It wouldn’t do to find that your vehicle is not able to meet the needs of your enterprise.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Ram 3500
8.8
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
6
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
9
Value
#2
2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
6
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
9
Value
#3
2020 Ford F-450 Super Duty
8.4
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
6
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
9
Value
#4
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
8.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
10
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value
#5
2020 GMC Sierra 3500HD
8.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
10
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value